SPM during my time in 1990 was different from what we have now. We had both grades and an aggregate (a total score formed by combining six separate subjects). The aggregate was calculated based on your 6 best subject results.

The results ranged from A1, A2, C3, C4, C5, C6, P7, P8 & F9.
The first grade is an aggregate between 6 to 24.
The second grade is an aggregate between 25 to 34.
The third grade is an aggregate of 35 or higher.
Logically, the highest aggregate you can get is 54, if you get F9 for all your papers.

Nobody in my batch got A1 for all their papers. If you did get A1 for all your exam papers, your name would be front-page news at that time. Our top student for the Science Stream (I won't tag him to avoid embarrassing anyone) got C3 for his English and A2 for Additional Mathematics. The top student for the Social Science Stream got A2 for Geography, C3 for Additional Mathematics, and A2 for Principal Accounting.

That was way back in 1990. At that time, to us young teenagers, the indicator of success was whether you had a chance to continue your tertiary education overseas or not. It didn't matter whether you went to the USA, UK, or France for further education, as long as it was "overseas."

Now in 2023, 33 years later, all of us are much wiser. A good SPM result may facilitate entry into a particular course which improves your employability later on. But what makes you a success in life depends on yourself, the choices that you made along the way, and how you tackle the challenges of life.
You need to fight for your success in life. Like that line in the Terminator 2 as said by John Connor to the T-800;
"The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."


The attached image file shows the SPM results for my batch in 1990 with the names redacted. The last person on that list achieved an SPM grade 3. After attending teachers' college and working for a few years, he pursued and completed a degree and masters in English Literature. He is currently teaching in Johor. The second last person on the list is a highly successful cabin crew member with MAS. The third last person on the list is a highly successful entrepreneur, with a very young wife, which is currently a popular indicator of success. 🤣

There are some individuals who had better results than mine (my result is highlighted in orange), but they did not fare well due to misfortunes in life, such as being in a motorcycle accident followed by a chronic wound infection. Some were not able to adapt to studying overseas due to its lack of structure, unlike in residential schools, and returned without a degree. Fortunately, there were safety nets available in the country at that time, and they pursued other courses or careers. Some eventually went back to obtain their degrees, showing resilience and determination.

Our top student, who is at the top of the list, pursued his medical course overseas and is now a senior consultant urologist at one of the foremost private hospitals in the Klang Valley.

One of our classmates faced the worst possible circumstances at the end of his secondary education. He was ranked number 89 on that SPM list. Now, he is among the highest-ranking enforcement officers in the country. I truly salute him for making such a remarkable comeback.

In general, all of my schoolmates are highly successful and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor. I wish them all well. Once again, I reiterate that SPM is not the end of the road. "There is no fate but what we make."