Introduction

Hi! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.


Monday 30 September 2013

Tips for SPM Mathematics and Additional Mathematics

For my SPM in year 2012, I got A+ for both Mathematics and Additional Mathematics. Here, I am sharing the tips for SPM Mathematics and Additional Mathematics. These tips are intended for Form 4 and Form 5 students.

Starting from SPM 2021, there are some changes to the examination format for Mathematics and Additional Mathematics, but the tips here are still applicable. Mathematics and Additional Mathematics will continue to be set bilingually in English and Malay for SPM 2021 and beyond, and all students can still choose to answer in English or Malay.

Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html


SPM MATHEMATICS

1. Studying tips
- When your teacher is teaching in class, pay attention to what your teacher says. Make sure you understand everything taught by your teacher. If you do not understand anything, ask your teacher or friends.
- You need a reference book because the textbooks are not enough. I recommend you to use the Success Mathematics SPM reference book by Oxford Fajar.
- When studying a chapter for the first time, read through the notes in the reference book. Make sure that you understand the concept for that chapter and relate them to what your teacher had taught in school.
- You need to know how to apply what you have learnt to solve questions. Go through all the example questions in the revision book. Make sure that you understand how every question is solved.
- Then, you have to do a lot of exercises. Buy exercise books from the bookshop. You can start by doing topical questions topic by topic. When you have understood all topics, proceed with doing SPM model test papers, past year SPM trial questions and past year actual SPM questions. They should be available from bookshops. After doing the exercises, refer to the suggested answer or mark scheme and do self marking.
- You should sometimes refer to the mark scheme of past year SPM trial papers to find out how every question is marked and which steps need to be shown for every question. Usually, the same types of questions will have similar mark scheme, so this can help you when answering exam questions.
- When doing revision before exam, you should go through the example questions for all chapters in the reference book. If you have forgotten the concept for any chapter, go through the notes in reference book for that chapter again. You should also do some SPM model test papers or past year papers.
- The SPM Mathematics paper will also test on some Form 1 to Form 3 topics in addition to Form 4 and Form 5 topics. Make sure that you do not forget those topics. The Success Mathematics SPM reference books contains some example questions for the Form 1 to Form 3 topics, so you should also go through them.

2. Paper 1
- You do not need to show any workings since the questions are objective questions. Write any rough workings on the question paper if you need to. Solve the question and choose the correct answer among the 4 options.

3. Paper 2
- From SPM 2021 onwards, there are Section A, Section B and Section C. Section A consists of 10 questions where you must answer all questions, Section B consists of 5 questions where you must answer all questions while Section C consists of 2 questions where you can choose any 1.
- You must show all workings for every question. You should not skip any important steps. You do not need to write down the formula used to solve the question. The number of marks allocated for a question usually shows the amount of working needed. 1 mark will be given for each important step and the final answer. Marks can only be given for the final answer if the marks for working are scored. If you do not show a particular important step, marks may not be given for that step, as well as all important steps after that step and the final answer, even if they are correct. Therefore, correct answer without working usually scores 0 mark. On the other hand, if your final answer is wrong but some of your working is correct, you may still be given some marks.
- You are not allowed to write extra solutions or answers for any question. If you do so and any of the answers/solutions is wrong, marks will be deducted. When copying figures from the question or from your answer for the previous part of the question, be careful not to copy wrongly.
- If the question does not state that you must or you cannot use a particular method, then you can use any suitable method to solve the question. You can also use methods that are learnt only in Additional Mathematics or in STPM / A Level or higher level, if you know them. If the question states that you must use a particular method, then you can only that method to solve the question. If the question states that cannot use a particular method, then you cannot that method to solve the question
- If the final answer is a number with infinite decimal places, you should round up to at least 4 significant figures.You can also write your final answer as a fraction if possible. However, if the question states that you must express your answer as fraction or decimal, then you must follow the instruction. If a number with infinite decimal places is involved in between the workings, you should take at least 5 significant figures (4 significant figures is not sufficient) to ensure accuracy of the final answer. Otherwise, marks can be deducted if the final answer is less accurate.
- For questions involving Pi, the question may ask you to use Pi = 22/7. In that case, you cannot use Pi = 3.142 or the value of Pi from the calculator. You must also follow other instructions given in the question.

4. Both Paper 1 & Paper 2
- When answering, read the question and information given carefully. For questions involving diagrams, mark any important details on the diagram. For some questions without diagram, sometimes it may be helpful to draw a diagram so that you can illustrate the information given in the question. Apply what you have learnt in mathematics in order to solve the questions and get the answer. Use the correct concept or formula for every question.
- Certain formula are provided in the first few pages of the question paper, refer to them if necessary. After you have answered all questions, you should recheck your answers for mistakes. Leave at least 15 minutes to recheck your answers if possible. When rechecking, use a different method to solve the question or directly use the calculator if possible.



