SPM Essay Writing Guide – Format, Examples
The SPM exam is a challenging time for Malaysian students. It’s an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills, but it can also be confusing as the requirements are constantly changing. For example, this year there is no essay marking scheme provided by the Ministry of Education or any other official source on how essays should be assessed. This blog post will guide how to write an engaging essay that is sure to impress your teacher and get you top marks.
What is SPM?
The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), or the Malaysian Certificate of Education, is a national examination taken by all fifth-form secondary school students in Malaysia. It was created to test what they have been learning over their course of study and aspires them for higher education opportunities abroad.
Malaysians take the SPM exam that is set and examined by a Malaysian Examinations Syndicate. This Syndicate is also known as Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia. The education system in Malaysia can be completed after passing this test, which is equivalent to O-levels at the secondary school level. It’s compulsory for those seeking tertiary education before taking it; only then will they have an idea of what field of study suits them best. The age for completion of this public examination is 18 years old and students must pass it to be eligible for higher education.
The syndicate has made Bahasa Malaysia, English (Bahasa inggeris), Islamic studies, moral studies, history, and mathematical reading a compulsion for the students.
The Islamic studies subject is a compulsion for Muslim candidates. And moral studies are compulsory for non-Muslim candidates. The science coursework is common and compulsion to all students, but you can choose your elective subjects from these core courses below:
- Arts And Health-Music education, visual arts education, and sports science knowledge.
- Language And Literature-Malay literature, English literature, Chinese language, Arabic language(advanced), Chinese, Tamil, Iban, Arabic language for communication, English for science and technology, Chinese literature, Tamil literature, French language, and Punjabi language.
- Technical And Vocational-Agricultural science, home economics, engineering drawing, mechanical engineering studies, invention, food management, fashion design, engineering technology, domestic constructions, automobile servicing, etc.
- Science and Mathematics-additional Mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, additional science, information and communication, and applied science.
- Social Science And Religion-Business, entrepreneurial studies, principles of accounting, basic economics, Islamic worldviews, AL-Quran and As-Sunnah education, bible knowledge, etc.
SPM Essay Format
SPM essay writing is divided into two parts, part A and part B
Part A- This section is where you’ll be writing an essay, a report, or a letter. You’re given 45 minutes to answer this and it’s compulsory for you as only one question will bring in 35 marks- so make sure not to skip over the questions! Your examiner may award 3/35 points for your format, 12/35 points on content, and 20 out of 35 if they think that your language (grammar) is good enough.
Part B– This is the section where you apply all your knowledge of writing skills. It’s also a place to study grammar rules and how they work. Take some time now before we dive in so that by taking this bird’s eye view of it, you’ll know what to expect from this portion of our coursework.
- You will be given five options and you have to opt for only one.
- 60 minutes will be given to students to read all the questions thoroughly and plan key points for the same.
- This part carries 50 marks.
How to Write SPM Essay
- Always write general information to write an introductory paragraph.
- Write at least 6-7 sentences.
- Use proper grammar, punctuation, and correct spelling.
- Write at least the main idea
- 3-4 supporting details
- One conclusion paragraph
- Write 40-50 words
- Use correct grammar, correct spellings, and punctuation marks
- Restate all the main ideas in a brief
- Write synonyms to restate your idea
- Write 40-50 words
- Use correct grammar, correct spellings, and punctuation marks
SPM Essay Writing Tips
- Read all the questions wisely, some students make mistakes while selecting the question and later regret that they could have handled the other questions with much ease.
- Must choose a topic you are familiar with.
- Plan your essay like outline/ideas/thoughts/supporting points etc.
- Write sentences of different lengths a short sentence looks better after the long one.
- Always write neat and clean must use bullet points etc.
- Pay strict attention to the length of an essay, you have to write no less than 350 words if you write less than that, then you will be penalized, also never write extend your essay from 600- to 1000 words the more you write, the more the mistakes will happen.
- Always spare 10 minutes to proofread and edit an essay.
- After opting for a topic for an essay you can either write descriptive, narrative, reflective, descriptive, argumentative/persuasive, or factual/expository), but according to my suggestion always choose a narrative essay because another one requires a lot of knowledge of current issues.
Types of SPM Essays
The types of essays in SPM are:-
- Narrative essay- To write an interesting narrative essay often needs the right ingredients – just as cooking up a plate of curry masala does. The first thing about writing such essays is one’s creative imagination; so long as they are imaginative enough and think out of their box, then any story becomes more exciting than ever.
- Descriptive essay- a descriptive essay is an essay that aims to describe one’s viewpoint of the world through observations and feelings. The goal of this type of essay is to provide a vivid portrayal of the subject to get readers excited about what they are reading.
- Factual Essay- A factual essay is a non-fiction form of writing that is typically used when discussing some point relating to science or history. Factual essays are very similar to research papers in structure and format; however, they both vary in the use of citations and footnotes.
- Reflective Essay- A reflective essay is a personal essay that focuses on the writer’s reflection about an event, experience, or topic. The goal of this type of essay is typically to think critically and deeply about something which has been experienced by the writer.
- Persuasive Essay- Persuasive essays are a common way to voice opinions and sway readers. Readers will often disagree, which is why writers need to present their point of view as persuasively as possible with evidence from research or arguments that the reader can’t refute.
Topics for SPM Essay
- Illustrate an adventurous activity that has been done recently. Describe the preparation you have done before that and how was your experience?
- Describe your College reunion of yours; explain how memorable for you it was?
- Describe the project conducted at your school and you have played the most important role, what was your experience with that?
- Should parents give freedom to children? Discuss
- Write a story about a neighbour who is very popular in your neighbourhood. Discuss the reasons that make the neighbour popular and what other residents think of the popular neighbour.
- Write a story about a young successful farmer who is very generous. End your story with: “My friends and I learned a lot, especially the meaning of generosity.”
SPM Essay Example for Malaysian Students
Schools and universities have turned to online classes during this pandemic. Your teacher asked about your experience with online classes.
In the wake of an infectious disease outbreak, Malaysia has had to change how its students are getting educated. The COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly in schools and villages across Asia; as a result, many Malaysian children have been forced into remote learning for fear that they will come into contact with someone infected by this highly contagious pathogen. These changes force educators all over the world to switch from traditional teaching methods– instructing pupils face-to-face or via webcam–to online coursework where the distance between teacher and student is not just social but physical too. Some Malaysian kids accept these new conditions readily while others may be struggling with adapting because it’s difficult adjusting without close human interaction on a day today.
I reap the benefits of Online education, first of all, you will spend less than in traditional classrooms, you can easily communicate with your teacher, you will gain new technical skills, you can gain better self-motivation, and enjoy a broader perspective.
The demerits of Online learning are that it can cause social isolation, it also needs strong self-motivation and time management skills, lack of communication skills, preventing mischievous activity can be complicated, teacher-focused only on theoretical knowledge, not on practical, E-learning lack face to face communication.
With the unprecedented virus covid-19, safe to say that online learning is the best alternative we have now. In the future, I would opt for classroom learning it has various plus points that E-learning cannot replace.
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