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The basics
Malaysia: Subject Guides

SPM Tips: Bahasa Melayu Karangan

SPM exam

The SPM Bahasa Melayu is the most important paper in SPM as students can only continue onto form six or local university if they passed. Follow our SPM tips for the Bahasa Melayu Karangan paper.

Section A

You will have to write an essay between 200-250 words based on the material given. The length of your essay should not exceed 250 words.

Often, candidates are asked to write the essay based on the material provided or a given topic. If the materials provided are pictures, candidates do not have to focus just on the images. Rather, they can touch on the topic. For example, if students are given four pictures showing public property being vandalised, they need not concentrate on describing the pictures. Candidates are advised to write an essay on vandalism, the causes, effects and solutions to overcome the problem. However, to play safe, students should include a sentence or two describing the pictures – eg the public telephone has been vandalised and it’s easy to spot crude words on the booth.

Section A tests mainly on the Malay language and not the content. Hence, your essay must be grammatically correct besides showing a wide range of vocabulary with interesting phrases. These tips should be kept in mind for Section B as well.

Section B

Students have to choose 1 out of 5 questions provided and write a continuous essay of more than 350 words. If you prefer writing formatted essay, you have to make sure that your format is flawless to avoid mark deduction. The secret to scoring is to write a length essay. This is because when the piece is lengthy, it gives the examiner an impression that you can write well.

Make sure that your essay is free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Attempt to write between 500-700 words; that is about 2-3 pages depending on your handwriting. Use relevant idioms in your writing. You should read up and memorise some common Malay idioms to prepare yourself for this paper. Some of the common ones include ‘bulat air kerana pembetung, bulat manusia kerana muafakat’ and ‘melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya.’

Some questions in section B are open questions. Candidates can write about the causes, effects or actions/solutions to overcome a particular problem. You’ll know if you see the questions using keywords like ‘ulas pernyataan di atas’ and ‘berikan komen’. Meanwhile, some other questions limit the scope of your essay and this can be identified through keywords like ‘berikan pendapat tentang peranan keluarga...’ and ‘tulis rencana tentang usaha-usaha yang diperlukan...’

The 5th question is always a literature-type question. Candidates are normally asked to write a short story based on a theme or idiom. Only choose this question if you have a sound mastery of the Malay language.

Good luck!

Useful links:

SPM Tips: Pendidikan Moral

SPM Tips: Literature in English paper

Tips to ace your SPM

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