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There are many things to do after your SPM examination.

Write about your plans for the


next three months and the challenges you might face.

Despite the fact the SPM examination is just round the corner, I have had the following 3
months after the examination planned, besides studying hard and doing last-minute revision.
The first plan for the 3-month period is what most teenagers would do after completing
secondary school education - learning how to drive. My father has appointed one of his
friends, who happens to be in the relevant line of work, as my driving instructor. According to
my father, he is an experienced and patient teacher and I should have no problem passing the
test and obtaining a licence if I cooperate fully with him. Since I have never driven before, one
of the challenges that I might face is to familiarise myself with all the car parts and driving
techniques, apart from equipping myself with the basic Knowledge of the engine. To me,
some of these seem so complicated - especially the engine. Besides that, I also have a fear of
large vehicles on the road, such as tankers, lorries and buses especially when I am riding in a
car. Anyway, I am sure that with the assistance of my instructor, I will be able to rise to the
challenges and obtain the passport and freedom to drive myself to wherever I want.

My second plan is to learn typewriting using the correct technique, that is, using all my 10
fingers and the right positions, particularly the former. Presently, I type with only a few
fingers, which is obviously much slower. Instead of doing a typing course in an educational
institution, my brother suggested that I learn from home using special software specially
created for this purpose. There are, in fact, a lot of free software available from the Internet.
Besides that, many websites also offer free online typing courses. Since it is much more
economical and convenient, I agree with my brother’s suggestion. I may face challenge
learning proper keyboarding technique as I am so used to the wrong way. Another challenge
that I might face is perseverance, since I am learning on my own. Luckily, my benevolent
brother offers to watch over me and monitor my progress. As such, I believe that I will be able
to acquire the skills and type at a much higher speed with great accuracy after 3 months.

As I intend to further my studies after the release of my SPM examination results, my third
plan is to improve my command of English and mathematical ability. I will be spending time
to further familiarise myself with the grammar rules. I will also be doing a lot of reading and
writing practice as they are two of the most effective methods to achieve my target. As for
mathematics, since one’s mathematical skills take a lot of hard work to develop, I plan to start
learning the higher-level mathematics with the help of my friends who are currently
undergraduates. The challenge that I may face for this plan is quite similar to the second -
since I am unattached to any learning institutions, I may find it unnecessary to stick to this
plan, even though I am aware of its benefits. But at least I have assistance. Therefore, I believe
that I will stick to plan 3 as well.
I hope to be able to implement my plans and accomplish my goals. Whether I will be able to
succeed depends a lot on my perseverance, determination and diligence. With these qualities,
proper time management and help from family members, friends and driving instructor, I
believe that it is possible to overcome all challenges and achieve my targets.

- by Wendy
Kwang Hua Private High School,
Klang, Selangor
Write about your experience helping Puan Ramlah, an elderly lady who lives alone. End your
story with “... I learnt a lot about myself by helping Puan Ramlah.”

I live in a village with a population of approximately 5,000. Puan Ramlah, an elderly lady, lives
alone in a run-down wooden house near mine. In the past, Puan Ramlah lived with her
husband and 3 children. Recently, her husband passed away. Her 3 children live far afield and
only visit her once in a blue moon. Even so, Puan Ramlah accepts her fate and never
complains. As she has a cheerful personality, she is often seen smiling and laughing. My
parents and I help her in whatever way we can.

Puan Ramlah used to be a good cook. Due to her failing eyesight and arthritic hands, she finds
it difficult to cook. Sympathising with her, mother often cooks an extra portion for her when
she cooks. Whenever I go to her house and give her the food, she thanks me gratefully. She
always says that mother’s cooking is delicious. Then, she savours the food with delight. She
makes me realise how lucky I am to have a great cook at home.

One day, a terrible storm struck our village. Most of the houses here were not affected but
poor Puan Ramlah’s dilapidated house was almost torn down. It would not be able to last
another storm. After a discussion, the men in our village decided to help Puan Ramlah build
a brick house.

My family invited Puan Ramlah to stay with us until the house was ready. She was deeply
indebted to us. I helped to pack her things and bring them to our house. I was sad to discover
that she had only few items of worn-out clothing. She even had no toothbrush to use. Despite
the fact, she never demanded anything from us. We provided her with all the necessities and
offered her whatever assistance she needed. She was extremely beholden to us for our
kindness and generosity.