SPM ADDITIONAL MATHEMATICS

1. Studying tips
- When your teacher is teaching in class, pay attention to what your teacher says. Make sure you understand everything taught by your teacher. If you do not understand anything, ask your teacher or friends.
- You need a reference book because the textbooks are not enough. I recommend you to use the MasterClass SPM Additional Mathematics reference book by Sasbadi.
- When studying a chapter for the first time, read through the notes in the reference book. Make sure that you understand the concept for that chapter and relate them to what your teacher had taught in school.
- You need to know how to apply what you have learnt to solve questions. Go through all the example questions in the revision book. Make sure that you understand how every question is solved.
- Then, you have to do a lot of exercises. Buy exercise books from the bookshop. You can start by doing topical questions topic by topic. When you have understood all topics, proceed with doing SPM model test papers, past year SPM trial questions and past year actual SPM questions. They should be available from bookshops. After doing the exercises, refer to the suggested answer or mark scheme and do self marking.
- You should sometimes refer to the mark scheme of past year SPM trial papers to find out how every question is marked and which steps need to be shown for every question. Usually, the same types of questions will have similar mark scheme, so this can help you when answering exam questions.
- When doing revision before exam, you should go through the example questions for all chapters in the reference book. If you have forgotten the concept for any chapter, go through the notes in reference book for that chapter again. You should also do some SPM model test papers or past year papers.
- The Additional Mathematics topics may require knowledge and understanding of the Mathematics topics. Make sure that you understand all the topics in SPM Mathematics.

2. Both Paper 1 & Paper 2
- From SPM 2021 onwards, Paper 1 has Section A and Section B while Paper 2 has Section A, Section B and Section C. For Paper 1, Section A consists of 12 questions where you must answer all questions while Section B consists of 3 questions where you can choose any 2. For Paper 2, Section A consists of 7 questions where you must answer all questions, Section B consists of 4 questions where you can choose any 3 while Section C consists of 4 questions where you can choose any 2.
- When answering, read the question and information given carefully. For questions involving diagrams, mark any important details on the diagram. For some questions without diagram, sometimes it may be helpful to draw a diagram so that you can illustrate the information given in the question. Apply what you have learnt in mathematics in order to solve the questions and get the answer. Use the correct concept or formula for every question. Certain formula are provided in the first few pages of the question paper, refer to them if necessary.
- You must show all workings for every question. You should not skip any important steps. You do not need to write down the formula used to solve the question. The number of marks allocated for a question usually shows the amount of working needed. 1 mark will be given for each important step and the final answer. Marks can only be given for the final answer if the marks for working are scored. If you do not show a particular important step, marks may not be given for that step, as well as all important steps after that step and the final answer, even if they are correct. Therefore, correct answer without working usually scores 0 mark. On the other hand, if your final answer is wrong but some of your working is correct, you may still be given some marks.
- You are not allowed to write extra solutions or answers for any question. If you do so and any of the answers/solutions is wrong, marks will be deducted. When copying figures from the question or from your answer for the previous part of the question, be careful not to copy wrongly.
- For a part of question which requires you to use your answer from the previous part, even if your answer for the previous part is wrong and you use it for this part, causing your answer for this part to be wrong, you will still get the working marks for this part as long as your calculation for this part is correct, but you will usually lose the answer marks for this part.
- If the question does not state that you must or you cannot use a particular method, then you can use any suitable method to solve the question. You can also use methods that are learnt only in STPM / A Level or higher level, if you know them. If the question states that you must use a particular method, then you can only that method to solve the question. If the question states that cannot use a particular method, then you cannot that method to solve the question.
- If the final answer is a number with infinite decimal places, you should round up to at least 4 significant figures. You can also write your final answer as a fraction if possible. However, if the question states that you must express your answer as fraction or decimal, then you must follow the instruction. If a number with infinite decimal places is involved in between the workings, you should take at least 5 significant figures (4 significant figures is not sufficient) to ensure accuracy of the final answer. Otherwise, marks can be deducted if the final answer is less accurate.
- For questions involving Pi, the question may ask you to use Pi = 3.142. In that case, you cannot use Pi = 22/7 or the value of Pi from the calculator. You must also follow other instructions given in the question. 
- After you have answered all questions, you should recheck your answers for mistakes. Leave at least 15 minutes to recheck your answers if possible. When rechecking, use a different method to solve the question or directly use the calculator if possible.


Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Tips for SPM Bahasa Melayu and English

For my SPM in year 2012, I got A+ for Bahasa Melayu and A for English. Do you want to know how to score in SPM for these 2 subjects? Here, I am posting the complete tips for SPM Bahasa Melayu and English 1119. These tips are intended for students taking SPM 2020 and SPMU 2021 only.

Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html


SPM BAHASA MELAYU (For SPMU 2021, SPM 2020 and earlier only):

Note: Starting from SPM 2021 onwards, there are significant changes to the examination format for Bahasa Melayu, so the tips here may no longer be applicable.

