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SPM English 1119 Paper – Tips on how to get a good grade

by on January 11, 2023 | Top Stories

SPM English 1119 Paper – Tips on how to get a good grade -

There are 4 papers - Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Your English teacher in school might be able to give you tips and tricks to answer the questions. So, you’ll need to listen more attentively during class and answer according to how the teacher teaches you. Of course you have to be very familiar with the type of questions asked for each section of all the 4 papers.

The weightage of all papers is 25%. The marks will then be added up for an overall grade which is similar to MUET, TOEFL and IELTS.

The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) is a guideline used to describe language achievements and ability of learners of foreign languages across Europe and increasingly in other countries.


The three broad levels are:

  • A1/A2 - Basic User
  • B1/B2 - Independent User
  • C1/C2 - Proficient User

Based on the Malaysia Ministry of Education, the aspirational target for SPM leavers would be Level B2 where they will be equipped with adequate English for further studies.

The latest format is more comprehensive and covers all aspects of English Learning. The same weightage for each paper should be an advantage for students. If your command of the language is good, congratulations! For those who find themselves lacking in any of the components, your ability in others will compensate for that and you can still do well. You can get more marks for the papers you are good at and perform equally well compared with other students.

Getting used to this format also makes it easier for students once they embark on their higher education journey whether into a university, college or academy where they will still have to take English as a second language. The format for the English course will be the same as what you have learnt in school.

Preparation for a language examination is unlike that for other subjects where you can start brushing up in the last few weeks or days before the examination. Language skills are acquired over time with a lot of exposure and practice.

The following are general tips for English language ability.

General Tips

1. Listen to and read news or articles in English as often as possible.

For listening ability, expose yourself to both native and non-native speakers. This is to enable you to get used to different accents.

2. Arm yourself with a wide and vivid vocabulary. Vocabularies are collected and internalised over time. Jot down new words you

come across in a jotter/notebook. Go through them whenever you have time and try to use them in your writing whenever possible. Usage will make these new vocabularies stay with you forever. Learn the meanings of and how to use

  • idiomatic expressions
  • figurative language
  • colour idioms
  • similes
  • proverbs
  • pairs of words for emphasis
  • words and their synonyms
  • homophones

3. Polish up your grammar. Know when to use the past, present and future tenses.

Exam Papers 1,2,3 and 4 – Tips on How to Get a Good Grade

Paper 1 - Reading

  • Paper 1 evaluates the reading and comprehension of students. There are 5 parts with a total of 40 questions in multiple-choice objectives, multiple form objectives and limited response.
  • Part 1 - Short texts from books or magazines followed by 8 MCQs
  • Part 2 - Test on grammar and vocabulary (8 questions)
  • Part 3 - Read a longer text and answer 8 questions related to the text.
  • Part 4 - Pick out 6 correct sentences out of 8 choices to fill the gaps in a text to ensure the paragraph is correctly structured.
  • Part 5 - Select 4 paragraphs to fit the statements given and then find information from the text to construct a sentence that describes the paragraph.


  1. Read the texts carefully and underline key points.
  2. Read the questions and create your own answers first. Then, go to the options given and choose the one closest to your answer.
  3. However, you may need to go back to read part of the passage before answering.
  4. Beware of trap words like ‘not’, ‘never’, ‘always’ in the questions which may turn a correct answer into an incorrect one. Circle or
  5. underline these words when you read the question so that you remember they are in the negative.
  6. For longer texts, the sequence of the questions will be asked according to the sequence of information given in the texts. So, do not
  7. go all over the passage to look for answers.
  8. Normally, the wordings used in the questions can give you an idea of where to look for the answers.

Paper 2 - Writing

Paper 2 is a writing paper where you will have to write three essays. The first and second essays are limited response essays whilst the third essay is an open response essay where you choose one title to write.

