Thursday, March 15 was a day of tears and joy for those who sat for the Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia (SPM) in 2017. For Syed Hazwan Hakim bin Syed Khairul Amali, he and his parents were overjoyed on receiving his results slip at SMK Raja Permaisuri Bainun.

“I honestly never expected to get full A’s. My weakest subject was English but I’m glad all my efforts have paid off,” he exclaimed.

The secret of his success? Hazwan told Ipoh Echo he wrote an essay every day. He consulted his English teacher daily regarding his essay and, in the process, improved his writing skills.

Syed Hazwan said that the thought of wanting to support his parents and family was what motivated him to succeed. His father, Syed Khairul Amali bin Syed Abdul Hamid, is an auxiliary policeman while his mother, Maiziah binti Mohd Rashed, is a homemaker.

Anis Syahirah binti Mohd Johari, another one of the nine excellent students of SMK Seri Permaisuri Bainun, reminded others to never give up.

“Once you give up, that’s the beginning of the end. I live by this maxim. Perseverance is the key to scoring A’s,” she told Ipoh Echo. During her trial exam, she scored 7As, 1B and 1C. Her SPM results were far better than she had expected.

“Don’t be shy to ask your teachers when you are in need of help. They’re there to help you,” Anis, the second child of three siblings added.

Another student, Muhammad Wafiq Firdaus bin Wahid, the third of six siblings disclosed that a vital attribute of his success was staying focused at all times.

“After classes, I return to my dorm to revise what has been taught in class and I am always close to my teachers,” he insisted.

Muhammad Wafiq who has been a high-achiever since his Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) days, expressed his delight upon receiving his results. He plans to enroll for the engineering course in Universiti Malaya (UM).

The Director of Perak Education Department, Dato’ Haji Mat Lazim bin Idris announced that 734 out of 32,963 students in the state scored straight A’s.

“The Perak State Average Grade (GPN) for 2017 is by far the best out of the five most recent years. We’ve achieved a GPN of 4.98 in 2017 as compared to 5.17 in 2016,” he told reporters during the media conference.

The conference was held at SMK Kg. Dato’ Ahmad Said due to the school’s outstanding achievement. The school’s Average Grade (GPS) declined from 6.42 in 2016 to 4.73 in 2017.

Some 443,883 candidates nationwide had registered for the SPM examination in 2017 while only 434,535 candidates were registered in 2016. The National Grade Point Average (NGPA) in 2017 was 4.90, outperforming the 5.05 NGPA obtained in 2016.

Amy Chan