Assalamualaikum w.b.t friends & readers.

Alhamdulillah I finally had time to update at my own leisurely pace! As usual, I've been stalling on writing in this blog while I'm so caught up in studies. I can't believe I just finished second year! By September I'm officially a third-year dental student and Allah's willing, I'll be starting my dental practices not long after that. In this semester period, a lot of things has taken place. Some good, some bad. But Alhamdulillah a lot of good things has happened and I'm planning to keep a permanent hold on them. As usual we can only plan and strive for whatever we wish for, but He..decides our path. 

One of the best things was coming back to my ukhti.

I used to attend usrah gatherings when I was in first year, mostly because of obligatory reasons. But unfortunately I had a different way of thinking at that time. Combined with the demanding chores from my dental course and the desire to live comfortably in my own little world, I made the decision to bail. But my sisters never gave up on me. It took me a year and half to return back to my akhwat, but they never closed the door to me. In fact they hold my hands warmly, and hugged closed as if I never left. One sister even made it far as if to slip me this hadeeth:

"Sesungguhnya amal perbuatan itu disertai niat dan setiap orang mendapat balasan amal sesuai dengan niatnya. Barangsiapa yang berhijrah hanya kerana Allah dan Rasul-Nya, maka hijrahnya itu menujui Allah dan Rasul-Nya. Barangsiapa hijrahnya karena dunia yang ia harapkan atau karena wanita yang ingin ia nikahi, maka hijrahnya itu menuju yang ia inginkan."

(Hadis 1, Riwayat Bukhari & Muslim)

Now, apart from my classes I attended usrah gatherings and daurahs held by the sisters regularly. Recently they established the "University of Tarbiyyah" program aimed to equip the participants with Tsaqofah, Seerah and Quraan-Sunnah classes. All the sisters called gatherings like these as 'taman-taman syurga', meaning the Gardens of Paradise. To me, the term represents more than accurate. Whenever I'm with them, the world stops. You're there in the halaqah together with people who has the same aim as you: Allah swt. You talk good things. You discuss good things. You listen to good things. At first our hearts felt so heavy to attend because our minds are somewhere else, pretty soon I was filled with eagerness and thirst to learn more about this religion I thought I knew about. 

My murobbis are more than happy to answer every bombarding questions I had. My usrah group or as we called ourselves, "Inas Muharikah" (try to translate the meaning!) has proactively involved themselves in my life, going so far as to check up on my well-being or dedicating me ayaats. One can never compare the ukhti spirit in the akhwats. I'm glad that I gathered back my courage to be back in this path :)

I would like to share a beautiful piece from the glorious Quraan:

"Sesungguhnya Tuhanmu (mengampuni) orang yang mengerjakan kesalahan kerana kebodohannya, kemudian mereka bertaubat setelah itu dan memperbaiki (dirinya), sungguh Tuhanmu setelah itu benar-benar Maha Pengampun, Maha Penyayang." 16:119

What I can tadabbur or explain this ayaat with my own interpretation is that Allah swt is a Forgiver. In our young and curious age where we had phases to try and discover a lot of things, imminently we were influenced to do things that, oh I don't know, later regret in life. Small things, big things. But Allah swt, unlike others do forgive our mistakes because our ignorance, arrogance or just plain stupidity. Not once, but every time we crawl back crying on our knees to Him. As I learnt later in life, everybody wrote their own stories with their own inks provided by Allah swt. Maybe our stories wasn't so good at the start, but depending on how quick we were to realize we were making ink splotches and grammar errors, we start to write our stories more beautifully as we makes amends with ourselves by getting closer to our Creator.

Taking baby steps to correct our mistakes is better than knowing about the mistakes but we blatantly ignored the mistakes because of a I'll-do-it-some-other-time attitude. Why not now? Why do we have to wait till we're 60 to change our ways? Or more precisely, in our society nowadays, until we're married. 

Why set a deadline for ourselves? 

"Boleh jadi kamu tidak menyenangi sesuatu padahal ia amat baik bagimu, dan boleh jadi pula kamu menyukai sesuatu, padahal ia amat buruk bagimu, sesungguhnya Allah amat mengetahui sedang kamu tidak mengetahui." 2:216

This ayaat hit me hard. I'm telling you, my dear readers. I was so bent on having usrah previously, and now, coming back was the best decision I've ever made in this period of 20 years. Allah has His own unique ways of making you realize, made you forget, tapped your heart a little, and closed it for a while. At the end, it'll be you yourself who will walk down the path and choose to live for Allah swt, or live for yourself. No I'd like to correct myself: Not for yourself, but for the life in the Dunia that we loved so much. 


