Major changes in PT3 examinations

Written by: mottaman | 21 Mar 2019 10:55
Picture from NST
Written by:
21 Mar 2019 10:55

Parents and students, take note.

Apparently, there are going to be three major changes to the Form Three Assessment (PT3) examinations from this year following a new format.

These changes include written exams for History and Geography, the introduction of multiple choice questions (MCQs) and two other subjects.

According to Examinations Syndicate policy management and development sector head, Dr Rahimah Adam, for History and Geography, students were previously assessed purely based on projects.

“This year, while the projects remain, they will have to sit for written exams as well. The projects are now school-based and part of the teaching and learning process in the new Secondary School Standard-based Curriculum (KSSM).

“The written exams will comprise 80% of their final results,” she told The Star.

Every year, about 450,000 candidates sit for the PT3.

The ministry received feedback from parents and schools requesting the return of written exams, Rahimah said.

“We considered their requests and this will help students familiarise themselves with the type of questions they will be asked when they progress to Form Four and Form Five,” she added.

MCQs will also be introduced for all subjects to expose students to different types of questions.

“We want students to think when responding, rather than blindly choosing an answer,” said Rahimah.

“This time around, students will sit for two new subjects: Asas Sains Komputer (Computer Science Basics) and Reka Bentuk dan Tekno­logi (Design and Technology).

“These subjects were developed by the ministry’s Curriculum Development Division. Students have been studying these subjects since Form One under the new KSSM, so it will not be a shock for them when they are tested on these in the PT3,” she said.

Students sit for either one of the two subjects, which will be based on 70% written exams and 30% school-based projects.

Asas Sains Komputer, Rahimah said, teaches students simple programming because there is a need to expose them to this skill, while Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi exposes them to technology in coming up with new designs.

“It replaces the Living Skills subjects as it places more emphasis on the use of computers and technology.

“People can download the format at

“By the end of this week, we will have sample questions based on the format uploaded on the portal,” she said.

Rahimah said the ministry planned to increase schools’ autonomy and accountability in preparing and conducting the exam.

“It is also to recognise teachers’ efforts in assessing their students, she said.

“For now, schools and the Examinations Syndicate share accountability, where examination papers and marking schemes are prepared by the syndicate, while the administration of PT3 is conducted by schools.

“Next year, all subjects except for five will be prepared, administered and marked by schools; it will be just like the end-of-year examination.

“We will provide guidelines to schools on how to prepare exam papers. We want to give them more accountability and autonomy,” she said.

The five subjects are Bahasa Melayu, English, Pendidikan Kesenian (Arts), Hifz al Quran and al-Lughah al-Arabiah al-Muasirah.

Introduced in 2014, the PT3 replaced the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), which was abolished in 2013.

PT3 is one of the four assessments under the overall school-based assessment system.

The other three components are the school assessment, assessment of physical, sports and co-curricular activities and psychometric assessment.

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