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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scoring Band 6 in MUET on your first try

I am a Malaysian medical student studying in Russian Federation right now. I am 23 this year. I sat for STPM and MUET in the year 2004. My interests include playing and watching football, blogging and programming.

Scoring Band 6 in MUET on your first try

by Manager for Writing Contest 2008

Scoring Band 6 in MUET on your first try is not that hard. Here are some tips on how to do exactly that.

Listening test
This is one of the tests in MUET which you could possibly get a perfect score. You should get a perfect score here, it is important for you to get a Band 6 because you will lose points in other tests.

Listening does not really indicate your level of English, especially if the speaker is English! So if you do lose points here, don't worry. Just try not to lose too many points here, practise many times with your MUET teachers before the actual test, try to listen to as many tapes as you can get your hands on. During the test, please look to your friends for help if you could not catch the questions or remember the correct answers. I am not encouraging you to be dishonest, but you could always pay attention to your friends gestures, read their lips, spot the blink of an eye, the touch of an ear, etc. Having a system before the actual tests does help.

Speaking test
If you can speak English naturally, please do all you can to convince the examiners that you have a good command of English during you individual presentation. Otherwise, use short sentences, put forward your main ideas in simple grammatically correct sentences. Do not just harp on a single point, try a few points, the positive side and negative side of an issue, etc. to show that you are not a narrow-minded student.

In the group discussion, you would be able to get a good score if you could lead the discussion. Be warned though, do not overdo it. Give others the opportunities to speak too. You should be polite, try to keep the flow of the discussion and help out should any of the fellow students got stuck in mid-sentence or is stammering. Remember, lead the discussion, keep its flow ("What do you think about this issue?") but do not be extravagant! Like it or not, this test is subjective and you will most probably not get a perfect score here.

Reading test
There are not many tips to share in this test, it is similar to Form 5 SPM English exam, just do your best. There are some tricky questions with similar answers. If you are lucky, you could get a perfect score here but usually the better students would be able to get near perfect scores, making a few mistakes here and there.

Writing test
Seriously, I have always told people that the writing test in MUET is even easier than SPM GCE 'O' Level. In this test, it is important to keep to the rules, follow the recommend length of essays and finish them in allocated time.

Even if you are a good English user, do not attempt to write beyond the recommended length. Concentrate instead on presenting your main ideas, this test papers are marked by Malaysian teachers, so don't bother having too many idioms, figurative meanings, etc.

For students who are not too comfortable with English, this may be one of the tests which you would tend to lose many points. To avoid that, keep your sentences short, check your grammars, try to compensate for your lack of flowery language with good ideas, mature arguments and logical explanations.

To be honest, it is not so easy to score a Band 6 in MUET after all. It is not the perfect test, but it is indicative of one's command of English, mainly because it includes listening and speaking tests. Good luck scoring a Band 6 in MUET on your first try, do let me know if my tips are useful.

Recommended: Free MUET Tips & 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy This MUET Guide (Panduan MUET) written by MUET teacher & examiner at RM30!

► Read more on Scoring Band 6 in MUET on your first try

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

STPM & SPM Tips & Trial Papers 2008

Posted by Chong

Notes: This post will be updated frequently to include links to the latest STPM & SPM tips and trial papers available on the Internet. Last updated on October 29, 2008.

Malaysia Students blog is currently collecting STPM & SPM 2008 trial papers (kertas soalan peperiksaan percubaan SPM) from different states in Malaysia. The main source for the collection of trial papers is our readers, yes, is YOU! Please share your SPM & STPM trial papers (and if possible, complete answer schema, skema jawapan) with us by scanning them into your computer and emailing them to us.student at malaysia-students.com

Besides SPM & STPM tips, we will be posting a lot of informative, insightful and helpful articles on this blog regularly. Do subscribe to Malaysia Students blog now for free to get all the latest articles sent straight to your email inbox. Do not enter your email address at the comment section, enter your email address into this subscription form to join our mailing list so that you won't miss any tips and articles.
We need you to help us to help you and others, because we believe you too can enjoy the spirts of helping others. Share with us your STPM & SPM trial papers and STPM & SPM tips. Create a link to our website at your blog. Email your friends to let them know that you think this website will be resourceful for them in their STPM & SPM exam preparation and revision. Or simply send sms to your classmates, school buddies, juniors, seniors, long-no-contact friends etc who are going to sit for this coming STPM & SPM examination to let them know about this website and most importantly, to let them know that you care about them. How warm is the feeling when they realize that you're such a caring and loving friend?

