Reading and Directed Writing
Comments on specific questions
Questions 1 - 6
The vast majority of candidates scored full marks on this exercise. Where candidates answered a question
incorrectly, it was either Question 2, 5 or 6.
Questions 7 - 12
These were answered correctly by the vast majority of candidates. No particular question caused problems.
Questions 13 - 16
Again, candidates encountered no particular problems with these questions.
Candidates performed well on this exercise. Marks were awarded to all the features mentioned, including
directions to turn right, etc. Some candidates did not know the Malay for ‘mosque’ and ‘swimming pool’.
Questions 18 - 26
Candidates performed very well on this exercise. A few candidates had problems with Questions 21 and
Questions 27 - 29
One or two very weak candidates got their dates mixed up but on the whole there were no problems with these questions.
While the majority of candidates followed the rubric and were thus able to gain full marks for relevant communication, others were less careful and failed to cover one or two of the required communication points, for instance they did not describe what happened on the flight home and what they had been up to since returning from holiday. Many candidates still do not seem to understand the use of the word anda meaning ‘you’.
As intended, this was the most demanding section of the Paper, aimed at A*, A and B candidates.
Questions 31 - 36
On the whole, candidates coped well with this exercise. In Question 32 there was sometimes confusion
between A and B (friend and brother), but most candidates understood that they were friends. Some
candidates did not understand the saying in Question 36.
Questions 37 - 43
This exercise proved demanding for many candidates. In particular, Questions 38, 41 (where many only
found one answer: to contribute to the national income), 42 (many confused this with Question 41) and 43
Questions 44 - 63
Most candidates coped well with this exercise (which will not feature on the paper in the future). As always,
candidates came up with many answers that were not included in the original mark scheme: where these
made sense and were correct grammatically, they were accepted.
Generally, candidates performed well on the Speaking test.
Examiners should ensure that they announce the identity of the candidates on the cassette of sample
recordings they send for moderation. Before each sample Speaking test, they should give the name and
number of the candidate they are about to examine, as well as the number of the role play card they will be
attempting (see instructions provided in Syllabus and Teachers’ Notes Booklet).
Comments on specific questions
Role play cards
While most Examiners were careful to follow the prompts provided in the Teachers’ Notes Booklet, some
Teachers deviated from these, which could result in candidates being thrown off track. While it is good for
Examiners to enter into the spirit of the role plays, it is important that they ensure that any embellishments do
not confuse candidates.
Topic (prepared) and general (unprepared) conversation
Some interesting topics were heard. As always, the most successful were those where the candidate had a
genuine interest in the subject they chose to talk about. Examiners are reminded that they should allow the
candidate to talk for at least a minute before interrupting and asking the first question.
It is up to the Examiner to ensure that the candidate is given every opportunity to show that they can
converse adequately in Malay. In order to achieve this, it is vital that questions are open-ended (when?
how? why? with whom? etc.) and that questions requiring simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer are avoided.
For Question 1, most candidates chose to write about their experience of working in an uncle’s restaurant
during the holidays. On the whole, they handled the subject matter well and many included funny and
exciting incidents that happened during their work stint. Only a handful of candidates chose to write a letter
applying for a job at a hotel.
In both questions it is important that candidates take the time to read carefully what they are asked to do in
order to ensure that in their answer they cover all the communication points required by the rubric. In
Question 2, a number of candidates started the story with the sentence provided when this was intended to
be the ending.
As in previous years, there were candidates who did not use the words kami and kita correctly. This is an
area that needs attention as kami and kita have different meanings in Malay. Also, there were a number of
candidates who started their story or letter with aku (I) and then continued with saya (also I): they should be
reminded of the need for consistency.
Into the heart of darkness
1 month ago