Still remember “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost?
And I’m modifying it to suits my situation, I have Three Roads instead of two, and I took all three. How’s that sound? The high school that I’m attending have the choice of taking O-Level, SPM, and UEC. Yes, they are offering three paths for students to choose from.
To cut the long story short. I took all 3. Why? Because I love exams! Yes, I LOVE and ENJOY exams. I know I’m a freak. (don’t ask me about my result though)
I had O-Level in June, SPM in November the same year, and UEC in October the following year. So, I have 3 major examinations certificates when I leave high school, the O-Level cert, the SPM cert, and the UEC cert. So what’s the differences of all this three?
From O-Level to SPM
As a science stream student, I don’t really feel much difference between O-Level and SPM. The syllabus is pretty much the same, it only has one or two chapter difference. Oh yeah, the major different is that, I only have four and half months to really prepare for the SPM, especially the Sejarah and Moral. Since the teacher is focusing too much at O-Level previously, we are forced to be more self-discipline when comes to revision. We even sacrificed our ECA time and stay back after school to do revision with teachers.
From SPM to UEC
After these two exams, most of my friends left to continue A-Levels. But I choose to stay a year for UEC - Unified Examination Certificate for Independent Chinese Secondary Schools in Malaysia. That is a major transition though, because the exam is supposed to be Mandarin, even for the Maths and Science subjects! Even though some of us opt for English version, the existing teachers are more capable of teaching the subjects in Chinese. Therefore, most of the time, we have to do translation by ourselves. Even the past year papers are in Chinese!!! The most horror thing is that, UEC is equivalent to A-Level and STPM, the syllabus is tougher but we only have one year (normally students spend 3 years) to study them all. It is like taking a bullet train to catch-up the fall behind syllabus. It definitely requires a lot of self-discipline. Since we are so used to English terms, the scientific terms and the Calculus in Chinese are killing us. I know you might say Math symbols are universal. But imagine the teacher is pronouncing it in Chinese. I just can’t comprehend. It is not surprising that I get a flat C for the Sciences. Thank god I didn’t fail any of them, I used to get the lowest, 27 over 100 marks, for my Physics test.
Even though it sounds difficult (and ridiculous) to take all the exams, we still survived it. Maybe not with extremely good results, but I really enjoyed the process. Feel like challenging us too?
ps: My friends who took IGCSE had O-Level on October at Form 5, UEC on October at Form 6, and SPM on November at Form 6 too! Crazy? NO! It’s exciting!!!
ps again: My result is not that good though, no subject failed and not scoring high enough to get scholarship. That’s it. period. Now, judge me.