1. Studying tips
- To prepare for this subject, you have to continuously improve your language skills in every day life. Try to speak and write more in Malay language, and read more Malay books, magazines and newspaper.
- You are adviced to attend tuition if possible. If you live in Kulim, I recommend you to go to Pusat Tuisyen Inisiatif Utama for the tuition.
- Before the exam, you mainly need to prepare for Karangan and KOMSAS.
- You should memorise some good Pendahuluan, Penutup and Ayat judul so that you can use them when writing your essay. It is advisable to choose those that can be used in various types of essays and contain ungkapan menarik. Your school or tuition teacher should be able to give you this.
- You need revision book for KOMSAS. I recommend the KOMSAS revision book by Eastview Publications. You can also use your tuition teacher's notes if you attend tuition. You need to read, understand and remember the Tema, Persoalan, Latar, Plot, Teknik Plot, Watak & Perwatakan, Nilai & Pengajaran as well as their examples for the Novel and all Prosa Tradisional, Puisi, Cerpen and Drama for both Form 4 and Form 5.
- Try to get the list of peribahasa in the syllabus from your school or tuition teacher. You should understand and remember all the peribahasa and their meaning and usage. This will help you to answer the Peribahasa questions in the Tatabahasa section. Usually 2 of the 3 questions are based on the peribahasa in the syllabus.
- To prepare for Rumusan and Tatabahasa, you have to regularly do exercises. You should also do exercises for all other sections occasionally. However, avoid spending too much time writing Karangan.

2. Karangan Bahan Rangsangan
- Materials will be given. Read the question and material given carefully. The question will ask you to write an essay on a particular topic. In most cases, the material given is relevant to the topic, but sometimes it may not be related to the topic. If the material given is relevant to the topic, you must use points from the materials given. If the material given is not relevant to the topic, then you should ignore the materials given and give your own ideas.
- You should write 1 Pendahuluan, 3 Isi and 1 Penutup. Usually, the material given will contain 3 or more points, but sometimes it may contain only 1 or 2 points. If there are only 1 or 2 points in the material given or if the material given is not relevant to the topic, you need to add in your own ideas to make 3 Isi. If there are more than 3 points in the materials given, choose either 3 of them to write, or you can also combine 2 points in 1 Isi if they are related to each other.
- Make sure your essay is more than 200 words. Marks will be deducted if your essay is less than 200 words. However, you can write more than 250 words (although the question states that your essay must be between 200 and 250 words), and there is no limit on how long you are allowed to write. Your marks will not be deducted and the examiner will continue to mark your whole essay. You are advised to write your essay between 300 and 600 words.

3. Karangan Respons Terbuka
- There will be 5 questions. Usually the first 4 questions are factual/argumentative essay, while the 5th question is related to literature. Some of them may be formatted writing. Read all the questions carefully and choose the question that you are most confident in. If possible, avoid choosing the question on writing a story unless you are very good at writing stories.
- In your essay, there should be 1 Pendahuluan, at least 4 Isi and 1 Penutup. You are advised to write 5 Isi if possible. If it is formatted writing, make sure that the format is correct. Make sure that your essay is more than 350 words. Marks will be deducted if your essay is less than 350 words. It is advisable to write your essay between 600 and 1000 words.

4. Both Karangan Bahan Rangsangan & Karangan Respons Terbuka
- When writing your essay, use the Pendahuluan, Penutup and Ayat judul that you have memorised earlier if possible. Make some changes to them so that they suit the essay you are writing. Elaborate clearly on each Isi. Write some relevant examples as well.
- Include a few Ungkapan menarik (such as Peribahasa) in your essay. If your entire essay has no Ungkapan menarik at all, your essay can be dropped by one grade of the actual grade. Use a wide variety of words in your essay, including some more difficult words. The sentence structure should be varied. Your essay should also be interesting. Avoid making grammatical errors in your essay. Refer to the question often when writing your essay to avoid writing out of topic.

