In 2020, a local newspaper reported that only 19% or 85,500 students out of an average of 450,000 students who sat for the Form Three Assessment (PT3) will pick up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects when they move to the higher secondary school level.

This figure is a huge blow to the emerging STEM job market in our country. Hence, there is a great need to cultivate passion and proficiency in Science among schooling students today, especially from lower secondary levels.

In this article, we'll be looking at the PT3 Science paper and where students can find the best revision resources such as past year papers/sample questions to excel in this assessment.

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What Is The Difference In Exam Format For PMR Science and PT3 Science?

In 2011, Deputy Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that PMR will be abolished in 2014 and it will be replaced by a School-Based Assessment (SBA), which is later known to be Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3).

Let's discuss the similarities and differences between the PMR Science and PT3 Science papers.

Types of Assessments PMR Science PT3 Science
DurationPaper 1: 1 hour
Paper 2:1 hour and 30 mins
2 hours
Structure of paper
Paper 1: 40 objective questions
Paper 2: Section A (6 objective questions)
Section B (2 questions)

Section A (20 objective questions)
Section B (5 questions)
Section C (6 questions)
Marks allocation Paper 1: 40m
Paper 2: 100m
Section A : 40m
Section B :60m
Section A: 20m
Section B :20m
Section C :60m
Mode of assessments Central Assessment (Graded by external examiners) School Based Assessment (Graded by subject teachers)

While there is certainly a change of format when it comes to the present PT3 Science paper, you don't have to worry about the syllabus as there are no major changes to the topics that you will be learning.

This also means that you can still refer to past year papers of PMR Science for practice and also to gain some insights on the types of questions that are commonly asked in exams.

Where Can You Get Sample Specimen/Past Year Papers For PT3 Science?

Skills come from consistent and deliberate practice. -Shawn Allen

Don't underestimate the power of constant exercise when it comes to mastering any skill/subject. Let's take a look at some reliable sources where you can find past year papers/ sample questions while you're preparing for your PT3 Science paper.

Reference Books

A popular practice option among teachers and students, this "old fashioned" way is here to stay.

Having a systematic and organized compilation of questions and answer sheets in a book can help you to set the pace for an effective revision session. You will most likely not be distracted while you're completing the test sheets in the book. You can also immediately make some notes, grade them and scribble on them freely as soon as you've completed them.

Blogs/Websites like Scribd and Academia.edu

Of course, we can't deny the power of the Internet. Just look at online education today. You can literally find many past year papers for FREE with just a few clicks. You can choose to answer the questions on a separate paper or print them all out for your reference.

blog pt3 science papers
Every student cannot deny the effectiveness of doing past year papers.
Source: Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Facebook Groups

Social media is almost inseparable from the life of a student. There are many Facebook groups that consistently upload and post PT3 past year papers for different kinds of subjects. Most of them are public, so you will find teachers, students and even parents who upload various learning resources for free.

Who knows if you could even get some tips on the latest marking scheme of the PT3 Science paper?

Another advantage of this method? You can access and exchange diverse specimen papers/ trial papers with students from other states instantly.

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Why Are Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) Questions So Important In PT3 Science?

As you go through the various past year questions and specimen papers, you will instantly notice these four recurring alphabets in them.

HOTS. 

What's that and why does it really matter?

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) is the ability to apply knowledge, skills and values for reasoning and reflecting in solving problems, making decisions, innovating and creating. You'll find HOTS questions in each section of your PT3 Science paper.

HOTS is hot because of these two main reasons.

a) Equips students to apply what they have learnt in new and different settings

Let's take a look at this HOTS question. This sample was taken from Chapter 9: Heat (Form 2 Science textbook).

Cold weather on a rainy day causes Dayah to have difficulty sleeping. She uses one thick blanket but still feels cold. Suggest a design of a blanket that can solve this problem. 

In the chapter, you would have learnt about the properties of heat in terms of heat flow, types of surface of the object, heat absorption and emission. From there, you'll have to "carry out" the concepts in this situation.

Suggested answer: She can use two thin blankets sewn together to solve this problem. Two thin blankets sewn together will trap heat between them. Air, which is a heat insulator (poor conductor of heat), prevents body heat from escaping to its surroundings.

b) Enhances their analysing, rationalising, reasoning, communicating and decision-making abilities

Let's try another HOTS question. This sample was taken from Chapter 13: Meteoroid, Asteroid, Comet (Form 2 Science textbook).

