Tak kenal maka tak cinta. Jom Kenali Universiti Awam (UA) Malaysia.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Literature in English (SPM 2005-2007)

Posted by Snow

Update: Read Literature in English (SPM 2008 - 2010) for updated syllabus of SPM Literature in English.

Due to the fact that the Literature in English subject is not commonly taught subject in schools, students who wish to take up this subject will have to pursue it of their own initiative. I shall hereby try to provide some information as to what is expected of prospective candidates by writing a marking scheme of my own, or rather a guideline.

Literature in English
Marking Scheme/ Guideline


Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
The River Between (Ngugi wa Thiong’o)

Drama (Read novel and drama notes)
Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)
The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)
Pygmalion (Bernard Shaw)

Short Story (Read short story notes)
Bequests Of Love (Marie Gerrina Louis)
Patol Babu, Film Star (Satyajit Ray)
A White Heron (Sarah Orne Jewett)
The Inheritance (Karim Raslan)
Compassion Circuit (John Wyndham)
The Stolen Bacillus (H. G. Wells)

Poetry (Read poem notes and questions and answers on poems)
Theme: Family
Piano (D. H. Lawrence)
Parents (E. E. Cummings)
A Figure Forgotten In Hours Not-Of-Need (Kee Thuan Chye)
A Father’s Words for a Lost Child (Suhaimi Haji Muhammad)
Grandmother (Kemala)
“We are Seven” (William Wordsworth)

Theme: Encounters
Tea in a Spaceship (James Kirkup)
Manners (Elizabeth Bishop)
The Gardener (Louis MacNeice)
Heir Conditioning (M SHANmughalingam)
Dance (Fadzilah Amin)
The Midnight Satay-Vendor (Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof)

Theme: Hope
Miracles (Walt Whitman)
My Clever Pupils (Omar Mohd. Noor)
nocturne (Muhammad Haji Salleh)
Once Upon a Time (Gabriel Okara)
At the Door (Wong Phui Nam)
Hope is the thing with feathers (Emily Dickinson)

Examination Format
The candidate is asked to choose one question from each component. (Read random questions for SPM Literature in English)

Section A:
There are 6 texts to be studied. Only 4 short stories will be selected for testing each year. Each short story will be tested individually. The candidate is required to answer ONE out of the four questions.

Section B:
There are 3 texts to be studied. All 3 novels will be selected for testing each year. Each novel will be tested individually. The candidate is required to answer ONE out of the three questions.

Section C:
There are 3 texts to be studied. All 3 plays will be selected for testing each year. Each play will be tested individually. The candidate is required to answer ONE out of the three questions.

Section D:
There are 3 themes to be studied. All 3 themes will be selected for testing each year. Each theme will be tested individually. The candidate is required to answer ONE out of the three questions.

Extra Answers
  • Candidates are allowed to answer two or more questions from each component.
  • The examiner will chose the highest marks that the candidate has attained for ONE question.
  • A single question comprises of three sub-questions. They are to be considered as a whole and not to be counted as separated questions.
  • No extra marks will be given for any additional answers.
  • No extra marks will be awarded beyond the maximum marks cited.Illogical/irrelevant information may be ignored by the examiner.

Section A: Short Stories [25 marks]

I. Text Comprehension. (Maximum of 5 marks)
  1. First point given.
  2. Appropriate supporting information given.
  3. Second point given.
  4. Appropriate supporting information given.
  5. Third point given.
  6. Appropriate supporting information given.
  7. Overall understanding.
  8. Language. (None of the common mistakes as stated.)

II. Plot Expansion. (Maximum of 8 marks)
  1. Basic description correctly given based on the short story.
  2. First point given.
  3. Appropriate supporting information given.
  4. Second point given.
  5. Appropriate supporting information given.
  6. Third point given.
  7. Appropriate supporting information given.
  8. Fourth point given.
  9. Appropriate supporting information given.
  10. Overall contribution of stated event/incident/occurrence/etc to the plot.
  11. Writing techniques used by author given.
  12. Language. (None of the common mistakes as stated.)