Puan Ramlah’s house took about 3 months to complete. Her cheerful character brought a lot
of happiness to us. I also realised how fortunate I am to have a warm and loving family that is
willing to help the needy. I should treasure what I have.

'It is better to give than to receive’, as the saying goes. I used to think that altruism is not
worth our while, but I was wrong. Through helping Puan Ramlah, I realise that helping those
in need makes our life more meaningful and happier. It is also a pathway to personal growth.
In fact, I learnt a lot about myself by helping Puan Ramlah.

- by Waverly Kong
SMK Chung Hua,
Miri, Sarawak
What is the best way for teenagers to stay fit and healthy?
Teenagers are youngsters between 13 and 19 years of age. As teenage years are the period
that most of our growing occurs, it is of vital importance that teenagers stay fit and healthy
to facilitate the process.

In my opinion, the best way for juveniles to gain good health and fitness is through having a
balanced diet, an active lifestyle and a good night’s sleep.

Eating a balanced diet is a vital part of maintaining good health as it provides the essential
nutrients required for growth. Each of our meals should contain the 7 components of a
balanced diet - carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fats, protein, fibre and water
- for optimal health. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, poultry and fish
contribute to a balanced diet. Organic foods are better by comparison with inorganic ones
as the former are grown or farmed without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones and
antibiotics which can be detrimental to our health. Since about 60 percent of our body is
made up of water, consuming adequate water is also an important factor. Drinking 8 to 10
glasses of water is the ideal amount for an adolescent’s body to function well.

The human body is built for movement. If we lead a sedentary lifestyle, health problems are
prone to arise. Hence it is wise to exercise a few times a week for about half an hour each
session. Even doing domestic chores, which brightens your parents up, is better than
nothing at all. Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen our heart and lungs while
stretching reduces the risk of injury by increasing flexibility. Strength training helps to
strengthen our muscles. Other benefits of doing exercises include preventing obesity and
osteoporosis, improving blood circulation and combating depression.

Sleep is crucial to our health because when we sleep, our body undergoes repair, growth
and detoxification. For instance, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of our heart and
blood vessels. As such, teenage boys and girls should get quality sleep of about 9 hours each
night. Sleep improves brain performance and therefore teenagers with sufficient sleep tend
to learn and memorise more effectively. Thus, they also tend to perform better
academically. Apart from that, sleep also helps to prevent inflammation and obesity, spur
creativity, reduce stress levels and boost our immune system, among many other
advantages. Therefore, it is important to cultivate good sleep habits like going to bed at the
same time every night and make sure that your bedroom is dark and quiet when you go to
sleep.
Although there are numerous other ways for teenagers to stay fit and healthy, the 3 factors
mentioned above are some of the most effective, from my point of view. Undeniably,
teenagers today face more challenges and pressure. It is therefore essential for them to
realise the importance of staying fit and healthy in order to live life to its fullest and tackle
challenges and problems that come along with confidence.
Describe what makes you happy and explain why.
It is human nature to long for a happy life. Carrying out activities that we enjoy bring us
happiness and joy. There are a lot of things that make me happy and the top three are
hanging out with my family and friends, reading and spending time with my pet cat Ginger.

I come from a medium-sized family that comprises five members. My elder brother and
sister are married and currently residing in Singapore and Australia respectively. My parents
are real joys to me as they are both loving and caring. When my older siblings come back
home during the holidays, all of us would go on a sightseeing tour of the tourist attractions
in Malaysia. Since we have strong family ties, we not only share our happy moments but
assist one another to solve problems too.

I enjoy hanging out with my intimate friends or ‘BFFs’ - Zoe, Kate and Mia. On a typical
Saturday or holiday, we visit the library to borrow books. We then head for the swimming
pool, where we have a lot of fun playing and laughing. After that, we go to a shopping
center to have lunch, shop, and possibly watch the latest film. We usually hang out until
evening as that makes us happy and relaxed.

Reading is one of the hobbies that I enjoy the most. Through reading the newspaper, I not
only know what is happening all over my home country but also abroad. Apart from that, I
am also able to improve my language standards and perform better in examinations.
Besides the papers, I also enjoy reading storybooks with captivating plots. Mystery and
detective novels with interesting and unpredictable plots totally engross me. To me, reading
is both entertaining and rewarding.