A few astronauts would like to go to Saturn in a spaceship. They are taking precautionary measures due to the risk of colliding with an asteroid. In your opinion, where can this collision happen?

This is a question that requires you to use your imagination (creative thinking skills) to predict an outcome. Similarly, you have learnt about the positions of various planets in the solar system and the characteristics of asteroids. From there, you can come out with this prediction.

Suggested answer: In my opinion, the collision can happen after they pass Mars and before they reach Jupiter. This is because there is an asteroid belt in the area which can cause a collision.

planet pt3 science hots
Creative thinking skills is important to solve any HOTS questions.
Source: Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

How Can Creative Thinking Skills Help You To Ace PT3 Science?

From the above HOTS, questions, you'll see how creative thinking skills is so important as a Science student.

It is a skill that can be applied in classrooms through activities in the form of reasoning, inquiry learning, problem solving and projects through these forms.

  • Generating Ideas
    Producing ideas related to something.
  • Relating
    Making connections in certain situations or events to find a structure or pattern of relationship.
  • Making Inferences
    Making an initial conclusion and explaining an event using data collection and past experiences.
  • Predicting
    Making forecasts about events based on observations and previous experiences or collected data.
  • Making Generalisations
    Making a general statement about certain matter from a group of observations on samples or some information from that group.
  • Visualising
    Forming perception or making mental images about a particular idea, concept, situation or vision.
  • Synthesising
    Combining separate elements to produce an overall picture in the form of writing, drawing or artifact.
  • Making Hypotheses
    Making a general statement about the relationship between the variables that are assumed to be true to explain an observation or event. The statement can be tested to determine its validity.
  • Making Analogies
    Forming an understanding of a complex or abstract concept by relating it to simple or concrete concepts with similar characteristics.
  • Inventing
    Producing something new or modifying something already in existence to overcome problems in a systematic manner.

When you are intentional in exploring Science through the lens of creative thinking, you'll find that it will be significantly fun to tackle and ace your actual PT3 Science exam!

Why You Should Consider Online Tutoring For PT3 Science?

We have mentioned earlier on using the Internet and social media to search for PT3 revision resources. Wouldn't it be great if we can maximize our learning experience through online learning too?

That's why we highly recommend you to connect with an online tutor.

Finding an online tutor is no longer a hassle with the help of Superprof. All you need to do is just head to our website and start browsing for a Science tutor that offers PT3 Science lessons online.

Here's how online tutoring can help you take your PT3 Science preparation to the next level.

a) Explore online tutoring as supplements to your traditional classroom learning 

Online tutoring and your traditional classroom learning are different in nature, but when combined together they can bring about a great synergy to help students experience the best of both worlds.

Online tutoring enables you to review the lessons that you have learnt in school from a different perspective. You get to learn from online tutors with different teaching methodologies and access different learning resources. In other words, you are having consistent reinforcement sessions.

learn pt3 science online
Online tutoring is all about flexibility.
Source: Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

b) Enjoy specialised learning that is catered to your learning pace 

Online tutoring generally implies there will be less distraction and interruption during the lessons, which means you get to concentrate and absorb better when you're learning something.

You also get to communicate directly with your online tutor about what you think about the lessons and request extra explanation or revision when you are not too confident in a particular topic, for instance.

There's no pressure to rush through the syllabus but the main priority is to ensure you are progressing throughout the sessions.

c) Experience flexibility in terms of time and price of lessons 

Online tutoring sessions at Superprof are 20% cheaper than home tutoring. The filtering system of the website allows you to adjust the maximum budget for your lessons. This means if you are looking for an online tutor that offers RM50 per hour for a PT3 Science lesson, you will only be directed to tutors that offer their lessons within that range.

Last but not the least, online tutoring offers you the flexibility to learn anytime and anywhere you want, whether it is on weekdays or weekends.

We hope this article has encouraged you to be more passionate about Science. The application of Science will take you to a whole new world of adventures once you have mastered them!

The science of today is the technology of tomorrow- Edward Teller

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