SPM EXAM TIPS
How to Score A+ in SPM Biology - With Pass Year Analysis and Sample Answer
Find out how to score in SPM Biology papers from a real expert. Here, you will learn the tips to study the subject, go through SPM Biology pass year analysis and learn to answer SPM Biology exam questions through practical examples.
About the writer
Doctor of Philosophy (Chemistry)
From primary to secondary school, we are plagued by the question of how to prepare for and perform well on examinations. This is because we have a public exam in Form 5. Ministry of Education, MOE (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) revisits the SPM exam format once in few years to make sure it is still relevant to the industry.
Useful Documents for SPM Biology Examination
Here, you can find all latest SPM format, SPM exam time table, schema for SPM Biology, general information, etc.
They are the bugs that make school a chore and a stressor. Despite this, we are often told that the best years of our lives are those spent in school. Around this period in the past, students sitting the ‘Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia’ (SPM) examination would either be taking their trial exam or preparing for the final ‘war’ before leaving for their secondary school years.
Undeniably, almost everyone’s dream is to score flying colours in this exam. But, many students reported that of the three science subjects (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology), Biology is the most difficult to score a ‘A’ or even pass because it covers many complex processes such as blood circulation in the human body, regulation of blood glucose level, genetic inheritance, and so on. This is due to the fact that students lack the ability to remember these processes efficiently.
Although some students may be able to digest the thick reference book before the exam, the questions on the paper may be confusing to them.
Among these, several hesitations or doubts that students always expressed, for examples, “What does the question want?” or “Is the way I thought the same as the answers later?” Exams can be stressful, but being prepared can help you manage your stress and achieve best results. Following that, this article will focus on scoring techniques for Biology papers 1, 2, and 3. We hope that by reading this article, students will gain insight into how to score the subject of Biology.
SPM Biology Paper 1 - Sample Questions and Answering Techniques
Paper 1 SPM Biology consists of multiple choice questions. Students frequently struggle with this paper since the options provided are so similar to one another. As a result, the students have become confused.
Furthermore, some students may overlook certain keywords, such as ‘the following statements are correct EXCEPT‘ or ‘choose the FALSE statement’ or ‘which of the following DOES NOT involved in a particular reaction’, because they are nervous when taking the exam.
Therefore, we’ll spend more time in this section looking at the keywords in some of the questions that students often overlook.
Paper 1 - Case 1
The following are examples of internal stimuli of an organism except:
The options mentioned in the question above largely apply to internal stimuli. As a result, students must select the stimulus that comes from the external environment because of the term ‘except’ appeared before the sentence ends.
The term ‘except’ is frequently overlooked by students. Keep in mind that this term is always used in the question. After the initial message of the question, there is a hidden meaning. Such a word should be remembered by students at all times.
First and foremost, students should have a firm grasp on the concept ‘internal stimuli’. Internal stimuli are changes in the internal environment that result in a change in the body.
Thenceforth, internal denotes a situation in which we are unable to perceive changes with our naked eyes. It refers to the internal body system that controls things like blood sugar levels. With the exception of choice A, which is radio music, the rest of them are considered examples of internal stimulation. Thus, the answer is A.
Paper 1 - Case 2
Multiple-choice questions are notoriously difficult to answer since we must choose the most accurate option. In the case above, the right answer is A. The majority of the options appear to be correct, so students often struggled to choose the best answer. As a result, if students are truly unsure on how to proceed. They can try with the ‘elimination’ technique. Students can cancel out those they believe are clearly incorrect in the statement using the elimination method.
Given four enzymes, amylase and trypsin are the most likely to be found in a text book or even a reference book. Amylase is a protein that aids in the digestion of food. The process of breaking down huge and complicated molecules into smaller and simpler forms is referred to as food digestion. In addition, it is used to remove starch from textiles during the finishing process. The sentence is valid because it demonstrates that this amylase aids in the removal of starch from fibric.
Trypsin, on the other hand, aids in the digestion of proteins. Rennet is the enzyme that acts as a coagulant in the production of cheese. Since option III is incorrect, we may rule out option B.
Next, we were instructed that we could modify the back name of the product formed with the word ‘ase’ to name the enzyme. For example, the formation of maltose necessitates the usage of a ‘maltase’ enzyme. The ‘lipase’ enzyme is used to make lipids (triglycerides). Protease is a type of enzyme that is generally used in proteins. In order to break down the peptide bond in the protein molecule, protease is used. As a result, we know that II is also right, and we know that I and II are both correct statements, so the final option we left is only A.
Paper 1 - Case 3
Aside from the example mentioned above, this is another type of question that students frequently encounter. In this case, C is the correct answer.
The numbering in the text book and reference book may go unnoticed by students. As a result, when they revise, they will only look at one thing at a time. Students were asked to state the percentage of carbon dioxide in the balloon that was blowing up. They are confused by the value in the textbook. To answer this, students must ask themselves such as ‘What makes the balloon go up in the air?’ The answer is exhalation.
