Primary School Evaluation Test (Malaysia)
Primary School Achievement Test, also known as Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (commonly abbreviated as UPSR; Malay), is a national examination taken by all students in Malaysia at the end of their sixth year in primary school before they leave for secondary school. It is prepared and examined by the Malaysian Examinations Syndicate (Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia), an agency that constitutes the Ministry of Education. Students in national schools (sekolah kebangsaan) are required to take five subjects, in addition to an aptitude test. Students in Chinese and Tamil national-type schools (sekolah jenis kebangsaan) are required to take two additional language subjects, totalling seven subjects.
This exam is held annually on the second Tuesday of September. The score is calculated based on a bell curve, thus the passing grade is reflected by the yearly performance.
The subjects that are taken in this exam include:
- Bahasa Malaysia (Pemahaman or Malay Comprehension)
- Bahasa Malaysia (Penulisan or Malay Writing)
- Chinese (Pemahaman or Chinese Comprehension) - Compulsory for Chinese school students only
- Chinese (Penulisan or Chinese Writing) - Compulsory for Chinese school students only
- Tamil (Pemahaman or Tamil Comprehension) - Compulsory for Tamil school students only
- Tamil (Penulisan or Tamil Writing) - Compulsory for Tamil school students only
- Apitude Test
Each of the two Bahasa Malaysia subjects is offered at two different levels: the harder SK level and the easier SJK level, due to the difference in the Bahasa Malaysia syllabus taught in SK and SJK. However, SJK students may opt to sit for the SK paper with permission from their schools.
The mathematics examination is one hour and forty minutes long, and is divided into two papers, paper 1 and paper 2.Paper 1 is multiple choice and consists of forty questions, all have a one-point score value. Paper 2,is the subjective area of Maths. There are 20 questions here in total, the first five have a one-point score value, questions 6-15 have a two-point score value, and the last five have a three-point score value.
Questions that are frequently asked in this exam are fractions, subtraction, multiplication, division, addition, area and volume, mass, perimeter, decimal points, average, data, digit numbers, percentage, money, time, date and duration.
The science paper lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes. This exam is divided into two sections, A and B.
For section A, students are given 30 multiple choice questions with a weight of one marks of each. For section B, students answer subjective questions. In the subjective paper, there are usually 3-5 questions and each question has 4 to 5 sub-questions which carry 1 to 3 marks depending on the question. Usually, the subjective questions will start with a diagram of an experiment and the questions are based on that diagram. The total weight that can be given here is 20.
When one adds the score of both sections, that person must multiply it by 2 to get the grand total. The first batch who took this exam were the candidates sitting for the UPSR year 1997.
Introduced in 2009, this test is used to evaluate students' aptitude and are written in the language familiarly used by the majority of students in a school(Although this is true, three choices only are usually available,namely Malay, Chinese and, Tamil).
The one and a half hour test comprises 61 multiple choice questions, divided into three sections based on three core areas namely thinking skills, problem solving and decision making. Students are graded according to band scores, ranging from Band 1 (Extremely Limited User) to Band 6.
Examining and result
After the completion of all exams, the examination papers will be brought to centres across the country to be evaluated. The distribution of papers across all the states can be random or otherwise, according to the wishes of the invigilator. All objective answer sheets are examined by computer, and all subjective answer sheets are marked by professional examiners. After completion the examination of all papers, the marks will be registered into an online system. A council will be called to ascertain the specific marks for the grade of each subject (the standard mark for an 'A' grade is 80 and above, however, should the year's cohort perform badly, the marks may be lowered to 70+ and above for an 'A'). The results are then printed and distributed to the education department of every district. Usually, the results are announced on the last Thursday of the school year (it is the second-last day of school for all states except Terengganu, Kelantan and Kedah, where it is the final day of school for the year), but in some years, it is published during the school holidays.
In 2005, several changes were made to the format of the 2 Malay papers, Pemahaman and Penulisan,as well as the English paper :
- The Pemahaman paper has 40 questions for 50 minutes. Previously, this exam lasted for 1 hour.
- The new format for Penulisan papers however are slightly different from early 2005. Formerly, each paper consists of two sections namely sections 1 and 2. For section A, there are two subsections. Candidates can choose to answer one of two questions given while for section 2, every candidate must answer the question given. The time given for the older format is one hour.
- For the newer format, each papers consists of three sections that are sections A, B and C. Candidates only have 1 hour and 15 minutes to answer all three sections.
For section A, a picture will be given. Then, pupils must build five compound sentences based on the picture. The suggested time to answer this section is 15 minutes. The marks allocated for this section is 10.
Section B is similar to the previous format of the Penulisan paper. For this section, candidates must choose one of three karangan or essays to be written on the UPSR paper. The suggested time to answer this section is 40 minutes. The total marks allocated for this section is 30 marks.
For Section C, there is a short story that contains some moral values. The student must write a paragraph containing the moral values. Pupils who get SK (Sekolah Kebangsaan) paper must give at least 5 moral values; pupils who get SJK (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan) paper must give only 4 moral values, unless given other instructions. The suggested time to answer this section is 20 minutes. Initially, the pupils were supposed to write their moral values in more than fifty words (SJK - forty), but now, they have to write it in less than fifty words (SJK - forty). The total marks allocated for this section is 20 marks.
English now has Paper 1 and Paper 2,unlike previously which had only one paper. The questions in Paper 1 are now grouped into five sections which has 40 questions altogether. Below shows what do the sections test on:
Section A:Vocabulary -Word level -Phrase level -Sentence level
Section B:Social expressions
Section D:Grammar text completion
Previously,only the first ten questions which were of comprehension's had the four multiple-choices. The second part tests social expressions which is still tested now,but previously candidates had to write the question's number in the bracelet given next to each option unlike now where all the questions in Paper 1 come in the four multiple-choices. At this part,two questions require candidates to think of the options which may give verbs (such as buildings/place) based on the dialogues given. The third part is grammar text completion. Candidates need to fill in the blanks for this part. Finally, question 21 and 22 test writing skills which are tested on Paper 2 now, 21 is Information Transfer while 22 is Note Expansion.
2014 UPSR paper leak
On 10 September 2014, the Examinations Syndicate had made a statement stating that instead of the Science paper(018, 028, 038) being sat the next day, it would be postponed to the 30th of September. The reason given for the postponement was due to the fact that the question paper was leaked on social media. This infuritated many parents whose children had studied hard for the exam. A few days later, another statement had been made saying that the English paper(014) has also been leaked and will be sat on the same day. About a week later, the Education Ministry announced that the Tamil(036, 037) and Maths (Paper 1(015/1, 025/1, 035/1)) papers were also found to be hacked, and would be sat on October 9.
- Education in Malaysia
- Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR)
- Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
- Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM)
- Ujian Nasional