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 Why Form6?

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withoutwax
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PostSubject: Why Form6?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:54 pm

The Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM, English: Malaysian Higher School Certificate) is a pre-university examination taken by students in Malaysia. It was formerly known as the Higher School Certificate (HSC). The HSC was the precursor to the GCE A levels in the UK, and is still the name of the pre-university examination in some states in Australia.

The STPM is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council (Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia)since 1982, which also runs the Malaysian University English Test (MUET)since 1999, unlike Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM, English: Malaysian Certificate of Education; taken at the end of Form 5), Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR, English: Lower Secondary Assessment Test; taken at the end of Form 3) and Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR, English: Primary School Assessment Test; taken at the end of Standard/Year 6), which are all set and examined by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate (Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia), both of whom, however, are under the Ministry of Education.

STPM is one of the two major pre-university systems for admission to Malaysian public universities. The other is a one-year matriculation programme conducted by the Ministry of Education. STPM is not the only qualification accepted besides the matriculation programme and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM, English: Malaysian Higher Religious Certificate; taken by religious schools' students). Candidates technically may apply for admission to degree-level courses with a variety of pre-university examinations considered equivalent with STPM, including A-Level. All those applying for universities, however, must have taken the MUET.

STPM is internationally recognised by many universities, especially those within the Commonwealth of Nations as well as the United States and the Republic of Ireland. Most universities consider STPM results equivalent to GCE A-Level results.


Form Six

As the national secondary education in Malaysia consists of five grades called "forms", "Form Six" is the name given to the STPM pre-university programme. The Ministry of Education selects secondary schools it considers capable of providing Form 6 classes.

Unlike the other five forms which are year-long grades, Form 6 lasts one and a half years. Form 6 itself is divided into two levels; the first half year is known as Lower Sixth Form (Tingkatan Enam Rendah/Bawah) and the other whole year is known as Upper Sixth Form (Tingkatan Enam Atas).

Students in Form Six are called sixth formers. Sixth formers in national secondary schools are usually distinct from other students in the lower forms such as wearing different school uniforms, usually given higher posts within the school's societies, often with lax enforcement of certain school rules and regulations such as the ban on mobile phones, and sometimes even holding a separate morning assembly and recess for sixth formers.

Sixth formers in most schools generally form their own association, commonly called the Form Six Association or the Form Six Society. These associations' main annual activity is the initiation of new Lower Sixth formers during orientation.

Most Bumiputras opt for matriculation programme. Ninety percent of the places in the matriculation programme is reserved for Bumiputras while the remaining 10% are distributed among non-bumiputras. This has become a source of contention because matriculation students, who will enter university one year earlier compared with their STPM peers, are considered on equal standing with STPM only in Malaysia for the purpose of university admission though it is significantly easier than STPM with a streamed down Form 6 syllabus.

Grades and Grade Points

STPM uses a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system. There are 11 grades, which are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+ and D, with F as the failing grade. The grade points for each of these grades are between 4.0 and 1.0, A being 4.0 and D- being 1.0. The F grade gives a grade point of 0.
Grade Grade Points
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
F 0.00

In order to pass a paper, candidate must at least score a C (2.00) or above. Having a grade between D to C- is a principal pass (lulus separa).

Each paper's grade appears on the result slip and the certificate. The subject's grade and grade point is determined by the weighted average results of all papers in that subject, where all papers must be passed, otherwise the grade and grade point would be, respectively, F and 0. The cumulative grade point average is the average of the top four subjects taken and usually rounded up to 2 decimal points. Therefore, if a student scores A in four subjects and fail in the fifth, his CGPA would be 4.0.

The actual range of scores within each grade is undisclosed and changes annually, depending on the performance of the candidates. Usually, the range of marks of science subjects is relatively higher than non-science subjects.

Cumulative and subject GPA at 2.0 and above is considered a pass with credit or principal pass. GPA below 2.0 is considered a sub-fail, and a 0 is considered a fail. Admissions to local public universities requires at least a GPA of 2.0 and above, though private universities, university colleges and colleges generally may accept student with CGPA less than 2.0.

The CGPA system in STPM poses some problems for admissions to American universities because the GPA range between 4.0 and 0 (unlike Advanced Placement range of 5.0 to 0) may understate the academic achievements of an applicant.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Form6?   Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:58 pm

After the SPM, students from public secondary school would have a choice of either studying Form 6 or the matriculation (pre-university). If they are accepted to continue studying in Form 6, they will also take the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia or Malaysian Higher School Certificate examination (its British equivalent is the General Certificate of Education 'A' Levels examination or internationally, the Higher School Certificate). Form 6 consists of two years of study which is known as Lower 6 (Tingkatan Enam Rendah) and Upper 6 (Tingkatan Enam Atas). The STPM is known to be more difficult than the GCE A levels, covering a broader and deeper scope in syllabus. Although it is generally taken by those desiring to attend public universities in Malaysia, it is internationally recognised and may also be used, though rarely required, to enter private local universities for undergraduate courses.

