I’m writing this after reading the letter from A Worried Malaysian on the understanding of the students sitting for the English SPM examinations.
At first I thought it was a letter about a blunder in the question. However, after reading the question, I found nothing wrong with it. It was structured correctly and specified the demographic region clearly. I disagree with the writer’s proposition that the student not be penalised for not comprehending the question correctly. English is not only about grammar and spelling, comprehension is a big part of it.
My teachers and parents emphasised the importance of reading a question several times before answering it. This has stayed with me.
Imagine a real-life work environment: you’re swamped with work and a question comes from the top management. If you make the same mistake, it may lead to losses in your organisation or a loss of confidence in your ability.
If you get it wrong, you get it wrong. SPM is an important examination. One should take the time to comprehend the question. The Examination Syndicate is not made up of psychiatrists who can tell whether the error is intended or not. Just saying.