Let's take off the student hat for a while.

Imagine that you are now a hiring manager.

When it comes to jobs like creating a new bubble tea product, calculating the amount of tyre pressure before an aircraft takes off or prescribing a new medicine to a patient, what kind of individuals would you employ?

You wouldn't just employ a random person to complete the tasks mentioned.

You'll get someone who has the right qualification and expertise. Preferably someone who has a knack for Science.

Wait, what has Science got to with these?

None of the jobs would exist today without Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

That's why you'll be sitting for this subject in your PT3 exam as Science is a core subject in all primary and secondary institutions in Malaysia.

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Why Are Critical Thinking Skills So Important When Studying Science?

One of the main focuses of the science curriculum for secondary schools (KSSM) in Malaysia is this:

To cultivate thoughtful science thinking among students through the teaching and learning process.

Here are some objectives of thoughtful science thinking:

  1. To acquire knowledge and understanding to explain phenomena scientifically.
  2. To apply scientific knowledge, procedural knowledge and epistemic knowledge in posing questions, interpreting data, problem-solving and decision-making in the context of real life.
  3. To create awareness that discoveries through scientific research are a result of the ability of the human mind to understand natural phenomena towards a better life.

To achieve the above objectives, students need to be equipped with critical thinking skills.

Here is a list of 9 important critical skills that you will master throughout the course of your PT3 Science studies.

  • Attributing
    Identifying characteristics, features, qualities and elements of a concept or an object.
  • Comparing and Contrasting
    Finding similarities and differences based on criteria such as characteristics, features, qualities and elements of objects or events.
  • Grouping and Classifying
    Separating and grouping objects or phenomena into groups based on certain criteria such as common characteristics or features.
  • Sequencing
    Arranging objects and information in order based on the quality or quantity of common characteristics or features such as size, time, shape or number.
  • Prioritising
    Arranging objects or information in order based on their importance or urgency.
  • Analysing
    Processing information in detail by breaking it down into smaller parts to understand concepts or events as well as to find the implicit meanings.
  • Detecting Bias
    Detecting views or opinions that have the tendency to support or oppose something.
  • Evaluating
    Making considerations on the good and bad qualities of something based on validevidences or propositions.
  • Making Conclusions
    Making a statement about the outcome of an investigation based on a hypothesis or strengthening something based on an investigation.
learn pt3 science malaysia
Critical skills is an essential learning set for a Science student.
Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

By mastering these critical skills, you will find that it's easier to ace your PT3 Science paper.

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. -Albert Einstein

What Are Examiners Looking For In Your Answers In Section A and Section B PT3 Science?

Now, let's look at the overall marking scheme of your PT3 Science paper.

Altogether, there are 3 sections in this paper, and you'll need to answer them in 2 hours.

Section A consists of 20 objective questions, followed by 5 short structured questions in Section B and 6 questions in Section C.

For Section A, the mark allocated is 20m, with 1m awarded for every right question.  It's pretty straightforward.

For Section B, you are required to write down short and accurate answers from question 1 to question 5. The marks allocated is 20m (4m for each question).  You can either choose to answer in Malay or English, as it is a bilingual assessment.

Correct spelling is a must. For instance, Cholera (English), Kolera (Malay).

You'll learn more about the complete PT3 Science exam format through this article.

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What Are Examiners Looking For In Your Answers In Section Section C PT3 Science?

For Section C, you are required to give a long and detailed elaboration. The examiners will only give you full marks when you mentioned the keywords that are listed in the marking scheme.

For instance, if the question asked you to describe the function of stomata [2m]. This is how marks will be given.

Answer: The function of stomata is to allow gas exchange and evaporation of excess water through transpiration.

The two highlighted points are compulsory to be in the sentence to get full marks.

For questions on examples, you can list down any correct answers according to the required marks. If it's 3m, list down any three. Don't worry as all of the potential examples to the questions will be accepted and listed in the marking scheme.

How To Create Comprehensive Notes For PT3 Science?

