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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Truth About Soalan Bocor

INTRO: The key is how well the students are enlightened

Soalan bocor (leaked-out questions) or soalan ramalan (forecast questions) is the most sought after by students in order to sit for their respective exams. This subject is the single most asked questions by the students towards their teachers. Observe the conversations, in the class, tuition, seminar or in the net, the question is surely made of these:

"Cikgu ada tak soalan spot untuk topik.."

This is the FAQ when the big exam is around the corner. And the teachers/seminar organizers take this opportunity to conduct big seminars about these 'target' questions, easily attract big numbers of students. Also the reference book companies made quite a fortune from selling books with eye-catching titles: Klon Soalan SPM or Soalan Mirip Kertas Sebenar PMR/SPM...

I don't mind the forecast questions because that's what examination is all about. The one that concerns me is the soalan bocor. Like I mentioned before, our current school system has been training our students to score exams on paper. I cannot deny that because that is the initial stage of learning. But what I really peeved is that the social environment, especially most schools and teachers have been emphasizing too much on getting A+ - emphasizing the simple end rather than the intricate process of learning and creative thinking. 

Indeed in the end, soalan bocor is all that matters for the students, as quick and easy fix to get good results.

Secondly, I really peeved because some teachers exploiting soalan bocor or soalan ramalan as their cheif attraction for students to learn with them. Most of them are like me a senior teacher and even pemeriksa kertas plus are bestowed with the title GC (Guru Cemerlang) or Outstanding Teacher. Still, like someone by the lake scattering bread crumbs to attract the ducks, so are these so-called excellent teachers pompously offer soalan bocor/ramalan to the desperate throng of students. 

Indeed in the end, soalan bocor is all that matters for these teachers, as quick and easy fix to get promotions and $$$$.

Focusing on soalan bocor is dangerous for the students. The theory behind this is by focusing on this, the teachers unwittingly put the students into having external locus of control (LOC). This is a bad news because the students would attribute their success by a bunch of random questions on papers with a set of predetermined answers, rather than their own initiative to study critically.

I don't mind having the external LOC in schools, but if the students still have it when they enter a higher level of learning, this definitely spells a disaster. As in the future they attend universities or colleges, students are expected to study via research and assignments. But they are so accustomed to soalan bocor that even in universities the students still asking for soalan spot in their degree exams. This thing is made worse when lecturers, with fancy titles of Professors or Doctors still having secondary teacher mindsets that focus on preparing students for exams rather than preparing them to face the real world after finishing studies.

We produce a high volume of university graduates, but sadly majorities with mediocre quality of achievements. Ultimately, they will be facing tough times finding job. And when they found one, having another tough times maintaining one.    

Why am I stating this? Because me myself is a product of local education. I still remember during my days at UKM, I still had to attend lectures that is no different from my days in secondary school. I was being taught for UKM semester exams, rather than being guided and enlightened for my future careers.

Indeed in the end, soalan exam is all that matters for these lecturers, as quick and easy fix to keep their jobs and get promotions.

The real victim in this case is the student. They have been trained as memorizing drones, committed to answer questions objectively on some paper. As a result, they are valued by how many 'A's they get, not because of their unique talent or thinking capabilities.   

That's why in my class I prefer to guide my students. They already have all the answers -reference books, text books, teachers in school. All I need is to enlighten them with necessary knowledge to face the big exam. And I do it by showing them the beauty of learning. Drawings, graphics, stories, interesting facts, mind-boggling techniques, all of them at my disposal to share with my students.

Passionately and full with enthusiasm.  

I never aim for students' focus on mere PMR or SPM. I aim for the students' appreciation for lifelong learning.  

I also applaud the government suggestion to dissolve PMR or SPM exam, but that is another story :-)  


  1. I truly respect Sir with a great mindset like that. As a student, I really hated the idea of "studying for exams" as it kills the fun of learning.
    Learning is supposed to be exploring. Especially for science subjects, they allow us to explore the world and all the "whys" within it. They enlighten us on how great nature is and how wonderful everything around us operates. Sadly, most of my friends despise these subjects only because it's too much of a burden AND it's too hard to score.

    Well said Sir.