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Malaysia: Subject Guides

SPM Tips: Mathematics paper


Study the chapters lined out below and you’ll find it easier to score in Mathematics.

Paper 1

  • 1 ¼ hours

  • 40 questions

  • 40 marks

Paper 2

  • 2 ½ hours

  • Working steps must be completed

  • Section A includes 11 questions with a total of 52 marks

  • Section B includes 5 questions with a total of 48 marks (student to answer 4 out of 5 questions)

Every chapter will be tested in Paper 1. The questions will be based on what you’ve learned in Form 1 right up till Form 5. If you’ve already mastered the basics in PMR, this shouldn’t be a problem. Practise past years’ objective questions to build on your foundation.

In Paper 2, only certain chapters will be tested in SPM. Here are some important tips:

Questions that are tested every year

Paper 2 (Section A)

  1. Volume of solids (taught in Form 2)

  2. Most of the formulae given are for this question

  3. Make sure the formulae are used correctly

  4. Combined solid is sum of volume of the solids

  5. Remaning solid is the subtraction of bigger solid and smaller solid


  6. Angles of elevation and depression

  7. Using trigonometry rule


  8. Mathematical reasoning

  9. Statement ‘and’ and ‘or’

  10. If p, then q. If q, then p.

  11. Simultaneous linear equation

  12. Equalise the same unknown and take out

  13. Example: 4p-2q=15

    (2p+4q=19) x2 (to make unknown 4p same)

  14. Don’t use add math method as answers will be different

  15. The straight line

  16. y=mx+c

  17. gradient, gradient...

  18. What is c? c(y-intercept) is the point where the line touches the y-axis


  19. Quadratic expressions and equations

  20. ‘solve the equation’ is to find the unknown

  21. Change the equation of the question into this form

  22. Factorise by your own or using calculator

  23. Must state x=?, x=?, there will be 2 answers


  24. Matrices

  25. Will mostly ask inverse matrix

  26. If you’re not sure about the answer, check if the whole outcome is identical to the inverse matrix in the question

  27. The answer in a) is related to b)

  28. Area and perimeter of circles (same as number 1)

  29. 2πr (perimeter or circumference) and πr2 (area)

  30. (angle/360 degree) x the formulae above for the area or perimeter of certain part

  31. < >

    Is more of (number/total number)

  32. The formulae given are plain useless

  33. Final answer is never less than 0 or more than 1, 1> answer> 0

  34. Gradient and area under a graph

  35. Based on speed/time graph

    =distance is area of the graph

    =rate of change of velocity is gradient of the graph

    =speed is based on the graph (seldom being asked)

  36. Beware of total distance and total speed

Can be varied each year
1)    Sets (2004 and 2006)
-      shading based on the questions (intersection or union)
-      beware of the complement such as A’

2)    Graph of functions (2005 and 2007)
-      the inequalities (upper line is >, lower line is <)
-      if slanted line, you can imagine it into horizontal straight line. Same concept as above.

Paper 2 (Section B) Answer 4 questions
1)    Graph of functions
-      Linear functions (less likely to come out as it’s a straight line after plotted)
-      Quadratic functions (2004 and 2005)
-      Cubic functions (2007)
-      Reciprocal functions (2006)
= this question is easy because you can detect the type of graph after you plot it.
= elastic ruler is recommended
= x-axis and y-axis should be stated in the graph

2)    Transformation
-      Translation
-      Reflection
-      Rotation
-      Enlargement (be careful with the word ‘to’ and ‘from’)
= combination of transformation like VT
-      do T before V.

3)    Statistic
-      Histogram
= x-axis the upper boundary with an additional lower boundary at the front of the graph
= y-axis is frequency
- Frequency Polygon
= x-axis is midpoint
= y-axis is frequency
- Ogive
= x-axis is upper boundary
= y-axis is cumulative frequency
= additional upper boundary should be added to the table
= x-axis and y-axis should be stated in the graph

4)    Plans and elevations
-      plan is looked from above
-      elevation is looked from the side of the solid
-      the length and the edge (ABCD) should be stated correctly
-      similar to a chapter of the living skills in PMR

5)    Earth as a sphere
-      latitude is vertical and longitude is horizontal of the sphere
-      nautical mile

Good luck!

Useful links

SPM Tips: English Literature

SPM Tips: Pendidikan Moral

SPM Tips: Bahasa Melayu

SPM Tips: BM Karangan


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