l: link | a: answer | s: source | d: download

PMR Tips & Trial Papers
s: Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBP)
l: ma (2)

s: Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri (JPN) Pahang
l: bm (1 2) en (1 2 3) ma (1 2) sci (1 2) geo sj pi khb (kemahiran teknikal kt, ekonomi rumah tangga ert, pertanian pt, perdagangan dan keusahawanan pk)
a: bm (1 2) en (1 2 3) ma (2) sci (1 2)

SPM Subject
bm: Bahasa Melayu | en: English | sj: Sejarah | ma: Mathematics | +m: Additional Mathematics | phy: Physics | che: Chemistry | bio: Biology | est: English for Science and Technology | sci: Science | pa: Prinsip Akaun | ps: Pendidikan Seni Visual | pd: Perdagangan | ea: Ekonomi Asas | pi: Pendidikan Islam | pm: Pendidikan Moral

l: SPM Timetable 2008 (SPM Jadual Waktu 2008)
s: Ministry of Education Malaysia's Official Portal (Portal Rasmi Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia)

SPM 2008 Tips

SPM 2008 Trial Papers
s: Times SPM 2008 Spot Questions (Times Soalan Ulangkaji SPM 2008)
l: bm en sj ma +m phy che bio sci pa
a: bm en sj ma +m phy che bio sci pa

s: Sekolah Berasrama Penuh (SBP)
l: bm (1 2) en (1 2) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) est (1 2) pi (1 2) Bahasa Arab Tinggi (1 2) Teknologi Kejuruteraan (1 2)

s: Jabatan Pelajaran Terengganu
l: bm (1 2) en (1 2) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) sci (1 2) est (1 2) pa (2) ps (1 2) pd (1 2) pi (1 2) Tasawwur Islam (ti 1 2) Pengajian Awam (1) Pengajian Mekanikal (2)
a: phy (1 2 3)

s: Persidangan Kebangsaan Pengetua-pengetua Sekolah Menengah Malaysia Cawangan Kelantan
l: bm (1 2) sj (2) phy (1 2 3) +m
a: phy (1 2 3)

s: Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Pahang
l: bm (1 2) en (1 2) bc (1 2) sj (1 with answer 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) sci (2) est (1 2) pa (1 2) ea (1 2) ict
a: bm (1 2) en (1 2) bc (1 2) sj (2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) che (1 2 3) bio (2 3) sci (2) est (1 2) pa (1 2) ea (1 2) ict

s: Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Melaka
l: bm en (1 2) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) est (1 2) pi (1 2)
a: bm en sj ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che est

s: Sektor Pengurusan Akademik, Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Sabah
l: bm (1 2) en (1 2) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) sci (1 2) pi (1 2) pm
a: bm (2) en (1 2) sj ma (2) sci (1 2) pi (1 2) pm

s: Persidangan Kebangsaan Pengetua-pengetua Sekolah Menengah Negeri Kedah Darul Aman
l: bm (1 2) en (1 2) bc (1 2) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) pi (1) pm
a: bm (1 2) en (1 2) bc sj (1 2) phy che bio pm

s: Perak
l: phy (1 2 3)

s: Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Johor
l: bm (1 2) en (1) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) sci (1) pa (1 2) pi (1 2) pd (2)
a: che

s: Selangor
l: bm (1 2) che (1) phy (1) bio (1)

s: Negeri Sembilan
l: bm (1 2) phy (1 2 3)
a: phy (1 2 3)

s: Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM)
d: bm (1 2) en (1 2) sj (1 2) ma (1 2) +m (1 2) phy (1 2 3) che (1 2 3) bio (1 2 3) est (1 2) pa (1 2) ps (1 2) pd (1 2) pi (1 2) pm rekacipta
a: phy (1 2 3)

Want to download even more SPM 2008 trial papers? Visit here to get them. Thanks to Malaysia Students blog reader, emperoremoru for uploading and sharing them with us.