5. Rumusan
- The question will ask you to summarise on 2 topics, the 1st one is Isi tersurat and the 2nd is Isi tersirat. Read the question and passage given carefully. Underline the relevant Isi tersurat in the passage. You should answer in 4 paragraphs, each containing Pendahuluan, Isi Tersurat, Isi Tersirat and Penutup.
- When writing the Pendahuluan, begin with 'Petikan membincangkan...'. You must replace the keyword of the question with another word of same meaning. (For example, you must replace 'langkah' with 'cara' or other words of same meaning.) You must also add either 'di Malaysia' or 'di dunia' at the end of the sentence, depending on whether the passage given involves Malaysia only or international. Write in one sentence only.
- When writing Isi Tersurat, you must use relevant points from the passage given. Do not take any of the elaborations or examples. You need not use your own words and you can copy directly, but sometimes you may have to make some changes to suit your answer. When writing Isi Tersirat, you cannot directly use points from the passage. You should give your own ideas. Your ideas must be logical and relevant. You should write at least 6 Isi Tersurat and 2 Isi Tersirat. You are advised to write more isi if possible. Marks will only be given for correct isi, and marks will not be deducted for incorrect isi (But, you must not exceed 120 words).
- When writing the Penutup, your answer should contain 1 Cadangan/Harapan and 1 relevant Huraian. Write in 1 sentence only. Do not repeat any isi or add in new isi in the Penutup.
- Count the total number of words and make sure that your answer is not longer than 120 words, otherwise the remaining part of your answer will not be marked, and marks may be deducted. State the exact number of words below your essay. Nama khas, penanda wacana, peribahasa and kata ganda are counted as one word only. If your answer is longer than 120 words, try cancelling off the unnecessary words in your answer and replacing longer phrase with shorter phrase of the same meaning. If it still exceeds 120 words, cancel off some of the extra Isi Tersurat or Isi Tersirat you wrote.
- For all parts of Rumusan, you must answer in continuous writing form and not point form, otherwise marks can be deducted. You should also write the answer in complete sentences. Make sure that the grammar is correct. Of the 30 marks for Rumusan, 20 marks is for Isi and 10 marks is for Bahasa. The marks given for Bahasa is usually half of the marks given for Isi if there are no grammatical errors.

6. Pemahaman
- There are 4 parts, which are Pemahaman Petikan Umum, Prosa Moden, Prosa Tradisional and Puisi. Read the passage/extract and the questions given carefully. There are 4 types of questions, which are questions on meaning of phrases, questions based on the passage given, questions on your own opinion (KBKK) and questions on KOMSAS.
- When answering question on meaning of phrases, replace every word in the phrase with another word that has the same meaning if possible. If that is not possible, you should explain the phrase in your own sentence.
- When answering questions based on the passage given, you must look for the answers from the passage/extract. You need not use your own words and you can copy directly, but sometimes you may have to make some changes to suit your answer (such as converting dialogs into text), especially for Puisi and Prosa Tradisional which you must convert into modern text when writing your answer.
- When answering questions on your own opinion (KBKK), you should give your own ideas and do not look for the answers from the passage/extract given. Your ideas must be logical and relevant.
- When answering questions on KOMSAS, it may ask you based on the extract given or based on the whole story/poem. Give suitable answers that you memorised from revision books. You should elaborate on every point you write by giving a suitable example.
- For all Pemahaman questions, you must answer in complete sentences and not point form, otherwise marks can be deducted. Make sure that the grammar is correct. If the question does not state the number of answers you need to write, then the number of answers needed depends on the marks allocated. Basically, one answer gives one mark, and for 3 or 4 marks question, one mark is usually for Bahasa. In all cases, you can give as many extra answers as you want (except for questions on meaning of phrases, where you can give only one answer). Marks will only be given for the correct answers, and marks will not be deducted for wrong or unacceptable answers. It is advisable to write 2 or 3 extra answers for every part of question.

7. Tatabahasa
- There are 5 parts. When answering, read the questions carefully. For the 1st part, you must make sentence from the words given. Your sentence must be able to show that you really understand the meaning of the words given. The sentence do not have to be very long. You cannot change the Imbuhan, add any Imbuhan or use the words given as a Kata Ganda, Peribahasa or Nama Khas (unless otherwise stated in the question). For the 2nd part, it will test you on Sintaksis. Give the most suitable answer according to the question based on your understanding of Tatabahasa.
- For the 3rd and 4th part, it will test you on Kesalahan Ejaan, Imbuhan, Penggunaan Kata/Istilah and Tatabahasa. List down the mistakes and correction for every mistake. You are advised to categorise the mistakes according to the type of mistake. You do not need to recopy the sentences. For the 5th question, it will test you on Peribahasa. If the question asks you to explain the meaning of Peribahasa, your answer should be clear and detailed. If the question asks you to make a sentence using Peribahasa, your sentence must be able to show that you really understand the meaning of the Peribahasa. The sentence do not have to be very long. If the question asks you to fill in the blanks using Peribahasa or state a Peribahasa based on the situation, give the most suitable Peribahasa according to the question.
- For all questions on Tatabahasa, you cannot give extra answers. If you do so, marks will be deducted if any of your extra answers is wrong.

8. Novel
- The questions are based on the novels you studied in Form 4 and Form 5. There will be 2 questions. Usually the first question allows you to choose to answer based on either one of the novels, while the second question requires you to answer based on both novels, and sometimes you may be asked to make a comparison of both novels. If the question lets you choose either one of the novels, choose the novel that you are most confident of.
- If the question is about facts (Tema / Persoalan / Latar / Plot / Teknik Plot / Watak & Perwatakan / Nilai / Pengajaran), give suitable answers that you memorised from revision books. You should elaborate on every point you write by giving suitable example from the novel.
- If the question is about your own opinion, you have give your own ideas based on your understanding of the novel. Your ideas must be logical and relevant. You should elaborate on every idea you write and relate your ideas to the question and novel.
- For all Novel questions, you must answer in continuous writing form and not point form, otherwise marks can be deducted. You should also write the answer in complete sentences. Make sure that the grammar is correct. The 1st question carries 7 marks, where 4 marks is for Isi and 3 marks is for Bahasa. The 2nd question carries 8 marks, where 6 marks is for Isi and 2 marks is for Bahasa.
- Basically, one point or elaboration gives 1 mark for Isi. In all cases, you can give as many extra answers as you want. Marks will only be given for correct answers, marks will not be deducted for wrong answers. It is advisable to write 2 or 3 extra points and elaborations. You can answer based on novel for other states, but you should do so only if you understand that novel very well.



