TIMES have changed, and so has the way school students are assessed.

The method to select students for their admission into specific schools will follow a new single entry point system, based on a centralised application process as well as standardised assessment methods.

According to the Education Ministry, this new system is for the admission of students to Form One and Form Four at fully residential schools, national religious schools (SMKA), technical secondary schools, vocational colleges, or the Royal Military College.

It acts as a filtering mechanism to ensure selected students are holistic individuals who encompasses aspects of intelligence, intellect, emotions and spirituality, said Education director-general Datuk Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim (pic).

The assessment covers three components: social emotional quotient (20%), intellectual quotient (70%) and articulation in writing (10%).

Although the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Form Three Assessment (PT3) are cancelled this year, this standardised assessment does not replace UPSR and PT3.

“It is a form of assessment for students’ admission to Forms One and Four at these specific schools, ” she said.

The questions in the three components were developed by the ministry, focusing on higher order thinking skills and problem-solving.

It took the ministry and a team of experts from higher education institutions two years to develop the system, which went through various stages of review and amendment.

Habibah said this new system is necessary, especially with the high volume of applications.

In a year, about 400,000 Standard Six and Form Three students apply to enter these specific schools.

“Imagine hundreds of thousands of students applying to these schools through various platforms.

“Some only apply to one school but others apply to many. It leads to an unnecessary overlap in application and results in a longer selection process.

“With this system, everything goes through one channel, like the Central University Admission Unit (UPU), ” she said, adding that the new system would be more efficient.

The new system will be implemented for the 2021 session.

“We want to expand each of their holistic potential as previously, selections were purely based on their exam results, making it very academic. Thus, the single entry point system takes a more holistic approach, ” said Habibah.

Students will be able to select their preferred school before sitting for the assessment.

If the students meet the criteria of the selected schools, their application will be considered.

Students will also be informed of the centre which they will have to go to sit for the assessment.

A total of 555 designated assessment centres have been identified nationwide, Habibah said, adding that the ministry might add more if required.

Online application for admission to Forms One and Four at the specific schools was from Sept 7 to Oct 2.

The assessment for Form One applicants is from Oct 12 to 23, while assessment for Form Four applicants is from Oct 26 to Nov 6.

Results of the applications will be released on Jan 15,2021 for Form One, and on Feb 5,2021 for Form Four.

Admission into the specific schools for Form One students will be on Feb 16,2021, while for Form Four students it will take place on Feb 23,2021.

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