PUTRAJAYA – Fewer students scored A+, A and A- in last year’s Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, mainly because of a changed format for questions that required a different way of thinking, it was revealed here today.
Director-general of education Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said 11,289 or 2.62 per cent of the 455,839 candidates who sat for the examination last year obtained the A grade in all the subjects they took, down from the 13,970 in 2013.
He said the drop in the number of these A grade students was due to, among others, the habit of spotting (forecasting) questions, thinking that the questions would be the same, thus making them revise lessons in the old way.
“Previously, you can spot questions. However, from last year, we changed the format for questions. The questions and standard of questioning are the same, but answering them demands thinking in a different way.
“However, candidates who focus on lessons and knowledge will continue to secure excellent results,” he said when announcing the analysis of the 2014 SPM results, here.
Khair said a large number of candidates who secured excellent results in last year’s SPM examination was among those who had sat for nine or 10 subjects.
Elaborating on the 11,289 candidates who obtained excellent results, he said 9,438 of them were candidates from schools under the ministry while 2,078 were not from schools under the ministry.
He said the index used to indicate the performance of a candidate was the National Average Grade (GPN), with a smaller value corresponding to a better performance.
“The GPN index for last year is 5.08 compared to 4.93 for 2013, down 0.15,” he said.
Khair said the performance in subjects was gauged by the Subject Average Grade (GPMP), with a smaller value indicating a better performance.
He said that based on the GPMP for 2014, there was better performance in 28 of the 73 subjects compared to 2013, poorer performance in 43 subjects and similar performance in two subjects.
“For the core subjects, the performance in Islamic Education was better by 0.14, achieving 4.28 in 2014 compared to 4.42 in 2013.
“The performance in the other core subjects – Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Moral Education, History, Mathematics and Science – saw a decline.
“Moral Education saw the biggest decline, 0.38 to 4.70 compared to 4.32 in 2013,” he said.
Khair said that for elective subjects, there was better performance in 27 of the 66 subjects.
As for Science electives, the best improved performance was in Additional Science, with 0.18 to 5.31 in 2014 compared to 5.49 in 2013, he said.
In the Technical electives, there was improved performance in Civil Engineering Studies; Electrical and Electronic Engineering Studies; Invention; and Information and Communication Technology, he said.
“Invention recorded a significant rise in performance, of 0.71 compared to the 3.03 in 2013,” he said.
Khair said that beginning from the 2014 SPM, 34 vocational subjects were no longer offered to candidates. These subjects were now offered to students pursuing programmes at vocational colleges, he added.
On SPM certification, he said that 364,742 candidates of the 2014 SPM who had registered and sat for at least six core subjects for the first time were eligible to obtain certificates.
Khair said that of the total, 334,729 were school candidates while the remaining 29,995 were candidates other than from schools under the ministry.
He also said that the gap in the performance of urban and rural candidates narrowed by 0.05 GPN points, registering 0.55 in 2014 compared to 0.60 in the previous year.
However, he said, the performance of urban candidates dropped 0.l7 GPN points in last year’s SPM, registering 4.85 compared to 4.68 in 2013.
“The performance of rural candidates also dropped last year, by 0.12 GPN points to 5.40 compared to 5.28 in 2013.
“This indicates that the drop in performance of the rural students is smaller than that of the urban students,” he said.
Khair said the number of candidates with special needs taking the SPM examination rose by 81 to 964 last year from 883 in 2013.
Of the 964, he said, three candidates with visual impairment and two with other disabilities achieved excellent results in all the subjects they sat for.
“Their success is an indication that all candidates have the opportunity to excel in the SPM examination,” he said.
A total of 455,839 candidates sat for the SPM examination last year between Nov 3 and Dec 3, fewer by 14,556 or 3.1 per cent from the previous year. – BERNAMA