Student Info & Guide

The Open Certification System

by StudyMalaysia.com on February 25, 2015 | Useful Topics

Introduction

In 1989, the implementation of the KBSM resulted in curriculum reorganization with the inclusion of two subject groups - the Core Group and the Elective Group. The Elective Group consists of subjects such as Humanities, Vocational Studies & Technology, Sciences and Islamic Studies.

As stipulated in SPM examination regulations the for the year 2000, students will only need to take 6 core subjects namely Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language), Bahasa Inggeris (English), Pengajian Islam / Pendidikan Moral (Islamic Studies / Moral Education), Sejarah (History), Matematik (Mathematics) and Sains (Science).

Selections of the elective subjects are of free choice and not mandatory as required previously. The students are counselled by the school to select such subjects based on their interest and ability It is feared that students may select 'light' subjects without proper subject management or with unsuitable subject combinations to proceed in their respective fields. In regard to this, schools are introducing specialised packages for selection, based on the determined ratio of 60% of science & technology and 40% of social science.

Proposed Specialized Packages

The following proposed packages are based upon the main concept whereby the number of subjects is minimum but suitable subject combinations is the basis for students to proceed their education in any respective fields. The packages are designed to cater for further education to higher education institutes or for their choice of career.

Guide for package choice and implementation:

  1. Elective subjects choice of either three or four.
  2. Package based upon single or double majors.
  3. Students who take up at least two(2) pure science subjects (Physics, Chemistry, or Biology) do not have to take the compulsory Science subjects.
  4. Students who take up at least two (2) Islamic Studies elective subjects are exempted from taking the compulsory Islamic Education subject.
  5. The choice of packages and other subjects still depends on the terms and conditions and other regulations that follow.

Explanation of Terms and Phrases Used
Term / Phrase Meaning
Pure Science Biology, Physics and Chemistry
Islamic Studies Al-Quran and as-Sunnah, and Syariah Islamiah
Applied Arts Basic Economics, Principles of Account, Commerce and Home Economics
Social Science Stream Choice of the following packages:
- Two Humanities subjects, or
- Two Applied Arts subjects, or
- Two Islamic Studies subjects
Prime Schools Schools having been around for long terms (more than a couple of decades, almost hundred or more years) and maintaining a high standard of education while maintaining it's own tradition. The school is also considered as a monitored school
Monitored Schools High prestige schools (but not boarding schools or prime schools) with controlled enrollments in terms of student quality

Tables below display proposed packages for single major (Package 1) and double major (Package 2). Package 1 contains the core subjects and electives from the same groupings while Package 2 contains the core subjects and subjects from either two or three subjects from different groupings.

