This is a re-post from my Facebook Account.
Update #2: Thanks Zhaf for pointing out some errors in my post!
Hello Form 5 Students!
First of all, I would like to say ‘Congratulations!’ to you, you have finally finished the future-determining exam, SPM !! (HOORAY!)
After SPM exam, there is plenty time for you to rest, but you need to plan for your further studies. There are lots of Pre-University (Pre-U) programs out there, but I am going to introduce One of the pre-U options- STPM.
1. So what is STPM?
STPM, an acronym for Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia, is an exam conducted by Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia (MPM). It is also known as Form Six. Note, it’s MPM, not LPM. MPM takes care of University level, MUET and civil servants promotions exams. It is equivalent (or a bit higher, or lower, depends on the subjects) to Cambridge A Levels.
You only need to pass BM and Sejarah in order to get into Form Six. However, the requirements for entering Science or Arts Stream differ.
STPM is recognised globally, but you may need to sit for extra entrance exams in order to enroll into a university in certain countries (Eg: Japan)
You need one and a half year to finish this course.
STPM starts on May every year.
The syllabus varies, depends on the subjects that you take.
– STPM has changed since 2012 from Terminal System to Modular System. This means that, you no longer need to sit for final exam at the end of one and half year. The syllabus is separated to 3 terms, means every term you study different thing, and sit for exam at the end of the term. And if you find your results unsatisfactory, you can opt to resit for the paper. I will explain in more detail below, and tell you why modular system doesn’t make STPM easier.
– Starting in 2015, means SPM 2014 leavers, you are unable to resit for Term 3 papers, only Term 1 and Term 2.
2. Who is suitable to take STPM?
STPM is known infamously as the hardest exam in Malaysia. STPM is suitable for:
– Students who are not sure of their future career
– Students who want to pursue studies overseas but want to save money on Pre-U courses
– Financially tight student
– Students who failed to get into Matriculation or Public U Pre-U programs, but still wanted to enroll into Malaysia Public U
3. Pros and cons of STPM exam (in my opinion):
+Invoke and improve your critical thinking skills
+Save money (yes you just need to fork out money for books only if you are staying at your sweet sweet home, and even with tuition the overall expenditure is still less than other Pre-U courses. )
+Unforgettable experience in your life (You are able to taste success and failures, happiness, sadness, or anger simultaneously in this one and a half year)
+You are still able to enjoy exciting and simple school days.
-Tedious syllabus content
-You have to abide by the school rules and regulations, even though you are given freedom to choose what you wear to school (At least no more school uniforms)
-Strict but cruel marking, means harder to score, especially Science subjects
-High pressure daily life
-No time to rest, even holidays
-You are not exposed to the society.
4. Modular system?
STPM is now separated in 3 terms. First term is commenced on May-Nov, Second term on Jan-May next year, Third Term on Jun-Nov next year.
You will sit for exams at the end of each term. Good news is, You can resit the paper if you find out your results unsatisfactory. One more chance for you. This does not means that STPM is ‘nerfed’. Although there is no more ‘one exam determines your survival’, but it poses some disadvantages, for Science and Arts Stream students.
You can’t throw away 100% of your previous term knowledge. Because removing the skills and studies from one term, will affect greatly on the others.
For science subjects, understanding and linking of knowledge in very important, you can’t throw away the whole thing. Especially Mathematics T, Physics and Chemistry.
Arts students, just like Science students, can’t simply throw away their previous term out in the air too. Certain subjects which requires logical and creative thinking like Maths M, Accounts, Malay Language, Geography and Arts Education require continuous linkage for all 3 terms.
For example, you need both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (1st and 2nd term) understanding to answer questions for Malaysian Economics (3rd term). Though subtle, Sejarah (albeit focus on three different perspectives) will asked students to link their knowledge in previous term (Example: Why did Turkey became more liberalised after WWII? Answers came from Sejarah Term 1).
Furthermore, do you know that Form six school life under Terminal System is much more relaxed compared to Modular system?
You have to work hard since the first day of STPM!
