Sunday, November 4, 2012

SPM: A Reflection, Retrospect and Revelation

I know it's a bit late (Students are doing their BM paper as we speak) but SPM has once again, arrived into our calendar.
Statuses by statuses, tweets by tweets, blogpost by blogpost, wishing these students good luck in facing their , arguably, the most important exam of their life. Many 'inspirational' and 'motivation' speeches are thrown around in hopes of giving the final emotional boost to face this daunting adversity like:

"Doa banyak2 tau"
"Tawakal je, ko dah banyak berusaha"
"Makan kismis 7 balang sehari, insya allah pandai"
"Rebus buku, minum"

But take a few steps back and think,

What the heck is SPM?

Now, I can foresee that you guys will reply with:

SPM is a public examination taken by Form Five students as an end to their secondary level education. Range of subject including bla bla bla bla bla bla bla

Now, take a few more steps back and think,

Why are we taking SPM?

Again, I can foresee you guys responding with:

University placing!
To make my parents proud!
To boost my school rankings!

Again, ask yourself this:

Is SPM 'that' important?

You guys will now proceed to gather your pitchforks and torches while screaming 'Bullshit! Blasphemy!" at me in respond to the sheer absurdity of my notion. But calm down, and think. Is it that important?

SPM, although as flawed as it is now, (A digression here, I REALLY think that all the public examination is a cleverly sneaky political tool. With the ever so fluid grading system, the ministry can just say "Oh, this year's examination result has increase triple-fold from last year. All of this won't be achievable without US") is just an examination. Examination is a merely 'test of strength' to your academic prowess.

Highlight the term 'academic prowess' here. Truth to be told, SPM mostly test your skills to adhere to formats and memorizing terms and regurgitate them when needed. It is a flawed system to exactly test one's intelligence as critical and creative thinking skills are not properly tested. (And the examination board put KBKK question as a sad excuse for 'critical and creative thinking' question)

So, no matter what happen during SPM, one should not be thinking 'Oh, I'm so smart' or 'Oh, I'm so stupid'

Though, it's undeniable that SPM plays an important part in getting scholarships but think of it as this way. Your results, in the eyes of potential sponsors, are in reality just numbers. They are concern if you passed their minimum cut-off point only. After that, they couldn't give a crap. The level of Tom who got 29 A+ and Sam who got a mix of A+, A and A- is the same in the eyes of sponsors, assuming both of them passed the minimum academic requirement. Instead, they focus on life skills. 

Yes, as cliche'd as it sounds, sponsor look for 'skills' more than SPM results. At the end of the day, you will be bonded (in most cases, unless you're Turga or Wardah. *ehem* Golden Deer Award *ehem*) and sponsors are searching for someone who they can work it and contribute to them in the future. If you're just capable of memorizing and regurgitating facts, they might as well hired or buy a photocopier. They want true, bona fide humans.

So, with all these digression, what is my point exactly?

Do your best in SPM
But remember, it's NOT 
I repeat, NOT
the total evaluation of your life
NEVER let SPM result define you
As it is, at best, some numbers you will forget as you grow older.
But what is truly eternal?

So, whatever happens, you are still you.
Now, brace yourselves and ace that exam!


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