PT3 - English

For the past two days, I had the opportunity of attending the PT3 course. I will fill everyone in with what I've been enlightened so far. It was an exciting two days although I personally enjoyed the second day more. You will find out the reason as you read on. All of us have been wondering how PT3 is going to be like and now, we are almost at the end of the tunnel. Not quite just yet but nearly there....=D I am honoured to be chosen to attend this course. In this course, we were taught to 'set' the questions and mark the papers. However, in this post I will only share the layout of the assessment and explain about the marking scheme for PT3 - English.

Day 1:
We touched on written test which I am sure most of us would have seen it by now. For the benefit of those who hasn't, I will put it up for your perusal section by section.

I will first explain about the different parts of PT3 (Pentaksiran Tingkatan Tiga) papers before scrutinising one by one. So there are FOUR parts to the English paper. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. All the four skills will be tested.

Written Paper will be conducted between 12-17 October 2014. There are 5 written papers for PT3. Since it is a school based assessment, the school will set the assessment timetable. Hence, it will be different for each school but every school must start and finish the examination on the given dates.

Duration of the whole paper : 2 hours

Section A - 15 minutes
Section B - 40 minutes
Section C - 20 minutes
Section D - 45 minutes

Section A: Question 1 - Error Correction

Sorry that I posted without rotating this picture!

Students will be asked to identify the errors, underline them and fill the correct answers in the blanks provided. Each line will consist of only ONE error. It will be testing solely on grammar.
For example: tenses, SVA, adverb, preposition, article (no spelling or punctuation error tested)

Marking scheme:

2 marks will be awarded when error identified is underlined and corrected. (that's clear cut)
1 mark will be awarded when error identified is underlined but wrongly corrected.
No marks will be awarded when error identified is NOT underlined but corrected.
Therefore, it is very crucial to remind our students that underlining the errors is a MUST.

If you look at the total marks for this section, it is 10 marks only. However, looking at the marking scheme, 1 mark is awarded for identifying error and 1 mark is awarded for correcting the error. There are total of 10 question, hence making it 20 marks altogether. When you count, add up the number of the correct answers and divide it by 2. That is the total marks the students will get for that section.

For example:
After marking, the student scores a total of 14 marks (identifying+correcting). Then, you take 14 divided by 2 and you will get 7 out of 10 marks for this section.

Section B: Question 2 - Limited Response (Information Transfer)

Students will be given a passage, read and transfer the information into the graphic organiser given.

Marking scheme:
1 mark given for every right answer. Students are not allowed to paraphrase the answers. They are supposed to TRANSFER the information required FROM the text to the graphic organiser.

For example:
If the phrase that the student is supposed to transfer is 'gain knowledge' but the student wrote, 'get knowledge' (This is acceptable - minor grammatical error)

If the phrase that the student is supposed to transfer is 'do well in school' but the student wrote, 'score good marks in exam' (This is wrong - paraphrasing)

However, if students change the grammatical structure of the phrase, for example:

If the word given in the text is 'businessman' but students wrote 'businessmen' (This is acceptable - a matter of singular and plural) OR

'read books' instead of 'read a book' (This is acceptable - article)

Section B: Question 3 - Non- Linear Text Comprehension

The first part is TRUE or FALSE questions. (Always encourage students to write TRUE or FALSE).

However, if students still insist in writing T or F or give a 'tick' symbol and an 'X' as their answers at the end of the day, it is still acceptable.


If their answer is 'Yes' or 'No', then it is unacceptable.

Followed by questions which require students to write the answers. The answers do not need to be a complete sentence. As long as the key words are there, marks will be awarded.

For example:
e) Where can tourists go to visit museums?
Answer: Penang
It doesn't need to be: Tourists can go to visit museums in Penang.

After that, you have finding the phrases from the passage to match the meanings given.

For this part, marks will still be awarded although minor grammatical errors are made as long as meanings are not distorted.

For example: 'local food and delicacies' - mouth watering Malaysian cuisine. (this is acceptable
                                                                   although this is considered over lifting)
        'an overall sight from a high angle' - a bird eye view (this is acceptable although it should have
                                                                   been a bird's eye view)

For the final question of this section:

Students will need to write a short response in which the sample given was to write a postcard.

The question:
You plan to visit one of the popular destinations in Malaysia. In about 50 words, write a postcard to your friend. In your postcard:
  • encourage him/her to join you
  • give reasons to support your choice
  • add other relevant information to make your writing interesting
You are NOT encouraged to ask your students to lift the answers from text directly although the points may be available on the text. This will pull their marks down. However, when I was attending the course, marks for this section is not given yet. Hence, we marked according to the band first while waiting for them to finalise the marking scheme.

This is the descriptors that we receive during the course and I have put in the marks according to the descriptors.


Section C: Question 4 - Linear Text - Comprehension Passage 

Basically the way this question is marked is similar to Question 3 (refer to the one highlighted in blue above)

Take note:
For Question c:

Examiners take your first two answers if you happen to give three answers.

For instance:
i) students give two points with one right and one wrong (1 mark)
ii) students give one correct point (0 mark)
Total marks: 1/2
i) students give two points but all wrong (0 mark)
ii) students give 1 correct point (0 mark)
Total marks: 0
i) students give two correct points (2 marks)
ii) no answer (nevermind, because for the first point, the student already give 2 points)  
Total marks: 2/2

Section C: Question 5 - Literature

Only poems will be tested in this section. (Forms1-3)

Marking scheme:
The way this section is marked is still the same. Probably I'll just highlight the last question where they usually ask for students' opinions. (HOTS -  higher order thinking skills)

For example:
If you were 'Dad' would you answer the questions asked by the persona? Give a reason.
If students answer Yes followed by an acceptable reason - 2 marks
If students just give an acceptable reason without answering the first question - 1 mark 
If students answer Yes without any reason - 0 mark

Section D: Question 6 - Guided Writing

Students will be required to write an essay between 120-150 words.
Prompts will be given.

