KUALA LUMPUR: More than 70% of the country’s top students are from poor households.
Of the 666 Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) candidates who achieved a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.0 last year, 489 were from the bottom 40% of households (B40).
The results were also an overall improvement compared to 2017 where only 485 candidates achieved a four flat.
“This is the first time we’re presenting awards to recognise the top five B40 students.
“We’ve also introduced a Malay Language Test for Foreigners award this year,” Malaysian Examination Council chairman Prof Datuk Dr Zul Azhar Zahid Jamal said when announcing the results here yesterday.
During the event, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik presented awards to 20 top performers in the examination.
Describing the results as excellent, he said the country’s inclusive education system celebrates everyone’s success including the disabled, poor and orang asli.
“We hope that our students excel not only academically but in all areas they’re involved in,” he said.
Dr Zul Azhar said the number of candidates with a CGPA of 3.50 and above rose from 6,408 in 2017 to 7,129 last year.
“Overall, the 2018 candidates performed better in almost all subjects compared to the year before.
“There were also more As and the performance gap between the rural and urban candidates was narrowed.
“With the improved CGPA, we expect a higher number of STPM students entering public varsities,” he said.
All 22 subjects offered, he said, saw 70% of candidates achieving grade C and above.
The number of full passes in Physics, Biology, and Information and Communications Technology, also rose compared to 2017.
A total of 42,849 candidates sat for the exam. Only 10.7% sat for science stream subjects. The rest were social science candidates.
The General Paper saw the highest number of candidates sitting for a subject.
Dr Zul Azhar said there was a slight decrease in the number of students who sat for science subjects.
“There are many options for those who have finished their SPM. Some might have gone abroad or to private higher learning institutions instead of taking the STPM,” he said, adding that there were 5,475 science candidates in 2017, compared to 4,566 last year.
He also announced that a new paper – Tahfiz Al-Quran STPM, would be offered in November.
This would enable students who sat for the subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) to continue their studies at tertiary level.
Candidates collected their results in schools from noon yesterday.
Private candidates will receive their results through the post.
Candidates can also check their results via SMS by typing STPM RESULT and sending it to 15888.
They can also log on to www.mpm.edu.my.