Additionally all students may apply for admission to matriculation which is a one or two-year programme run by the Ministry of Education. Previously, it was a one-year programme, but beginning 2006, 30% of all matriculation students were offered two-year programmes. Not all applicants for matriculation are admitted and the selection criteria are not publicly declared, which has led to speculation that any criteria existing may not be adhered to. A race-based quota is applied on the admission process, with 90% of the places being reserved for the bumiputeras, and the other 10% for the non-bumiputeras. The matriculation programme is not as rigorous as the STPM. The matriculation programme has come under some criticism as it is the general consensus that this programme is much easier than the sixth form programme leading to the STPM and serves to help Bumiputeras enter the public university easily. Having been introduced after the abolishment of racial quota based admission into universities, the matriculation programme continues the role of its predecessor, albeit in modified form. It is considered easier because in the matriculation program the teachers set and mark the final exams that their students sit, whereas in the STPM the final exam is standardised and exam papers are exchanged between schools in different states to ensure unbiased marking. Also, the matriculation programme adopts a semester basis examination (2 semesters in a year) whilst STPM involves only one final examination, covering all 2 years' syllabus in one go. The scope and depth of syllabus in matriculation is also lesser to that of STPM. The disparity between the programmes does not end there, for it is a known fact that in critical courses offered by local public universities (such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Law), almost 70% of the students comprise matriculation students. On the contrary, STPM students forms the majority in courses which are less in demand, such as a Bachelor in Science. Defenders of the matriculation programme have described the two programmes as distinct and different, drawing the analogy of an apple and an orange. However, having serve the same purpose (i.e. as an entrance requirement to Universities), the Malaysian public is criticising the matriculation programme as a blatant practice of double standards.

The Centre for Foundation Studies in Science, University of Malaya, offers 2 programmes only for Bumiputera students : i) The Science Program, a one year course under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education. After completing the program, the students are placed into various science-based courses in the local universities through the meritocracy system. ii) The Special Preparatory Program to Enter the Japanese Universities, a two year intensive programme under the Look East Policy Division of the Public Service Department of Malaysia in cooperation with the Japanese Government.

Some students undertake their pre-university studies in private colleges. They may opt for programmes such as the British 'A' Levels programme, the Canadian matriculation programme or the equivalent of other national systems - namely the Australian NSW Board of Studies Higher School Certificate and the American High School Diploma with AP subjects. More recently, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is becoming more popular as a pre-university option.

The Government has claimed that admission to Universities are purely meritocracy based, but having so many different pre-university programmes and without a standard basis for comparison among the students, the public has been highly sceptical of the claim.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Form6?   Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:24 pm

Walau A..........from where u got this info?? Don't tell me that u type it.........
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PostSubject: Re: Why Form6?   Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:36 am

Haha..the power wikipedia la~~
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PostSubject: Re: Why Form6?   Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:11 pm

1. Why did you choose to study Form 6 instead of A Level, Australian Matriculation etc?
Wasting time is the main reason people feel about going to Form 6. Yes I do agree if you are rich and can't wait to spend it on your overseas tertiary programme. And yes again I would say because Form 6 really is for hardworking people (with this sentence, I do not say and mean that I am one of those people...) I choose this path because the option to stay in local university (IPTA) and it is the only way to get into IPTA other than local matriculation. IPTA is real cheap (in either meaning). Futhermore STPM is globally recognised. So with good results you can further your studies in overseas and with excellent results you may even get scholarships!! A-level is another good option but the disadvantage is that you don't have the IPTA as your fall-back. SAM is easy (what I heard from ALL PEOPLE that had taken this exam and it's not my opinion). But SAM is recognised only for most Australian University and few university worldwide.

The scholarships you may apply after STPM. JPA if you managed to get into IPTA, PTPTN as financial assistance, KUOK Foundation for IPTA and Singapore Public University, GIC, GE, Singapore Scholarships, ASEAN, and lots and lots of scholarships that is impossible to mention all of them here. You may need to do some research during your long break before the release of the results. There's magazine titled "Scholarships Guide" or something which will be published near the results releasing days and costs you around RM8-10. It's a nice magazine to hook on. Grab a copy if you see it!

2. What suggestions would you like to give to the new Form 6 students on how to prepare for STPM since Lower Six?

Honestly one and a half year for everything in STPM isn't enough, but if you manage to distribute your time well, it shouldn't be a big problem. To me, the hardest subject is Chemistry. I face some problem even I was in Form 4. To me Chemistry is fun but I was in trouble when I tried to imagine the concept. Here's the key : You grab the concept for Chemistry and you will score. For physical chemistry it is more testing on your understanding and hence the concepts are very important, it is very different that Organic/Inorganic Chemistry where more memorizing is required. Biology is a subject where you will need to read a lot and your skill to pour everything out on the answer papers during the exam. For Maths T, true understanding and application will be required since sometimes the questions can be very challenging and cannot be solved without the application and derivation of some basic concepts.

3. Did you suffer from the sudden change from Malay to English in Science and Mathematics subjects?
There's not much difference though I think studying in Malay is easier for me. Haha, but I enjoyed the whole session in English and it is very useful especially when you go overseas to study in English. There's nothing much to deal with and obviously you will need to beef up your language to avoid childish and unwanted mistakes. Pick up a newspaper and starting reading!!

4. Do you agree that STPM is the toughest examination in the world?
Cramming everything in 1 and a half year and pouring it out in just merely 3 or 4 hours. I would say it is hard because of the candidates. Since the results are binomially-graphed and hence it would add up the challenge and make it more difficult to score if everyone is doign good on a certain paper. I won't say it's the toughest exam in the world since I do not have any experience in other exam paper. SAT is famous for its speed and accuracy test, the questions maybe easy but under limited time, it tests greatly on your accuarcy and your handling when under pressure. Every exam has its unique way to test the candidates. STPM is, undoubtly, one of those tough exams in the world.

5. Are co-curricular activities important?
Co-curicular activity is extremely important. I won't say much on this. Just think like this. Everyone can score straight A or getting a first class degree from university, so what element distinguish these excellent candidates in a job interview??? Your leadership, your participation, your passion... and all these will be reflected in your extra curicular activities. So while working your brain out for the exams, do join some activities to add some values in your school certificates.

For further information pls refer to http://www.malaysia-students.com/
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