Table 1. Package 1 (Single Major)
Package Subject Combination Examples
1(a) Pure Science Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + 2 or 3 pure science subjects
  • All core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Biology + Chemistry (9 subjects)
  • All core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Chemistry (8 subjects)
  • All core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Biology + Chemistry (8 subjects)
1(b) Applied Arts Core subjects + Additional Mathematics + 2 Applied Arts subjects All core subjects + Additional Mathematics + Principles of Account + Commerce (9 subjects)
1(c) Islamic Studies Core subjects (except Islamic Education) + 2 electives from the Islamic Studies group + Arabic Language (High Level) Core subjects (except Islamic Education) + Al-Quran as-Sunnah + Syariah Islamiah + Arabic Language (High Level) (8 subjects)
1(d) Humanities Core subjects + 2 or 3 Humanities subjects Core subjects + Geography + English Literature + Music (9 subjects)
1(e) Vocational Core subjects + 3 vocational subjects Core subjects + Geometric and Building Construction Drawing + Building Construction Technology + Wood and Brick Work (9 subjects)
1(f) Additional Science  Core subjects + Additional Mathematics + Additional Science Core subjects + Additional Mathematics + Additional Science (8 subjects)
1(g) Information Technology Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Information Technology + 1 or 2 pure science or Additional Science subjects Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Information Technology + Physics + Chemistry (9 subjects)
Table 2. Package 2 (Double Major)
Package Subject Combination Examples
2(a) Pure Science - Technology  Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + 2 or 3 pure science subjects + 1 or 2 technology subjects
  • All core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Chemistry + Engineering Drawing (9 subjects)
  • All core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Chemistry + Engineering Drawing + Civil Engineering Studies (10 subjects)
  • All core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Biology + Chemistry + Agriculture Science (10 subjects)
2(b) Pure Science - Applied Arts Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + 2 Pure Science subjects + 1 or 2 Applied Arts subjects
  • All Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Chemistry + Principles of Account (9 subjects)
  • All Core subjects (except Science) + Additional Mathematics + Physics + Chemistry + Principles of Account + Commerce (10 subjects)
2(c) Islamic Studies - Pure Science Core subjects (except Science and Islamic Education) + Additional Mathematics + 2 Islamic Studies subjects + Arabic Language (High Level) + 2 or 3 pure science subjects
  • Core subjects (except Science and Islamic Education) + Al-Quran as-Sunnah + Syariah Islamiah + Arabic Language (High Level) + Physics + Chemistry + Biology + Additional Mathematics (11 subjects)
  • Core subjects (except Science and Islamic Education) + Al-Quran as-Sunnah + Syariah Islamiah + Arabic Language (High Level) + Physics + Chemistry + Additional Mathematics (10 subjects)
2(d) Islamic Studies - Technology Core subjects (except Science and Islamic Education) + Additional Mathematics + 2 Islamic Studies subjects + Arabic Language (High Level) + 2 pure science subjects + 1 technology subject Core subjects (except Science and Islamic Education) + Al-Quran as-Sunnah + Syariah Islamiah + Arabic Language (High Level) + Physics + Chemistry + Additional Mathematics + Engineering Drawing (11 subjects)
2(e) Islamic Studies - Applied Arts All Core subjects (except Islamic Education) + 2 Islamic Studies subjects + Arabic Language (High Level) + Additional Mathematics + 2 Applied Arts subjects All Core subjects (except Islamic Education) + Al-Quran as-Sunnah + Syariah Islamiah + Arabic Language (High Level) + Additional Mathematics + Basic Economics + Principles of Account (11 subjects)
2(f) Applied Arts- Information Technology / Vocational Core subjects + 1 or 2 information technology subjects + 1 or 2 Applied Arts subjects Core subjects + Principles of Account + Commerce + Information Technology (9 subjects)· Core subjects + Commerce + Catering Technology + Food Preparation and Serving (9 subjects)
2(g) Humanities - Applied Arts Core subjects + 2 Humanities subjects + 1 Applied Arts subject Core subjects + Geography + English Literature + Principles of Account (9 subjects)
2(h) Additional Science - Applied Arts Core subjects + Additional Mathematics + Additional Science + 1 Applied Arts subject Core subjects + Additional Mathematics + Additional Science + Basic Economics (9 subjects)

The above explained majors are the main packages offered in Government or Government-assisted schools to ensure students select combinations that are appropriate for them to pursue in their respective fields. This step is also in line to achieve the aim of 60% students majoring in science & technology and 40% of students in social science for the new millennium. This however doesn't mean that students cannot take other subjects outside their packages. For example in the Language group of those outside the KBSM scope, students are free to select their choice of subjects, based on the SPM Open Certification system.

Choice of Package and Area of Study

Each package offered has its own value as pre-requisite to enable students to pursue their education in institutions of higher learning (private colleges or other types of institutions of higher learning) at diploma level or pre-university level (Form 6 or matriculation). However, the actual requirements are still determined by the respective institutions. Table 3 describes basic information for the packages offered and the courses that could be followed at local institutions. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Table 3. Choice of Package and Area of Study
Package Study Areas
1(a) Pure Science Science, applied science, medicine, dentistry, engineering, information technology, mathematics science, polymer technology, industrial chemicals, food science, computer science, education, architecture, textile technology, microbiology, pharmacy, quantity surveying, accounting
1(b) Applied Arts Accounting, economics, commerce, education, business administration
1(c) Islamic Studies Islamic studies, usuluddin, Islamic law, Arabic language, Arabic literature, dakwah
1(d) Humanities History, geography, social science, law, language and Malay/English literature, education, music
1(e) Vocational Depends on the choice of various packages available
1(f) Additional Science Sports science, science with education, engineering (diploma), computer science, mathematics science, accounting
1(g) Information Technology Information technology, software engineering, system analysis, computer engineering
2(a) Pure Science - Technology Science, applied science, engineering, information technology, mathematics science, polymer technology, industrial chemicals, computer science, education, architecture, textile industry, pharmacy, quantity surveying, accounting, commerce
2(b) Pure Science - Applied Arts  Various fields in science and technology, accounting, economics, commerce
2(c) Islamic Studies - Pure Science Various fields in religious studies, science, engineering, medicine
2(d) Islamic Studies - Technology Various fields in religious studies, engineering, education
2(e) Islamic Studies - Applied Arts Various fields in religious studies, law, accounting, education, economics, educational commerce, banking
2(f) Applied Arts- Information Technology / Vocational Accounting, education, economics, commerce, banking
2(g) Humanities - Applied Arts Geography, education, music, accounting, economics, literature, commerce, banking
2(h) Additional Science - Applied Arts Science, mathematics, accounting, economics, education