Hengam IslandIran 2012 

I've asked this question to my friends/strangers, just for fun a few years back:
"If you have only one more month to live, what would you do?"

Most of the response were: 
"Pergi solat and beramal."
"Pergi bertaubat."
 "Dekatkan diri dengan Tuhan."

Nobody ever replied with:
"I'll just live the way I am used to."

Because we knew there's a clear deadline for us: BAM, only one month left. Only one more month left to make amends, to repair ourselves, to patch our holes. Time's running out. We have so much to do, with so little time. And that, my dear readers comes back to the question: 

Why not now?
Why set a deadline for ourselves?

Because we are too comfortable with the way we are right now. In fact, we're just plain scared to get out from our comfort zone. We knew we had a deadline we can never afford to miss: Death. Yes, when we speak of Death, we raise fear in ourselves. We knew that we had a door opening for us to taubat, but Death, yes Death closes the door for us. Its nice to know the door is still open for us to someday walk in it, but once the door is closed..we missed the millions of opportunities to walk inside it. We never knew when Death will come to us, and that is exactly why we just assume we'll meet it when we're old. Well, everybody knows its not exactly that precise. We feared for it. But, we found ourselves ways to box that fear, that is, with the amusement of the Dunia.

"Kehidupan dunia itu hanyalah permainan dan senda gurauan, perhiasan, dan saling berbangga di antara kamu serta berlumba dalam kekayaan..Dan kehidupan dunia tidak lain hanyalah kesenangan yang palsu." 57:20

They said live life to the fullest. But as we are so absorbed with the dunya we have, we forgot about the journey will have to take later on. There's an ayaat in the Quraan which mentioned how the world is a paradise for the non-believers, but a prison for the believers. I admit, it is so hard to move myself away from the life I used to live in: I lavished myself with pretty things, studied hard so that I'd be the best student, competed to look better than other girls, and pampered myself with compliments & likes from others whenever I posted a self-shot photo of myself in Instagram. 

Until now, it was so hard from me to walk away from the beautiful facade the Dunia had put up for me. But slowly, as I withdrew from updating unnecessary things about myself, refrained from posting self-shot photos in social sites and walked around with a big hijab and baggy clothes, I began to understand why I did this. I still have my moments of weakness where my imaan declined and the sweet temptations of the Dunia started to overcome me once again..but Alhamdulillah I have many people who had watchful eyes on me, and reminded me every time I was in such circumstances.

"Berlumba-lumbalah kamu untuk mendapatkan ampunan dari Tuhanmu dan syurga yang luasnya seluas langit dan bumi, yang disediakan bagi orang-orang yang beriman kepada Allah dan rasul-rasul Nya. Itulah karunia Allah, yang diberikan kepada siapa yang dia kehendaki.." 57:21

Ya Allah, thank you. Thank you.

Aainaa Aqila K.

Assalamualaikum w.b.t dearies. 

Due to exams, semester classes, usrah & tarbiyyah activities, I've left blogging for quite sometime (which is a surprise to no one since I was always mysteriously disappearing).. (=_=") Inshallah I will return by this week and have a blog-clean up. To readers who sent me inquiries regarding Gadjah Mada University's entrance exams, I apologize for the late replies. I will go through the questions after my exam ends this Friday. May Allah swt. ease.

Tak kisahlah yang pegang title senior, super-senior, nuqoba, amir, amirah atau yang pegang paling banyak mad`u sekalipun, tapi kalau mad`u paling dekat yakni hati tu masih tak terdidik, selagi tulah kamu masih perlukan usrah.- Anonymous

Jazakallah khayran :)
Assalamualaikum wbt dearies!

Notice any changes in the blog? Hahaha *awkward laugh* I decided to make a few changes towards my blog, which includes changing the blog header, background and widgets. The biggest change in my blog, if you realized, is deleting my old blog posts. I left only three (scroll down to read), in which in my opinion have the most views out of the rest of the others. Why, you ask? I wrote frequently about the details of my life, and I know others enjoy reading them. All in all, I have almost 300+ blog posts only about myself

Highlight, myself.

I wrote mostly about what I ate, what I bought, what I did, what I wore yadayadayada all about myself. Add in promoting some product, describing expensive branded apparels that I got, and putting up photos of cuisines I ate or drank in lavish places...a typical blogger. 

