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TIPS TO PREPARE CANDIDATES FOR SPM 2024 (SERIES 4): ANALYSES OF ARTICLE QUESTIONS IN SPM 1119/2 2021, 2022 AND 2023



 

Based on the analyses of 1119/2 Part 3 (SPM 2021, 2022 and 2023), obviously more or less the writing tasks are similar to Part 1 and Part 2. Candidates are still required to describe, share personal experiences or views, explain/provide details, justify, and suggest. So far, I hold the view that only two themes have been covered for articles:


·        SPM 2021: science and technology + people and culture (teenagers and social media)

·        SPM 2022: science and technology + people and culture (playing online games)

·        SPM 2023: people and culture (a memorable photograph)

 

Does it mean an article for SPM 2024 will cover one of these themes; consumerism and financial awareness or health and environment? Well, I do not have the answer. Maybe yes. However, as teachers, we should always remember that our pupils are tested mainly on their writing skills (Communicative achievement, organisation and language). Therefore, our main focus should be on developing their writing skills, in particular these ones:


·        sharing a personal experience (real or imagined)

·        offering personal views

·        giving reasons

·        making suggestions

·        describing or providing relevant details for each view, reason or suggestion


Besides, as teachers we must also prepare our pupils to describe feelings, people and places using less common lexis. For example, as shown in the table below, the article for SPM 2023 required candidates to give different kinds of descriptions (depending on the tasks, of course). It would be great if our candidates are equipped with certain less common lexis to fulfil each of their tasks.



If we examine each article question, in writing the article, we should be able to notice that candidates are also required to present their opinions or personal views. What useful expressions can candidates use to present their views? Is using “In my opinion, …”, “I think …” or “I believe …” enough for their A or A+? Perhaps, the better candidates should be coached to use expressions like the following to present their opinions:


·        As far as I am concerned, …

·        In my eyes, …

·        From my perspective, …

·        From the lens of a teenager, I …

·        I hold the view that …


Of course, there are other useful and perhaps, better expressions which pupils can use to express their opinions. The point is, teachers must coach and guide the pupils to apply them accurately as it will not only enhance their language lustre but also the mark for organisation (those useful expressions are cohesive devices).



Some candidates tend to write sweeping statements when giving their opinions. As a result, their views are questionable or debatable. Therefore, in giving opinions, it is fundamental to remind our pupils to be careful with their statements. To ensure their opinions are logical, relevant and acceptable, they must be coached to use these phrases accurately:


·        All (teenagers) …

·        Most of the (teenagers) ….

·        Majority of the (teenagers) …

·        Some (teenagers) …

·        Certain groups of (teenagers) …

·        (Teenagers) always / sometimes / often / rarely …

·        Perhaps, it true that some (teenagers) …

·        Most probably, (teenagers) …

·        Absolutely, (teenagers) …

·        Beyond doubt, (teenagers) …



What can be concluded based on the analyses the article questions which came out in SPM 1119/2 2021, 2022 and 2023? Well, I would say that their writing tasks are almost similar to Parts 1 and 2. However, our pupils should be coached to provide more details as the required length increases. I would strongly encourage teachers to expose pupils especially the SPM 1119/2 candidates to Topic Sentence and Supporting Sentences in writing an article. Through their clear understanding of supporting sentences which explain about the topic sentence, our candidates will be able to fulfil their writing tasks effectively.

 

To be continued – revision on topic sentence and supporting sentences in the next write up.


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