Due to the fact the I have a soft spot for animals, especially cats, spending time with my pet
cat Ginger gives me a lot of pleasure. I found him under my father’s car one morning about
two years ago. Mewing pitifully, he appeared skinny and hungry. I took pity on him and fed
him some food. After his meal, I bathed him. I was glad that my mother allowed me to keep
Ginger, which turned out to be an affectionate cat. Besides that, he is also a close
companion and an excellent hunter.

I am glad to be blessed with my family, friends and cat. I consider myself fortunate and I
enjoy every quality moment that I spend with them. I will most probably continue to pursue
the hobby of reading as it is extremely beneficial. Since my life would be boring without
them, I will always cherish them.
Honesty is the best policy.’
Describe an experience when this was true for you.
The proverb ‘honesty is the best policy’ advises people that it is better to tell the
truth than to lie. I have always believed in the proverb. When I was about eleven years old,
my honesty saved two friends’ lives.

Charlotte has been my best friend since we were very young. We are extremely
intimate and do everything together. Her father passed on when she was three years of age
and she lives with her mother and elder sister. Since the demise of her father, her mother is
the sole breadwinner of the family. Although Charlotte’s mother does all she could to bring
up Charlotte and her sister, Charlotte tells me that her mother is extremely strict with them.
At times, she is so harsh that they find it hard to accept her ways.

Unfortunately one day, Charlotte and her sister had a big argument with their
mother. The next day, Charlotte told me that she and her sister planned to run away from
home. I felt really uneasy about their plan. I persuaded them against running away and to
think twice before they acted. In spite of my persuasion, Charlotte told me that they had
already made up their mind. When I asked her where they were planning to stay, she
replied to say that they would stay at the abandoned house at the edge of the forest. She
also said that I could go and visit them but I must not tell anyone about their hiding place.
She also sworn me to secrecy.

That very night, Charlotte and her sister ran away from home when their mother was
sound asleep. The next day when she discovered that they were missing, she was worried
sick. Apprehensive about their safety, she lodged a police report. The police formed a search
party to search for the sisters but their efforts were in vain. In desperation, she asked me
whether I knew where they were. Although I did, I said I had no idea of their whereabouts in
order to keep the promise that I made to the sisters. Their mother was disappointed at my
reply and I felt guilty about lying to her.

The following day, I went to visit Charlotte and her sister. It was a wet morning as it
had been drizzling since daybreak. Upon arriving at the place, I was taken aback to see the
bad state of the dilapidated wooden house, which stood in a bleak and desolate landscape.
Many parts of the house were rotten and its roof was leaky. The sisters, who appeared to be
pale, were glad to see me. Even though they were tired, weak, thirsty and hungry, they
pretended that they were happy to live in the house.

After visiting them, I felt sorry about their living conditions. Although I promised to
bring them some food and drinks, I went to see their mother instead. I apologised to her
and told her the truth. All at once, the huge weight of keeping the secret and lying were
lifted off my shoulders. Their mother could not be more grateful to me. Accompanied by the
police and me, she went to fetch her daughters from the house. By the time we reached
there, the sisters were almost dying of dehydration and starvation.

Albeit Charlotte was angry with me for breaking the promise, she eventually forgave
me and realised that I was actually doing the right thing. She and her sister thanked me for
doing them a favour and saving their lives. Their mother promised to be more reasonable
and she does live up to her promise. Until today, I still believe that ‘honesty is the best
policy’.
Describe an important family celebration
and how you felt about it.
Last Saturday, my family had an important celebration. It was my father’s birthday
and we celebrated the special occasion by throwing a surprise party for him. A week prior to
the party, we secretly invited our relatives and my father’s friends to the party.

In the afternoon of my father’s birthday, my elder brother Brian requested our


father to take him shopping in a shopping centre to buy some sports gear. Our father had no
idea that it was just a pretext to get him out of the house. While they were away, my
mother, younger brother Austin and I started to get ready for the party at home. After
decorating the living room with crepe paper and balloons, we went to a bakery to fetch the
birthday cake that we ordered a few days earlier. Not long after we reached home, the
caterers arrived and started to set up the food in no time.

About an hour later, the guests started arriving. Just then, Brian called to inform our
mother that he and our father would be coming home soon. Mother told him to stay in the
shopping centre a bit longer as not all the guests had arrived yet. Brian said that he would
try his best. After all the guests had arrived, all of us hid excitedly and waited for their
return. Within moments, we heard a car parking, followed by people walking towards the
front door.