Offers

In principle, all the packages can be offered to all schools. However, in this context, the schools are encouraged to only offer packages according to the school's capability. Here are a few proposed offers based on schools’ capabilities:
  • Boarding schools - Package 1(a), 1(g) and 2(a)
  • Technical schools - Package 1(g), 2(a) and 2(b)
  • Technical-vocational schools - Package 1(b), 1(e), 1(g), 2(a), 2(b) and 2(f)
  • Prime and monitored schools - Package 1(a), 1(b), 1(d), 1(g), 2(a), 2(b), 2(f), 2(g) and 2(h)
  • Religious schools - Package 1(c), 1(g), 2(c), 2(d) and 2(e)
  • Vocational schools - Package 1(e)
  • Regular secondary schools - Package 1(a), 1(b), 1(d), 1(f), 1(g), 2(a), 2(b), 2(f), 2(g) and 2(h)

Entry Requirements For SPM

  • Form 5 students from Government Secondary Schools, Government-Supported Secondary Schools and Private Schools approved by the Ministry of Education Malaysia or
  • Those aged 19 on 1st of January on the year of examination or
  • Those who have taken the SPM / SPM(V) / SPVM / MCE / SC / FMC
  • Those who haven’t met any of the above requirements but have good reasons to sit for the SPM examination must get the consent from the Director of Examination Syndicate, Ministry of Education

Registration Conditions

For candidates taking the SPM for the first time
  • Must register to take all core subjects.
  • Given the option to select the optional subjects offered (subject to the time table of examination)

For candidates taking the SPM for the second time and so forth

  • Those who wish to take the SPM examination for the second time and so forth, for the reason of improving their grades, are able to register for any subject as long they have obtained at least a pass for Bahasa Melayu.
  • Those who obtained a fail grade in Bahasa Melayu, must register for subjects as though the candidate is taking the SPM for the first time

Exemption (Upon registration)

  • Science (Sains) Can be exempted if either one subject of Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Additional Science is taken
  • Islamic Education (Pendidikan Islam) Can be exempted if either one subject of Al-Quran & Al-Sunnah or Syariah Islamiah is taken

Certification and Grading

The SPM certificate will only be awarded if the candidate has achieved a pass grade in Bahasa Melayu. The grading system has been changed dramatically than the previous certification, with the certification now having no aggregates and grades. The achievement of each subject is reported in the certificate as follows:
DISTINCTION1A 2A
CREDIT 3B 4B 5C 6C
PASS 7D 8E
FAIL 9G

Some Questions & Answers

What are the preparations made by the Ministry of Education to implement the "Open Certification" for the proposed SPM for the year 2000?
The implementation of the SPM Open Certification will begin in the year 2000. As a preparation to achieve that aim, the Ministry of Education has conducted the following sessions:
  • Seminar on the SPM Open Certification for PTAs, Teachers Associations, students and educational institutions on 8th of October 1998;
  • Roadshow sessions to all State Education Departments on the month of October 1998;
  • Briefings by the State Education Departments to all the schools and the PTAs in October and November 1998;
  • Examination guidebooks and timetables for the year 2000 were distributed in January 1999.

Is the SPM Open Certification System different than the present SPM system?
The SPM based upon the new Open Certification System still remains as the main national examination, centrally administered and taken by students at the end of secondary school. The certificate is presented based upon merit of a particular subject and not upon the previous grouping regulations. The certificate does not specify the overall grading in the examination but it only specifies the achievement of passed subjects only.

Who can take the SPM Open Certification?
The SPM Open Certification is offered to all students who have completed their secondary education, or have followed five or six years of primary education and completed 5 years of secondary education or at least having finished two years of upper secondary after completing the PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah).
The SPM is offered to all Form 5 students of Government-Sponsored schools and also to students of private institutions where Bahasa Melayu is the medium of instruction. This examination is also open to private candidates.

What is the objective of the SPM Open Certification System?
The main objective is for subject certification. It records the achievements of students / candidates in all passed subjects only with the condition of a minimum pass in Bahasa Melayu. SPM is used as entry requirement to institutions of higher learning based upon the subject combination in SPM, which is appropriate to the course that they wish to pursue. SPM is also used as a requirement to obtain scholarships and for career needs.

