The 2016 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results recorded a better National Grade Point Average (GPN) of 5.10 compared to 5.15 in 2015, said Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.
"A lower GPN score indicates better performance by the students," he told reporters when announcing the analysis of the 2016 SPM results here today.
He said out of the 434,535 candidates who sat for the SPM 2016 examination, only 8,647 or 2.13 percent scored A (A+, A, A-) in all subjects compared with to 9,721 candidates in 2015.
Some 102 candidates or 1.94 per cent obtained A+ this year compared to 163 candidates or 2.6 per cent in the previous year, he said.
"Although there was a marked decrease in Grade As, the GPN for all the subjects had increased significantly. This means the overall performance of students has increased, but those getting high grades (all As) had dropped.
"Overall, the students' individual performance in the examination is much better this year," he said.
A total of 434,535 candidates sat for the SPM 2016 examination compared to 440,682 in 2015, a decline of 1.39 per cent or 6,147 candidates.
Khair said 340,698 or 85.21 percent of the candidates qualified for the SPM certificate, 313,667 of whom were from government schools and 27,031 were from private schools.
Khair Mohamad said the achievement in 41 out of 73 subjects had shown improvement, while 28 subjects showed a decline and four subjects remained the same.
"The four core subjects, namely Bahasa Melayu, English, Islamic Studies and Science, showed improved performance while the other core subjects such as Mathematics, History and Moral Education recorded a decline," he said.
Performance in Islamic Studies showed the highest score of 0.32 in GPN, and Mathematics showed the lowest performance of 0.29 in GPN, he said.
Achievements of candidates in urban and rural areas also improved, with rural students showing an increase of 0.08 in GPN, compared with their urban counterparts 0.05, he said.
Khair said, 510 or 58.42 percent out of 873 students with special needs also qualified for the SPM certificates.
Meanwhile, he said 214,971 successful candidates or 52.83 percent obtained the GCE O-Level certificate for English.
A total of 40,725 candidates or 55.11 percent from the 73,891 candidates who sat for the subject Principles of Accounting are eligible to receive the LCCI Level 2 Certificate in Book-keeping and Accounts through the cooperation of the Examination Board with Pearson, United Kingdom, he added.