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Thursday, November 21, 2019

No more streaming for Form 4 wef 2020 - What To Expect

Guest Post: This post was written by Joanne Lee, a mother of two and an avid member of our Facebook group, The Malaysia Primary School Parents on Facebook. Come join us for more modern-day parenting discussions.

Recently, a new circular slash guide has been released by the Ministry of Education on the topic of the choosing of subjects since Form 4 students will no longer be subjected to streaming based on their PT3 results beginning 2020. If you are like me, you'd want to know the changes that are going to be implemented to carry out such a change that many consider a drastic and big change.

Let's take a look at what is in store for our Form 4 students in 2020.

Going Streamless

Beginning 2020, students in Form 4 can take SIX (6) core subjects, ONE (1) Compulsory Subject, and a maximum of FIVE (5) elective subjects. This means students can take up to a maximum of 12 subjects.

Core Subjects

  • Bahasa Melayu
  • Bahasa Inggeris
  • Sains
  • Matematik
  • Sejarah
  • Pendidikan Islam/Moral

Students must also take up Pendidikan Jasmani dan Pendidikan Kesihatan (from the compulsory subject list).

Elective Subjects

Here are the 6 elective groups available.

Language Group [11]

Here's what you can choose from in the Language Group.
  • Bahasa Arab
  • Bahasa Cina
  • Bahasa Tamil
  • Bahasa Iban
  • Bahasa Kadazandusun
  • Bahasa Semai
  • Bahasa Perancis
  • Bahasa Jepun
  • Bahasa Jerman
  • *Bahasa Korea (beginning year 2021)
  • *Bahasa Cina Komunikasi (beginning year 2021)

Humanities and Art Group [11]

Here's what you can choose from in the Humanities and Arts Group.
  • Prinsip Perakaunan
  • Ekonomi
  • Perniagaan
  • Pendidikan Seni visual
  • Pendidikan Musik
  • Geografi
  • Kesusasteraan Melayu Komunikatif
  • Kesusasteraan Inggeris
  • Kesusasteraan Cina
  • Kesusasteraan Tamil
  • Pengajian Keusahawanan (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)

Islamic Studies Group [13]

Here's what you can choose from in the Islamic Studies Group.
  • Quran and Sunnah Education
  • Syariah Islamiah
  • Tasawur Islam
  • Usul Al-Din
  • Al-Syariah
  • Al-Lughah Al-Arabiah Al-Mu'asirah
  • Al-Adab wa Al-Balaghah
  • Al-Manahij Al-Ulum Al-Islami
  • Hifz Quran
  • Maharat Quran
  • Turath Dirasat Al-Islamiah
  • Turath Bahasa Arab
  • Turath Al-Quran wa Al-Sunnah

STEM Group [4]

Here's what you can choose from in the STEM Group.
  • Fizik
  • Kimia
  • Biologi
  • Matematik Tambahan

Applied STEM Science and Technology Group [12]

Here's what you can choose from in the Applied STEM Science and Technology Group.
  • Grafik Komunikasi Teknikal
  • Asas Kelestarian
  • Pertanian
  • Sains Rumah Tangga
  • Reka Cipta
  • Sains Komputer
  • Sains Sukan
  • Sains Tambahan (cannot be taken with Core Subject Science)
  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Awam (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)
  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Mekanikal (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)
  • Pengajian Kejuruteraan Elektrik dan Elektronik (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)
  • Lukisan Kejuruteraan (Sekolah Menengah Teknik only)

Vocational Subject Group [22]

