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

Monday, January 21, 2008

SPM Literature In English (SPM 2008-2010)

Posted by Snow

Due to popular request, I have decided to dedicate a post to Literature in English (SPM 2008-2010). Please note that the previous Literature posts were only applicable for 2005, 2006 and 2007 candidates. You may of course, view them for comparison purposes and such.

Literature in English
Marking Scheme/ Guideline


Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
Fasting, Feasting (Anita Desai)
Holes (Louis Sachar)

Julius Caesar (William Shakespeare)
The Lion and the Jewel (Wole Soyinka)
An Inspector Calls (J.B. Priestly)

Short Story
Naukar (Anya Sitaram)
Cinderella Girl (Vivien Alcoc)
The Landlady (Roald Dahl)
A Common Story (Kassim Ahmad)
Neighbours (Robert Raymer)
Harrison Bergeren (Kurt Vonnegut Jr. )

Theme: Relationships
Tonight I Can Write (Pablo Neruda)
Ways of Love (Chung Yee Chong)
A Prayer for My Daughter (Yeats)
The Way Things Are (Roger McGough)
For My Old Amah (Wong Phui Nam)
How Do I Love Thee? (Elizabeth Barret Browning)

Theme: Perceptions of Self
Birches (Robert Frost)
I Am (John Clare)
This Is A Photograph of Me (Margaret Atwood)
Waiting to Go On (Hugo Williams)
Daring Tears (Craig Romkema)
The Traveller (Muhammad hj Salleh)

Theme: Conflicts
Dulce et Decorum Est (Wilfred Owe)
The Man He Killed (Thomas Hardy)
Death of A Rainforest (Cecil Rajendra)
The War Against Trees (Stanley Kunitz)
A Quarrel Between Day and Night (Omar Mohd Noor)
"Crabbed age and youth cannot live together "(Shakespeare)

Examination Format
The candidate is asked to choose one question from each component.

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 have to do for normal English, The Return. Give it a try. = )

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

► Read more on SPM Literature In English (SPM 2008-2010)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Does School Prepare Us for Life?

Posted by Chong

This was an essay that I wrote long time ago during my preparation for examination. I was glad that I finally managed to republish the article online today. I was inspired to post this article after reading the thought-provoking 'Are undergraduates ready for the real world'.

The school days are crammed with facts and figures, encompassing various subjects ranging from English to Mathematics. All of these require students to learn, memorise, understand and to be tested. Besides grades and examinations, the school also encompasses a wider curriculum including character moulding, citizenship building and personality development. Indeed, I think the school does prepare us for life.

Firstly, the school teaches us self-discipline. We learn to keep to a schedule and to adhere to the timetable. We also learn to appreciate time and to be punctual. Moreover, we are trained to plan and manage time wisely. We also abide by and respect rules and regulations. The disciplined students will grow up to be disciplined adults and they will do well in their future undertakings.

The school also helps to fortify our determination and perseverance. We learn to fulfil the demands of the school. We also learn to meet deadlines and hand in the homework on time. Moreover, we learn to face stress and pressure. In school, students learn to overcome challenges. Students with strength of character will be well-prepared to face the challenges of work and life in the future.

Co-curricular activities are part and parcel of a student’s life. They help to mould students’ character and personality so that students learn to be confident. They help to hone the leadership qualities in the students themselves. Students learn to work together and co-operate with others. They also learn to appreciate good values like esprit de corps. Students learn to contribute positively and to put their best foot forward besides to take success and failure in their stride. We as the students learn to honour values of sportsmanship and fair play. Through co-curricular activities, students also learn loyalty, commitment and responsibility. When they grow up, they will work well as a team with others and committed in serious work.

The school is a micro-society. The everyday social interaction is an excellent preparation for life in the society outside. In school, students have the opportunities to interact with other students from varied background, creed and race. Indirectly, they learn tolerance, acceptance and understanding. The students also have the opportunity to work and to mingle together. This can help to foster an open mind and promote unity.

