How to prepare for ASEAN Scholarships Pre-U Entrance Test

Recently I received an email from a reader (name removed for anonymity). Just posting here in case it is useful to other readers. Good luck for those interested in applying for the scholarship!

I am a 16-year old Malaysian student and I am interested in applying for the ASEAN scholarships for Malaysian Pre-University One Scholarships, yet I am lost as to how to prepare for the entrance tests(especially the mathematics test) and thought that i could ask you since I’ve frequently browsed your website for a while and have read that you’re experienced in the O’level and A’level fields of mathematics.

If you wouldn’t mind, I have a few questions to ask:
1. How should i prepare for the entrance tests?(as in what should i study/focus on for the Math entrance test)
2. Is it necessary for me to learn the SEAB A-levels/ JC syllabus? If yes, what textbooks would you recommend me buying in order to prepare for the exam?
3. What is the difference between IGCSE Additional Math syllabus(I’m in the IGCSE class in my school) and the Singapore O’level syllabus?(I’d like to know what I’d possibly be lacking in)

It would be most helpful if you could answer my questions. I hope to hear from you. Thank you!

Here are my answers:

Thanks for visiting my website.

I will try to answer your questions:

1. I think you should focus on the Additional math / Elementary math for O Levels.

2. I don’t think JC syllabus should be necessary as that is usually taught for 17-18 year old students, which should be beyond the scope of the pre-university exams.

3. Overall it should be the same, but there may be some small differences. You may check out this new syllabus:

For example, for the Singapore syllabus, there is this sum of cubes/differences of cubes formula that is tested:

For practice questions, you may want to check out this set of papers (with solutions):

They are representative of what is tested in the Singapore A Maths syllabus.


Son of taxi driver among this year’s President’s Scholars


Mr Lee Tat Wei lives in a four-room flat in Woodlands. He and his older brother went to neighbourhood schools. His father is a taxi driver and his mother works as a part- time sales assistant.

Despite his humble background, the 19-year-old said he has never felt shortchanged. “My parents gave me an environment that money couldn’t buy. They never pressured me to get straight As. They taught me to live in the moment,” said the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) graduate who had a perfect score of 45 for his International Baccalaureate diploma exams.

Mr Lee, who is one of the five recipients of the President’s Scholarship this year, will be going to read liberal arts at Yale University.

5 awarded prestigious President’s Scholarship at Istana ceremony

Maths Group Tuition starting in 2014


SINGAPORE – Five government scholarship recipients, including a missionaries’ child who grew up in Papua New Guinea and a Youth Olympic Games triathlete, have been awarded the prestigious President’s Scholarships this year, at a ceremony at the Istana on Friday evening.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the full speech by President Tony Tan:

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Mrs Teo

Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat


Chairman and Members of the Public Service Commission

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening.

Each year, the Public Service Commission awards scholarships to outstanding young men and women who want to serve Singapore and Singaporeans through a career in the Public Service. The most prestigious undergraduate scholarship awarded by the Commission is the President’s Scholarship.

It is awarded to young Singaporeans who have the integrity and commitment to work for Singapore’s continued success. To be awarded a President’s Scholarship, one must demonstrate more than just excellence in academic and non-academic pursuits. One must also show a strong ethos for public service, impeccable character, remarkable leadership and dedication towards improving the lives of Singaporeans.

2013 President’s Scholars This evening, the President’s Scholarship is awarded to five exceptional young individuals who have distinguished themselves based on their leadership capabilities and calibre, and their passion to bring the nation forward.

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