Good luck in your exams to all Malaysia Students Blog readers!
Let's comment and discuss: If you were SPM or STPM candidates previous years, do share your exam preparation and revision tips in the comment area. Did you mail-order or buy the highly expensive and so-called 100% accurate (tip peperiksaan 80% kena tepat) UPSR tips, PMR tips, SPM tips or STPM tips before the examinations? If yes, did those tips which costed you and your parents more than RM200 help you? Did you regret buying these tips and think that you should have spent more time reading and revising the syllabus instead of relying any of the tips? Do you believe in leak questions (soalan bocor) and forecasted question papers (kertas soalan ramalan)?

l: STPM Timetable 2008 (STPM Jadual Waktu 2008)
s: Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia

STPM 2008 Trial Papers
s: Pahang
l: bm (1 2) sj (1 2) mt (1 2) che (1 2) phy (1 2) bio (1 2) geo (1 2) pa (1 2) pp (1 2) ek (1 2)
a: bm (1 2) sj (1 2) mt (1 2) che (1 2) phy (1 2) bio (1 2) geo (1 2) pa (1 2) pp (1 2) ek (1 2)
(thanks to umaparan for sharing these trial papers)

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► Read more on STPM & SPM Tips & Trial Papers 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

SPM Literature in English 2008-2010 (Formatting, or lack thereof)

Posted by Snow

Having received many queries and comments in regard to formatting of SPM Literature in English, I believe I shall have make a post that specifically works on those pre-SPM nerves (Or at least, attempt to).

I shall copy-paste a couple of excerpts from e-mails (all written by yours sincerely of course, for I will not intrude upon the privacy of readers by reproducing their e-mails here unless given permission to do so) for the benefit of the readers.

Ideally, the mark-page ratio is:
5 marks = one quarter of the page
8 marks = three quarters of the page
12 marks = one page

However, it does also depend on the content of your answers and the whole point of insisting upon a specific length is to ensure that one is less likely to write too much (time restraints), or too little (insufficient points). It is also a very good practise to write more.

The poems will be provided during the exams, or at least, excerpts. It is not necessary to memorise the poems, though a good knowledge of the general idea is expected.

Many students are able to deal with 5 mark questions, but it is the 8 and 12 mark questions that boils the brain cells.
Plot Expansion refers to specific events in the story.
8 mark question example : "Why do you think Peter did this?"
12 mark question example: "What is your opinion on Peter's actions?"
The 8 mark question requires you to answer in regard to the story, whereas the 12 mark question requires you to relate mundane things to the story. For instance, you could compare the modern society with the text or human behaviour in general.

All you need is a touch of natural confidence and the ability to write. Make comparisons, elaborate. Be descriptive, try to find hidden meanings behind each word. To begin with, here are some things to consider : How is the hero / heroine portrayed? Why did the author chose to portray said person as such? What do their actions say about their personality?

There really isn't much to worry about formatting. Just write whatever comes to mind. Do NOT worry about all the restrictions so badly, okay? =) To tell the truth, I never really bothered my head about making points or anything when I sat for the paper. Nobody taught me formatting or told me much. I just knew the texts covered in the syllabus and that was that. My two month workshop in Form Four was focused on having FUN and appreciating literature with games. We acted out the plays, wrote our own and discussed random topics. During my exam, I only concentrated on writing out my heart.

This is one exam that isn't based on formatting. Don't even think of it as an exam. It's truly an appreciation of literature, and that's all. Literature in English is a shadow of what exams should BE like - a free-reined subject that isn't focused on "making points" or "memorising facts to be written during exams". It's about really understanding it.

All those points are just LOOSE guidelines. Do not force yourself to adhere to that if you can't do it, but try if you can.

There are NO past year papers - I cannot stress this point enough. Yes, there have been SPM Literature papers conducted in the past, but the syllabus is completely different. The syllabus changes every three years and the current cycle is 2008 - 2010. Past year papers will cover a completely different syllabus from the current one.