And for what?

These are all worldly possessions. Worldly desires. Worldly ideals. I read every single blog posts I had back then, and I cringed. I cringed at the photos, I cringed at the way I write. All these years I've been addicted to updating about myself to others in the internet, in every single social site that I have. I have followers, some loyal readers which are my own friends. Through social sites, I made friends with people I never even met before..but closer than anyone I had around me. These are the only things I gained from social sites.

But, little that I know..I never considered I've been so focused on telling others how great my life is, but actually I'm still lacking at a factor. 
A very important factor.

Islam. My own religion.

"Sesungguhnya amal perbuatan itu disertai niat dan setiap orang mendapat balasan amal sesuai dengan niatnya. Barangsiapa yang berhijrah hanya kerana Allah dan Rasul-Nya, maka hijrahnya itu menujui Allah dan Rasul-Nya. Barangsiapa hijrahnya karena dunia yang ia harapkan atau karena wanita yang ingin ia nikahi, maka hijrahnya itu menuju yang ia inginkan."

(Hadis 1, Riwayat Bukhari & Muslim)

There's this term which is easily understood yet the most misunderstood term by mankind up till now: Niat. The purpose. The objective. Why you do things. For instance, why do you eat? Because you're hungry. Why do you drink? Because you're thirsty. Why do you sleep? Because you're tired. The list of questions are endless, yet the niat is the same..It's all about you. Of course. Why would you eat, why would you drink, why would you sleep for anyone else? Everybody else has their own things to do, their own problems to focus be bothered by the likes of you.

But Allah swt is bothered. He is bothered about you 24/7 until the moment you die. Heck, He is still bothered even after you're dead up till the moment you enter Syuurga (Heaven) or Neraka (Hell). Heck, He is still bothered even after you entered. And that's just ONE of you. There's like 7 billion humans on Earth, dated on 31st of October, 2011 at the moment. Wait, add in the previous humans which existed before you. Unthinkable.

And you're doing every single daily routine, for yourself. But there's a Being out there who thinks about you all the time. Not only you, but every single person who them living or dead.  Yet you can't even be bothered to give Him a single damn thought, since you're focused on updating about yourself to others with all those social sites, and catering to the worldly ideals.

"I didn't come to this blog to read about an Islamic lecture."

Neither do I plan to write anything like this in my blog. Up till a few weeks ago, I still scoffed to the thought of writing anything like this in my blog. I was still being me, right until this moment I'm typing out this. I'm still me. I still like discounts whenever Juicy Couture has one. I still need my monthly dose of Starbucks (though I'm slowing down, since watching the Gaza video attacks). I still listen to Skrillex.

I am still me.

Though after coming back from the Europe backpacking trip with the jaulah from Poland & Czech Republic, I sort of began to notice the lifestyle I've been living has many faults. Back then I usually thought,  "Why am I in Indonesia, doing dentistry?" or "What's the purpose of me in this world?" Now..I see how childish I was to think about those questions, even. It all comes back to the term 'niat'. I know now the answer to all the questions that was always raised in my mind. 

I'm in Indonesia doing dentistry to become a holistic dentist, to work my way to Allah swt by helping those in need of my services. A dentist? "It's not like you're saving lives or something." Ah, I'm not going to argue with you in this. First, I'll be saving lives as an oral surgeon. Secondly, it doesn't matter what others think of my career with their limited way of thinking. All I can think of is that if I could at least fix someone's teeth, and that will aid them in their duaa' to Allah swt, plus saying good things to others..that is enough for me. I'm doing this for Him. Every step I take in dentistry, Inshallah will bring me closer to Him.

What's the purpose of me in this world? 

I live to die as a true Muslim. Not just as a Muslim stated in my IC card. Not just as a stereotypical mind set by the norm 'Islam Kelas Kedua' (Second-class Muslim). I strive to be more than that.

Though people may question the niat I'm changing:

"You're changing for a man. That'll never last."
"This is just a phase. A temporary one, like always."

I need not prove to others my niat, since humans as I live through almost 21 years of life, will never be satisfied of their expectations and desires. Humans will always and always will be judgemental. This includes me as well. Its just human nature, no matter how much you try to claim that you're not. But you know who's never judgemental and who'll never put any expectations on you? Him. Allah swt.

Someone very dear to me told me,

"If you have talents in anything, apply it towards Islam. Towards Allah swt. You like drawing comics? Draw comics that remind us of Allah swt. You like blogging? Blog what reminds us of Allah swt."