What are the advantages of the new Open Certification as compared to the present SPM certification?
The advantages are as follows:

  • Minimum requirement to obtain the certificate is a pass in Bahasa Melayu.
  • Students can select subjects that are appropriate to their course requirements and higher education institution of interest. (Choice of subjects is based upon the SPM Examination 2000 Guide and Regulations Book released by the Examination Board)
  • Students are free to select subjects which they feel they could perform well.
  • To note, The SPM Open Certification has two main changes as compared to the present examination system which is the choice of subjects offered and the certification method.
  • On the subjects that are offered, a candidate must take a minimum of 6 core subjects as the minimum requirement. The selection of the other subjects is free choice. The school would assist in this matter.
  • For the presentation of the certifications, the candidate must achieve at least a pass in Bahasa Melayu to obtain an SPM certificate. The calculation of the overall aggregate and classification of candidates based upon Grade 1, 2 and 3 will no longer be implemented. Nevertheless, the SPM examination standard or benchmark will remain.

List of Elective Subjects for the SPM Open Certifications

PURE SCIENCE Biology (Biologi)
Physics (Fizik)
Chemistry (Kimia)
ADDITIONAL SCIENCE Additional Science (Sains Tambahan)
TECHNOLOGY Additional Mathematics (Matematik Tambahan)
Agricultural Science (Sains Pertanian)
Engineering Drawing (Lukisan Kejuruteraan)
Machine Engineering Studies (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Jentera)
Civil Engineering Studies (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Awam)
Electrical & Electronics Engineering Studies (Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik & Elektronik)
Innovation & Design (Reka Cipta)
Engineering Technology (Teknologi Kejuruteraan)
APPLIED ARTS Basic Economics (Ekonomi Asas)
Principles of Accont (Prinsip Akaun)
Commerce (Perdagangan)
Home Economics (Ekonomi Rumah Tangga)
ISLAMIC STUDIES Al-Quran and As-Sunnah (Pendidikan Al-Quran dan As-Sunnah)
Syariah Islamiah (Pendidikan Syariah Islamiah)
HUMANITIES Malay Literature (Kesusasteraan Melayu)
Literature in English
Geography (Geografi)
Art (Pendidikan Seni)
Music (Pendidikan Muzik)
Tasawwur Islam
LANGUAGE Arabic - Communication (Bahasa Arab - Komunikasi)
High Level Arabic (Bahasa Arab Tinggi)
Chinese Language (Bahasa Cina)
Tamil Language (Bahasa Tamil)
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Information Technology
VOCATIONAL Machine Workshop Technology (Teknologi Bengkel Mesin)
Machinery Work (Kerja Menggegas dan Memesin)
Geometric and Machine Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Mesin)
Building Technology (Teknologi Binaan Bangunan)
Wood & Brick Work (Kerja Kayu dan Bata)
Geometric & Building Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Binaan Bangunan)
Electrical Wiring and Control (Pemasangan dan Kawalan Elektrik)
Geometric & Electrical Drawing (Lukisan Geometri dan Elektrik)
Electronic Technology (Teknologi Elektronik)
Radio & TV Servicing (Menservis Radio & TV)
Geometric & Electronic Drawing (Lukisan Geometri & Elektronik)
Welding & Metal Fabrication Technology (Teknologi Kimpalan & Fabrikasi Logam)
Welding Work (Kerja Kimpalan)
Geometric & Metal Fabrication Drawing (Lukisan Geometri & Fabrikasi Logam)
Automotive Technology (Teknologi Automotif)
Vehicle Servicing and Repair (Menservis & Membaiki Kenderaan)
Geometric & Automotive Drawing (Lukisan Geometri & Automotif)
Cooling & Air-Conditioning Technology (Teknologi Penyejukan & Penyamanan Udara)
Cooling & Air-Conditioning Work (Kerja Penyejukan & Penyamanan Udara)
Geometric & Air-Conditioning Drawing (Lukisan Geometri & Penyamanan Udara)
Catering Technology (Teknologi Katering)
Basic Information Processing (Asas Pemprosesan Maklumat)
Food Preparation & Service (Penyediaan & Persediaan Makanan)
Tailoring & Fashion Design (Rekaan Fashion & Membuat Pakaian)
Beautification Technology (Teknologi Seni Kecantikan)
Hair-setting & Make-up (Pensolekan & Mendandan Rambut)
Bakery & Confectionery Technology (Teknologi Bakeri & Konfeksioneri)
Patisserie & Bread-making (Membuat Roti & Patisserie)
Plantation Production (Pengeluaran Tanaman)
Livestock Production (Pengeluaran Ternakan)
Landscape & Decorative Horticulture (Hortikultur Hiasan & Landskap)
Farming Machinery (Kejenteraan Ladang)
Farm Management (Pengurusan Ladang)
SUBJECTS OUTSIDE KBSM SCOPE Chinese Literature (Kesusasteraan Cina)
Tamil Literature (Kesusasteraan Tamil)
Bible KnowledgeFrench Language (Bahasa Peranchis)
Punjabi Language (Bahasa Punjabi)
Source: Studymalaysia Research Team

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