From Malaysia Factbook
| The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) is a national examination taken by all Form 5 students in Malaysia.
The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) (Malaysian Certificate of Education) is a national examination taken by all 5th-year secondary school students in Malaysia. Set and examined by the Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia (LPM: Malaysian Examinations Syndicate), the certification is equivalent to the British GCSE (O-Level) and is the 2nd last public examination (the other being the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), a pre-university study equivalent to A-Level) at the secondary school level.
Generally, the SPM is taken at the age of 17, though students who attended pre-secondary school class would take it at the age of 18. (A one-year pre-secondary school class is a requirement for those who study in vernacular schools for their primary education.)
2. History: Up until 1978, the SPM examinations were handled by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES), which still advises the Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia (LPM) on standards. The English paper is separately graded by LPM and UCLES, and both grades are displayed on the statement slip. On the real certificate, however, only the national examination board's grade is listed. The minimum requirement to get a certificate is a pass in both the Malay language and History.
3. Revised grade system: In 2009, the grading system was changed:
- Previous system: 1A (the highest grade, "1" being the grade point and "A", the letter grade) to 9G (the lowest grade);
- New system: A+ (the highest grade) to G (for "gagal" or fail).
| Grade Value
|| From 2009
4. Leaked 2012 SPM trial exams questions: On 14 September 2012, The Star reported that a Facebook page had been displaying SPM trial exams questions that were identical, or almost identical, to the actual exam questions themselves. (The Facebook page, still available on September 13, had since been deactivated.)
A Federal Territory Education Department source said the distribution of the leaked trial exam papers was not illegal, as the papers and the administration of trial exams did not fall under the ambit of the Official Secret Acts (OSA) or contravene any other Acts. He said that it was the schools' responsibility to ensure they are not leaked.
National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) deputy president Tey Meng Seng said that such cases had happened before in the past, but added that with the new School-Based Assessment system, the issue would no longer be a cause for concern. more... at Chronology