KUALA LUMPUR: Some students who obtained their Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) results are hot under the collar over the difficult HOTS (higher order thinking skills) questions in Science.
Several 15-year-olds from SMK Saujana Impian felt the questions had prevented them from scoring better grades to some extent.
Roosimin Kaliappan, who obtained 7A’s, 1B and 1C, said her teachers prepared them well by providing sample questions from previous years, but the questions they eventually had in the assessment were still difficult.
“We did not expect the Science paper to be filled mostly with HOTS questions. It was just tough,” she said.
Maryam Kamiliah Rahime, who scored 10A’s and a C for Science, shared Roosimin’s sentiments.
“The HOTS questions were very tough. I didn’t think it would be that difficult,” she said.
Maryam said although she was happy with her results, she was frustrated with the C.
Suriyah Ganesan, who had put in at least six hours a day during his revision, was not happy with his results.
“I got 6A’s, 2B’s and a D for Science. I’m not satisfied with my results as the HOTS questions were really hard. I’m disappointed.”
The students are the third batch to sit for the PT3, which was introduced in 2014.
HOTS questions were introduced when PT3 was first introduced.
A Science teacher said the paper was more difficult this year.
“The Examinations Syndicate prepared a list of rules on the type of answers that can and cannot be accepted. The marking process was also stricter compared to the previous year,” she said.
She said some of the questions in the paper were based on general knowledge, rather than the textbooks, which could affect the students’ final score.
She said all schools had different sets of HOTS questions and she could not divulge the questions in the paper.
But to give an example, she said the questions were along the line of showing pictures of “a tissue box, a needle and a brush” and asking the students to draw up a conclusion on what they could do with the items.
On his Facebook page, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid advised parents not to look merely at academic achievements, but the holistic development and potential of their children.
“PT3 is a holistic assessment of students based on continuous assessments by the school, which is responsible for the administration, marking of the examination scripts and the release of the results,” he said.
The minister added that PT3 did not only measure students’ academic achievement.
“It is an assessment of physical, sports and co-curricular activities as well as a psychometric assessment,” he said.