Malaysiakini Letter

What happens where there's a faulty SPM question?

Boo Soon Yew  |  Published:

LETTER | I pen this letter on the day of the penultimate paper for SPM science stream students, and I cannot help but seek to speak for them regarding a matter that may seem trivial to some.

It is the matter of a faulty examination question and how the Education Ministry, in particular the Examinations Board, will seek to address the issue (if they wish to).

Note that I attach a caveat at the end of my query above. 

In the past, in my capacity as a full-time private tutor who has been teaching the pure science subjects since 1994 in Penang, I had pointed out errors in SPM Chemistry multiple choice questions, and for Physics too. 

Yet, the reply was always nonchalant to say the least, which is "tiada kesilapan dalam soalan (there is no mistake in the question)."

So in this environment of 'New Malaysia' and for the sake of accountability, I plead to the good offices of the persons responsible to reexamine Q47 of the just concluded SPM Biology Paper 1 2018.

For one who knows his or her genetic basics, a sex-linked or X chromosome-linked disease like colour blindness can show two genotypes if you are a 'normal' female.

Hence this question throws two sets of combinations for the second generation, depending if it is a homozygous dominant or heterozygous for the female Q in the diagram.

Ultimately, the two possible combinations can match with three of the four choices on offer.

I sincerely hope that a fair decision can be made by the Examinations Board on how the eventual marking of this question is to be done. 

Is there a mechanism to accept three answers? Or will the faulty question be done away with, and the paper scored to a total of 49 instead 50 questions.

A reply from the ministry will be most appreciated, not only for me but definitely for the students who are sitting for this SPM and are seeking an answer to their predicament.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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