III. Evaluation and Understanding with Reference to the Text. (Maximum of 12 marks)
  1. First point given based on story.
  2. Appropriate supporting information given.
  3. Second point given based on story.
  4. Appropriate supporting information given.
  5. Third point given based on story.
  6. Appropriate supporting information given.
  7. Fourth point given based on personal ideas.
  8. Appropriate supporting information with reference to the text.
  9. Fifth point given based on personal ideas.
  10. Appropriate supporting information with reference to the text.
  11. Sixth point given based on personal ideas.
  12. Appropriate supporting information with reference to the text.
  13. Overall understanding.
  14. Language. (None of the common mistakes as stated.)

Section B: Novel, Section C: Drama, and Section D: Poetry are all worth 25 marks each. The guidelines for answering is the more or less the same as Section A.

All the best.

P/S: Literature in English actually has quite easy texts, contrary to popular belief. It's easier and more interesting than that dry novel some of you has to do for normal English, The Return. Give it a try. = )
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  1. Whoops, left out a comma somewhere in there. Oh well. @_@ Sorry, people...I was just too tired.

    Incidentally, I neglected to mention that every single point in the last bit gives you a mark. That is to say, there are actually eight ways to score points - eight marks to be obtained for the five mark question and so on and so forth. Of course, five marks are the maximum marks that can be awarded for the aforementioned question.

  2. hi snow.Im a student taking Literature in English paper for spm 2007.do hav any sample answers for last year's question.im finding it quite confused on how to answer the questions since im a science student.Pls help.if u can send it to my e-mail ad at [email protected]

  3. Anonymous,
    Don't worry about it. I'm a science student too..you don't have to be an arts stream student to get an A for Literature. I'll try and get you some of my notes. If only I can get someone to scan them for me...I do not have a scanner. Or maybe I can take pictures and e-mail them to you. o_o That would be an effective method , albiet a little unusual.

    You'll be hearing from me either way. ^^

  4. Hey there snow.. well, i am a student who will be sitting for the SPM Literature in English exams this November and frankly...
    I need some help. Do you have sample answers for last two year's papers and some notes? Btw, i am studying Romeo and Juliet and the Lord of the FLies.
    Do write back to me at my blogspot.

  5. oo..I'm so sorry. Its like August now and I'm posting a comment for a July post. I'm a form 4 student and its kind of like..pretty late in the year. But I want to take an extra subject and was considering literature in english. My cousin told me its a very challenging and intriguing subject. I would like to know your opinion, if you do read this after so long, on whether this is a wise choise and whether I'll be able to catch up by next year for my spm?


  6. anonymous,
    That's okay, don't worry about it. Well, it really depends on your own capablities. I only attended a two-month workshop during the fourth form and I still managed to achieve an A for the aforementioned subject in SPM. It really depends on each individual - whether you are able to take ordianary text and look past the print to the true essence within.
    I can't really say who may or may not take the subject, it really depends on every person. I may, however, try to help you by providing some notes and giving you some questions to do.

  7. Hello again. I'm ..-audrey- from the last post.
    Thank you for the advice. So its possible to study the subject on my own if I put in a little, or rather a lot of effort? Erm honestly, I don't really know much about the subject at hand....and as I've stated earlier, its a bit late in the year so I think its safe to say most tuitions are already way ahead? Please do send me the notes when you have the time to do so...


  8. audrey,
    Of course it is possible! I did that myself. =)
    I have posted the notes on this blog. Feel free to check them out. ^^
    Do contact me if you need assistance in looking for Literature in English teachers.

  9. Hello again. Thank you so much for the guidance but erm well, the list for next year's spm is going to change. Its..erm..totally different...I'm so sorry...

  10. Audrey,
    But of course, I'd quite forgotten you're a Form Four student. I'm sorry, I have yet to receive the list of literature works required for year 2008-2010's SPM Literature in English. However, if you do require tuition, I may refer you to a couple of English Literature teachers. And it certainly isn't too late to start, especially since your SPM is a year away. All the best!

  11. Oh, yes, please, I'll really appreciate it if you could refer me to a few literature teachers. =D


  12. audrey, E-mail me the general area and state of where you live (PJ, Damansara, KL, Penang etc) at [email protected].