SPM ENGLISH (For SPM 2020 and earlier only):

Note 1: As I did not get A+ for English, if you are aiming for A+ in English, it may be better for you to seek advice from others who got A+ rather than following my tips below.

Note 2: Starting from SPM 2021 onwards, there are significant changes to the examination format for English, so the tips here may no longer be applicable.

1. Studying tips
- To prepare for this subject, you have to continuously improve your language skills in every day life. Try to speak and write more in English language, and read more English books, magazines and newspaper.
- You are adviced to attend tuition if possible. I cannot recommend any tuition centre for English because I never attended English tuition. Try asking around to find out which tuition centre is the best.
- Before the exam, you mainly need to prepare for Writing, Poem and Novel.
- You should know and remember the format for all kinds of formatted writing. Refer to revision books or ask your teacher if you do not know the format.
- You need revision notes for literature (Poem and Novel). As far as I know, no literature revision books in the market is good. You are advised use your tuition teacher's notes. You need to understand and remember the Theme, Settings, Plot, Characters, Moral values & Lessons as well as their examples for the Form 5 novel and all poems learnt in both Form 4 and Form 5.
- To prepare for all sections in Paper 2, you have to regularly do exercises. You should also do exercises for Paper 1 occasionally but do not spend too much time on that.

2. Directed Writing
- Materials will be given. Read the question and materials given carefully. The question will ask you to write an essay on a particular topic. You must use all the points in the material given when writing your essay.
- There is no minimum word limit for Directed Writing. However, you are advised to write your essay longer than 120 words. If the question asks you to add in your own ideas or provide a suitable introduction/closing, you must do so. If the essay is formatted writing, make sure that the format is correct. Of the 35 marks for Directed Writing, 15 marks is for Content & Format and 20 marks is for Language.

3. Continuous Writing
- There will be 5 questions. Usually the 2 questions are factual/argumentative essay, 2 questions are narrative/descriptive essay (such as story) and the other 1 question is one-word topic essay. Read all the questions carefully and choose the question that you are most confident in.
- For the one-word topic essay, you are free to write it as either factual/argumentative essay or narrative/descriptive essay (such as story). But, you must make sure that the entire essay/story you write is closely related to the meaning of the word given.
- If you are writing factual/argumentative essay, there should be 1 Introduction, at least 4 Body and 1 Closing. Include only one main point in each Body. Make sure your essay is more than 350 words. Marks will be deducted if your essay is less than 350 words. Avoid writing exactly the whole essays that you memorised, because if you do so and as a result you score much better in Continuous Writing compared to Directed Writing, your grade for Continuous Writing may be dropped.

4. Both Directed Writing & Continuous Writing
- When writing your essay, elaborate clearly on each point you write. Write some relevant examples as well. You only need to elaborate in 1 or 2 sentences for Directed Writing, but you need to elaborate longer for Continuous Writing.
- Include a few idioms and phrasal verbs in your essay. Use a wide variety of words in your essay, including some more difficult words. The sentence structure should be varied. Your essay should also be interesting, especially for descriptive/narrative essay. Avoid making grammatical errors in your essay. Refer to the question often when writing your essay to avoid writing out of topic.

5. Paper 2 Section A
- For Stimuli & Graphic Material, read the materials given and questions carefully. Cancel off the options that you consider as definitely wrong. Choose the most suitable answer among the 4 options, based on the materials given.
- For Rational Cloze, it tests you on grammar. Read the passage given carefully. Cancel off the options that you consider as definitely wrong. Choose the most suitable word to fill in the blanks in the passage among the 4 options, based on your understanding in grammar.
- For both parts, you should think carefully because sometimes the answers are close to each other.

6. Information Transfer
- Read the materials and questions carefully. When answering, copy directly from the materials given and avoid using your own words. However, sometimes you may have to make some changes to suit your answer. Make sure the spelling in your answer is exactly the same as the spelling in the materials given. Your answers must be short and precise. Do not add in any unnecessary details in your answer or write extra answers, otherwise marks may be deducted due to overlifting. Also, you should not answer in full sentences.