It doesn't mean that the scopes of your talents will be limited once you have a niat to do all this for Allah swt. In fact, your chances of getting closer to Him will be much bigger. You'll be from expectations of others because your mind is just preoccupied with Him. You care less about what people think about you, because you start to care less about worldly ideals. 

Inshallah I will be blogging more about my dental studies, my travels and embracing Islam in the eyes of a young woman. I plan to focus less about myself and write more about those three things mentioned. For me, since life in Dunya is a travel anyway..I plan to travel a lot from now on. I want to see the world and experience myself places that so many others praise highly. For instance, I went to Rome, Italy last winter break. Others told me I was lucky to have the chance to visit Rome..but to tell you the truth? All I see is an overpriced city crowded with people and pickpockets, not to mention basilicas (churches) in every step and heavily over-advertised tourist attractions. 

That is what I'm supposed to be lucky about? 

I prefer the Isle of Capri.

But that, my friends, let's save that story up for later, shall we?

Gentle reminder to all before I end this blog post, set back your niat ;) 
Till then, jazakallah khayran for reading!

Aainaa Aqila K.

Just retelling my experience taking the UGM entrance exam.

When I first took this entrance exam, I still remember the tiring experience of searching for tips on how to pass the entrance exam. On the other hand, I have to study for my foundation examination and also my IELTS. Medic Pro Link did provided coaching classes in UM but I only went for one class since I am so busy with my own studies and my parents were away performing the hajj. Searching tips online is a total FAIL. I swore to myself that if I ever got pass the exams I would give out tips for new students after me on how the entrance exam works because NOBODY did to me. So I'll be recounting my experience in hopes that it will help others.

I registered for the entrance exam in Medic Pro Link a few months ago, while I was still doing my foundation. The agent I registered is one of the only two Official Representative for University of Gadjah Mada. Medic Pro Link is the Official Entrance Exam Co-ordinator for Universitas Sumatera Utara, Universitas Brawijaya & Universitas Andalas. Not only that they are also official agents for RSMU, MMA, University of Padjadjaran and University of Indonesia. 

If you are planning to go to Universitas Gadjah Mada, this is what they required:

Maximum age is 25 years old 

Proficient in English which is proven by:
Institutional TOEFL score of at least 500 (paper-based)
 IELTS score of at least 5.00 
Muet band at least 4

Have one of the following qualifications:
  • STPM qualification with minimum CGPA 3.00 (in 4.00 scales) / 3B for science subjects or
  • Pre-Medical qualification with minimum CGPA 3.00 (in 4.00 scales)* or
  • Foundation Programme / A-Level or equivalent qualification with the following results:
ProgrammeMinimal Grades
MUFY3.00 or 60-69
UNSW-FP3.00 or 14B

The difference between Russian and Indonesian universities is the entrance exam. Going to Russia does not require any elimination processes, but in Indonesia they do. There are some universities who guarantees instant seat when you approached them with good CGPAs such as Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU). However the old and famous universities such as Universitas Gadjah Mada or Universitas Padjajaran requires sitting an entrance exam and passing in at least of 55% to secure a seat. Every year a fixed amount of seats will be given such as for this year:

60 seats for Medicine / MBBS
30 seats for Dentistry / DDS
30 seats for Veterinary Medicine
30 seats for Pharmacy

Okay, how does the examinations go again?

Queue before entry

 Today I will be concentrating on UGM entrance exam. Well, there's one honest way to put it - its tough. Even if you have money, you can't buy your way in these examinations. UGM is a university who puts quality first from quantity, and to mark my words - even if there's only a single person who passes the exam out of a few hundred students, only that particular person will be offered the seat. Other vacant seats won't be offered to the others. This case happened this year in the pharmacy seatings. In other words, you have to pass 55% no matter what. There are certain cases where the passing mark is lowered down than 55%, but the cases are extremely rare. 

