With the pandemic happening over the two years, it seemed like we Malaysians have grown accustomed to random press conferences and announcements from the Prime Minister's office.

Do you remember the first announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in 2020?

What about the shocking abolishment of Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) in 2021?

Then, the Ministry of Education decided to drop another bombshell on 3rd June 2022.

The ultimate abolishment of Penilaian Tingkatan 3 (PT3) beginning from 2022.

Fret not, we got you covered for this transition period. Read this article to know what's next after PT3 and how you can make the best out of this new change for your lower secondary education studies in Malaysia.

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From PMR to PT3, What Comes Next For Form 3 Students After The Abolishment For PT3 In 2022?

Before we go directly to the latest assessment, we figure it's best to take a look at the brief history of the public school examinations that previous Form 3 students have undergone throughout the years.

Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR)

PMR was previously an official lower secondary level written examination that is taken by Malaysian government school students. With this qualification, they will then proceed to the higher secondary level (Form 4 and Form 5 ) and prepare for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.

For PMR, students have to sit for these core subjects:

  • Malay Language
  • English
  • Mathematics (Billingual)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Living Skills (Kemahiran Hidup)
  • Science (Billingual) 
  • Islamic Studies (For Muslim students)

Students will usually take the examination in October and the results will be released in December. Based on their PMR results, they will then be streamed to Science /Art stream /Vocational stream for the following year.

Read this SVM guide to learn more about vocational studies for secondary school students in Malaysia.

The abolishment of PMR effectively took place in 2014 and is followed by PT3.

Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3)

As a matter of fact, school-based assessments (PBS) for lower secondary education in Malaysia were first introduced through the implementation of PT3.

The Ministry of Education initially wanted to proceed with a 100% PBS evaluation system as the replacement for PMR. After several discussions, they later decided to launch the PT3 which maintains a centralised written test examination, while slowly incorporating:

  • i) Classrooms based assessments (PBD)
  • ii) Physical, sports and co-curricular-based assessment (PAKSK)
  • iii) Psychometric assessment (PPsi).

That means under PT3, students still have to take exams of the core subjects and be assigned a grade according to their results.

Also, there were some changes in terms of examination subject formats and syllabus. For instance, the Living Skills (Kemahiuran Hidup) subject is rebranded to two separate subjects: Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi and Asas Sains Berkomputer.

Due to the outbreak of the pandemic in the country, the PT3 has been cancelled for two years consecutively (2020 and 2021).  Therefore, students were solely evaluated based on their PBD, PAKSK and PPsi performance during that two years.

School-Based Assessments (PBS)

And now, here we are. The complete adaptation of school-based assessments.

This means all Form 1, Form 2 and Form 3 students will sit for decentralised academic exams at the end of every academic session starting from 2022.  The Ministry of Education also announced that the focus will be on classroom-based assessments (PBD) to gauge the student's level of comprehension of a particular subject.

PBD exams school
The new evaluation system for lower secondary students will focus more on classroom-based assessments.
Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

Continue reading to find out how the PBS will be carried out.

What Are The Main Components That Students Will Be Tested For Their New Assessments?

Under this new PBS, each student will receive a comprehensive report on their learning level for these three core components.

1) Classroom-based assessments (PBD)

  • Formative Assessments 

This refers to ongoing assessments that the school teachers will carry out to observe the student's performance. It could be in the form of individual projects, group presentations or quizzes. From there, the teachers are able to guide the students directly in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Summative Assessments 

End of the year examinations to measure students' performance and mastery level. Questions will be taken from a national question bank to ensure standardization across all public secondary schools in Malaysia.

The summative assessments will be conducted every year and the questions will focus on the taught syllabus for that particular year. There is no fixed date for the examination but the Ministry of Education will provide a time frame for schools to complete the exams.

The list of subjects will remain the same:

  • Malay Language
  • English
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi/Asas Sains Berkomputer (Either one)
  • Islamic Studies
  • French
  • Chinese Language
  • Tamil Language
  • Arabic Language
  • Kadazandusun Language
  • Semai Language
  • Iban Language
  • Punjabi Language
  • Al-Lughatul Arabiah Al-Muasirah
  • Al-Syariah
  • Usul al-Din

Find out more about the subject that is offered in the STPM exam here.

