PUTRAJAYA: The overall performance for the 2015 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations took a dip compared to the previous year.

Out of 440,682 candidates who sat for the examination last year at 3,501 examination centres nationwide, 9,721 (2.38 per cent) scored straight As compared to 11,289 students (2.63 per cent) in 2014.

Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof said the overall SPM achievement in 2015 declined compared to the year before, with the National Average Grade (GPN) at 5.15 compared with 5.08 in 2014.

A lower GPN score indicates better performance.

However, he said the decline was within an acceptable range with minor impact.

"The achievement of students in the urban and rural areas have also declined, with those in the rural area showing a smaller decline of 0.04 in GPN compared to their urban counterparts' 0.09," he said.

With compulsory passes for Bahasa Melayu and History, 346,681 students qualified for SPM certificates.

He added that seven out of 1,165 special needs students who sat for the exam last year had scored straight As.

Khair said the achievements in 38, including English, Mathematics and Moral studies, out of 73 subjects had shown improvement, while 34 had declined and one remained the same.

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Education director-general Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof (centre) at the announcement of 2015 SPM results in Putrajaya. Pix by Mohd Fadli Hamzah