Straight A’s Reality in Malaysia


It is that time again when reality sinks in:

Top scorers discover again PSD scholarships are not guaranteed

A number of SPM top scorers have discovered yet again that a string of A’s are no guarantee to a scholarship from the Public Service Department.

When Mo Ye Voon scored 10 1A’s and a 2A, she thought she was on the way to becoming a doctor.

However, Mo, a student of SM KGV who recently completed her national service training in Malacca, was disappointed that she was not selected by the PSD as a scholarship recipient.

“I was not even considered for a medical course at any of the local universities,” said Mo, whose father’s income as a factory supervisor would not be enough for her to realise her dream.

Full article can be read from

I am not surprised with this. When the number of straight As have increased in a nation, two main conclusions can be gotten: 1) The standard of SPM has fallen OR 2) The number of quality students have increased.

I am more inclined to believe the former since the study pattern of tuition centres in Malaysia has NEVER change. It is always dependent on ‘practice makes perfect’ and ‘get a good teacher who can spot the questions out’. Moreoever, the rumours of ridiculously low passing level for certain subjects really concurs with the increasingly ridiculous number of straight A students in the country. Another simple observation; if we really have ‘top quality students’ why are these not revealed 5 years down the road in the industry? Why are Malaysian graduates still laggards when it come to industry performances?

It has been artificially inflated folks. The number of opportunities for scholarships and the like are always the same (more or less). If the number of ‘straight A’ students are increasing while opportunities remain ceteris paribus, what do you expect? Of course there will be much disappointments!

So don’t take your child’s straight A’s that seriously, okay? Not until the Ministry does something about SPM’s quality. But you know what? Malaysian parents (in general) do not care about it (especially the metropolitan ones), because they still have this idea that SPM is THE best measure of a child’s performance. 

I really beg to differ on this. I pity them. 


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