  • 1st essay - Writing short notes or email in less than 80 words
  • 2nd essay - Directed Writing in 125 -150 words
  • 3rd essay - Choose 1 out of 3 essays given and write in 200 - 250 words


  1. Using the right words will certainly make your essay a better one. This is the key to better writing. Learn to use different vocabulary (synonyms) when describing things to avoid using the same vocabulary too many times in your essay.
  2. Learn to write better sentences. Have variety in your sentence structures - simple sentences; compound sentences (sentences with joining words); sentences with different beginnings (beginning with gerunds, participles, a phrase or preposition)
  3. Learn to make sentences of different lengths. Too many long sentences make your writing draggy while too many short sentences make it sound staccato.
  4. Make sure all your paragraphs are coherent with clear topic sentences. In simple terms, make sure all the facts you write belong to that paragraph.
  5. Add adjectives to nouns; adverbs to verbs, phrases to nouns, clauses to sentences to make your sentences more vivid.
  6. Use pairs of words for emphasis, figurative language, idioms, idiomatic expressions, proverbs and similes wherever possible.
  7. Use direct speeches to break the monotony of the essay wherever you can.
  8. Do not be tempted to write much longer than the number of words stipulated in the question.

Paper 3 - Speaking

Paper 3 is a speaking test. You will take this test with another student. There are 3 parts to this question; the first and second parts need to be answered individually, whilst the last part you will need to make conversation with your partner.

  • Part 1 - Answer 4 simple questions individually
  • Part 2 - A random topic with a few questions. Students are given 20 seconds to prepare and then to answer the questions within I minute
  • Part 3 - The student has to make a conversation with another student for 3 minutes. The students spend 2 minutes discussing the topic and I minute making a stand or a conclusion.


  1. Smile and make yourself feel relaxed.
  2. Do not be in a hurry to rattle off before thinking.
  3. Do not try to impress by putting on an accent or using bombastic words. Use words that you are comfortable with.
  4. Try your best to use the correct tenses when talking about the past, present or future.
  5. Do not wait for the examiner to prompt you before talking.
  6. Do not talk in a monotonous voice.

Paper 4 - Listening

Paper 4 is a listening test where you will need to listen to a conversation/speech/dialogue/talk and answer the questions given after each of them. There are 30 questions.

  • Part 1 - Listen to people talking in 7 different situations and answer 7 questions
  • Part 2 - Listen to a conversation and answer 8 questions
  • Part 3 - Listen to 5 short extracts and choose answers related to the texts
  • Part 4 - Listen to texts with words left out. Write 10 words where the information is missing.


  1. Before listening, read and understand the questions first to know what to expect and also what to focus on while listening.
  2. If necessary, highlight the keywords in the questions.
  3. Know the question types and what is expected of you for each part of the test.
  4. Watch out for distractors. What you hear may not be directly the answer to the question given.

Test Overview in Brief

Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes

Reading and Use of English

  • Objective (MCQ)
  • Objective (Multiple form objectives)
  • Subjective (Limited responses)
    • Part 1: 8 Questions - 8 marks
    • Part 2: 10 Questions - 10 marks
    • Part 3: 8 Questions - 8 marks
    • Part 4: 6 Questions - 6 marks
    • Part 5: 8 Questions - 8 marks


40 marks ————- 25%


Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • Subjective (Limited responses)
  • Subjective (Open responses)

Part 1: 1 Question - 20 marks

Part 2: 1 Question - 20 marks

Part 3: 3 Questions - 20 marks

(Choose and answer 1)


60 marks —————- 25%


Paper 3: 13 minutes


  • Subjective (Limited Responses)
  • Subjective (Open Responses)

Part 1: 4 questions per candidate

Part 2: 1 question per candidate

Part 3: 3 questions for both candidates


24 marks —————- 25%


Paper 4: 40 minutes


  • Objective (Multiple choice)
  • Objective (Multiple form objective)

Part 1: 7 Questions - 7 marks

Part 2: 8 Questions. - 8 marks

Part 3: 5 Questions. - 5 marks

Part 4: 10 Questions - 10 marks


30 marks —————— 25%


Wishing you all the very best and good luck for your Bahasa Inggeris 1119 exam!

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