“You haven’t been a good son today, have you?” my father complained in a slightly
cross tone of voice. He then took out the door key from his trouser pocket. Inserting it into
the keyhole, he continued, “You know that I dislike shopping, especially for long hours. And
yet you dragged me all over the shopping centre. In the end, you bought nothing. I’m so
tired now.”

After my father had turned the key and opened the door, all of us jumped out of our
hiding places and shouted, “Surprise!” My father was quite flabbergasted to see so many
people in our beautifully decorated living room. For a while, he was dumbfounded. When he
had recovered from his ‘shock’, he laughed heartily and exclaimed, “OMG! It’s my birthday
today. I should’ve seen this coming!”
Realising why Brian had taken him all over the shopping centre, he punched Brian’s
arm playfully and said that he was not a bad son that day after all. All of us laughed and
conveyed our birthday greetings to him. After he had talked to the guests, the food was
served. Next, he cut the cake and served it to everyone as dessert.

After the meal, all of us gave my father birthday gifts. Before the party ended, my
father made a short speech to thank all the guests for coming and also for their presents. He
also expressed that the greatest gift he had ever received is his family. Everyone of us
applauded.

I love surprise parties and this is the best that I have ever had so far. I was happy to
see my father having such an enjoyable time at the party, not to mention the delicious food
served. Although I was glad to celebrate my father’s birthday, I felt a little sadness as he had
grown a year older and the number of his grey hairs had increased.

My father has sacrificed so much for the well-being of our family and I love him
dearly. As the only daughter of my family, I want him to be by my side, to be there for me
forever. But I know that this is impossible. Anyway, I wish him nothing but happiness,
health, longevity and many happy returns of the day.
There is a lack of freedom given to teenagers today.
Do you agree?
The majority of teenagers today complain that they are not given sufficient freedom.
Despite their complaints, I believe that teenagers are given more than adequate freedom.
Since teenagers are still dependent on their parents, too much freedom can be bad for
them.

There are many parents who are careerists nowadays. As they are too busy working,
they can hardly stay home to monitor their children. Teenagers often take advantage of
their parents’ absence to hang out with friends, watch television, play video games, et
cetera. Rather than studying and doing their homework, they also spend too much time on
social networking websites. Since they have a lot of freedom and barely anyone to supervise
them, they tend to neglect their studies. Their negligence usually have an adverse effect on
their academic performance.

A lot of parents have no idea who their children hang out with. There is a Chinese
proverb which highlights the fact that spending time with decent friends influences us
positively while mixing with bad friends influences us negatively. When teenagers socialise
with true and sincere friends with positive character traits, their parents’ minds are put at
ease. On the other hand, if they spend time with undesirable friends with ulterior motives,
they can get into serious trouble. They can be cajoled into doing things that are harmful to
their health such as smoking, drinking and doing drugs. They can also be pressurised into
doing things that are morally unacceptable like gambling and committing crimes, among
many other instances.

Teenagers today are also given a lot of freedom to work and earn their own money.
While working at a young age is beneficial to them as they can learn about responsibility
and the value of money, they may also spend their hard-earned money on inappropriate
things like cigarettes and drugs. Whether or not teenagers can cultivate good spending
habits actually depends on their upbringing. Thus, parents who teach their children well
about good values normally do not have much apprehension about the way they spend.
Unfortunately, many boys and girls in their teens are provided with too much freedom
when it comes to spending. As a consequence, they spend their money however they want
and often end up making bad choices.
Excessive freedom is also given to teenage children to surf the Internet. While it is
true that they are able to learn about many beneficial things, the opposite is also true. They
can, for example, encounter bad or unsavoury characters who are capable of swindling and
even harming them. Due to the fact that teenagers are still young, immature and innocent,
they are more vulnerable to tricks and scams.

In a nutshell, I disagree that there is a lack of freedom given to teenagers today.


Although teenagers need a certain amount of freedom to grow and experience life
appropriately, too much of it is definitely unfavourable to them. Since teenagers’ freedom is
generally controlled by their parents, the latter should monitor and adjust the amount
accordingly so as to maximise the benefits to the former.
Why are animals important to human beings?
There are a number of reasons why animals are important to human beings. The
main reason is that animals benefit us personally, socially and economically.

