Higher-order thinking questions will comprise at least 40 per cent of the questions for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination and 50 per cent of the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination by 2016.
This change in examination design means the teachers will focus less on predicting what topics and questions will come out and drilling for content recall.
In the implementation of the higher-order thinking skills, the curriculum, examination and assessment for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will also be reviewed.
To that end, students will have additional instructional time and emphasis on the practical application of knowledge through laboratory and project-based work, especially for Science and Mathematics subjects.
To ensure that every student masters English language skills, the Education Ministry will make it compulsory for students to pass the English paper in SPM from 2016 in order to obtain their SPM certificate.