Frequently Asked Questions

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019

1) What are the packages under STEM and arts and humanities?

There are three options under STEM packages and one Arts and Humanities package option (see graphics).

Students who take any two pure science subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) do not need to take the core Science subject.

Students who take the following elective combinations – Al-Quran and As-Sunnah Education and Syariah Islamiah Education, Turath Dirasat Al-Islamiah and Turath Al-Quran Wa Al-Sunnah or Usul Al-Din and Al-Syariah – are exempted from taking the core Islamic Studies subject.

Students who take Additional Science are not allowed to take any of the pure science subjects. They are encouraged to take Additional Mathematics.

Students can sit for a maximum of 12 subjects in the SPM examination.

2) What happens if I want to take a subject that isn’t offered in my school?

A student can take the subject privately and still sit for the subject in the SPM. For example, a student can take Performing Arts or Computer Science outside schooling hours if they have opted for the pure science package and these subjects do not fit into their school timetable.

3) What happens if my school does not offer any of the packages that I am interested in?

A student can request to transfer to a different school that does offer that subject package. As long as the preferred school has space for the student, transfers will not be a problem.

4) Am I still allowed to take an elective subject privately and sit for it in the SPM if my PT3, School-Based Assessment (PBS) and psychometric results are not good enough for it?

Students are, in essence, still allowed to take a subject even if they are advised against it. However, the chances are high that they might not be able to cope with the syllabus for that subject.

5) I like science but I don’t want to do Additional Mathematics. Is this possible?

A student who opts for the STEM package can only avoid taking Additional Mathematics if they do not take any of the pure science subjects.

6) What happens if I want to switch packages halfway through the school year?

Although this is possible, it is strongly not encouraged as the student can face problems being allocated a space in the class or have issues catching up with the subjects.

7) PJK is considered compulsory. Does this mean it will be tested in the SPM?

PJK will only be assessed at the school level and not in the SPM.

8) Am I going to be walking from class to class or will subject teachers be coming to my classroom?

Autonomy is given to schools to determine the timetables for each package and schools can arrange for minimal movement between classes if students placed in the same classroom take different packages. However, due to limitations within the school, students will mostly sit in their designated classroom rather than have the subject classes fixed and the students moving from class to class.

9) Will non-option teachers be made to teach other subjects?

Non-option teachers will not be made to teach other subjects outside of their scope. However, there are exemptions. For example, an English Language teacher can be asked to teach English Literature or a Chemistry teacher may be required to teach Additional Science.

10) Is there a hotline I can call if I have any more questions?

For more information, parents and students can contact their respective state education departments or district education offices.

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