Archive for the ‘PMR / PT3 examination’ Category

Is education a journey or a race?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017
In today’s competitive world, the rat race starts early. Excellent grades in academic subjects are the primordial benchmark that sets kids apart from their peers. FILE PIC

UPSR, SPM, STPM, GCE — just a few of the acronyms haunting many young minds at this time of the year. Young minds and their parents alike.

Remember the days when everything was a race? First to reach the bathroom in the morning, first to down their Milo, first to call shotgun for the ride to school. First to sit on the swing at recess, first in line for canteen lunch. First on the school bus to secure the best seat and first to reach the front door and ring the bell. A happy childhood consisted mostly of healthy competition among friends and siblings, a race to be the first in all things that, from an adult’s perspective, don’t really matter.

Most children gladly put their competitive mind to rest between recess and lunch. Pupils used to run out of the classroom, not into it. Hardly anyone pushed and shoved to be the first at the blackboard and try their luck at a complex math formula. Oh, happy childhood days. Not the most ambitious of times, but happy days, nonetheless.

So, what happened? Instead of a rambunctious crowd, today’s pupils march in single file from their parents’ cars onto the school grounds, born down by a school bag so big and heavy that the child who carries it could easily find space to sit in it herself. If Malaysian schools run two sessions per day, a fact that absolutely boggles the outsider’s mind, where are all the students that have the other half of the day off?

Why are they not playing outside, in their front yard, in the neighbourhood park? Why are they not hanging out at the local mall or mamak stall? Where and when are today’s children being children, where are the nation’s teens being pubescent?

Youngsters have no time to be childlike, or rebellious, or sullen, or dreaming, anymore. Youngsters are at tuition. They are at tuition centres that have popped up all over the country like “mushrooms growing after the rain”, to borrow a local saying.

In today’s competitive world, the rat race starts early. Excellent grades in academic subjects are the primordial benchmark that sets kids apart from their peers; the yardstick that determines a parent’s measure of success at their job as a progenitor.

Academic excellence is a must in secondary school; it is even the norm in primary school. Parents and guardians send their scions for after school tuition up to seven days a week. Gymnastics and piano lessons are squeezed in somewhere in between.

The “Asian F” is a very real notion. It is the widespread understanding that an A- is not good enough. The pressure on school children and their parents is growing to unhealthy proportions.

At the same time, many life skills are thrown overboard in a constant effort to be the best among the best. Professors in tertiary education lament the fact that they lecture classes of exceptionally well-instructed students who don’t understand what further education is all about. Students are bright and diligent, but they don’t know how to think critically, how to build an argument, how to debate, or how to work towards a solution as a team.

If parents and schoolchildren willingly submit to the burden of pushing for always better grades, it is in an effort to be best prepared for the real rat race, the demands of modern career perspectives.

However, it seems that academic excellence is not the whole ticket. Employers undoubtedly look favourably upon perfect scores. But, recruiters also look for attributes such as individuality, drive, passion, curiosity. These aren’t skills learned in the classroom, nor in a tuition centre, no matter how well intentioned the teachers and tutors might have been. These character traits are fashioned on the playground, on a football field, in a band, even while playing video games.

At first glance, this argument might come across as irresponsible, dismissive of academic values, rebellious even. It is not. It is simply an attempt at widening the scope of modern education.

A healthy education should be a marvelous journey, not a race. It is a plea for restoring a childhood that leaves space for learning how to fail, in order to better succeed, a childhood that is given the opportunity to grow at one’s individual pace.

It is an appeal, to give children the chance to spend time in a meadow, so that they know how to stop and smell the roses when they grow up.


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Deciding Where To Go After Pt3

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) — With just a few more days left till the new school year, those who sat for the recent Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3) evaluation will have to finalise their academic choices for next year.

Over 400,000 students will have to decide whether to pursue the science or arts stream and whether to opt for boarding school, technical school or a vocational college.

The PT3 results were announced only recently, on Dec 19, but by then many would undoubtedly have made up their minds on where to pursue their upper secondary education.

Clear on their path:

This was certainly the case with many of the students at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Putrajaya Presint 8(1).

The writer had a chance to speak with them when visiting the school during the PT3 announcement recently.

One of them was Aqmar Batrisyia Zakaria.