I have yet to find a specific website that covers the entire Literature syllabus, simply because the syllabus changes every three years and most people can't be bothered doing in-depth research on a syllabus as fickle. At any rate, model, suggested, or ideal answers might have an adverse effect and actually constrain the true you within. There is NO one answer to Literature. Write as you wish, convince the examiner to see things from your perspective, and you will get your marks. Full marks are very, very rare simply because Literature is such a subjective paper, but there is absolutely no reason why you cannot get decent marks.

Do not worry. Remember, if it seems hard, it's probably because you did well. ;)

► Read more on SPM Literature in English 2008-2010 (Formatting, or lack thereof)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

SPM Mathematics Tips

I am currently 17 year-old and live in Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur. I’m a secondary student in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Miharja. I will be sitting for SPM this year. Therefore, this submission is for those who have difficulty in scoring Mathematics especially Paper 2. I always hope to have my own domain and host for blogging. I would give a big thanks to Malaysia Students if my submission is chosen as one of the winner. This submission is also credited to my former teacher Pn. Noraslinda for giving speech on Mathematics in my school this year.

SPM Mathematics Tips

by Bobby Ng for Writing Contest 2008

Brief Introduction
Mathematics (is also known as Modern Maths) and Additional Mathematics are categorized as thinking subjects which you take your time thinking rather than memorizing facts. The formula will be given at the front page of the examination paper. Additional Maths is notably 4 times harder than Modern Maths. It’s like if students think Maths is shit, then take Add Maths. If you get 90% marks in Maths, you may have potential to get 40% marks in Add Maths. It’s near to impossible for someone who get A1 in Add Maths fail in Math. Well it’s not important. What I’m going to discuss at here is Mathematics.

SPM Mathematics
In SPM, mathematics is considered as compulsory subject. You must pass this subject in order to get the certificates along with Malay language. Malay language test takes a lot of time and your hand hurts like hell after writing so many words. It’s not simple either. However, the percentage of students fail in Mathematics is higher than Malay Language in real SPM, which is ridiculous. It is told that Mathematics is quite ‘difficult’ among Art students in seminar SPM, which I can't believe my eyes either.

In my opinion, Mathematics is the easiest subject in SPM for Science students. I believe PMR students can even do with their PMR standard knowledge because some questions like volume of solid and area and perimeter of a circle being test in SPM. It’s not being taught in SPM therefore you can only depend on your past knowledge in Form 2. Although the questions are a lot easier than Add Maths, There are still some pupils having difficulties in Maths.

I see some students leave the 'haven't done' answers after they get the formulae to be applied in the questions, which they didn’t really answer the questions. Some of them don’t understand the questions’ needs. Therefore, exercises and guidance from teachers are essential for improvement.

SPM Intervention KL 2008The questions are so direct and mostly the answers will less likely to appear in decimal. You need a little bit of logic compare to Add maths. Besides that, even if you do well in monthly test, you might end up tilting head during SPM examination hall. It’s because monthly tests don’t follow the real format of SPM. Like Intervention 1 for KL state this year, there's no chance in hell this question is coming out in real SPM.

Based on SPM Maths, it consists of 2 papers

Paper 1
- 1 ¼ hors
- 40 questions
- 40 marks

Paper 2
- 2 ½ hours
- working steps must be done
- Section A
= 52 marks
= 11 questions
- Section B
= 48 marks
= 5 questions (answer 4 of out 5)

Every chapter will be tested in Paper 1. The questions will be tested from Form 1 until Form 5. Since you have already mastered the some basics in PMR, these shouldn’t be a problem. Do past year objective questions will strengthen your basic.

In paper 2, there are only certain chapters that will be tested in SPM maths. That’s why I will concentrate more on paper 2. The whole paper 2 format based on past year questions in random order with brief tips below

Confirmed to be tested every year
Paper 2 (Section A)
1) Volume of solids (which was taught in form 2)
- most of the formulae given are for this question
- make sure the formulae are used correctly
- combined solid is sum of volume of the solids
- remaining solid is the subtraction of bigger solid and smaller solid

2) Angles of elevation and depression
-using trigonometry rule

3) Mathematical reasoning
- statement ‘and’ and ‘or’
- If p, then q. If q, then p.

