As for me, I applied for JPA. I didn't apply for MARA, although MARA is for bumiputera, so my chance to get the scholarship is very big because I was a boarding school student. But, I think it's up to you to choose either JPA/MARA. You have to know about what course you want to take and where you want to go. Choose wisely!
My interview session was held at Shah Alam, yesterday. Mine was in the morning, so there weren't so many people at that time. My interview should be on 8.00-8.45 a.m, but we must be there 30 minutes earlier.
Firstly, when you got there, check your name at the notice board. There were 14 panels (if I'm not mistaken), each with 5 names. Mine was Panel 1 and I was the first person in the list.
So, when you already know which panel you are, go and find the registration room. Or, if you don't know where it is, go to where the crowd is, or you can ask anyone there. Remember, don't just wait for someone to guide you, you have to move yourself. "Time and tide waits for no man" ok? Then, when you have registered, just wait there, don't go anywhere. Maybe you can have some chat for other interviewees to help you kill the butterflies in your stomach. If you're a Muslim, you are encouraged to read Surah Al-Insyirah many times, erm my senior asked me to do so.
When you have been called, line up according to your number. Mine was 1 so I was the first person to line up. After 5 minutes, all of you will be called by the interviewers. Remember, if you are not being called, knock on the door first before you enter. Don't forget o wish "Selamat pagi/ salam sejahtera/ good morning/ Assalamualaikum (if you're a muslim and all the interviewers are muslims too)"
Start talking only after the interviewers allow you to do so, don't just simply talk because that's rude. The interviewers may ask someone else to start even though you're the first in the name list. When you want to talk after someone has finished, raise your hand and wait for their permission. Always be patient, don't be too arrogant because that's very annoying and shows that you're rude.
It doesn't matter if your answer is wrong, what really matters here is your confidence. When you have to speak English, think before you talk, so that you won't stutter when you have no ideas. That's when you will say "errmmm....ahhhh....I think.....errr" But, don't think for too long, the interviewers will give the chance to someone else. That's why you have to read something before you go, search on the internet, buy a newspaper/magazines maybe, so that you will have some ideas. As for me, I read Utusan online at http://www.utusan.com.my/. I applied JPA for Japan engineering, specifically, Chemical engineering.
Don't forget to search for the course you want to apply. Look out for..
1) Latest discovery
2) Latest product (like what I had been asked)
3) What it is all about (for chemical engineers, they convert raw materials to products blablabla)
4) Job opportunity
5) Pros and cons
6) Future discovery, what you want to do?
These are just my suggestions..
There was no group discussion, but I don't know about the other group. The interviewers asked me to tell about my family, academic qualities, co-curricular achievements. Then, they asked us about global warming in Malaysia, do you agree? what are the factors, how to control this problem? As for me, they asked me "You as a chemical engineer, what you can do to solve this problem" Remember, just answer what you think is the best answer you can give, no matter if it's totally wrong or not logic. Don't be passive. What they want to see is how confident you are.
Then, after the interview, just say "Thank you".
I think that's all I can say about JPA interview. I was grateful that mine was in the morning. Good luck!