Time to depart from exam culture: Malaysia education minister

He said students will no longer sit for Form Three Assessment from this year. Instead, their academic performance will be gauged on decentralised exams held at school at the end of every academic session.


New beginnings: Radzi holding a special press conference to make the major announcement on PT3 in Putrajaya. —AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

June 3, 2022

PUTRAJAYA – School-based assessments (PBS) will now be the new method used to assess students in schools as the Education Ministry moves away from the exam-oriented culture that has dominated the schooling system, says its minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.

He said students will no longer sit for Form Three Assessment (PT3) from this year. Instead, their academic performance will be gauged on decentralised exams held at school at the end of every academic session.

The Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination, taken in the sixth year of primary school, was abolished last year.

“We do not want these (decentralised) exams to be a new form of pressure on our schooling system, especially for teachers and students,” he said when announcing the abolishment of PT3 here yesterday.

He also said the descriptors used to evaluate a student’s performance in their reports will be made clearer and more comprehensive so parents can better understand their child’s level of performance.

The performance report will also include results from physical, sports and co-curricular, and psychometric assessments along with the classroom-based (PBD) assessments.

Radzi also said teachers will be trained to carry out PBS more effectively based on the needs of the schools and the students.

“We hope that if PBS is carried out well, our students will achieve the minimum mastery level before moving on to the next level,” he said.

Radzi said teachers will only need to input their students’ data and results once into a centralised system. There will no longer be multiple databases, thus decreasing their workload.

He said the State Education Office and District Education Department will be given access to this system to retrieve the necessary data.

The performance of students in these subjects will be used by the ministry to gauge the literacy and numeracy levels so that interventions can be planned at the school, state and national levels, he said.

He also said that comparisons of performance results for schools within districts and states will no longer be made available.

He added that these reports would not be used for entry into specialised schools as there will be a separate special entry exam (PKSK) for this.

Radzi said PBD consists of two parts: formative and summative.

The formative section addresses ongoing assessments done by teachers throughout the year to determine a student’s performance early on so that interventions can be carried out if necessary, Radzi said.

Summative assessments are done at the end of a period, he said, adding that the end-of-year exams will be used to measure students’ performance and their mastery level at the end of every academic session.

This applies to Year Four, Five and Six pupils and Form One, Two and Three students beginning from the 2022/2023 academic session.

The questions for these summative assessments, he added, will be from a question bank set up by the ministry.

There will be five subjects for the primary school level in the question bank: Bahasa Melayu, English, Mathematics, Science and History, he said. He added that questions for other subjects will be created by the schoolteachers.

All questions for secondary school subjects will be in the question bank, he said, adding that this helps ensure standardisation among the 10,000 schools in the country.

He said these summative assessments will be carried out every year and will focus just on the syllabus of that particular year.

The timing will also be flexible but the ministry will provide a time frame for when the exams must be completed.

“What is important is that there are no more centralised exams (for these students).

“Let’s build our kids together to create a greater generation,” he said.

The PT3 examination for Form Three students was cancelled for the past two years as a result of the pandemic.

It began in 2014 to replace the PMR assessment.

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