PUTRAJAYA: Candidates who sat for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) last year did better overall compared with 2015, even when fewer of them scored straight As, said the Education Ministry.
Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said 8,647 or 2.13% of the 434,535 candidates obtained A+, A or A- in all of their subjects, which is a slight drop compared with 2015, where 9,721 or 2.38% scored the same results.
“There has also been a drop in the number of candidates with straight A+,” he said when announcing the SPM 2016 analysis at the Education Ministry yesterday.
In 2015, 163 candidates (2.6%) had perfect A+ but it dropped to 102 (1.94%) this time around. Fewer candidates registered for SPM 2016, with 434,535 versus 440,682 for SPM 2015.
However, Dr Khair added that even though fewer candidates obtained straight As, overall they did better when viewed using the National Grade Average (GPN).
The latest GPN is 5.10, which is better than the previous year’s of 5.15, he said.
GPN scores range from 0 to 9.
“A smaller GPN means that candidates did better (in the examinations),” Dr Khair explained, while adding that the performance gap between rural and urban candidates has also shrunk.
Dr Khair attributed this improvement in rural areas to dedicated teachers who embraced better teaching and learning processes there.
He said the English Language was one of the core subjects that had a better Subject Average Grade compared to 2015.
When compared to the previous year, the average grade for the subject improved to 5.99 from 6.08.
Examinations Syndicate director Dr Aliah Ahmad Shah said the syndicate has always maintained the same format and standard for all national examinations.
The drop in the number of As does not reflect a drop in the quality of the examinations, she said.
These candidates were also the first batch to undergo the school-based assessment system, introduced to Form 1 classes back in 2012.
Under the system, students will be assessed periodically on all subjects, and will be given grades for various abilities from Band 1 (ability to recall information) to Band 6 (ability to display higher order thinking skills and knowledge).