“I would like to become a linguistic expert because my passion lies in anything to do with languages. I may have scored 8As and 2Cs and I know that I could easily choose the science stream, but that is not where my heart is,” said the 15-year-old to Bernama.

Her decision to not opt into the Science stream resonated with the results of her Psychomestric Assessment (PPsi), which she received alongside her PT3 results.

“The (PPsi) test measures my interests and capability. The results state the three fields and career choices that are most suitable for me.

“I found that my ambition to become a linguistic expert corresponds with the results of the assessment,” said Aqmar Batrisyia, who spoke fluent English and could converse in Korean and Japanese as well.

On the day students receive their PT3 results, they will also receive another three sets of result slips which are the school assessment, psychometric assessment and a sports assessment.

Schools will then decide, based on all four assessments, which stream a student is best suited for thus helping parents and students make a more informed decision on the selection of streams.

Based on her results and interests, her parents decided to send their only child to a private school known for its focus on languages next year.

Better Decided:

The writer could not help but compare Aqmar Batrisyia’s certainty in a decision concerning her future with that of the students during her time, circa 1998.

After the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) results were out, many of us were still at a loss on what to do next.

Those with excellent results and scores of A on their PMR result slip would typically opt for the science stream or boarding school.

Those whose results were less than stellar would be placed in the arts stream or sent to vocational schools.

Many of the students back then had trouble identifying personal interests and strength, even up until SPM. In fact, some only realised of their poor interest in the field they pursued months after entering university.

This has resulted in the waste of precious resources, especially time.

However, not many of the 15-year-olds today have the same problem, thanks to the PBS system.

Despite their age, many are certain of their interests and strengths and the corresponding path to pursue.

In fact, many who achieved excellent results for their PT3 chose to not pursue their education in the Science stream.

Not Academic Based:

With the PBS system, the method of determining the most suitable form of upper secondary education is no longer based solely on academic results.

Starting 2014, students’ success is no longer measured by how many As they can score. Instead, the focus is now on identifying their potential and how best to polish it so that they can utilise their talents and ability to build a career in which they have an interest it.

The new PBS system was implemented in stages in secondary schools nationwide, starting with Form 1 students in 2012. The students went on to become the first batch to undergo the PT3 assessment in 2014.

The Malaysian Examination Board’s Development and Policy Management Sector Head Dr Rahimah Adam said that PBS was seen as the more holistic approach because it assessed the cognitive, affective and psychomotor aspects of a student, in line with the National Education Philosophy.

On the day the PT3 results are announced, students would not only receive the PT3 results slip but three other results that could be used in determining the stream they should pursue.

“PBS covers four components namely the school assessment, the central assessment, the physical activity, sports and co-curriculum assessment as well as the psychometric assessment.

“However, many are still focusing only on their PT3 results, ignoring the importance of the results of the other assessments,” she said.


For Rahimah, PBS was designed not only to polish students’ academic potential but their co-curricular achievements as well.

The main focus, however, is to produce excellent students who are able to judge their abilities holistically.

As Aqmar Batrisyia has shown, the PPsi evaluation was instrumental in determining the preference of a student, helping them make informed decisions.

The Form 3 PPsi test covers their Career Interest Inventory based on ‘Holland’s Typology’ and the Multiple Intelligences Inventory. The former measures the interest and career inclinations of a student while the latter measures their abilities and intelligence on a detailed level.

“PPsi will be handled by the school’s counselling teachers through the methods provided by the Examination Board and it can be used by parents and teachers to evaluate the best stream for a student.

“However, the results need to be read together with the other results to better assess if the inclinations of a student matches up with his or her abilities,” said Rahimah.

Quality Assured:

However, the school assessment is an academic process that evaluates a student’s progress starting from Form 1 to Form 3 and is handled fully by the teachers and school.

It is aimed at observing the individual abilities of a student through projects, tests and exercises prepared by the teachers.

The central assessment, meanwhile, is a joint responsibility of the examination board and the school. The scoring system and instruments used are provided by the board while the administration, examination and reports are done by the school.

The quality of implementation of PT3 at schools is determined by the school as well as an external assessor appointed by the examination board.

by Sakini Mohd Said.

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Mahdzir: Parents too fixated on academics

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

CYBERJAYA: Parents’ fixation with As are making them neglect their children’s holistic achievements under the Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3), said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

“It has become a culture across the board in our society to achieve (as many) As (as possible).

