The National Education System & the Classification of Educational Institutions

Preparing for Examinations (this section is being reviewed)

Every school in the NES is required to prepare its pupils for examinations prescribed by or under the Act or any regulations made under the Act unless otherwise exempted. Generally, schools prepare pupils for national examinations.

The Examination Syndicate or Lembaga Peperiksaan (LP) currently conducts the national examinations of UPSR, PMR, SPM and STAM. STPM is administered by the Malaysian Examinations Council or Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia (MPM).

  1. Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR): An examination designed to measure students’ academic achievement at primary school level. The subjects tested in UPSR include Bahasa Malaysia, English language, Mathematics, and Science. In addition, students at National-type primary schools sit for Chinese language or Tamil language; 
  2. Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga (PT3) Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR): Similar to the UPSR, the PMR is an examination designed to measure students’ academic achievement at lower secondary school level. Subjects tested include Bahasa Malaysia, English language, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Living Skills and Islamic Education. A number of optional subjects are also available, such as Chinese language, Tamil and Arabic. The PMR will be replaced with the PBS starting 2014. 
  3. Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM): The SPM is the national examination taken by all Form 5 students at the end of secondary school. It is deliberately benchmarked and internationally recognised as equivalent to the GCE O-Level. Compulsory subjects include: Bahasa Malaysia, English language, History, Mathematics, Science, Islamic Education (for Muslim students) and Moral Studies (for non-Muslim students). There is also a wide number of elective subjects across the fields of Arts, Information and Communication Technology, Languages and Literature, Technical and Vocational, Science and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Religion; and  
  4. Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM): STAM is a post-secondary examination taken by Form 6 students in religious schools. It is administered by LP. Passing STAM enables students to further their studies at Al-Azhar University. Apart from the examinations administered by LP, MPM which is also under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, administers examinations like the
  5. Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) for post-secondary education which is benchmarked to international standards that is the A-Level.