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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Change the SPM Exam Grading System

This is an extract of a view by PRACTISING EDUCATOR, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, which was published in The Star on 3 June 2009.

EACH year we hear and read about issues and problems regarding the award of PSD scholarships to bright and deserving students.
The plight of many straight A1s students who were not successful are highlighted in the newspapers, much to the chagrin of public.

Political parties have fought to champion the rights of these students. Discussions and debates have been going on on how to select the best students fairly based on the limited financial resources the Government has in hand.

This whole issue is indeed being caught in a vicious cycle year after year, increasing public anger. I would like to put forward a very simple solution to this issue – transparency.

As a practicing educator, I know for a fact that the A1 can range from 60 to 100 marks, and that’s the reason many students find it so easy to score all A1s. During my time, if you got 5 As out of 9 subjects, you were considered exceptionally bright and you would find there were extremely few students scoring straight 9 As.

So are we saying that students nowadays are much brighter than students of yesteryears? Absolutely not. Teachers nowadays are very surprised that students who get 60 to 65 marks in a subject during the trial examination may end up getting an A1 in the SPM.

I would strongly recommend that the Education Ministry revamps the grading system of public examinations by reverting to absolute scores.

This has been implemented in many examinations overseas, such as GCSE, Australian Matriculation, ACCA, the Edexcel A-Levels, etc.

Release the absolute scores of each subject for every student in the public examinations as is done for the trial examinations in the schools.

Comment: I couldn't agree more with PRACTISING EDUCATOR!!