4) Simultaneous linear equation
- equalize the same unknown and take out
Example : 4p - 2q = 15
(2p + 4q = 19) x2 (times 2 to make unknown 4p same)
- don’t use Add Math method, answers will be different.

5) The straight line
- y = mx + c
- gradient, gradient….
- What is c? c (y-intercept) is the point where the line touches the y-axis.

6) Quadratic expressions and equations
- ‘solve the equation’ is to find the unknown
- change the equation of the question into this form
- factorise by your own or using calculator
- must state x = ?, x = ?, there will be 2 answers

7) Matrices
- will mostly ask inverse matrix
- if you’re not sure about the answer, check if the whole outcome is identical to the inverse matrix in the question.
- the answer in a) is related to b)

8) Area and perimeter of circles (same as number 1)
- 2πr (perimeter or circumference) and πr2 (area)
- (angle/360 degree) x the formulae above for the area or perimeter of certain part

9) Probability
- is more of (number / total number).
- the formulae given are plain useless
- final answer is never less than 0 or more than 1, 1 > answer > 0

10) Gradient and area under a graph
- based on speed/ time graph
= distance is area of the graph
= rate of change of velocity is gradient of the graph
= speed is based on the graph (seldom being asked)
- beware of total distance and total speed

Can be varied each year
1) Sets (2004 and 2006)
- shading based on the questions (intersection or union)
- beware of the complement such as A’

2) Graph of functions (2005 and 2007)
- the inequalities (upper line is >, lower line is <)
- if slanted line, you can imagine it into horizontal straight line. Same concept as above.

What’s the conclusion? 2008 will be ‘Sets’! Wow, I can predict what will come out in this year’s SPM. :D

Paper 2 (Section B) Answer 4 questions
1) Graph of functions
- Linear functions (less likely to come out as it’s a straight line after plotted)
- Quadratic functions (2004 and 2005)
- Cubic functions (2007)
- Reciprocal functions (2006)
= this question is easy because you can detect the type of graph after you plot it.
= elastic ruler is recommended
= x-axis and y-axis should be stated in the graph

2) Transformation
- Translation
- Reflection
- Rotation
- Enlargement ( careful with the word ‘to’ and ‘from’ because it determines the image would be smaller or bigger)
= combination of transformation like VT
-do T before V. It's some kind of law.

3) Statistic
- Histogram ( 2004 and 2005)
= x-axis the upper boundary with an additional lower boundary at the front of the graph
= y-axis is frequency
- Frequency Polygon (2006)
= x-axis is midpoint
= y-axis is frequency
- Ogive (2007)
= x-axis is upper boundary
= y-axis is cumulative frequency
= additional upper boundary should be added to the table
= x-axis and y-axis should be stated in the graph

My school hasn’t come to these chapters below, but I will try my best to explain it.
4) Plans and elevations
-well I’m not sure but what I can see is you must be able to imagine the solid from every side
-plan is looked from above
-elevation is looked from the side of the solid
-the length and the edge (ABCD) should be stated correctly
-similar to a chapter of the living skills in PMR

5) Earth as a sphere
-no comment because I’m not going to explain something that I’m not sure
-latitude is vertical and longitude is horizontal of the sphere
-nautical mile

If you concentrate on these chapters and do a lot of past year questions, I’m sure getting A1 in Maths is not a matter for you. Choose the 4 questions that you’re confident in section B paper 2. Do all questions if you think you have much time to spend for taking a nap. Why study more if you know what kind of questions will come out?

Additional Tips
1) You know doesn’t mean you can get correct, try to make less careless mistakes in each paper.
2) See through the questions word by word as there will be some tricky part in the questions, especially ‘to’ and ‘from’ in enlargement.
3) Don’t be sad if you do badly in trial SPM because the odd might come to you in SPM.
4) Be sure to study smart, not study hard. Hope this helps.

► Read more on SPM Mathematics Tips

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