Here's what you can choose from in the Vocational Subject Group.
  • Pembinaan Domestik
  • Pembuatan Perabot
  • Produksi Reka Tanda
  • Menservis Peralatan Elektrik Domestik
  • Rekaan dan Jahitan Pakaian
  • Katering dan Penyajian
  • Landskap dan Nurseri
  • Tanaman Makanan
  • Reka Bentuk Grafik Digital
  • Produksi Multimedia
  • Pemprosesan Makanan
  • Akuakultur dan Haiwan Rekreasi
  • Pendawaian Domestik
  • Menservis Automoil
  • Gerontologi sas dan Geriatik
  • Penjagaan Muka dan Penggayaan Rambut
  • Asuhan dan Pendidikan Awal Kanak-Kanak
  • Hiasan Dalaman
  • Kerja Paip Domestik
  • Kimpalan Arka dan Gas
  • Menservis Motosikal
  • Menservis Peralatan Penyejukan dan Penyamanan Udara

How to Choose Subjects

Students must take 6 core subjects and 1 compulsory subject. However, there are two exemptions they can apply to their choices.

[1] If you take any TWO Pure Science subjects, you can be exempted from taking Science as a core subject.

[2] If you take any TWO of the following subjects, you can be exempted from taking Islamic Studies as a core subject.
  • Pendidikan al-Quran & al-Sunnah and Pendidikan Syariah Islamiah
  • Turath Dirasat Al-Islamiah and Turath Al-Quran wa Al-Sunnah
  • Usul Al-Din and Al-Syariah

With that in mind let's dive into how to choose the elective subjects.


The STEM Package has 3 options. Bear in mind that these are the minimum packages of subjects you need to take. Once you have chosen the bare minimum subjects, you can top up with other electives from any of the elective groups mentioned above.

Option 1 (Pure Sciences)
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Additional Mathematics
This option makes things straightforward. You end up with 5 core subjects (exempted from taking Science), 1 compulsory subject and 4 elective subjects. In this case, you can still take one more elective e.g. Visual Arts (see below) making the total subjects taken at 11 subjects.

Option 2
  • Take TWO (2) Pure Sciences subjects
  • Take at least ONE (1) elective subject of Applied STEM Science and Technology OR ONE (1) non-STEM elective subject

If you don't want to take all four Pure Sciences, you can take only two Pure Sciences subject and then opt for 1 from the Applied STEM Science and Technology group OR 1 non-STEM elective subject. This is the minimum. You can top up with other electives (maximum of five).

Option 3

  • Take at least TWO (2) elective subjects from Applied STEM Science and Technology OR ONE (1) Vocational Subject

If you do not want to take any of the Pure Sciences, that's doable. You just need to take at least two subjects from the Applied STEM Science and Technology Group OR one vocational subject.

The first example below shows two subjects from Applied STEM Science and Technology Group and one from the Humanities and Arts Group (total: 10 subjects).

The second example shows two elective subjects from Applied STEM Science and Technology Group and one from the Pure Sciences Group (total: 10 subjects).

The third example (above) shows just one elective vocational subject (total: 8 subjects). You can leave it as this or top up with four more electives.

Humanities and Arts Package

Things are not as restrictive if you are not taking the STEM Package. For the Humanities and Arts route, you can take elective subjects from Language, Islamic studies, Humanities and Arts AND/OR ONE (1) STEM elective subject (except Vocational Subjects).

The first example shows the a choice of the 5 core subjects, 1 compulsory subject and 3 elective subjects. The electives are from the Language group and two from the Islamic Studies group.

This second example shows a choice of 3 elective subjects from the Humanities and Art Group.

Finally, the third choice shows three elective subjects from the Humanities and Arts Group, and one from the STEM group.


  • Understandably, while students can make subject choices like what has been explained above, feasibility is dependent on school capabilities, such as availability of teachers, availability of classes, clashing schedules etc.
  • Some of the Vocational Subjects are available only in Sekolah Menengah Teknik.
  • For some of the elective subjects in the language group, students may need to seek classes outside of school, particularly for foreign language elective subjects.

If you want to see the circular in its entirety, please follow this link.

Credit for images in this post: Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia official website: Surat Pekeliling (SPI Bil 6 Tahun 2019 Pelaksanaan KSSM Menengah Atas dan Pakej Mata Pelajaran 2020)

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