Since the time of our cavemen ancestors, there have been interactions between
humans and animals. Animals can be our friends, companions, protectors, benefactors and
comforters. Research studies indicate that people who own pets and have close bond with
them have higher self-esteem. They are also generally happier and healthier. There are
many reported cases in which pets protected their owners and family members. In the
United States, a pet dog alerted its owners that their babysitter was abusive. A couple who
hired a babysitter to take care of their baby noticed that their pet dog was aggressive to the
babysitter. Upon investigation, they discovered that their child was abused by the
babysitter.

Animals provide many other benefits to humans. Insulin, a hormone in our body
which controls the amount of sugar absorbed by our blood, could not be artificially
produced previously. It had to be derived from cows and pigs. Nowadays, even though
animal insulin has largely been replaced by artificial human insulin, the former is still
available on prescription. Trained guide dogs are available to serve as loyal companions and
‘pairs of eyes’ for the blind. In the past, hunters took along hunting dogs to track, sniff out
and catch wild game. When night fell, the canines were the hunters’ companions and
protectors. In rehabilitation centres, animals are used to help the sick recover. For instance,
petting a pony helps to lift a sick child’s spirit.

Throughout history, animals have helped humans. We use animals to work for us. In
the agricultural sector, oxen pull ploughs before seeds are planted in the soil. We use horses
for transportation purposes. They pull carriages and covered wagons for us. Even though
oxen and horses are rarely used for farming and travelling purposes respectively today, the
horses are still being used for riding and racing. They are also used to participate in contests
in order to win awards. Farmers depend on animals such as cattle, poultry, sheep, goats,
among others, for their livelihood. They sell the animals’ meat, milk and eggs to earn
money. In the fishing industry, although the use of modern equipment and technology have
replaced the use of animals to catch fish, fishermen in some parts of the world still use
animals like dolphins, otters and cormorants for the purpose.

Another indirectly way in which animals help us is that they assist in the
reproduction of a variety of fruit and vegetable crops, which are an important part of our
healthy diet. Without animals to help disperse seeds and pollinate plants, many of them
would have become extinct.

In conclusion, animals are important to human beings because they benefit us


socially, personally as well as economically. Since they are of great benefit to us, we should
treat them well.
‘A friend in need is a friend indeed.’
Describe how a friend helped you in difficult time.
The first of May last year is indeed a memorable day for me as it is the day Sarah, my
best friend, lent me a helping hand in a difficult time.

Since that day was a public holiday, Sarah came to my house so that we could do our
geography project together. As the saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’. My parents
had gone out to attend to some urgent business then. While we were busy doing our
project, my younger brother Liam was playing outside our house. All of a sudden, Sarah and
I heard Liam screaming in pain. Astonished to hear the scream, we ran out of the house to
check on him. To our horror, Liam had fallen into the drain outside our house. As the drain
was quite deep, he was having trouble getting out of it.

Panick-stricken, I did not know what to do and felt like crying. Just when I was about
to cry, Sarah calmed me down. She suggested that she would call the ambulance and I
would call my parents. I nodded in agreement. As promised, she called an ambulance at
once while I called my parents. Upon knowing what had transpired, my parents were
extremely anxious about Liam. They decided to come home immediately.

While we were waiting for the arrival of the ambulance, Sarah and I talked to Liam
and comforted him. Seated on the bottom of the drain, Liam’s legs seemed to be in great
pain. He begged us to take him out. As much as I wanted to help him, Sarah advised me
against it. She said it was better to let the paramedics lift him out as he might be suffering
from broken bone injuries and we might deteriorate the condition. I believed Sarah was
right and felt really sorry for Liam, who was crying bitterly. Sarah ensured him that help
would arrive soon. To distract him and alleviate his sufferings, she told him humorous
stories.

Not long after, an ambulance arrived and so did my parents. The paramedics did
their job in a professional manner and lifted Liam out of the drain without injuring him any
further. He was then rushed to hospital. After my father had driven the rest of us to
hospital, the doctor informed us that both of Liam’s legs were broken and he had to be
hospitalised for treatment. But since he was young, his legs should recover quickly with no
permanent damage. Our tension were assuaged by the doctor’s report and we heaved a
sigh of relief.
I conveyed my gratitude to Sarah for her help. She said that was what friends were
for - both good times and bad times. Her assistance strengthened our friendship ties and we
hope to remain as best friends forever.
SPM English 1119 Past Year Paper Essay Topics - Categorised
DESCRIPTIVE

2015 - (1) Describe what makes you happy and explain why. (2) ‘Honesty is the best
policy.’ Describe an experience when this was true for you.