Just mention the word ‘school’ and images of grades and examinations come to our mind. Indeed students spend a lot of time and energy preparing and sitting for examinations. Along with that they gather a string of qualifications as well as knowledge and skills. They are crucial since they are the stepping stones and the foundation for the future. They can help students to secure a good job and successful career.

In short, school does prepare us for life. It helps to nurture and to build strong character in ourselves. School also prepares students with the necessary ‘tool’ so that students can fit into society and contribute positively to the nation and people in future.

► Read more on Does School Prepare Us for Life?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Schools in Malaysia (Part I)

Posted by CLF

Greetings to fellow friends who're concern about students in Malaysia. I'm a new contributor here, so let's get started with a new year post! :)

Education is one of the core element of a nation's growth and development. Education sector contributed countless professional workforces into the economy and service industries, as well as preparing the citizens to embrace the world with full of challenges and uncertainties, in a rightful manner and correct mindset.

Education starts from school, and in this article I'd like to talk about the schools in Malaysia.

Early education system in Malaysia follows the footsteps of the British education system, thanks to the British colonial era decades ago. Today, the education system in Malaysia had changed and differs from the original British education system.

Young Malaysians aged 7 start their first step of formal education in primary school, where they'll be spending 6 years learning the basics of each core subjects, namely language subjects like Bahasa Melayu and English, mathematics and science.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country, thus, different arrangements have been made in order to cater the needs of a certain groups of students. Because of this, different types of primary schools have been setup in all over the nations. Most of the primary schools in Malaysia are funded by the government. Some fully-funded, while some partially-funded.

Here, I'll explain each of the primary schools from what I learnt.

#1 Sekolah Kebangsaan, SK (National school)

The most abundant primary school of all types. SK is catered for the bumiputra students and it's also available for other races as well. Most of the students in SK consist of Malay ethnic, with minorities of Chinese and Indian population in the school (rarely foreign students). This type of school can been found easily in most cities, even in countryside (kampung) as well.

Basically this school teaches the core languages BM and English but did not offer lessons for Chinese Mandarin or Indian Tamil languages (unless special case). Pendidikan Islam (Islamic studies) has been given priority in this school, as most of the populations are Muslims (for non-Muslims, they'll have Pendidikan Moral, which is Moral studies).

Most of the lessons are taught in Malay, with the exceptional case of science and maths taught in English.

#2 Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina, SJK C (National type Chinese school)

This type of school used to be named as Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SRJK C), but they drop the "Rendah" and become the SJK C we see today.

SJK C consist of majority Chinese, as most of the SJK C are built by earlier Chinese generations in order to give their children the opportunity to study their mother language, Chinese Mandarin. Today, more than 90% of Chinese parents send their children to study in SJK C.

As it stated above, SJK C offers the Chinese Mandarin lesson, as well as the other core languages BM and English. Most of the subjects are taught in Mandarin, except for BM and English. One interesting note is that in SJK C, Maths and Science are taught in two languages, that is Mandarin and English.

Students from SJK C are subjected to heavy burdens as homework seems to be never-ending, strict ruling by teachers, overweight schoolbags etc. These issues have been discussed for years and until now no solution had came out since then. Also, SJK C students are also known for their hardworking attitude, and sometimes become bound-to-the-books type of attitude (read: NERD).

Nevertheless, nowadays an increasing number of Malay and Indian parents are sending their kids into SJK C because of the advantage of learning Mandarin, given the current trend of the uprising China in the wake of the world.

#3 Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil, SJK T (National type Tamil school)

SJK T is mostly attended by Indian students. Compare to SK and SJK C, SJK T is quite uncommon, only a few can be found in a state, as the Indians are the smallest population of all three majority races in Malaysia. At places where no other primary schools are available, children are sent into SJK T. However, this is an uncommon case.

Like SJK C, SJK T gave the chance for students to learn Tamil language, the mother language of majority Indians in Malaysia (other dialects like Hindi and Gujarati).

(Sorry I don't have additional information bout SJK T, thus I can only write a short passage about it.)

In Part II, I'll talk about the secondary schools available in Malaysia.

► Read more on Schools in Malaysia (Part I)

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