Come revision time, you'll see many students burying themselves in notes and going through them over and over again. Especially in the case of PT3, when it involves chapters that you have learnt from Form 1 to Form 3, you'll need to acquire and retain as much information as you can.

Note-making is an art, regardless of the subject that you are learning. It is not just writing down blindly what is in your textbooks or what you have recorded. It's supposed to be simple, concise and engaging to help you understand what you are reviewing at a glance.

Here are 3 note-making notes tips as you prepare for your PT3 Science paper.

a) Summarize the main points- focus on the definition, properties, cause and effects

The key here is to go straight to the point. Write down the definition of the terms by highlighting important keywords in them.

For instance, you can do this when you're studying the Reproduction chapter.

  • Function of amnion: A sac-like membrane that contains fluid
  • Function of placenta: Place where exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, supply of nutrients and removal of waste materials through the mother’s blood and the foetus occurs.
  • Function of umbilical cord: Tube which connects the foetus to the placenta.

You can also use tables to make a comparison of opposing terms and features.

Asexual ReproductionSexual Reproduction
Does not involve reproduction cellsInvolve reproduction cells
Takes place in simple organisms (Paramecium, Amoeba) and plants (potato, onion)Takes place in some high level animals, flowering plants and humans
Involves one parent Involves two parents

b) Make a list of important formulas and glossaries for all chapters

Formulas are essential when it comes to calculation related problems. Some formulas examples include:

  • Density (g c m–3) = Mass (g) divide by Volume (cm3)
  • Moment of force = Force (N) × Perpendicular distance from the pivot to the force (m)
  • Calculation of Body Mass Index (BMI)=Mass (kg) divide by Height (m) × Height (m)

Having a good knowledge of the glossary will help you with writing the right answer for definition questions. It is useful for every section of the PT3 paper!

Some glossary examples include:

Igneous rocks: Formed when magma from volcano eruptions cools and rises to the surface.

Sedimentary rocks: Formed from various rock fragmentation processes such as weathering and erosion. Carried
by the river to the sea and deposited there.

Metamorphic rocks:  Formed when pressure and heat acts on igneous and sedimentary rocks.

c) Allocate a section for images and graphs

Lastly, don't forget to revise and look through the diagrams illustrations and graphs that you have learnt throughout the chapters. Questions can be asked in Section A to Section C of the paper, asking you to identify the right name, position, process, features in the images given.

master graph pt3 paper
Graphs are popular questions in your PT3 Science paper.
Source: Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Through these great tips for your notes, you will be well-prepared to tackle every part of your PT3 Science paper.

Improve With The Guidance Of A Science Tutor At Supeprof

After understanding the marking scheme and gaining some insights on note-making, you'll probably want to test it out and see whether your studying and revision plan is on the right track.

Well, we guarantee that nothing beats the direct and personalised guidance of a private tutor.

This is especially true when you have to study and revise many subjects at the same time.

Having a Science private tutor will help you to have a more focused, diverse and active learning approach. You'll also be given sufficient exercises in the form of sample questions, trial papers and past year papers to boost your answering techniques before the actual exam.

PT3 Science tutor superprof
You don't have to worry about the lack of exercise when you have a Science tutor.
Source: Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Don't forget to check out where you can find past year papers resources for PT3 Science.

At Superprof, you can easily find a home tutor/online tutor that offers PT3 Science lessons at an affordable price.

You can browse through the profiles of the tutors and filter them according to your personal preference such as:

  • Teaching experience
  • Learning mode (physical/online)
  • Hourly rate
  • Teaching methodology
  • Their current occupation (student/ teacher/retired professionals)
  • Past students' reviews

Through the Student Pass at Superprof, you can then easily arrange your own tutoring schedule once you have sent a request to connect with the tutor on the website. You can also enjoy your first lesson for free and have unlimited access to all the tutors that are available at Superprof too!

It's never a loss when you choose to invest in good education, good teaching methods and good tutors. After all, you are preparing to be a good contributor to the STEM industry in the future, directly or indirectly!

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