“When the PT3 results are announced, reports on all four assessments – physical, sports and co-curricular activities as well as a psychometric – are released, but no one looks at these assessments as everyone just wants to see how the child has performed in their academics,” Mahdzir told reporters yesterday after witnessing the signing of a note of understanding between the ministry and the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit.

The two parties are looking to upgrade the ministry’s data centre into a Public Service Data Centre.

Mahdzir said the ministry would work towards improving communication with the public in fixing the public’s perception that only academics counts.

“This is the future of our education, where holistic assessments are carried out instead of having exams like in the past,” he said.

“Maybe we need to change the way the PT3 results slip look,” he said, adding that this was because the first slip a student receives is that of their academic assessment followed by the other three.

He said on Monday that PT3 was a holistic assessment of students based on continuous assessments by the school, which is responsible for the administration, marking of examination scripts and release of the results.

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Hot under the collar over HOTS Science

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Some students who obtained their Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) results are hot under the collar over the difficult HOTS (higher order thinking skills) questions in Science.

Several 15-year-olds from SMK Saujana Impian felt the questions had prevented them from scoring better grades to some extent.

Roosimin Kaliappan, who obtained 7A’s, 1B and 1C, said her teachers prepared them well by providing sample questions from previous years, but the questions they eventually had in the assessment were still difficult.

“We did not expect the Science paper to be filled mostly with HOTS questions. It was just tough,” she said.

Maryam Kamiliah Rahime, who scored 10A’s and a C for Science, shared Roosimin’s sentiments.

“The HOTS questions were very tough. I didn’t think it would be that difficult,” she said.

Maryam said although she was happy with her results, she was frustrated with the C.

Suriyah Ganesan, who had put in at least six hours a day during his revision, was not happy with his results.

“I got 6A’s, 2B’s and a D for Science. I’m not satisfied with my results as the HOTS questions were really hard. I’m disappointed.”

The students are the third batch to sit for the PT3, which was introduced in 2014.

HOTS questions were introduced when PT3 was first introduced.

A Science teacher said the paper was more difficult this year.

“The Examinations Syndicate prepared a list of rules on the type of answers that can and cannot be accepted. The marking process was also stricter compared to the previous year,” she said.

She said some of the questions in the paper were based on general knowledge, rather than the textbooks, which could affect the students’ final score.

She said all schools had different sets of HOTS questions and she could not divulge the questions in the paper.

But to give an example, she said the questions were along the line of showing pictures of “a tissue box, a needle and a brush” and asking the students to draw up a conclusion on what they could do with the items.

On his Facebook page, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid advised parents not to look merely at academic achievements, but the holistic development and potential of their children.

“PT3 is a holistic assessment of students based on continuous assessments by the school, which is responsible for the administration, marking of the examination scripts and the release of the results,” he said.


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Excellent results by SMK Balung despite copter crash

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016


TAWAU: The Royal Air Force helicopter crash in SMK Balung proved to be no obstacle for students of the school from achieving excellent results in the Form 3 Assessment (PT3) examinations.

Five students scored 10As which is more than last year’s sole straight-A scorer. The school recorded a performance of 31.68 per cent for PT3 this year.

Senior Administrative Assistant for SMK Balung, Zanaliza Jamaludin said even though the incident occurred two weeks before the examinations and the results this time were even better.

“We were worried at first because the PT3 students could not attend revision classes because the school was ordered closed due to safety reasons as a result of the crash.

“They did their revision at home and a week later, sat for their examinations,” she said when met at the school yesterday.

Siti Norsyafika Abdullah, whose parents work as a labourer and dressmaker, was one of the five who scored 10As. She said the helicopter crash did not interfere with her preparations for the PT3 exams at all.

“I was not terrified because I wasn’t directly involved but there was some worry another crash might happen while the examinations were taking place. Thank goodness all went well,” she said.

The eldest of three children, she was expecting to get only 7As so the results yesterday came as a pleasant surprise.

Nezwan Helmy Hamzah was the only male student who obtained 10As.

He admitted that to this day, he still gets frightened upon hearing the whirr of helicopter blades overhead. “I actually saw the helicopter overhead and then crashing into the roof of the school. So that was quite a traumatic experience for me,” he said.


