A-Levels Medicine (INTEC)
A-Levels Medicine is actually an Edexcel A-Level course for JPA scholars destined to do medicine, dentistry or pharmacy. It is conducted in INTEC (International Education Centre) Shah Alam, a branch of UiTM. The Edexcel A-Levels course is modular, with 6 units (papers) per subject.
The subject combinations are :
- Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics for twinning programmes to International Medical University and Melaka-Manipal Medical College or a direct course to Nottingham University
- Biology, Chemistry and Physics for a medicine twinning programme to Penang Medical College or for a direct course to Ireland
Students sit for all papers at the end of the 2-year programme, except for Biology Units 3 and 6, which are written reports. There are 4 semesters consisting of 6-month periods each. A-Level Medicine students also have to take Ethics/Islamic Studies (an internal subject), which they only need to pass, and English tests like IELTS and MUET (only IMU-bound students need to take MUET).
Each topical test accounts for 10% of the grade given. Additionally, for Biology, class participation and written reports are also considered. Quizzes are not taken into account at all in internal assessment.
The internal assessments do not affect the actual external A-Level grades in any way. However, JPA keeps track of the results, and various actions including sending warning letters and sending students to motivational camps, are taken against underachieving students. Poor performance in the internal assessment will also affect the forecast results given for university applications.
Here I will give an outline of the four Edexcel A-Level subjects that INTEC A-Level Medicine students take.
Unit 1- Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health
Unit 2- Development, Plants and the Environment
Unit 3B- Practical Biology and Research Skills
Unit 4- The Natural Environment and Species Survival
Unit 5- Energy, Exercise and Coordination
Unit 6B- Practical Biology and Investigative Skills
Unit 1- The Core Principles of Chemistry
Unit 2- Application of Core Principles of Chemistry
Unit 3B- Chemistry Laboratory Skills I Alternative
Unit 4- General Principles of Chemistry I – Rates, Equilibria and Further Organic Chemistry
Unit 5- General Principles of Chemistry II – Transition Metals and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry
Unit 6B- Chemistry Laboratory Skills II Alternative
C1- Core Mathematics 1
C2- Core Mathematics 2
C3- Core Mathematics 3
C4- Core Mathematics 4
S1- Statistics 1
S2- Statistics 2
Unit 1- Physics on the go
Unit 2- Physics at Work
Unit 3B- Exploring Physics
Unit 4- Physics on the Move
Unit 5- Physics from Creation to Collapse
Unit 6B- Experimental Physics
A- 80-100% (at least 480/600)
B- 70-79% (at least 420/600)
C- 60-69% (at least 360/600)
D- 50-59% (at least 300/600)
E- 40-49% (at least 240/600)
U (Unclassified)- 0-39%
It is possible to have a * attached to your A grade and attain an A* if you achieve at least 90% for your A2 papers of the subject (units 4 to 6 for Science subjects; as for Mathematics, C3, C4 and S2) and get an overall A in the subject (at least 80%). However, it is totally unnecessary to obtain any A*s as they are not required by the medical schools and JPA ignores the * in the calculation of your cut-off point, where an A is worth 5 points, a B is worth 4 points, a C is worth 3 points, a D is worth 2 points, and an E is worth 1 point. The maximum number of points you can score on this scale is 15 points, calculated from the 3 subjects you take.
The cut-off points for medicine twinning programmes are as follows:
- IMU- 13 points (ABB)
- PMC- 13 points (ABB)
- MMMC- 12 points (BBB/ABC/AAD)
Students studying A-Level Medicine have to take IELTS at the end of the 3rd semester. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and students are given band scores for 4 components: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. An overall band score is calculated from the 4 individual band scores. JPA scholars should aim for at least band 7 in IELTS to be safe and not have to retake the test. It is possible to get scores halfway between the bands i.e. band 7.5 or band 8.5. The highest band score possible is band 9.
Interpretation of Band Scores
9 Expert User
Has full operational command of the language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding.
8 Very Good User
Has full operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriacies. Misunderstandings may occur in unfamiliar situations. Handles complex detailed argumentation well.
7 Good User
Has operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriateness and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
6 Competent User
Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 Modest user
Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situations, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
4 Limited User
Basic competence is limited to familiar situations. Has frequent problems in using complex language.
3 Extremely Limited User
Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations.
2 Intermittent User
No real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words or short formulae in familiar situations and to meet immediate needs.
1 Non User
Essentially has no ability to use the language beyond possibly a few isolated words.
0 Did not attempt the test
No assessable information provided at all.
Only students bound to IMU have to take MUET in addition to IELTS at the end of semester 3. MUET stands for Malaysian University English Test and students are given marks for 4 components: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking.
The allocation of marks is as follows:
- Listening: 45 marks
- Speaking: 45 marks
- Reading; 120 marks
- Writing: 90 marks
This adds up to 300 marks, and these marks are used to give you a band score. The highest band possible is band 6. IMU-bound JPA scholars have to achieve at least band 4 in MUET.
Additional information about MUET, including interpretation of the band score, can be found on the MUET article, linked .