7. Reading Comprehension
- Read the questions and passage given carefully. Answer all questions based on the passage given. When answering, look for answers from the particular paragraph of the passage as stated in the question. If the question does not state that you must use your own words, you can copy directly from the passage and you need not use your own words. However, sometimes you may have to make some changes to suit your answer.
- If the question states that you must use your own words, then you must answer in your own words. If the question asks for your own opinion, you should give your own ideas and do not look for answers from the passage given. Your ideas should be logical and relevant.
- For all questions on Comprehension, you do not need to answer in complete sentences. Make sure that the spelling in your answer is correct. Your answers must be short and precise. Do not add in any unnecessary details in your answer or write extra answers, otherwise marks can be deducted due to overlifting.

8. Summary
- The question will usually ask you to summarise on 2 topics. Read the question and passage given carefully. Underline the relevant points in the passage that are related to any of the 2 topics.
- When answering, use relevant points from the passage given. Do not take the elaborations or examples. You must begin your answer using the 10 words given in the question. You do not need to write any Introduction or Closing. You are advised to answer in your own words by replacing words taken from the passage with other words of same meaning or by rephrasing the sentences taken from the passage. You should write a total of at least 10 points. You are advised to write more points if possible. Marks will only be given for correct points and marks will not be deducted for wrong points (But, you must not exceed 130 words).
- Count the total number of words and make sure that your answer is not longer than 130 words, otherwise the remaining part of your answer will not be marked, and marks may be deducted. State the exact number of words below your essay. Proper nouns, idioms and words with hyphen are counted as one word only. If your answer is longer than 130 words, try cancelling off the unnecessary words in your answer and replacing longer phrase with shorter phrase of the same meaning. If it still exceeds 130 words, cancel off some of the extra points you wrote.
- You must answer in continuous writing form and not point form, otherwise marks can be deducted. You should also write the answer in complete sentences. Make sure that the grammar is correct. Of the 15 marks for Summary, 10 marks is for Content and 5 marks is for Language & Paraphrase.

9. Poem
- Read the poem and questions carefully. Answer all questions based on the poem. If the question does not state that you must use your own words, you can copy directly from the poem and you need not use your own words. However, you may have to make some changes to suit your answer. If the question states that you must use your own words, then you must answer in your own words. If the question asks for your own opinion, you should give your own ideas and do not look for answers from the poem. Your answer should be logical and relevant.
- You do not need to answer in complete sentences. Make sure that the spelling in your answer is correct. Your answers must be short and precise. Do not add in any unnecessary details in your answer or write extra answers, otherwise marks can be deducted due to overlifting.

10. Novel
- The question will be based on the novel you studied in Form 5. You can also answer based on the novel for other states, but you should do so only if you understand that novel very well. Read the question carefully.
- If the question is about facts (Theme / Settings / Plot / Characters / Moral values / Lessons), give suitable answers that you memorised from revision books. If the question is about your own opinion, you have to give your own ideas based on your understanding of the novel. Your ideas must be logical and relevant. You should also relate your ideas to the novel.
- For all Novel questions, you have to elaborate clearly on every point you write. Give suitable examples from the novel. You also need to write your personal response (your own opinion about what you have discussed in your answer). You must answer in complete sentences and not point form, otherwise marks can be deducted. Make sure that the grammar is correct.
- The question carries 15 marks, where 10 marks is for Content and 5 marks is for Language. Both the Content and Language marks are given by impression, so the Content marks does not actually depend on the number of points in your answer. However, you should write at least 3 elaborations and 1 personal response in your answer. You can give more facts, elaborations and personal responses if you want to, but you must be careful not to write any wrong points. For wrong points in your answer, marks will not be directly deducted, but it can affect the Content marks in overall.


Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html

Thursday 12 September 2013

SPM 华文 作答技巧 / Tips for SPM Bahasa Cina

For my SPM in year 2012, I did not take Chinese Language. However, I sat for SPM again in year 2013 and took only Chinese Language. I got A- for Chinese Language. Here, I am sharing the tips for SPM Chinese Language. These tips are intended for Form 4 and Form 5 students. Starting from SPM 2021, there are some changes to the examination format for Chinese Language, but the tips here are still applicable.

Tips for other SPM subjects can be found here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2013/06/complete-tips-for-spm-examination-first.html

From SPM 2021 onwards, there are 2 papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2. For Paper 1, there are 2 sections. Section A is Practical Writing (应用文) and section B is Continuous Writing (作文). For Paper 2, there are 2 sections. Section A is Modern Text Comprehension (现代文理解) and section B is Classical Text Comprehension (文言文理解).