2014 - (1) Describe an important family celebration and how you felt about it. (2) ‘A
friend in need is a friend indeed.’ Describe how a friend helped you in difficult time.

2013 - ‘Truly Malaysian.’ Describe what this means to you.

2012 - Describe an outing with your friends.

2011 - A famous person you admire.

2010 - Describe the most popular student in your school.

2009 - Describe an unforgettable incident that you saw on your way home from
school.
Model Answer 2
Model Answer 3

2008 - Write about a person who has succeeded in life.

2007 - Describe an embarrassing experience in your life.

2006 - Describe an enjoyable weekend you have experienced.


Model Answer 2

2005 - Describe the biggest challenge in your life.


2004 - Describe a festival celebrated in your area.

2002 - Describe a favourite teacher who had a great influence on you.

2001 - Describe how you spend a free day when the weather was very bad.

2000 - My Hero

1998 - Describe a day at school when you were very unhappy.

1997 - (1) Imagine your were moving to a new house. Describe the last day in your
old house. (2) Describe the scene at a crowded bus or railway station.

ARGUMENTATIVE

2016 - Some people believe that all students in Malaysia should learn at least three
languages. What do you think?

2015 - Social networking has caused a lot of problems. How far do you agree?

2014 - There is a lack of freedom given to teenagers today. Do you agree?

2013 - Is tuition necessary? Discuss.

2012 - Should parents give children more freedom? Discuss.

2011 - Should school students have part-time jobs?

2010 - “The Internet is mostly a good thing.” Do you agree? Support your opinion.
(For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)
2009 - Is tuition necessary? Discuss.

2008 - Examinations - good or bad? (For another model answer, click here: Model
Answer 2)

2007 - 'Teenagers today are only interested in entertainment.' Do you agree?

2002 - Good results in school do not guarantee success in the future. What is your
opinion?

2001 - Some people think the legal age for driving should be increased from 17 to 19.
What do you think?

2000 - "More land should be used for agriculture than for industry." Do you agree or
disagree? Give reasons to support your opinion.

1999 - The computer - is it really an advantage?

1998 - Parents do not spend enough time with children nowadays. What is your
opinion?

1997 - Do you think games are an important part of school life?

FACTUAL / EXPOSITORY

2016 - What is the best way for teenagers to stay fit and healthy?

2015 - Why is having good neighbours important?

2014 - Why are animals important to human beings?


2013 - Reality shows

2012 - Saving money for the future.

2010 - What can we do to save the environment?

2009 - My favourite day of the week.

2007 - My early years

2006 - How can television help students in their studies?

2005 - How to keep oneself healthy.

2004 - How can we help promote tourism in Malaysia?

2003 - An invention you cannot live without.

2002 - How I can help to make the world a better place to live in.

2001 - (1) How do you think the media has influenced you and your family? (2) Large
families make happy families.

2000 - (1) Life in Malaysia in the new millennium. (2) Things that I like about my life.

1999 - Education - what it means to me.

1997 - Being young.


NARRATIVE

2016 - (1) Write a story about a time in someone’s life when music played an
important role. (2) Write about your experience helping Puan Ramlah, an elderly lady who
lives alone. End your story with “... I learnt a lot about myself by helping Puan Ramlah.”

2015 - Write a story about someone you know who took a big risk and had a good
result. Begin your story with: "Everybody said that the plan would never work. It was far too
risky ..."

2014 - Write a story about a fisherman beginning with: "The wind blew strongly. Out
at sea, ..."

2013 - (1) Write a story about being alone. (2) Write a story that ends with: "... and
so I became a better person."

2012 - Write a story beginning with: "The teacher walked into the classroom. It was
the first period ..." (For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)

2011 - Write a story that ends with: "... They looked at each other and smiled
meaningfully." (For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)

2010 - Write a story beginning with "It had been raining all day...".
Model Answer 2
Model Answer 3

2009 - Write a story that ends with: "... We said our goodbyes and went our separate
ways."

2008 - Write a story ending with: "... Now I realise the value of a true friend."
Model Answer 2
Model Answer 3
2007 - Write a story beginning with: "Kim was nervous when the door opened...".
(For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)

2006 - Write a story ending with: "If only I had been more careful, that wouldn't
have happened." (For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)

2005 - Write a story with the title: "An Unexpected Visitor".

