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The basics
Malaysia: Subject Guides

Guide to the SPM mathematics paper

Our guide to the SPM mathematics paper will help you successfully prepare. We explore the test format, structure, scoring and questions.



What is the SPM exam?


The SPM stands for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and is also often referred to as the Malaysian Certificate of Education. It’s the national exam usually taken by Malaysian students in their fifth form.


This is the exam taken by students before they move onto higher education and the results can impact their options moving forward.



What is the SPM mathematics paper?


The SPM Mathematics paper is the mandatory mathematics exam that is a huge part of these final year exams. Malaysian students must pass this exam in order to graduate successfully


Passing is vital, not only for Malaysian students to graduate but also if they want to pursue mathematics in some way in higher education. 


What is the format of the SPM mathematics paper?


The SPM mathematics exam is made up of two papers. Paper one has 40 multiple choice questions, each question worth one mark. Paper two is full of structured questions and is worth 100 marks.


Students are awarded a mark for answering the questions correctly and, in the case of the second paper, showing their workings.


What does the SPM mathematics exam evaluate?


The SPM mathematics exam evaluates a student's mathematics proficiency. Throughout their education, students in Malaysia are given a detailed and varied education in the field of maths in particular.


The SPM exam aims to assess how much each individual student has learnt and how they can apply this knowledge in a variety of situations.


How is the SPM mathematics paper scored?


With a total of 140 possible marks, students need a minimum of 40 to pass. After this, their grade will go up in increments depending on how many marks they have by the end of both papers.


Our chart below shows you exactly what points you need to achieve the grade you want.






80 - 89


70 - 79


65 - 69


60 - 64


55 - 59


50 - 54


45 - 49


40 - 44




What tips are there for the SPM mathematics paper?


The SPM mathematics exam is an important part of many students’ journey through education. Passing can mean the difference between graduating or not and passing with a good grade can open up a number of opportunities, like studying abroad


Like any exam, revision is the key to success. Going over your previous modules and past papers is one of the best ways to help you prepare and get ready for the big day.


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