- 01. How Can You Register For The UPBA?
- 02. Why You Should Sit For The UPBA?
- 03. What Is The Format For UPBA Bahasa Jepun (Japanese) And Other Languages?
- 04. What Are Some Question Types That Are Asked For UPBA Bahasa Korea (Korean)?
- 05. What To Expect For Your UPBA Bahasa Jerman (German) Paper?
- 06. What Components Do You Need To Master For UPBA Bahasa Cina Komunikasi (Chinese Communication)?
- 07. How To Prepare Well For The Subjects That You Are Taking For The UPBA?
Do you know that bilingual education has been a top priority of the Malaysian Ministry of Education in recent years?
Lucky for us Malaysians, the majority of us can speak and write two to three languages fluently due to our mother tongue and regular school lessons. Of course, there are many people who choose to take it to the next level by learning another foreign language while schooling.
While taking your secondary education in Malaysia, you can register for the Ujian Pencapaian Bahasa Antarabangsa (UPBA) also known as the International Language Achievement Test and take up to four foreign languages: Japanese, Korean, German and Communicative Chinese.
In this article, we'll be looking at the different language tests of UPBA and how you can score well in these papers.
How Can You Register For The UPBA?
The UPBA is a government-administered language-based assessment and it is totally free of charge for Form Five students.
The exam is open to students who are studying at all public schools in Malaysia including Chinese independent high schools, religious secondary schools and also special needs education secondary schools (Sekolah Menengah Pendidikan Khas).
For schools that have teachers who specialised in those four subjects, students will normally be gathered in one class for regular lessons to prepare for the exam.
Here are the three steps to register for the UPBA.
Step 1: Download the application form from the official website of the Ministry of Education
As soon as the UPBA registration period is open for the year, you can download the form for free as soon as it is uploaded on the website.
Step 2: Fill up the form according to the given instructions
The complete form normally has 2 pages and all your details must be handwritten carefully with a ballpen.
Be sure to check if you have registered for the correct language by verifying the code of the language as follows:
- 6401 BAHASA JEPUN (Japanese)
- 6405 BAHASA JERMAN (German)
- 6406 BAHASA KOREA (Korean)
- 6407 BAHASA CINA KOMUNIKASI (Communicative Chinese)
Step 3: Take note of the exam schedule
After submitting the completed application form to your school teacher, then you should pay attention to the updates of the exam schedule on the Ministry of Education's official website. The duration of each paper is 2 hours and extra answering time will be given to special-needs education students.
If you're interested to pursue vocational studies, you can read more about the SVM exam here.
Why You Should Sit For The UPBA?
We know that it's not an easy feat to prepare for an additional language subject when you are also studying for other SPM subjects.
But here are three main reasons why it's worth sitting for the UPBA.
a) You have a knack for learning languages
If you find yourself switching languages like a pro in between conversations and even writing, then it only means one thing.
Language is something that comes naturally to you. If you are already effectively bilingual, you should certainly not miss this opportunity to master another foreign language while in secondary school.
b) You plan to further your studies in a foreign country after completing your SPM
The significance of taking the UPBA is ultimately a legit proof of your foreign language proficiency. If you desire to study in Germany or Japan as soon as you finish your SPM, this will help you during your university application process.
Also, this UPBA qualification will serve as a great boost when you're aiming for local and international scholarships too.
c) You are considering a career that revolves around foreign languages
The mastery of more than one language not only promotes effective communication and collaboration (especially in the context of a multicultural society in Malaysia), but could also lead to many job opportunities in the future.
Whether you are planning to work as an international business analyst, diplomat, translator or even politician in the future, your foreign language skills will definitely come in handy.
Read more about STPM if you intend to pursue your studies in a public university one day.
What Is The Format For UPBA Bahasa Jepun (Japanese) And Other Languages?
The UPBA assessments share the same examination format for all the subjects. The exam duration for each paper is 2 hours and the total mark allocation is 50 marks.
Here's a breakdown of the two sections of the exam paper.
