KUALA LUMPUR - She has a tendency to leave out some questions in exams because she spends too much time on others, but for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam last year, Thivya Dharshini V. Vadiveloo made sure she spread out her time and answered every question.
"You also have to study consistently from the beginning," said the 18-year-old from SMK Puteri, Seremban, who obtained an excellent 11A+ score.
The aspiring doctor was one of 30 students in the country who received the 2013 SPM Excellence Award for scoring straight A+ in their SPM and achieving excellence in their co-curriculum activities from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, at Victoria Institution here yesterday.
Koh Vee Lee described his outstanding results as a good payoff for the sacrifices he had made.
"Sometimes when all my friends were going to the movies, I didn't go. You have to get your priorities right," said the SMK Tinggi Klang, Selangor, student.
For Fatin Farhana Ali Badron, of Sekolah Tun Fatimah, Johor Baru, it's about studying smart.
"I made sure I relaxed in between studying because you have to enjoy life even though you have exams," quipped Fatin, a shining example to her seven younger siblings.
At the award ceremony, Muhyiddin also presented trophies to 20 schools whose School Average Grade (GPS) increased significantly from 2012 to 2013 and to 15 teachers whose students all scored at least A- in their subjects.
During his speech, Muhyiddin announced that the National Grade Point Average (GPMP) of SPM candidates in urban areas was up 0.15 points from 4.83 in 2012 to 4.68 in 2013.
The GPMP of candidates in rural areas was also up 0.16 points from 5.44 to 5.28.
"These results have thus reduced the GPMP gap between urban and rural SPM candidates by 0.01 points," Muhyiddin said.