“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!”

-Audrey Hepburn

November 30, 2018, The Examination Board of the Ministry of Education Malaysia announced the new Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3, PT3 (Form Three Assessment) format for form 3 KSSM English starting from 2019!

English is one of the crucial subjects to score an ‘A’. It is the key point that will determine whether or not you are able to pursue your dream course in college and even university. Once you further your studies at the tertiary level, you will find out that most of the subject taught are in English, especially if you take science and mathematics subjects.

Although not as crucial and life changing as Malaysia’s penultimate examination, PT3 is in fact, an examination to prepare you for that final secondary school examination, Sijil Pentaksiran Malaysia (SPM).

This implementation of the new format can be seen as a significant effort to revise the English language education system in the country for the better. Since SPM format has also changed and aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), which is an international standard for describing language ability, PT3 has then received the changes earlier than SPM to prepare the students for the upcoming exam. 

Believe me, the changes done will make you appreciate this later in life! Finally, the government has implemented a change that will actually help you out in the real world. 

As we go on, you will understand deeper on how the latest examination format is easier and better than the previous format. 

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The Perks of The Latest 2021 PT3 English Format

PT3 student last minute revision
The changes to the PT3 English format is done to align its standard with the SPM examination. (Source: astroawani)

PT3 has been revised starting in 2020. This revision aims to strengthen the School Based Assessments (SBA). Previously, the implementation of PT3 depended on the shared accountability between school and Examination Board (EB) by taking the Centralised Assessments, Pentaksiran Pusat (PP). 

However, the revised PT3 has increased the school’s responsibility in the summative assessment for 18 subjects apart from the 5 listed subjects which are still maintained under the PP. These steps are one of the MOE’s efforts to increase the level in the teaching profession and recognize the professionalism of a teacher in doing assessments. 

The 5 subjects are Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Inggeris, Hifz Al-Quran (KBT), Pendidikan Kesenian (Sekolah Seni Malaysia) and Al-Lughah Al-Arabia Al-Muasirah (KBP)- Listening Test. These subjects will be done by PP because it needs to be certified by other entities such as JPA and CAIE. Besides, these subjects need specialized professionals to make the assessments such as by the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia Arts and Cultures and Jakim. 

Below is the breakdown of the 18 subjects that will be taken charge by the school. 

  1. Science & Mathematics 
    1. Science
    2. Mathematic
  2. Technology
    1. Design & Technology
    2. Fundamental of Computer Science
  3. Humanity
    1. History
    2. Geography
    3. Islamic Studies
  4. Languages
    1. Bahasa Cina
    2. Bahasa Tamil
    3. Bahasa Arab
    4. Bahasa Iban
    5. Bahasa Kadazandusun
    6. Bahasa Punjabi
    7. Bahasa Semai
  5. KBT/KBD
    1. Maharat al-Quran (KBT)
    2. Usul al-din (KBD)
    3. Al-syariah (KBD)
    4. Al-Lughah al-Arabiah Al Muasirah (KBD) – Speaking and Writing

In the prior year, the Examination Board was only responsible in preparing the assessment instrument and marking scheme to ensure the execution meets the assurance quality. However, with the revision done, the board will only prepare the test specification (JSU), assessment format, as well as providing personnel training in assessment and quality assurance. 

While previously, the school would need to arrange on how to do the assessment instrument, administration, reporting and quality assurance.  Now, the school will be the one to prepare the assessment instruments, the scoring manuals, justification of scoring, along with the administration, reporting and ensuring quality assurance. 

Starting from 2020, the state and district education centre, JPN and PPD, will be on board to continuously provide training to personnel, checking the quality of instruments as well as the administration and managing instruments for schools with lower number of pupils (SKM) and also schools that have less number of subject teachers. 

You are now able to download the latest revision on PT3 2021. You can also check out the marking scheme for PT3 English papers too.

Changes To English Paper Format For PT3 2021

Discussing PT3 Assessment Format
Polishing your listening and speaking skills is as easy as having a conversation with your friend in English over breakfast. (Source: Pexels)

As we know, the Standard Based Curriculum for Secondary School (KSSM) has been introduced in 2017. The changes have also been made to the English Language to align with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). CEFR combines summative and formative assessment in the construction of English PT3 paper.

In the prior year, students who sit for PT3 will need to take 2 English subjects, Written English Paper (100 marks) and Oral English (50 marks total) which comprise the Speaking Test (30 marks) and Listening Test (20 marks).

However, starting in 2019, there are only one comprehensive English paper to sit for which comprises of the 4 segments below:-

  • Reading English Paper 1 - 40 Marks (Weighted average 25%)
  • Written English Paper 2 - 40 Marks (Weighted average 25%)
  • Speaking Test - 20 Marks (Weighted average 25%)
  • Listening Test - 25 Marks (Weighted average 25%)

Frankly, the new format will allow students to be able to master English language as a whole. Previously, the English examination will only focus more on writing and reading comprehension. Today, with the half weightage given to speaking and listening, the student must be equally good in oral or verbal communication.

Below is the detailed format of PT3 breakdown.