  13. hello, :) i take SPM Lit this year and tomorrow is my trials. :) however, my teacher has informed us about a change in the marking scheme and the old marking scheme no longer applies. she attended a course recently. however, she seemed quite uncertain. as my friends and I have become so accustomed to the old way of answering the questions (the way you've written here in your blog), we wanted to reconfirm whether or not this new marking scheme is applicable to our sycle (2007 SPM). because the change was quite sudden and late in the year... we're having concerns. Is there anyway you can find out?

  14. Hey, can I please please have notes and samples for the previous years? I'm considering on taking up Literature. Hope it's not too late, so for now, I hope to get notes and see how's it like! Thanks alot Snow =)

    Email : [email protected]

    Thanks alot =) Hope to hear from you soon.

  15. Anna,
    I am very sorry. The marking scheme is generally kept a secret and this applies for all subjects. What I have posted was based on my personal experience and analysis of the subject. I do not know if the new marking scheme applies to your year as I cannot seem to find anything about it. I have asked some contacts of mine to find out ASAP, but I believe it'll take a long time - too long, I fear. However, do not feel discouraged for as long as you have read your texts well and have a unique perspective, there is no particular reason why you shouldn't be able to bag an A1. My sincere apologies for not being able to help much. I'll post a comment here in regard to the change in the marking scheme if my contact replies before your SPM exams.

    The above are links to several notes I have posted on this blog. Feel free to look them up. :)

  16. Hi i'm aaron oo from ipoh. i had been glancing through this section and am quite interested in literature...
    however, i'm in form 6...and i'm planning to take literature in english STPM.
    the problem is i can't seem to find any text, reference or even the syllabus for this subject.
    can anyone help me in this? thanks.

  17. Aaron,

    The STPM Literature Elective offers the following texts:

    Paper 1:

    1. Hamlet, or
    2. As You like It
    3. Selected Poems and Letters of Keats, or
    4. Selected Shorter Poems of Thomas Hardy
    5. Jane Eyre, or
    6. Brave New World

    Paper 2:

    1. Spirit of the Keris : A Selection of Malaysian Short Stories and Poetry
    2. Nissim Ezekiel-Collected Poems 1952-1988
    3. Wide Sargasso Sea -Jean Rhys
    4. Kehinde - Buchi Emecheta

  18. hi snow, i'm a student taking Literature in English paper for spm 2007, however i cannot find the compassion circuit by john wyndham anywhere, can you direct me to the link or e mail me the story if you have it? my add is [email protected] thanks.. oh and it would be great if you can e mail the sample answers for the 2006 paper too.. thank you!

  19. Just to break the monotone a bit, I'm one of those who had taken literature in English, both SPM and STPM. I'm actually looking up ways to help my little sister who had expressed an interest in taking up literature in English. Hopefully her interest sticks.

    Sadly, my experience in SPM literature is left in 2001 where the main books we studied is To Kill a Mockingbird and An Inspector Calls. Can't say I really like Pygmalian or Lord of the Flies

  20. hi, i am sri sharmilaa banu from selangor and i am taking english literature in english for spm 2008.
    what are the syllabus for me...
    could u refer.me to tuisyen teachers...i live around pj...could u refer teachers to me through my email: [email protected]

  21. Hmm to let you know, I will be taking SPM 2008 and I'm planning to pick up the subject of Literature in English starting from next year, which I did not study in year 2007. My new English teacher encouraged me to take it and she has given me the poems, short stories, etc to digest during the holidays. But I notice that the titles you mentioned are different from what I have been given. Has the syllabus changed? If yes, can you post the new one? If possible, email me please. [email protected]

    Thanks in advance! :)

  22. I'm planning to take Literature in SPM 2008. However, I'm uncertain because I don't really know the syllabus and the form of questions that will be asked... I checked your post and realized that the syllabus my teacher gave me is incredibly different.

    It's written 2006 at the front. The novels given are Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), Fasting, Feasting (Anita Desai) and Holes (Louis Sachar). The dramas are Julius Caesar, The Lion and the Jewel and An Inspector Calls. Just to name a few.

