SPM examination is ‘solely a snapshot’

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ALL we’ve got heard about within the media are the success tales and joyful information of scholars who carried out extraordinarily nicely in SPM 2021. Kudos to those college students who labored exhausting to realize these grades.

Nonetheless, let’s do not forget that these college students characterize a mere 2.5% of the general variety of candidates. For a lot of, SPM 2021 outcomes day was additionally the day after they needed to bury their desires and ambitions. It was additionally a day of utter dejection when efforts poured into getting outcomes didn’t match grades obtained.

What nobody appears to have picked up on is the drastic drop in college students incomes credit within the Maths paper in SPM 2021: Solely 44.9% of candidates obtained credit within the topic in contrast with 56.6% in 2020. And 15.5% of SPM 2021 candidates had been squeezed into 4 grade boundaries starting from C to B+ for Maths. Moreover, 8% extra college students failed the topic than in 2020.

In fact, what everybody will say is that we shouldn’t be evaluating SPM 2021 and SPM 2020.

Nonetheless, entry necessities for a lot of programs in Malaysia haven’t tailored to SPM 2021’s more difficult papers.

Why is that this so? Why the outdated mentality of nonetheless demanding 5 credit and three credit from these candidates who confronted rather more difficult papers in contrast with earlier SPM candidates and needed to climb a a lot steeper hill to earn credit?

Keep in mind {that a} credit score in Maths remains to be demanded because the minimal qualification within the overwhelming variety of programmes despite the fact that 11.7% fewer college students obtained credit within the topic in 2021 in contrast with 2020. This is the same as roughly 44,000 college students whose lives are affected simply because they occurred to be born within the “mistaken” 12 months.

Secondly, SPM just isn’t handled as a snapshot of a person’s academic trajectory however as a substitute as a sacrosanct examination to evaluate people for all times.

Take the requirement of many medical colleges in Malaysia: they demand that college students have a minimal of Bs in physics, chemistry, biology, maths and one different topic in SPM no matter how nicely they carried out within the STPM held at a better stage. That is mindboggling – shouldn’t STPM grades be considered extra extremely than SPM grades?

And why this requirement for SPM grades to review drugs in Malaysia when college students getting into medical colleges be taught rather more superior materials post-SPM? Do college students actually bear in mind what they realized at SPM stage so nicely that we deal with its grades because the yardstick for a lifetime?

Like all exams, the SPM is there to sift and winnow people earlier than permitting them to climb additional up the tutorial ladder. It’s nonetheless solely a minute snapshot of somebody’s academic trajectory. Incomes straight A+s in SPM isn’t any assure of incomes a level in a while.

So it’s time to mirror on this nationwide examination and what function it ought to play. We additionally want to start out treating SPM as a mere snapshot similar to how we used to deal with the UPSR and PT3 exams at 12 months Six and Kind Three respectively earlier than they had been abolished.

DR MOHD NASIR MOHD ISMAIL

Jelutong, Penang

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