And you won’t have time to breathe, especially the first term! (Please prepared for that)
Imagine at the same time, you have to handle academic studies and koku activities!
Besides that, in Terminal System, you have one and a half year to refine your skills, and then sit for one exam, while in Modular system, you only have half year each for preparation work.
Fortunately, everyone will start to adapt this dire situation after their first term exam, by managing time properly and socializing with friends as a proper way to release their stress. 🙂
5. Subjects Offered?
STPM is an open exam, so you can choose what subjects that you like.
This is only true when the school that you enrolled in offers you freedom in choosing subjects OR you are registering as a private candidate.
There is packages with some subjects offered, but the package is restricted and decided by school. Means you are limited to these subjects only if you opt for this package. The packages differ with schools so it’s recommended to check out during orientation week.
Pengajian Am (General Paper) is a compulsory subject so you can’t avoid it.
Mathematics T (T stands for ‘TOUGH’) and Chemistry is compulsory subjects for Science Stream Students.
Arts Stream students must take either Business Studies (Pengajian Perniagaan) or Economics (Ekonomi) subject or both.
Packages varies, depends on the school you got in.
You have a minimum of 4 subjects, a maximum of 5 subjects to take.
Note: Compulsory subjects are not restricted to private candidates.
Scoring no longer depends on grades, they used GPA(Grade Point Average), a pointer system as your score for a single subject, and CGPA(Cumulated Grade Point Average) for average of 4 subjects.
A way to make reference of your GPA:
A : 4.00
Any grades that fall below C or 2.00 is considered as FAILED, even though it’s stated as ‘Partially Passed’.
There is no A+ grade or D grade in STPM GPA system.
To decide whether you want to opt for resitting the paper, B+ is the borderline. Any grades fall below B+ must go for resit.
7. Repeating the papers?
As stated above, if you found out your results unsatisfactory, you can opt to repeat the paper of a particular subject in a semester, with a charge of RM50 each subject.
You must register yourself soon within one week after the release date of STPM semester results!
The test dates for the repeat paper in 1st term is the same as lower six taking their first term exam. Means you are taking the repeat papers with your juniors, answering the same questions as them too.
Test dates for 2nd term repeat paper follows soon after the 1st term repeat paper.
There is no more 3rd term repeat paper starting in STPM 2015/2016.
Please do not violate this repeat paper system. If you don’t intend to resit the paper, then don’t register at the first place! There are a handful of students who registered for repeat papers, but due to unable to do enough revisions, then they gave up and didn’t attend the exam on that day.
If you want to score consistently good in every semester, then PLEASE AVOID RESITTING THE PAPER. Seriously. Because once you opt to resit, then less time is allocated for your third term revisions. You will need to handle a lot of subjects by then.
Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is used to improve English proficiency of Malaysia graduates. It is compulsory to sit for MUET during STPM.
There are three test dates in a year: March, July and November.
Scoring is measured according to ‘Band’. Band 6 is the highest, Band 1 is the lowest.
The result is valid for 5 years.
Starting in 2015, there is minimum band requirements in order to enroll into certain courses in Public U, if you doesn’t meet minimum MUET requirements, even though you have decent results, then you have to bid farewell to these courses.
For popular courses:
Medicine/Law: Need Band 5 to enroll and graduate
Means, if you get a Band 4 during Form Six, you still have to retake the exam again after STPM to secure a Band 5.
Engineering: Need Band 3 to enroll, Band 4 to graduate
Sciences: Need Band 4 to enroll, Band 5 to graduate
-For those smart and excellent students, STPM should not be your first choice unless you are really facing financial problems.
-Hardwork and consistency is a MUST.
-Don’t avoid tough problems, instead face it.
-Get prepared to fail in school’s monthly exam or trials. However, failure is nothing bad, instead it drives you to work even more harder.
-Be adaptive to whatever situations that you are in.
-Good time management is crucial.
If you have decided (and determined) to join in the tough Form Six Network, after considering its pros and cons, as a senior, I welcome you with open hands. And good luck studying!
If you have any questions, or you found out anything wrong here, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook: Souseiseki Chrome!