2) Physical, sports and co-curricular-based assessment (PAKSK)

Apart from academic excellence, this assessment will allow students to discover their potential in certain sports and co-curricular fields.

study assessment sports
If you are active in sports, your participation and achievements will be recorded in the report too.
Photo by Reuben Mcfeeters on Unsplash

3) Psychometric assessment (PPsi)

Under this assessment, students will sit for various personality tests and career-related inventory tests to develop a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, interests and abilities. For instance, the test could reveal that they excel at languages and love to perform in front of a group of people.

This could give them a glimpse of which field they could venture into after completing their secondary education.

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How Can Students Benefit From The Latest School-Based Assessments?

We're pretty sure that there are students who are overjoyed when they know that the PT3 is abolished.

Here are 3 things that you can look forward to with the implementation of PBD starting this year.

a)  Reduce terminal examination-oriented stress 

You no longer need to revise all the learning syllabus from Form 1 to Form 3 and just focus on studying what you have learnt for that one year.

Instead of doing endless past year papers to master the usual answering techniques, you get to learn the right way of looking at the question with the guidance of your teacher.

b)  Holistic evaluation based on academic, co-curricular and character development 

This is perhaps the most important reason. You will be reminded of the true purpose of education.

That's because your school-based assessment (PBS) report will showcase how you fare beyond your examination grades (IQ). It will encourage you to be an all-rounder by cultivating your interests in other promising fields.

c) Focus on yearly progress and build consistence 

For PMR and PT3, it is often the end results that matter the most.

But for this new school-based assessment, you get to see your progress objectively throughout the years and it will motivate you to give your best shot consistently every time through self-discipline and diligence.

If you're interested to learn more about secondary level private education in Malaysia, you can refer to this IGCSE guide.

What Can You Observe From Your School-Based Assessment Performance Report As You Progress For Form 4 Studies?

There are reasons why we can't really do away with examinations and assessments in schools. Like it or not, it is because we need an objective indicator to see whether we have truly mastered a subject and to determine how well we can perform under pressure.

In the case of the PBS for lower secondary students, these assessments serve as a guideline to decide on the pathway you will take for your upper secondary level studies (Form 4 and Form 5) and even tertiary studies in the future.

Let's look at how this report can enrich your learning experience.

a) Discover your inclination towards certain subjects 

First and foremost, your grades are a pretty straightforward indication of your best subjects. It also allows you to look at which subjects you both enjoy and excel in.

For instance, you realise that you have been getting an excellent Mathematics grade throughout all the summative and formative assessments. This could be a sign that you are more suited to take more Mathematics related subjects (Additional Mathematics, Physics) during your higher secondary level education.

study interest PBD
The PBS report could help you discover your interest and even future career pathway.
Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash

If language is your forte, you can consider taking the UPBA during your Form 5 studies.

b) Understand your learning style 

Don't be surprised that your PBS report can reveal your learning style! For example, your teacher may comment that you tend to perform better whenever there is an audiovisual related task or a memorisation task.

c) Cultivate your soft skills development 

Through your class activities and involvement in sports and societies, you will be exposed to various leadership opportunities. This is where you can see which skills you are good at or need to improve on such as time management, work delegation and communication skills.

Where To Find A Private Tutor To Excel In Your Lower Secondary Level Studies?

Private tutoring is becoming a norm among Malaysian students these days. If you prefer to receive personalised lessons from a reliable tutor, we highly recommend you to hire one from Superprof!

At Superprof, you can find tutors that:

  • Hails from different cities in Malaysia
  • Offers online/physical lessons
  • Has an extensive teaching experience/qualification
  • Charges an affordable hourly rate
  • Teaches various subjects and educational levels like UEC 
  • Provides diverse teaching methodology

All you need to do is just visit the Superprof Malaysia homepage and start browsing the tutors' profiles. After deciding on the tutor, you can then contact the tutor directly via the Student Subscription Pass to book your first lesson. Most tutors at Superprof offer first lessons for free, so remember to grab hold of this opportunity!

We hope this article will enlighten you on the new updates of PBD for lower secondary school students in Malaysia.

May this new change leads to new growth opportunities for you as a student! 

Change is inevitable, growth is optional.- John Maxwell

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.