- Section A [25 marks]
Candidates are required to answer 5 to 6 questions in this section. Questions can range from objective questions and short structured questions.
- Section B [25 marks]
For this section, candidates need to answer 1 guided essay question (based on an image/conversations) and 1 topical essay question (80 words).
What Are Some Question Types That Are Asked For UPBA Bahasa Korea (Korean)?
K-drama and K-pop fans should definitely find no problem acing this subject!
Here are the 3 most common question types that you'll find throughout the two sections of the UPBA Bahasa Korea.
a) Multiple-choice questions
You will usually be asked to find the right meaning of the highlighted vocabulary based on the given sentence or provide the right answer option for the questions that are asked in a particular dialogue/setting.
b) Fill in the blanks
You will be given a set of random vocabulary in a table or box. From there, you have to pick the right words to fill in the gap between the paragraphs.
c) Forming sentences based on pictures
Questions like this require you to come out with reasonably long answers with the right vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure according to the given scenario. For instance, you could be asked to give an answer reply when someone calls you on the phone.
What To Expect For Your UPBA Bahasa Jerman (German) Paper?
Don't be taken aback by the only European language of the UPBA exam. We guarantee that you can master this paper once you are familiar with the questions' structure.
Here are the three questions that you will certainly come across while attempting the paper.
a) Identifying true or false statements
These questions are pretty straightforward. You need to clearly recognize the errors in the given statement or mark the most accurate description that matches the question.
b) Reading comprehension questions
After reading the short passage, you will need to answer around 8 short questions based on the given text.
c) Listing the right information based on given images/scenarios
For these questions, it is important to keep your answers brief and concise while matching the given information. For instance, you could be asked to complete a four to five-sentence dialogue by listing what is shown in the shown images.
Find out more about the latest PBD assessments for lower secondary schools in Malaysia.
What Components Do You Need To Master For UPBA Bahasa Cina Komunikasi (Chinese Communication)?
With China rising as a global economy in the 21st century, it's certainly an advantage to ace this subject. Having said that, you have to conquer these three language components for the UPBA Bahasa Cina Komunikasi paper.
Having a wide Chinese vocabulary will certainly help you to speedily write down the correct answers for your Section A and Section B. You'll know which wrong answer to eliminate for objective questions and you're able to express your thoughts better for topical essay writing.
While you're not tested for listening and speaking for UPBA, you might still come across some hanyupinyin related (汉语拼音) questions for the paper. You might be asked to write down the exact pronunciation of a given word for a short structured question. So, be ready!
c) Correct sentence structure
This is an essential point to score well on your essay question. You will lose lots of marks if you use the wrong sentence structure throughout your writing. Don't aim to impress the examiners with flowery words, but make sure your points are well organized.
Have an overview of the relevance of the Chinese language for the UEC exams in Malaysia.
How To Prepare Well For The Subjects That You Are Taking For The UPBA?
We certainly can't leave you hanging without giving you some practical tips to score well for the UPBA. Here are 3 tips to practice while you're revising for this language-based exam.
- Tip 1: Review the materials given during classes/private tutoring
Whether it's language textbooks, PowerPoint Slides or handwritten notes, compile all of them together and review them progressively so that you don't miss anything.
If you prefer to take extra language tutoring sessions, we highly recommend you find a language tutor from Superprof! You can find an experienced language tutor that offers an affordable hourly rate and also a flexible learning methodology according to your learning pace.
Just head to the Superprof Malaysia homepage and start browsing for a reliable language tutor near your city.
- Tip 2: Master the reading and writing components of the learned language
Granted that you will be tested extensively on these two components, remember to read lots of learning material in that language and practice writing daily.
- Tip 3: Practice with sample questions and past year papers
Last but not least, start doing sample questions and attempt past year papers to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. From there, you'll also know the grading criteria for both sections of the exam.
What's best about these 3 tips is that you can apply them when you're studying for any language subject, even if you're taking the IGCSE exams.
We hope this article has helped you to have a deeper understanding of the UPBA and have a smooth sailing journey to master these foreign languages!
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