1. Practical Writing (应用文): 
- It will test you on formal letters (公函), reports (通告) and notice (启示). Make sure you know and remember the formats of all the three types of essay very well. Refer to revision books for the formats. Report of meeting (会议记录) will not be tested and you can just ignore it.
- Refer to the model questions and answers in revision books. Memorise the sentences that are commonly used. Use them when writing your essay. For most questions, the way of answering is similar, you just need to make some suitable changes. Get to know the important details (such as the time, date, venue, objective, invitation) that have to be included in your essay and don't forget to write them in your essay.
- From SPM 2021 onwards, there is only 1 question and you must answer it.
- Read the question carefully and understand what it wants you to write. Then, start writing your essay. Make sure that the format is correct for the essay you are writing. Use formal languages in your essay. Avoid using informal languages and avoid making grammatical errors and writing words wrongly. If you don't know how to write a word, try replacing it with others words with same meaning and don't write the hanyu pinyin. Refer to the question frequently when answering to avoid writing out of topic.
- After you have finished writing, recheck your essay for mistakes and count the number of words. Correct the mistakes if there are any. The maximum word limit is 120 words. The words are counted from the salutation (称呼) until the name (署名). You can write up to 124 words without any marks deducted. You are advised to write your essay between 116 and 124 words. If your essay is longer than 124 words, try cutting off the unnecessary words and phrases. If it still exceeds 124 words, cut off the less important details.

Conversation of text (改写) will not be tested in the exam and you can ignore it.
(Note: 改写 and 翻译 are different.)

2. Continuous Writing (作文):
- From SPM 2021 onwards, there are 3 questions and you have to choose 1 only.
- It will test you on a few types of essay, which is factual (说明文), argumentative (议论文), narrative (记叙文), descriptive (描写文), sentimental (抒情文) and others. Get to know the types of essay that you are better in and focus more on them. But, don't ignore the other types of essays, you should prepare for them as well. Refer to model questions and answers in revision books. Memorise some good sentences, openings and closings and use them in the exam.
- During the exam, go through all the questions. Choose the one that you are most confident in. Read the question carefully and understand what it wants you to write.You can list out some important points for your essay first but don't waste too much time on this. Then, start writing your essay.
- If you are writing factual/argumentative essay you should have 6 paragraphs, which contains 1 opening, 4 main bodies and 1 closing. It is not advisable to write 5 or more main bodies because there is not enough time, you may make more mistakes and no extra marks will be given. Give strong points and elaborate clearly on each point. Give suitable examples. Every part of your essay should be relevant to the topic. Use formal languages.
- For descriptive/sentimental/narrative essay, your essay should also have 6 paragraphs or more, depending on the essay you are writing. Your description should be very clear and detailed. You should describe as if you are in the story or incident. Your essay should be interesting.
- For general topics that do not state what you have to write (such as 珍惜生命), you are free to write it as factual or descriptive essay, but it must be relevant to the topic. If you write a story using the topic given, be very careful. Make sure you address the topic in every paragraph of your story.
- When writing the essay, avoid making any grammatical errors and avoid writing a word wrongly. If you don't know how to write a word, try replacing it with others words you know and don't write the hanyu pinyin. The structure of sentences should be varied. Refer to the question frequently when writing to avoid writing out of topic.
- After you have finished writing, recheck your essay for mistakes. Correct the mistakes if there are any. The minimum word limit is 400 words. Your essay must be more than 400 words. You are advised to write your essay between 600 and 1000 words. 

3. Modern Text Comprehension (现代文理解):
There are 4 questions, 3 are text (文章) and 1 is poem (诗). It will test you on summary (概述文章), comprehension (理解) and grammar (语法).

a) Summary (概述文章):
- Read the question carefully to see what it wants you to summarise on. Note the maximum word limit that you can write in your answer (Usually it is between 110-130). Read through the passage given quickly to have an idea on what it is all about. Then, read it again carefully.
- Underline all the points that are related to the question. Check the points that you have underlined. If there are too few points, look through the passage again for more. If there are too many points, choose only the important points. Do not take the elaborations and examples. An important point should be directly related to the question and is able to answer the question directly and should be chosen. Points that cannot answer the question should not be chosen. The number of points required is not fixed and it depends on the question. Usually the total number of points required is between 12 and 18.
- Then, start writing the answer. Write all the points that you have chosen. You need not use your own words and you can copy directly. However, sometimes you may have to make some changes (such as changing dialogs to text) so the the points are suitable in the answer. Also, try to shorten sentences especially long sentences by replacing long phrases with shorter words and by grouping similar and related words into a single word. Write as many points as possible without exceeding the word limit. Use sequence connectors to link the points but not too many.
- After you have finished writing, count the number of words. You can exceed the maximum word limit by 4 words without any marks deducted. (For example, if the word limit is 120, you can write up to 124 words). If the number of is less than the word limit, add more points. If your summary is exceeds the word limit by 5 or more, try cutting off the unnecessary words, phrases and sequence connectors. If it is still more than that, cut off the less important points.
- Depending on the marking scheme, 1 point may carry 1 or 2 marks. No marks will be deducted for wrong points. All the marks are given for content and no marks will be given for grammar, but marks may be deducted for grammatical errors. So, avoid making grammatical errors and writing words wrongly.