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Student who skipped school to care for dad, gets to sit for PT3

Sunday, October 16th, 2016
Students from SMK Seri Ampangan, Seremban given words of encouragement before the start of the PT3 assessment. — Bernama

Students from SMK Seri Ampangan, Seremban given words of encouragement before the start of the PT3 assessment. — Bernama

A female student who had to skip classes for a month to take care of her ailing father is grateful to be able to sit for her Form 3 Assessment (PT3), which started on Monday.

She thanked Kuala Nerang assemblyman Datuk Badrul Hisham Hashim for making it possible for her to sit for the examination at her new school at SMK Padang Terap.

Nurul Fatin Aina, the second of four siblings from Kampung Padang Chenderai, said she did not expect to be able to sit for the examination after being absent from school for a month as she had to take care of her father, Badrul Hisham Tajuddin, 43, who was bedridden after a stroke in August.

“I just did not know what to do and was confused. I wanted to sit for the PT3 examination, but how can I leave my father,” said the former SMK Taman Ria, Sungai Petani student.

She thanked the Kuala Nerang assemblyman for helping to arrange for a transfer to the new school, which is nearer to where her father stays.

Nurul Fatin Aina said she studied hard to catch up with the lessons she missed in school.

“I hope I will be able to do well and achieve satisfactory results,” she added.

Nurul Fatin Aina and her younger sister, Nurul Farawahida, 11, had been living with her mother in Sungai Petani after their parents separated in 2008.


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Smooth Start For PT3 Written Test Today

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) — The nationwide Form Three Assessment (PT3) written test began on a smooth note today.

The four-day examination kicked off with the Bahasa Melayu and Mathematics papers and to be followed by English and Science tomorrow.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid in his Twitter account called on all Malaysians to pray for these students and he also advised them not to be very stressed during the exam.

A total of 20,518 candidates were sitting for the examination in 105 exam centres in the city.

In SELANGOR, State Education Director Mohd Salleh Mohd Kassim said 76,850 students were sitting for the examination in 327 centres.

“A total of 327 chief invigilators have been appointed by the schools to ensure the PT3 test goes on smoothly,” he said.

In NEGERI SEMBILAN, State Education Director Rusni Ab Jalil said 17,530 students were sitting for the written test at 133 exam centres statewide.

Meanwhile, in MELAKA, Education, Higher Education, Science and Technology, Green Technology and Innovation Committee chairman, Datuk Md Yunos Husin said 13,631 candidates were sitting for the exam at 85 centres throughout the state.

He said of the total, 89 candidates were students with special needs and 12,929 were from schools under the Education Ministry.

In KELANTAN, the Deputy Director of Education Jaafar Ismail said 31,374 candidates from 241 secondary schools were sitting for the examination including 38 special needs candidates.

“They comprise nine students who are mentally-impaired, hearing-impaired (14), physical problems (five), other impairments (eight) and visually-impaired (two),” he said in a statement.

In PERLIS, deputy director of the Perlis Education Department, Azman Ghazali said 4,075 candidates, including seven with special needs, were sitting for the PT3 in 31 examination centres.

He said these included 3,793 candidates from 28 government schools, 142 from two private schools and 140 from Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM).

In SARAWAK, 204 exam centres were opened for 39,657 candidates sitting for the PT3, comprising 182 in government schools, 13 in private schools, three in MRSM, three in juvenile schools and three in private centres.

The 38,237 of the candidates were from government and government-aided schools, 1,173 from private schools, 220 from schools under government agencies other than the Education Ministry, and the rest were individual candidates as well as religious schools.


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8,784 Candidates To Sit For Stam Exam Beginning Next Monday

Monday, October 10th, 2016

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 9(Bernama) — A total of 8,784 candidates will sit for the Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) written examination at 224 examination centres throughout the country and Cambodia from Oct 17 to 19 and Oct 25 to 26.

From the number, 2,110 are from government schools, government-aided schools and aided religious schools; 4,617 from state religious secondary schools; 680 from people’s religious secondary schools; 30 from private schools registered under the ministry; 1,269 private candidates and 78 foreign candidates (Cambodia).

The Education Ministry said in a statement that the examination schedule had been distributed to the schools involved and could also be downloaded from the Examination Board’s website via

All candidates are advised to refer to the examination schedule for information on the examination time and instructions to be adhered to during the examination, the statement said.

Candidates are also reminded to bring their respective identity cards to the examination centre to ensure the examination runs smoothly, said the statement.