    Can you please confirm the syllabus that will be used for SPM 2008? Thanks a bunch!

  23. range,
    The syllabus that your teacher gave you is for SPM 2008 onwards.
    As it is clearly written on the post itself, the syllabus provided here was only till 2007. There must have merely been a mistake in the date on the front cover. Don't worry too much - the syallabus your teacher provided is correct.

  24. Hello. I'm a student from Ipoh and I'm interested to take English Literature for my SPM. Can you Please list the 2008 syllabus for me? I went to all of the major book stores around Ipoh and apparantly there are not many who took up this subject. Therefore I do not know anything about the syllabus. Please help me. Thank You.

  25. Hi. I'm a Form 5 student and I will be taking Eng. Lit SPM this year. I was wondering if you have any notes for all the topics in this year's Eng Lit's syllabus. If you do, can you please paste it in here and inform me? Next, is there any forums where I can discuss my En. Lit 08? I suggest you organise a group discussion on this as a lot of students are taking Eng Lit this year. Lastly, do you know where can I find Eng. Lit books (notes and exercises)? Please reply here and give me an email at [email protected]
    TQ for your help!

  26. Mira,

    You might want to check out the SPM Literature In English (SPM 2008-2010) post on this site.

    I'm sure it'll be helpful.

    Good luck to you ^^.

  27. The 2008 syllabus for Literature in English (SPM) can be found here: http://www.malaysia-students.com/2008/01/literature-in-english-spm-2008-2010.html

  28. Does anyone have any Eng. Lit notes 2008 for the novel 'Holes'? Or do you know where do they sell those kind of books? (In Selangor)
    P/s: Does anyone want to do an online group discussion on novel 'Holes' with me on MSN/Yahoo? We could arrange that. If anyone is interested, email me at [email protected]

  29. You can try University Bookstore or Kino's in KLCC. ^^

  30. hi..i want to take part in the exam of literature in english..can you send me the last two year spm paper for this subject?..im gonna take spm for literature in english this year,2008..please..its quite confuse as i search it through many web in the Internet..this is my e-mail, [email protected]

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. hi snow..im taking Literature I English for spm 2008..please, kindly tell me how can i get a book? is it the drama or novel or poems sold in a unit by unit or all/half of the syllabus in one book? where can i get it? thanks a bunch..

  33. Hi...i took Literature in English last year for SPM 2008...I would just like to inquire about Literature in English for Form 6...I'm interested in doing it again but as far as I went out scouting in a few schools it is not offered anymore so far. Do you know of any school that offers it ?? I'm really interested and Form 6 entry is this coming Monday. How about MUET ?? Will be beneficial to me, as after Form 6 I may most likely do the TESOL course. Pls help ....

  34. anonymous: I hope you are looking at the updated syllabus of SPM Literature in English: http://www.malaysia-students.com/2008/01/literature-in-english-spm-2008-2010.html
    You can pre-order the texts at Kinokuniya.

    meiyen@sarah: It isn't usually offered in schools, generally speaking, even at SPM level. If your school offered it as a subject, you were pretty fortunate. :) You could, however, sign up for the subject at any school because it is your right to do so. However, you may have to study the subject on your own with no teachers to guide you. I am not quite sure, but you could try and ask around at St. John and Methodist Boys' School?
    MUET is basically a measurement of English Standard at Malaysian level and is a requisite for entering Malaysian universities. Even if you are not planning to do your tertiary in Malaysia, it is still better to leave your options open by taking the test. Nevertheless, if you are really sure that you do not wish to study in Malaysia, you can opt for other English qualifications like Cambridge A-Level (English Language, Literature in English, General Paper), TOFL, ILTS, etc. It's really up to you, though I do recommend taking MUET as a sort of "safety net".

  35. hey, i'm taking Literature in English for SPM 2009. do you have guidelines for the SPM 2008-2009 one?? all the novels, drama, short stories and poems are different already.

  36. Comment has been closed for this post. If you would like to comment on SPM Literature in English, please post the comment at Literature in English (SPM 2008 - 2010).


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