b) Comprehension (理解):
- Go through the questions quickly first. Read through the passage/poem given quickly to have an idea on what it is all about. Then, read it again carefully. Think carefully to understand the passage/poem. You can imagine that you  are in the situation/story to help you understand it and understand the feelings of the characters in it. Next, look through the questions.
- For questions based on the passage/poem, you should get the answers from the passage. For text, you can copy directly from the passage if it is possible. Sometimes you may have to make some changes (such as changing dialogs to text) so the the sentences are suitable for the answer. For poem, you should convert it into text and do not copy the sentences directly from the poem.
- However, many questions require that you fully understand the passage and give your answer based on your understanding on the passage/poem. For those questions, it is not possible to obtain the answers directly from the passage/poem and you have to answer using your own words.
- For questions on your own opinion, you have to give your own ideas, based on your understanding on the passage/poem. Your ideas should be logical, suitable and relevant to the question.
- Then, write your answers. When answering the questions, don't be afraid to give your answers. Write down everything that you know and understand about the passage/poem and write down all your ideas and feelings. The marks allocated for a question usually shows the number of points you have to write. 1 point may carry 1 or 2 marks, depending on the marking scheme.
- If the question does not state the number of answers that you have to give, you can write as many answers as you want, but you must be careful. Marks will only be given for correct and acceptable answers. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable but it does not contain wrong facts and is not too far away from the question, no marks will be given and no marks will be deducted. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable and contains wrong facts or is complete out of question, marks may be deducted (wrong cancel right). So, you should give many and long answers, but take care not to write any wrong facts and don't write answers that are completely irrelevant to the question.
- If the question states the number of answers that you have to give, you cannot write extra answers. You have to give short and precise answers. If you give extra answers, those answers will not be marked and marks may be deducted.

c) Grammar (语法):
- It will test you on type of word (词类), phrase (短语), components of sentences (句子成分), compound sentences (复句), language & style (修辞) and idioms (熟语). Hanyu pinyin (汉语拼音) and others will not be tested. Make sure that you understand all the Grammar components above. Refer to the revision books. Look at the examples given to help you understand better.
- When answering the questions, give the most suitable answer based on your understanding. You must give specific answers. Giving extra answers is not allowed. If you do so and any of your answers is wrong, marks will be deducted (wrong cancel right).

4. Classical Text Comprehension (文言文理解):
There are 2 questions, 1 is Prose (散文) and 1 is Poem (韵文). It will test you on Comprehension (理解) and Translation (翻译).

a) Comprehension (理解):
- Get to know the commonly used traditional words and their meaning and remember them. Go through as many as possible. Refer to revision books.
- During the exam, go through the glossary given and the questions quickly first. Read the passage given carefully. Translate the classical text word-by-word then translate it into modern text. Use the glossary given to help you understand the meaning of some words. If you really don't understand the meaning of a sentence, skip it first and go to the next sentence. As you go through and understand the other sentences, this can help you understand that sentences. Go back to it again after you have gone through the rest of the passage. You can imagine that you  are in the situation/story to help you understand it and understand the feelings of the characters in it. Next, look through the questions.
- For questions based on the passage/poem, you should get the answers from the passage/poem. You copy the answers from the passage/poem if possible, but you must translate it into modern text. Do not copy directly the traditional text from the passage/poem.  Sometimes you may have to make some changes (such as changing dialogs to text) so the the sentences are suitable for the answer.
- However, many questions require that you fully understand the passage and give your answer based on your understanding on the passage/poem. For those questions, it is not possible to obtain the answers directly from the passage/poem and you have to answer using your own words.
- For questions on your own opinion, you have to give your own ideas, based on your understanding on the passage/poem. Your ideas should be logical, suitable and relevant to the question.
- Then, write your answers. When answering the questions, don't be afraid to give your answers. Write down everything that you know and understand about the passage/poem and write down all your ideas and feelings. The marks allocated for a question usually shows the number of points you have to write. 1 point may carry 1 or 2 marks.
- If the question does not state the number of answers that you have to give, you can write as many answers as you want, but you must be careful. Marks will only be given for correct and acceptable answers. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable but it does not contain wrong facts and is not too far away from the question, no marks will be given and no marks will be deducted. If you wrote an answer that is not acceptable and contains wrong facts or is complete out of question, marks may be deducted (wrong cancel right). So, you should give many and long answers, but take care not to write any wrong facts and don't write answers that are completely irrelevant to the question.
- If the question states the number of answers that you have to give, you cannot write extra answers. You have to give short and precise answers. If you give extra answers, those answers will not be marked and marks may be deducted.

b) Translation (翻译):
- Get to know the commonly used traditional words and their meaning and remember them. Go through as many as possible. Refer to revision books.
- During the exam, it will ask you to translate sentences or phrases. When translating, replace every traditional word in the sentence or phrase with a modern word of the same meaning. If the traditional word is the same as the modern word, you should convert the word into a phrase. Do not leave any words untranslated. For words that are wrongly translated, marks will not be given and marks will not be deducted.

Idioms (名句精华) is abolished from SPM 2021 onwards.

E-books for SPM Chinese Language and Chinese Literature can be found here: