Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Please Do NOT Ask Me These Questions

I'm sure you recognise the Ace Attorney
'Objection'
Hey all you future scholars! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. And taking the time to read the comments before asking questions (do you? haha). Anyway, recently I realised there are questions that appear quite often which I am unable to answer, so please be nice and refrain from asking my the following questions (the list will be updated as time goes by).

ETA: I'm sorry if the tone of this piece comes off like I'm annoyed and bothered. I really do love answering and getting emails, but these questions... these questions make me want to take down the "email me" widget. 

1. Can I get in with ______ marks? 
Which means: please do not ask me any questions about whether you can get in with ______ (your current program, your fears about your Japanese, etc). I'm but a poor MEXT scholar who's not sure how she got in. I can't represent the voice of MEXT and give you assurances (or crush your fears).

My advice: Just give it a shot and apply! 

2. Can I apply even if_______?
Which means: please do not ask me about eligibility (or dates). While I'm don't think MEXT changed the terms of the scholarship, it's still best to check the application form, which has all the terms and conditions. I'm really scared that I give you the wrong advice, especially if you're not from Singapore (I have no idea if it varies from countries). Incidentally, I think the application period varies slightly from country to country. So to be on the safe side, you should be checking with the Embassy of Japan in your country.

My advice: Check the application form.

Bonus: (Summary of question 1 and 2) What should I do about (specific application problem)
I just realised that question one and two were too specific, since I was asked questions about what to do about filling in the form. Please realise that I applied in 2011, in Singapore. I'm not even sure if the application process is the same for all countries, since you have to pass the embassy selection before the MEXT selection. If you're not from Singapore, then I really don't dare to give you any advice, since it may not apply. If you're from Singapore, I can always share what I did, but please remember, it may not apply.

My advice: Ask the Embassy. They know best. 

3. Do you have past years papers?
The answer is no. I printed them out from the JASSO website, and then I think I threw them away after the tests. I'm pretty sure that if you click around the JASSO website, the papers are up there somewhere. And when you're practicing, remember, the Maths papers differ for the sciences and the humanities. For anything else about the exam (or preparation): I've already written all that I remember in my first blog post.

ETA: Rodolfo from Mexico has kindly provided me with the link (thanks!) so here it is.

(Edited To Add)
4. Are the test questions repeated/What do they test for maths/Anything related to the content of the tests. 
I didn't add this in the first time round because I thought it was lumped in with the past year papers, so here it is: please don't ask me about what kind of questions come out, or if the questions will be repeated. And I have no idea what went on for the science stream, so I can't even tell you what kind of exams you have to take. These are stuff you should ask the embassy.

5. Anything related to the post-graduate scholarship.
I'm in the undergraduate scholarship. One day, I got a message asking me for information "more information MEXT postgraduate scholarships" and "the names of names of universities in Japan that have participated in the program and which these universities have automotive engineering at masters level". I understand if you didn't read my blog properly and had the wrong impression, but the list thing... it's... it's impossible. Ask the embassy please. Pro tip: Writing your email entirely in caps make it seem like you're yelling (and hence demanding) something and it makes me seriously annoyed.

6. Do I need to know Japanese to get the scholarship?
Or "I don't know much Japanese, can I get in?"
I'm not MEXT so I have no idea. What I do know is that when you look at the people who were chosen, there were people who were fluent in the language, and there were people who didn't even know how to read hiragana or katakana. Thus, even if you email me with your JLPT score, I can't tell you if it'll help you get the scholarship. I do hope this non-answer gives you hope though(:

On the other hand, please do:
a. Tell me if you passed a stage/got in: I'd love to celebrate with you! I get more juniors!
b. Email me if you have questions that aren't covered and you need answered
c. Ask about a certain aspect of life in Japan (especially if you're worried)
d. Ask me if you have seniors from your country (if you want to contact them but don't know how, I can try being the middleman)