"It's like learning another language - it's not because it's difficult, but it's up to whether or not the person wants to learn it."

SPM result statistics from 2017 reveal that around 8 to 9 per cent of SPM candidates fail the Malay paper every year, despite the fact that Malay has been established as the main medium of communication in schools. Is Bahasa Melayu at the SPM level too challenging for students, or are there still members of our country's young community who do not know how to speak Malay?

Shahril Sufian Hamdan, Malaysia's newly-appointed economic director, believes that it is solely up to the determination of the individual to learn our national language, that will decide how well the person performs in Bahasa Melayu. We at Superprof agree that with the right mindset, you can flourish in your SPM Malay papers - even in Penulisan Bahasa Melayu!

What are the writing skills being assessed in SPM Malay? Don't wait to check your status on SAPS and start with the SPM Malay papers you need to succeed.

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SPM Malaysia essay writing in Bahasa Melayu

In the Format Bahasa Melayu SPM Terkini, Kertas 1 (1103/1) has been maintained as the essay writing paper for Form 5 students. The writing skills of students are tested in two sections: Bahagian A, in the form of a limited-response subjective question, and Bahagian B, which consists of four open-response subjective questions.

It is compulsory for students to answer the question in Bahagian A, which contributes up to 30 marks towards the overall score of the paper. Don't be surprised at how much information goes into this first section, though - students are presented with 2 to 3 related pieces of information that they will have to write about. These pieces of information may be in the form of pictures, posters, excerpts and even newspaper clippings.

Bahagian B, on the other hand, will only require students to choose 1 out of the 4 questions in the section. The questions represent different domains to write about, including public, personal, education, and career domains. When selecting a domain or question to construct your essay, be sure to read both the short paragraph and the question below it. Bahagian B carries a heavier weightage as it carries up to 70 marks in the paper's final score.

Unlike the English essay SPM paper, in which students have to answer a total of 3 questions, notice that you'll only have to answer 2 questions. As you are allocated 2 hours to answer Bahasa Melayu Kertas 1, ensure that you write a lengthier essay in Bahagian B since Bahagian A only requires students to write their essay within 150 to 200 words.

What about the complete format of the SPM Malay papers for 2021?

SPM timetable Malay paper
Kertas 1 Bahasa Melayu SPM is an essay writing paper, split into Bahagian A, which is a limited-response question, and Bahagian B, where students have to choose 1 among the 4 open-response questions. Source: freemalaysiatoday.com

Bahasa Melayu Kertas 1 example for SPM 2022

Let's break down Bahasa Melayu Kertas 1, shall we? To illustrate, here is an excerpt from an actual example (Contoh 2) of Bahagian A in the Buku Format Pentaksiran Bahasa Melayu SPM 2021:

"Gambar dan maklumat di bawah menunjukkan masalah kutipan sampah yang dihadapi oleh penduduk di kawasan tempat tinggal and. Sebagai seorang penduduk yang prihatin, tulis sepucuk surat kepada pihak berkuasa tempatan untuk mengadukan masalah... cadangkan tindakan yang perlu diambil."

In the question, students have to observe and analyse three pieces of information: a picture of rubbish left uncollected, a schedule indicating garbage collection and community clean-up times, and a newspaper clipping with the headline, "The Rubbish Problem Is Not Over". Therefore, to write a formal letter to the local authorities, it is vital for students to include these bits of information in their writing aside from suggesting actions that can be taken.

Curious to know about Bahagian B? The example below, taken from the Buku Format Pentaksiran Bahasa Melayu SPM 2021, asks students to describe efforts that should be made towards encouraging the younger generation's involvement in agricultural sectors:

"Perkembangan pesat sektor pertanian di Malaysia boleh dikaitkan dengan alam semula jadi... Kini produk pertanian Malaysia tidak terhad kepada hasil ladang seperti sawit, getah dan koko yang menjadi komoditi besar negara. (Sumber: BH Online...) 

Petikan akhbar menerangkan bahawa Malaysia merupakan negara yang sesuai untuk aktiviti pertanian. Walaupun sektor ini boleh menjamin masa depan akan tetapi kerjaya dalam sektor pertanian dikatakan kurang diminati oleh generasi muda."

