Fewer students scored all A's in this year's Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination compared to last year.
Of the 440,643 candidates who sat for the examination, 30,474 scored straight A's, a 0.85% drop from 2011.
Education deputy director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said students' performance in the English subject also went down.
“The percentage of candidates who obtained excellent grades (Grade A) fell by 1.6% this year from 18.4% (of candidates) in 2011 to 16.8% in 2012.
“Also, the percentage of candidates who did not reach the minimum achievement and received a Grade E went up by 2.8% (from 21.3% to 24.1% in 2012),” he said when announcing the results here yesterday.
While the percentage of top scorers in Mathematics and Science dropped by 1.4% and 2% respectively, more students passed both the subjects with close to 94% of students receiving at least a Grade D.
Although the Government reversed the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy in 2009, schools can still opt to teach Mathematics and Science in English to cater to students who had started learning the subjects when the policy was in place.
Public examinations for the two subjects will continue to be bilingual until 2016 for primary pupils and 2021 for secondary students.
Meanwhile, fewer candidates failed the examinations this year. Only 241 candidates scored all E's this year compared to 346 candidates in 2011.
Dr Amin said that while urban candidates performed better than their rural peers, the achievement gap between them had narrowed based on the National Average Grade.
“Urban candidates' GPN remained at 2.61, like last year, while rural candidates showed a 0.03 point improvement from a GPN of 2.9 in 2011 to 2.87 this year (a lower GPN indicates better results),” he said.
Dr Amin said 14 out of 1,736 special needs candidates scored straight A's this year compared with 12 out of 1,370 last year.
“This year's PMR results also show that the number of special needs candidates who did not reach the minimum achievement in all subjects fell by 1.14%, from 2.41% in 2011 to 1.27% in 2012,” he said.