Section D: Question 7 - Novel

For this section, students are required to write about a character that shows determination based on a novel that the students have read.

Marking scheme:

Students should write the answer in 4 paragraphs.
1st paragraph - Introduction
2nd paragraph - 1st point + evidence
3nd paragraph -  2nd point + evidence
4th paragraph - Conclusion

It will be assessed based on:
reading skills - understanding the rubric and fulfilling the requirements of the writing task
thinking skills - ability to reflect in depth and show maturity of thinking by giving ideas, reasons and supporting them with appropriate elaborations
language skills. - language used is appropriate to provide correct tone, form and content as required by the task. Accuracy of the language is also being assessed.

Marking Criteria for Questions 6 and 7

Day 2:

I guess this is the most awaited part because everyone is clueless as to how it is conducted (at least that was how I felt. I was so looking forward to learning how listening and speaking test will be conducted)

Listening Test

The listening test comprises of TWO sections:
Section A - 10 multiple choice questions (objective)
Section B - 10 limited response questions (subjective)

Duration - 30 minutes (15 minutes for each section)

Date - 13 August 2014

Here are the sample questions that we received during the course. I am not sure if it was already uploaded to the Internet before this.

Total marks - 20 marks
Duration - 30 minutes

Schools will be given CDs which have the recordings for students to listen to. So don't worry about getting the questions or setting it yourself.

As usual, the questions will be played twice and from what I've heard just now, the recording is artificial in the sense that the pace has been slowed down and it is not spoken by a native speaker either. Having said that, these are just sample instruments, the Lembaga may change when the schools receive the CD. Nothing is for sure as of now. As I've mentioned earlier, these are just sample instruments.

Marking scheme:
For the MCQ section, there's no issue regarding how it is marked. However, there was a heated discussion just now during the course regarding the first section of Section B - limited response question.

This is the transcript that was being played during the course just now:

In conjunction with the Language month, a Public Speaking competition was held. It was to encourage students to speak in English. It was held on the 5th of October at 10 o'clock in the morning. Mrs Kumar took a few supporters to The Diamond Hall where the competition was held. There were supporters from the other states too. There were 14 finalists representing every state. It could clearly be seen that some of the speakers were nervous. Lisa jumped with joy when she heard her name being announced as the winner.
Question and answer:
Name of competition    : Public Speaking (no issue)

Date                               : 5th October
Venue                            : Diamond Hall
Number of participants : 14
Champion                      : Lisa

Marking system:
OK, here comes the best part. *rubs hands*

For the date:
If the student wrote 5/10, it is unacceptable because it could be interpreted as 5 OVER 10. -_________- (only if the year is mentioned, then students are allowed to write 5/10/2014 - FOR EXAMPLE)
If students write 5 Okt./Oktober, it is also unacceptable. (just because the spelling is in Malay)
If students write FIVE October, it is acceptable (HOW COME?!) or
If students write entertainmen or cuisin, it is acceptable. (minor spelling error which does not distort the sound is acceptable)

OK, now you can throw in your arguments.

For the venue and champion,
It is acceptable if the spelling for Diamond is Daimen or Lisa as Lyssa because they are considered proper noun.

But the date.......UNTIL NOW....I still don't understand. We are testing listening skills but why are students being penalised for wrong spellings. Wrong spellings doesn't show that the student can't listen and comprehend...I know this is English and the spelling should be in English, but, we are testing listening skills. We already have the part where we test their spellings which is the written test. Besides, what happened to Communicative Language Teaching approach where we emphasise on fluency more than accuracy??

I think the rest of the paper is quite clear cut. =) *sorry for my outburst earlier*

Speaking Test

There are two sections to this test as well.
Section A - Reading Aloud
Section B - Spoken Interaction

Total marks - 30 marks
Duration - 10 minutes

Section A - Reading Aloud
Students will choose one out of 3 texts to be read aloud in front of the teacher.

Marking scheme:

The marking scheme (above) will be given to the examiner. Basically, students will be assessed based on their:
pronunciation and articulation
fluency and rhythm
awareness of audience, purpose and context. (in this context, the audience will be the teacher but purpose and context depends on the type of passage the student is reading.)

Section B - Spoken Interaction (the unimaginable..nightmare for my kids...T.T)
10 questions will be given and students can choose one of the ten questions.

For example: One of the topics is regarding hobbies.

We are going to talk about hobbies. You have a moment to think about this topic.


  • Do you have a hobby?
  • Can you tell me something about your hobby?
  • What are the benefits of having a hobby?
  • Imagine one of your friends wants to take up a hobby. Suggest a hobby your friend could take up.
  • Why would you suggest this hobby?
If your students do not understand the prompts given, you are allowed to paraphrase the question and ask other questions to scaffold your students.

Marking scheme:

Assessment criteria for Spoken Interaction (above) is based on the following:
personal response
language accuracy

1 mark is awarded for students if any other language is used predominantly.
No mark is awarded if students do not give any response in English.

Everything that has been shared here is strictly sample instruments. It may not appear the same on the actual PT3 English paper . Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and it does not necessarily represent those of Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia or Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia.

Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of - See more at:

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