PT3 Examination Instruments’ Format 2021

Bahasa Inggeris (English, 12)

ItemPaper 1 (12/1)Paper 2 (12/2)Paper 3 (12/3)Paper 4 (12/4)
InstrumentsReading and Use of EnglishWritingSpeakingListening
TypeObjective (Multiple choice objectives)
Objective (Multiple form objectives)
Subjective (Limited responses)
Subjective (Limited responses)
Subjective (Open responses)
Subjective (Limited responses)
Subjective (Open responses)
Objective (Multiple choice objectives)
Objective (Multiple form objectives)
TaskIndividualIndividualPartnerIndividual
QuestionsPart 1: Short Texts MCQ - 8 Questions (8 Marks)
Part 2 : Error Corrections - 10 Questions (10 Marks)
Part 3: Information Transfer- 8 Questions (8 Marks)
Part 4 : Short Answer- 10 Questions (10 Marks)
Part 5 :Matching (Gapped Text) 6 Questions (6 Marks)
Part 1: Short Communicative Message - 1 Questions (20 Marks)
Part 2 : Notes Expansion - 1 Questions (20 Marks)
Part 1: Interview - 2 Questions per candidate
Part 2 : Individual prompt-card story )Story Telling) 1 Questions per candidate
Part 3: Discussion Task - 3 Questions for both candidates
Part 1: 3-option visual MCQ - 5 Questions (5 Marks)
Part 2 : Matching (Sequencing) 5 Questions (5 Marks)
Part 3: 3-option MCQ (with text) 5 Questions (5 Marks)
Part 4 : Note Completion – Monologue - 5 Questions (5 Marks)
Part 5 : Note Completion – dialogue - 5 Questions (5 Marks)
Total Marks40 Marks40 Marks20 Marks25 Marks
Percentage25%25%25%25%
Questions' ConstructionKnowledge in Language
Reading Skills and Understanding
Knowledge in information transfer
Writing Skills
Knowledge in language creativity and appreciation.
Speaking skillsListening Skills
Duration1 Hour 15 Minutes1 Hour11 Minutes35 Minutes
LevelCEFR : up to B2CEFR : up to B2CEFR : up to B2CEFR : up to B2
Scoring Approach/esDichotomyAnalytic & HolisticAnalytic & HolisticDichotomy

The format is also similar to SPM English format. So here, students are able to ensure their readiness in taking SPM by looking at their PT3 result. Check out the essay writing tips we got for English PT3.

The Aims of PT3 English 2021 Examination

The adoption of CEFR in assessing English language is perceived as one of the procedures to meet the international standard for specific needs of the learners. According to the Ministry of Education, the form 3 students should at least reach B2 level of CEFR for English Language. 

The new syllabus allows students to develop new language skills on structures, language functions and vocabularies. Somehow, with the implementation and revision of the assessment, the main objective is to empower the students’ English Proficiency level.  

B2 is the highest level for CEFR in high school standards. However, the students can achieve a much greater level to C1 and C2. Mainly, CEFR will cover 5 language skills essential for students. 

  • Making conversation (Spoken Interaction) 
  • Replying to conversation (Spoken Production)
  • Listening
  • Reading 
  • Writing

Find out where to find PT3 English papers to familiarize yourself with the questions on each papers.

How to Score in PT3 Latest 2021 Format 

Muslim PT3 Student Make A Doa
Saying a little prayer and taking a deep breath before opening the question paper can help you calm down those exam nerves. (Source: astroawani)

For this part, Superprof has a few killer tips for scoring a good grade in PT3 to share with you. I know everybody will feel the adrenaline rush whenever we receive the assessment paper from the teacher. What we usually do is to hurriedly open the first page and start answering. We thought that would be the most ideal way to tackle the paper due to the time constraint. 

However, that is the biggest mistake that we always make!

Let’s see the step by step to start answering the paper.

  1. While waiting for the paper to be distributed, say a little prayer in your own way. That will make you feel calmer.
  2. Upon receiving, 
    1. start by reading the test instruction. 
    2. be mindful of how long the test is going to take and 
    3. how many questions there will be. 
  3. While checking the test paper, 
    1. scan the whole paper quickly to get the insight on the questions
    2. glance at the time allocated for each section and 
    3. plan on how long you should answer each question. 
    4. allocate at least 5 minute for double checking your answer
  4. The worst enemy during the test is TIME! So please stay true to the allocated time.  
  5. Do not forget to check your answer.

Check out the Complete Guide to PT3 English.

What’s more, you need to keep doing is PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE. 

“Practice Makes Perfect”

If you aren’t able to improve by yourself, seek help. You can ask your peers, teachers or even get a tutor! Superprof has a line of qualified tutors that is available to tailor to your needs. You know there is a Malay Proverbs saying, 

“Malu Bertanya Sesat Jalan, Malu berkayuh perahu hanyut”

-if you are reluctant to seek help, you’ll be lost-

Anyway, I wish you all the best! 

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Alia

Alia Jamaludin is known as a passionate environmentalist and animal lover. By being both educator and writer, I can reach out my positive thought to almost every being on this planet - I hope so ^^