When describing efforts to attract the younger generation to pick up agriculture in your writing, remember to include the news information from the question, which indicates how Malaysia's rich natural resources make the country suitable for agriculture. Accordingly, students must mention in their writing that younger generations are lacking interest in agriculture, only then can they proceed with suggesting ways to motivate young people to take part in the sector.

To access these examples and more SPM past year question and answer, read here for the SPM Bahasa Melayu papers for students and teachers.

SPM 2022 Malay essay writing
To answer both Bahagian A and Bahagian B in Kertas 1 Bahasa Melayu SPM, observe and analyse the information in the questions to include it in your essay. Source: theguardian.com

How to score A in SPM result for Malay essay writing

When it comes to essay writing in Bahasa Melayu, one may have the ideas - but what is the best way to work on and expand on these ideas? The real challenge could perhaps be that students do not master a basic way or skill in writing Malay essays. Thus, to effectively write an essay, students need to be taught the steps or techniques of writing each paragraph. Do you know how examiners mark your SPM Bahasa Melayu papers according to the SPM timetable?

Of course, let's begin with understanding the requirements of the question. What is its central idea? This refers to the theme or issue that needs to be discussed, ensuring students are writing about the right content and staying on track. With that being said, let's take a look at how to build the paragraphs for the introduction, body and closing of your Bahasa Melayu essay:

Introduction (Perenggan Pengenalan)

Your first paragraph introduces the title of your essay to the reader - making it interesting keeps your reader looking forward to the next paragraph. The introduction can be built with 3 to 5 sentences. Start with an introductory statement to provide a general understanding of the title, followed by two to three descriptive verses to support your first statement. End your introduction with a focal sentence to give purpose to your essay.

Body (Perenggan Isi)

The number of paragraphs for the body depends on the number of main points for your essay. Keep it at one main point per paragraph to make your essay neat and easy for the reader to identify the main points and other content. Furthermore, arrange the body paragraphs according to the importance of each main point - the most significant point should be placed first, followed by the rest.

Each body paragraph can be described in 4 to 5 sentences. It is best to start with a topic sentence to state your main point, although some students may prefer to place their topic sentence at the middle or end of the paragraph. For a smooth flow, however, it is recommended to put your topic sentence at the start of your body paragraph, followed by two to four side-content sentences and examples to support your topic sentence.

Closing (Perenggan Penutup)

Your closing paragraph should provide an overall summary of the ideas in your preceding paragraphs. In 3 to 5 sentences, write your final paragraph using techniques such as restating your points, making predictions, or suggesting recommendations. Note that your closing statements shouldn't repeat what has already been written in the previous paragraphs.

SPM online tuition Bahasa Melayu
With Superprof, you can experience learning SPM Bahasa Melayu via face-to-face or online classes! Visit our website and find your preferred Malay tutor today. Source: berita.mediacorp.sg

The best SPM online tuition for Malay

Your best learning experience in SPM Malay could be just a few clicks away! We're not just talking about IGCSE tuition here, but also tuition for SPM Bahasa Melayu: polish upon not only your essay writing but even your Malay reading, speaking and listening skills!

Superprof is a community of tutors and students - a platform to connect those who want to learn with those who have a passion for teaching. Known for making learning accessible to everyone, Superprof offers lessons for SPM Malaysia in the form of either physical or online classes. Yes - this means you can have an SPM Malay lesson in person with your tutor or even from your laptop!

Apart from just providing SPM online tuition, you can look for a Malay tutor who suits your needs to learn the language. Do you learn better in a group class or do you need a one-to-one session? Would you like to have your lessons on weekdays or weekends? Are there specific classes tailored to improve your Malay writing skills?

Guarantee the quality of your tutoring experience with all these features and more on Superprof - you can even check all your tutors' job descriptions and reviews, too. What's even more amazing is that the average price for an SPM Bahasa Melayu lesson sits at only RM35 - further discounts if you sign up for successive classes. Tailor the tutor to your needs when you sign up with Superprof!

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Ayleah

One part counsellor-to-be, one part food lover - Ayleah Aquino simplifies even the most complex ideas to make all things learning accessible to everyone. Read about interesting topics in Malaysia from a psychology student's perspective!