PUTRAJAYA: The Examination Board has denied using a social media influencer as a speaker for the 2022 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) English listening test (UMBI).
In a statement on Sunday (Feb 19), the Board explained that speakers used in the construction of UMBI SPM 2022 consisted of teachers, lecturers, and school and university students who were proficient in English.
"Those involved have also been trained ahead of the development process for UMBI SPM 2022 items or instruments.
"In this regard, the Board is confident that the quality of the audio material and the 2022 SPM comprehension paper remains intact.
"The Board will ensure fairness and that the interests of candidates taking the SPM examination in 2022 are safeguarded," it said.
The issue involving the SPM English comprehension test that was held on Feb 16 went viral on social media after netizens questioned the credibility of a TikToker who was allegedly hired to conduct the voice-over causing candidates to struggle during the test because the actor spoke too fast with unclear pronunciation.
According to the Examination Board, the audio material and the questions in the comprehension test were prepared in various forms, namely multiple-choice questions, multiple-form questions and limited subjective responses.
"Therefore, UMBI SPM requires candidates to listen, analyse the context of the situation and understand the overall meaning of the audio material.
"The Board also ensures that items or instruments constructed reach the level of administrability, validity, reliability, and authority, The matter is given attention to ensure that the item or instrument is fair to all candidates," read the statement.
In addition, it said the speaker’s speech speed rate for the items or instruments was based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) competency level.
The Examination Board said the construction of the UMBI SPM 2022 items or instruments was based on the typical speaking rate and standard speech and conversation, as well as the authentic aspect of the speaker to create a real communication context.
"In addition, pre-tests were also conducted with the participation of students in different locations, urban and rural, to check whether the items or instruments are suitable and meet the specified quality level," according to the Board. - Bernama