As we know, carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrogen, and oxygen are among the gases found in the human body. Because humans take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. As a result, the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled is greater. 0.4% of carbon dioxide is breathed in, whereas 4.0% is breathed out.
Because the Earth contains 78% of nitrogen, 21% of oxygen, and the remainder is gases like carbon dioxide, neon, and hydrogen, thenceforth, breathing out 40% of carbon dioxide is not conceivable.
SPM Biology Paper 2 - Sample Questions and Answering Techniques
In SPM Biology paper 2, it consists of 2 parts: structural questions and essay questions. Candidates must always submit concise answers to structure questions rather than expanding in a long segment. Always remember to use the phrase “KISS” (keep it short and simple).
As an example, when the question asked you to describe how pollen grains are formed, how did you respond? To respond, you would simply need to use the essential points. Normally in structural question, each question is divided further into sub-sections. As a result, before completing the answer sheet, students must check that they have answered all of the questions.
Several examples are provided to help you understand the concept better whenever answering the structural questions.
Paper 2 - Case 1
State the function of mitochondrion located in the synaptic knob [2 marks]
Hint: The question asked about the function of the mitochondrion in a synaptic knob, and two marks were given. Therefore, only one function is required to answer this question, given the question mentioned ‘function’ rather than ‘functions’. From here, we can state the organelle’s main function, followed by a brief explanation.
Things you should avoid:
- There is no need to explain how mitochondrion contribute to the transmission of impulses across the synapse.
Paper 2 - Case 2
Describe how pollen grain is formed [4 marks]
Hint: Since four marks are given, we normally need to give roughly four to five points. Because the amount of space available is restricted, always use the main points to answer the question.
Things you should avoid:
- Because this section requires you to provide a short and simple answer. In most cases, no definition is required. For instance, we drew attention to the terms mitosis and meiosis. They are frequently defined by students. However, the question focuses on the pollen grain generation process. As a result, the definition is unnecessary.
- To describe the entire procedure, you do not need to make the diagram. However, you are expected to do so in the essay section.
In most essay topics, students are asked to provide a detailed explanation or description of a situation. As a result, students assume that as long as they can write in long paragraphs, they will be able to get a good grade. Actually, this viewpoint is incorrect.
In this section, provided the students are able to write down those key words, followed by elaborations. They’ll have no trouble scoring them. Students do not need to use those bombastic terms to entice readers because this is not a language essay. We’ll talk about the questions that needed us to make a comparison in this part. Using the example below, you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about.
Paper 2 - Case 3
State the differences between endocrine glands and exocrine glands.
The question then goes on to state the differences between the endocrine and exocrine glands. From here, I recommend using a tabular form to answer this question. The utilisation of a tabular form is just to provide the examiner with a clearer picture of what has been pointed out in order to compare these two glands. Certain points may be missed by examiners if students choose to write in a long passage format. Therefore, the correct approach to represent the answers is as follows.
|Endocrine glands||Exocrine glands|
Glands without ductus
Glands with ducts
Secrete substances that enter interstitial fluid and then into the bloodstream
Secrete substances that enter the ducts
Secretions always stay in the body
Secretions lastly exit the body
Examples: Hormones such as insulin, testosterone, adrenaline etc.
Examples: mucus, sweat, saliva etc.
Do take note that in Paper 2 essay questions:
- Always draw and label the diagram using a pencil.
- Always draw the table using a ruler.
SPM Biology Paper 3 - Schema and Answering Techniques
SPM Biology Paper 3 consists of two questions: Question 1 (33%) and Question 2 (17%). We’ll concentrate on ‘Question 2 – Planning Experiment’ in this section.
- Start with ‘What is the effect of manipulated variable on responding variable?’
- Must begin in question form.
- Give a statement to show the relationship between manipulated variable and responding variable.
- Manipulated variable: Condition or parameter that you can control throughout the experiment
- Responding variable: The outcome in which changing the manipulated variable will give the response that is normally uncontrollable.
- Constant variable: Condition that you fix it throughout the entire experiment
List of apparatus and materials
List ALL the materials and apparatus that you are going to use in this experiment.
- In this section, use passive form because your report can only be written after the experiment has been completed.
- For example, ‘A few drops of Benedict’s reagent was added slowly into a beaker containing 2 cm3 of sugar solution.’.
Presentation of data
- Prepare a table that includes the following items:
- Title for column and row
- Correct units
- Do not fill in the result, leave it blank will do.
In short, now that you’ve gone over some tips on how to handle the questions intelligently and do well in exams. Through this techniques, you should be confident in your ability to do well in the subject of SPM Biology in exam later. I wish all the SPM candidates best of luck!
About the writer
Doctor of Philosophy (Chemistry)