The admission test or entrance exam was hold at Saturday, 7 May 2011. The venue takes place at the Examination Hall, Library Building 6th floor,Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN).  The test schedule goes on according to this:

07.30 - 08.00 Briefing for Gadjah Mada Scholastic Test
08.00 - 10.00 Gadjah Mada Scholastic Test
10.00 - 10.30 Break
10.30 - 12.10 Academic Test I (Mathematics and Biology)
12.10 - 13.10 Break
13.10 - 15.40 Academic Test II (Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics)

All examinations are done in MCQs and in English. Sounds easy right? However everything that looks easy has its own catch. In every UGM examination, the exam is designed for the students to choose their answers carefully, making sure the answer is indeed correct 100 percent and not 'tembak'. There's a penalty in which each correct question answered four points will be given, if you don't answer the question zero points is given meanwhile if you choose a wrong answer one point will be deducted. That is to say, if you answered 20 right answers and 30 wrong answers, your total marks will be (20x4)-(30) = 50 points. Total drag down in your marks. 

There are certain cases where two points will be deducted instead of one, and many students scratched a negative mark (-xx) from the total of all 100 questions! 


I'll further elaborate about what subjects are tested in the admission test.

  Gajah Mada Scholastic Test is a test in which your IQ will be measured by picking the right answers from 100 tricky questions given in different sections A, B, C and D. Every section represents different types of questions - riddles, mathematical, general knowledge and also English language proficiency. A time limit will be given for all students to answer, section by section. For example when time for Section A is up, you can't continue to do it anymore but instead you have to proceed on the next section immediately. The goal of this test is for you to answer as much as you can in the short time limit. But no worries, no marks are deducted in this test. 

Academic Test I Mathematics & Biology in my opinion is the easiest out of the academic section. The mathematics is basic modern maths for our SPM, and I daresay the Biology is also less of a challenge. But then again, I love Biology to bits so I'm not sure. However, I answered all questions and left out only 2 questions. My advice, each section contains 25 questions each so choose carefully! Answer only the questions you know the answer confidently. Do not answer unless you are TRULY sure. If you don't know the answer, leave it. Do not attempt the question and risk having your marks deducted. Leaving the answer blank is better than picking a wrong answer, since you will not get points or get deducted either.

The last test, Academic Test II (Physics, Chemistry, Applied Mathematics) is hard. HARD. I'm not gonna lie to you. The three subjects is divided in total of 50 questions, but I remembered having 20 questions of Applied Mathematics at that time. Physics and Chemistry is normal syllabus in which you will encounter during your foundation year, so no need to stress about it so much. However, the downfall is Applied Mathematics. One glance at the first question, I didn't know what the heck the question is talking about. Second glance, I was like DANG. Third glance, I was like OK Its decided I never encounter this type of mathematics before.

So what did I do?

I left out the whole Applied Mathematics section. Yes SERIOUSLY. I answered all the Physics and Chemistry but I didn't even touch the Applied-butthurt-Maths questions. Well, the main objective of the test is to see how you pick your 100% right answers carefully instead of simply 'tembak' everything and get all the answers wrong (deducted marks). Its not important on answering just simply everything like our Malaysian exam system does but to plan a strategy on choosing the right answers only, and eliminating takpasti questions or questions you don't know at all. In simple words, in order to pass the test, you don't have to answer everything. I remembered getting out of the exam room one and a half hour before the test ends because I finished answering what I need.

One more thing, in Indonesian exams you are not allowed to bring any calculators. Only buku sifir is permitted. However in my exam, the test invigilators ended up not giving us buku sifir at all and we had to calculate everything ourselves using our own brains and a scratch paper. (More reasons to not do that Applied-butthurt-Maths questions!) Also there's another rule that you must not bring a watch in to the exams. I've seen several of my fellow friends got shooed out the exam hall before they took off their watches. You are only allowed to bring a ballpoint pen, two 2B pencils, an eraser and a sharpener. The Indonesia invigilators are extremely particular on this.

After approximately two~three weeks, you will be notified if you succeeded in the exam. There is also a website in which you can check. Usually they will publish the results like this. Then the rest you will deal with your agent. However, if you failed, its okay. Usually students takes a few entrance exams of different universities for a 'just in case' backup plan. As for me, I chose Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Padjajaran and Universitas Sumatera Utara. But since I gained a seat in UGM, my agent advised me against sitting for other exams because if I did and gained another seat by the latter universities, I won't be giving other students a deserving seat. From wasting the precious seat and just accepting to UGM, I kinda am like doing a favor to other students who needed a place there. So my exam fees burn T_T

Fuh!~ That's an extremely long and detailed info on what you would expect in the admission test. Make full use of it, if you want to pass the examination! Don't fret, dearies! The reason I wrote this tips is that I would be of use to other students who are interested in UGM. During my time, nobody gave me help or tips and I kinda have to survive on my own~

so guys, good luck for those who deserved them!

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