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Thursday, December 14, 2006

SPM – 12 Subjects Maximum

Posted by Chong

Malaysian Examination Syndicate (MES or Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia) has proposed that SPM candidates can take a maximum of 12 subjects as there are many Form Four students indicating to sign up for more than the required seven subjects next year. These students believe that they waste no money even if they do not sit for the additional subjects during the actual SPM examination since the national examination fees will be abolished from 2007 onwards.

The Star Online reported:
A source said that some students had told their teachers that taking more subjects at no additional cost meant they could sit for them without preparing and hope to score if they were lucky.

“Some say they can also skip the papers as nothing will be wasted. They have everything to gain as they just might do well. This is the wrong spirit but we can’t stop them as it is their choice,” a teacher said.
As I read this, I am shocked by this kind of mentality. Do they lose nothing if they take more than usual number of subjects and do not sit for the papers? No, they will lose many things.

  • Time, money and energy – They have to pay for the tuition fees and spend time and energy learning the subjects on their own as the additional subjects will not be taught in their school classes. The timetable of a school class cannot afford these additional subjects since it has already been filled with ten to eleven subjects. If they don’t get an A for the additional subject they choose to take, they will lose a lot of time and money.

    Something I want to point out is that most of the secondary schools offer packages in which contain more than the compulsory seven subjects:
    For instance, for art stream packages:
    • Art (Seni)
    • Geography (Geografi)
    • Account Principle (Prinsip Akaun)
    • Basic Economy (Ekonomi Asas)
    • Business (Pedagangan)
    Most of the science stream packages contain ten or more subjects:
    There are also elective languages such as:
  • Pride, scholarship and other opportunities – Imagine yourself holding your SPM result slip on which shows 11 As and 1 F since you put no effort in learning and preparing for the additional subjects. As a result, you stand very little chance to win the prestigious scholarships like Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) scholarship (also know as PSD scholarship) and Petronas scholarship, to name a few. Most scholarship interviewers and even future employers will question you for the F in your SPM result slip.

    Besides that, you are not eligible for the cash awards offered by certain banks to straight As scorer. Last year, a few hundred ringgits were credited to my bank accounts by Maybank, Eon Finance and Hong Leong Bank for being a SPM straight As scorer. See, you do get paid for studying hard! ;-)

Quoting from the same article:
Besides limiting the number of subjects, sources said the MES has also proposed that students pay for subjects that exceed the maximum number.

“A paper has been submitted to the Education Ministry for it to be discussed by the Cabinet,” said a source.
So, do not worry, you can still sit for more than the 12 subjects if you choose to. However, you have to pay for the additional subject. These proposals if accepted by the Cabinet will affect candidates of SPM 2007 onwards.

The current education system in Malaysia rewards those with higher number of As, contributing to the unhealthy competition among students. Most of those taking additional subjects do so with the hope that they would get more As and thus stand a higher chance to win the scholarships. Some of them have not interest at all in the additional subjects. Hence, they would study and learn the subject blindly.

Personally, I do not agree that the free examinations from next year onwards would not significantly contribute to the higher number of students taking more than 12 subjects in SPM. I, for example, will not take five (usually four) subjects in my STPM next year due to this announcement.

I have not intention to dissuade you from taking more than 12 subjects in your SPM in writing this post. If you do plan to do so, I would advise you to examine the merits and demerits in doing so. After carefully consider your strength and weakness especially in time and pressure management, you should be able to make your best decision. After all, you shape your own future. ;-)
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  1. I don't think it's a waste at all. Personally, I think the SPM system is heavily flawed. You can't expect a student to choose a stream that is best for him when he's only 16, and then make him study it for two long years. Academics should be a trial-and-error process; you learn to love or hate a subject as you know more about it. Allowing students to sign up for as many subjects as possible gives the students a backup plan. For example, a student could sign up for 14 subjects, and if he ends up hating one of them, he could drop it and not worry about taking a course load that's too light. It allows students to experiment and explore their career plans, to find out what they really like.

  2. Hello,I would like to know if I am still able to take Account subject as one of the SPM subjects or not.I am a Form 4 student in science stream who will be facing SPM in the following year.Can I still take account even if I didn't take it in Form 4?Hope you are able to clarify my doubt.Thanks for your advice.

  3. I agree with someone who commented that you cant expect a student who is only 16 to choose a stream that could potentially determine their future. I was put into the art stream when i was 16. And i didnt think too much of it back then. Now im 18 and i want to get into vet school but i cant because theres only 2 unis degree(UPM & UMK) that is recognise by the malaysian veterinary council and in order to get into the uni i have to take stpm which i cant because im an art student and if i take stpm i hv to go into the art stream which makes it totally pointless because the whole point is for me to get into vet school. So now i have to retake spm and register as a science candidate. Also, my result, maths A, science A, art side subjects all Bs and below. Like what the actual fuck.


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