Saturday, November 9, 2013

SPM 1119 Paper: Spot or...Leaked Questions?

Last Thursday, all sane, schooling 17 year olds sat for their SPM English paper.

A few days before, there was a frenzy around the web about "spot" questions for the writing paper and literature section.

And the spot questions weren't just the vague idea, general kind of questions, but real questions you'd find in exercise books.

Form 5 English teachers in every school (except me, 'coz I was invigilating exams) went nuts giving students the questions, and even had a special "class" with them the day before the exam.

I wasn't sure whether giving these "questions" to students was an okay thing to do, since they might dwell too much on it and would end up with heart-attacking disappointment and experience loss of focus when these magic questions don't come out.

After getting an OK from a fellow colleague, I too started spreading the "hot" questions to my students, but of course, with a warning not to take it too seriously.

And so the kids sat for their English paper the next day.

In Section B of the writing paper, 4 out of 5 of the questions were spot on, including the novel question.  Like, not questions that 'sound' the same with the spot questions, but with the EXACT wording, verbatim.

Part of me was relieved that my kids who did study the spot questions would be able to answer their paper well, but another part of me thinks that what was happening was not right, and that somebody ought to go to jail for leaking these questions.

What was the person who exposed these questions thinking?  Did they really think that they are doing our kids a favour?  The more I think about it, the more I'm appalled with that person's actions, and the consequences that come with it.

Exam paper writers are sworn to secrecy, and failure to do so is punishable by jail.  Weren't they afraid? Were they paid?  Did they accidentally left an envelope full of questions around at a public place?

Or to be a conspiracy theorist, were they 'told' to do so?  Why not just leak the whole paper to students prior exam?  And when they get 10A+, we can send them overseas to be doctors and see them accidentally murder their patients.

Yes, no doubt my kids would be able to score better in their exam NOW, and that makes me happy, but how on earth are they going to go further in their studies when what they got in their SPM  was the result of  leaked questions?  Yes, I do think the questions were leaked, instead of predicted, due to its verbatim nature.
So they are able to 'score' well. So? Are we supposed to be proud?  I might be happy that my kids have the chance to score well, but I'm in no way proud of how they got to it.  I should be glad that I did my part in helping them to score by reposting the questions on Facebook, but I'm not proud with what I've done.  I sworn never to be "pressured" to keep up with the "school achievement graph" and resort to dirty tactics, but looks like I got sucked in as well.  Fuck the system.

Faith in honest-to-God teachers is now lost.  And I'm a horrible one too for assisting.  To all the teachers who did so too, we seriously need to be rehabilitated. 


kei-1 said...

a teacher in my school apparently got a leaked question as well and just kept it to herself and her students.

I've no problem with that at all, but it pisses of other teachers around here.

Its just so funny, what happened to joy of hard-earned effort? Both the students and the teachers. Sigh... Its taking shortcut everywhere.

And Amanda, its not your fault. I'm sure if you would've known, you wouldn't post them up. So yeah, messed up world now.

sue hafiza said...

You are off the hook dear manda, because you did tell your students not to depend on it too much..i see it as an extra,last minute effort to prepare them for the exam..stop blaming yourself. So today God made you a better person who knows right from wrong. Grab your faith back,hold your head high,because now you are unstoppable..

Amanda Christine Wong said...

@K: Wow, that teacher did that? Pretty selfish, but then again, it's okay if you don't believe in leaking questions. Yes, had I known it was leaked, rather than spotted, I would not do it. But alas.

@Sue: Hm, that actually made me feel better. Thanks! :)

Arms said...

Hmm,regarding your conspiracy theory. Maybe there is some truth in it. You know, English subject. A lot of students can't do English well. And it's a must-know when applying for jobs. I mean, companies, as I see, look at the English subject first than the rest. I think la.

Eniweiz, you did the right thing. Let's say it's not a one by word leaked questions, then you have helped your students in preparing. Haha ngam ka sia cakap tu. You get me la :D

Happy Monday! And it's almost holiday for you, guys!