2004 - Write a story ending with: '...We had never laughed so much in our lives.'

2003 - (1) Write a story that ends with: "... If only I had listened to his/her advice."
(2) A day I wished had never happened. (For another model answer, click here: Model
Answer 2)

2002 - Write a story beginning with: "Is it really you? Where have you been all these
years?"

2001 - Write a story of an old man returning to his home he left many years ago.

1999 - The day I lost my temper

1998 - Write a story beginning with: "I could tell by his face that he was angry...

1997 - Write a story with the following title: A Narrow Escape. (For another model
answer, click here: Model Answer 2)

ONE WORD / OPEN ESSAYS

2012 - Cleanliness

2011 - (1) Peace (2) The best things in life are free. (A reflective essay)
2010 - Home

2009 - Beauty

2008 - Stars

2007 - Tomorrow

2006 - Food

2005 - Music

2004 - Clothes

2003 - Friends (For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)

2002 - Colours

1999 - Memories (For another model answer, click here: Model Answer 2)
(Although this essay with the same title is a bit long, you can get some ideas too.)

1997 - Water

IMAGINATIVE

2016 - There are many things to do after your SPM examination. Write about your
plans for the next three months and the challenges you might face.

2008 - My perfect future husband or wife


2006 - What changes would you like to see in your life in the next ten years?

2005 - If you were given a chance to be anybody, who would you want to be and
why?

2004 - My ideal school

2003 - You have been given a chance to visit a country of your choice. Which country
would you choose and why?

2000 - If you were able to choose a time in history that you could visit, which time
would it be and why?

1999 - My Dream Car

LETTER WRITING

1998 - Write a letter to a penfriend describing some interesting places in your village,
town or home state.

*Note: For the new SPM examination format, letter writing is not included in Section
B (the Continuous Writing Section). It belongs to Section A (the Directed Writing Section)
instead.
SPM English 1119 Marking Band

Paper 1
Section B : Continuous Writing
[50 marks]
[Time suggested : One hour]
The free composition is basically assessed by 'general impression'. However, the
following levels can be noted:
Excellent (A1 - A2)
41 - 50 marks

* Hardly any mistakes in grammar (including spelling and punctuation)

* Effective use of varied sentence structures

* Wide vocabulary, used expressively/precisely

* Good and relevant points

* Coherence in paragraphing

* Well-organised paragraphing

* Essay is very interesting and shows originality

Good (B3 - B4)


31 - 40 marks
* Few mistakes in grammar - mistakes arise from more unusual/complex language
use

* Some variety in sentence structures

* Some width in vocabulary - can convey shades of meaning

* Relevant points

* Some coherence in paragraphing

* Points organised in paragraphs

* Essay is interesting

Satisfactory (C5 - C6)


26 - 30 marks

* Some mistakes in grammar but language use is mainly accurate. Mistakes arise
from more complex language use

* Some variety in sentence structures. However, generally, repetitive sentence types


are found

* Mainly basic vocabulary. Errors in use of more ambitious vocabulary

* Relevant points

* Some coherence in paragraphing


* Not very well-organised points

* Essay is slightly interesting

Passable (D7)
21 - 25 marks

* Many mistakes in grammar but the meaning is still clear. Patches of accurate
language use occur

* Little variety of sentence structures

* Only basic vocabulary. Errors in use of more ambitious vocabulary

* Points are mostly relevant; some illogical/irrelevant points

* Little coherence in paragraphing

* Not very well-organised points

* Essay is not interesting

Unsatisfactory (E8)
16 - 20 marks

* Many serious mistakes in grammar but the meaning is fairly clear. A few simple
structures may be correct

* Little variety in sentence structures


* Only basic vocabulary. Errors in use of more ambitious vocabulary

* Topic is not well-treated

* Disorganised points

* Little coherence in paragraphing

* Essay is not interesting

Poor (F9)
11 - 15 marks

* Many serious mistakes in grammar and the meaning is not very clear

* Only simple sentence structures

* Very basic vocabulary; many errors in use of words

* Poor treatment of topic due to poor linguistic ability

* Hardly any organisation; probably no paragraphing

6 - 10 marks

* Very frequent and serious mistakes in grammar and vocabulary, making the
meaning barely comprehensible
0 - 5 marks

* Almost unrecognisable as English

* Almost no sense can be made at all