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Mixed views on PT3

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Jumping for joy: SM Abdul Rahman Talib students couldn’t contain their excitement after knowing they were the Kuantan school’s top scorers. — Bernama

Jumping for joy: SM Abdul Rahman Talib students couldn’t contain their excitement after knowing they were the Kuantan school’s top scorers. — Bernama

STUDENTS who recently obtained their PT3 results had differing views on the Form Three Assessment.

Several 15-year-old’s from SMK Seri Hartamas said that the higher order thinking skills (HOTS) questions were tough, and that had to some extent, prevented them from scoring higher grades.

The students are the second batch to sit for the PT3 or Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga which was introduced last year.

Form Three students previously sat for the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), which was abolished in 2013.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid at a recent press conference on PT3, said that parents now had a good understanding of the Form Three Assessment.

He said PT3 was one of the four components under the School-Based Assessment (PBS).

There seems to be more acceptance of the new system from parents,” he added.

Although introduced last year, there were changes made to this year’s PT3 format.

While all parties were informed and aware of the new adjustments, many parents and students felt it was “too last minute”.

They revised and relied on last year’s exam papers and workbooks, some of which were “not helpful’ to them. Some felt that the changes could have been introduced to Form Two students, as they could then famialiarise themselves and be better prepared for the exams.

Student Sofea Izzati Mior Salim despite scoring 8As, found the exam difficult especially Science which she described as “the toughest”.

“Only 19 students (in my school) scored an A for Science she said, adding that Islamic studies, Bahasa Malaysia and English were easier in comparison.


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PT3: Focus, Consistency, Determination And Prayer Among Recipes For Success

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 (Bernama) — Being able to focus with consistency in classroom, having the determination to strive for excellence and spending time in prayer are among the recipes for success shared by most top scorers of the Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3 or Form 3 Assessment) examination who got their results Monday.

In PUTRAJAYA, Wafa Mohd Razali of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Presint 11(1) here, who scored 11As, said it was not easy, but staying focused, even in all the extra classes and during tuition organised by the school really helped.

“It was tough because the students were required to use their thinking skills and develop theories. At first, I thought I would only score 8As, but when I actually scored 11As, I’m really happy,” the girl, who aspires to be an astronomer, told Bernama.

Her mother, Khairiah Abdullah, 47, also admitted that the concept used in PT3 was capable of producing students with skills that might be required in the future.

“I can see that she studied the subjects based on logic and not merely spoon-fed by the teachers. I think this is very good,” she said.

In SHAH ALAM, the desire and determination to follow her parents’ footsteps into the medical field was the strongest motivation for Nadiah Imran to excel in her PT3 examination and scored 9As.

Nadiah, from SMK Seksyen 9 here and who is also the second child of Dr Imran Zainal Abidin, 45, and Dr Siti Maslipah Ismail, 45, said she was also hoping to study biology and become an expert one day.

In KOTA BAHARU, twins Nurin Atirah Amani Khusaini and Nurin Afiqah Amani Khusaini Che Khalid Khusaimi of SMK Agama Naim Lil-Banat, scored 11As and 10As respectively.

Apart from studying hard, they said performing Tahajud prayer every night and participating in Tadarus Al-Quran (recital) were among their ’secret’ recipes for success.

Nurin Atirah said they have been waking up at 4.30 am every morning to perform Tahajud prayer and read the Quran before going to school since June.

“At the same time, we also study in a group and by exchanging views and attending tuition classes on weekends,” she said. The twin was among the 98 top scorers at the school.

In MELAKA, Raudhatul Syahirah Ruzalee of SMK Ayer Molek dedicated her result to her parents and teachers who had given their attention and support to enable her to score 9As today.

In a jovial mood, the second of four siblings claimed that the success was also due to all the Saturdays, which meant for relaxing and watching television, that she had to sacrifice to attend extra classes at school.

“I’m very happy today because all the hard work paid off. I only managed to score 2As during the trial exam and now that I got 9As, I really hope to be accepted into Mara Junior Science College,” she said, adding that she wanted to be a doctor one day.

Hamizah Yusni, who also scored 9As, said having scored the only 3As during the trial exam did not dampen her spirit to strive harder.

“Alhamdulillah, strong determination, continuous revision and guidance from the teachers really helped me to get better results,” she said.


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