Poor SPM Results? Here's What You Can Do Next

So you've gotten your SPM results and didn't do as well as you imagined? Read on to find out what you can do.

Updated 08 Jun 2023

Poor SPM Results? Here's What You Can Do Next - Feature-Image

So, the day of reckoning is over and you’ve gotten your SPM results.

If your results aren’t as expected or you fell short on some subjects you thought you could have scored, it’s okay to feel gloomy or guilty.

But after spending some time processing your emotions and results, it's wise to pick yourself up and formulate a game plan. After all, SPM is just a small test in the grand scheme of things.

Here are 5 things you can do if your SPM results are not as good as you anticipated.

#1. Appeal your grades

Poor spm result what to do next - 1 Appeal your grades

If you are seeking to meet the entry requirements for your desired pre-university course, or if you think your grades are right below the borderline to a higher grade, you can try getting your paper marked again.

With a fee to part with, you can have your papers remarked and hopefully (fingers crossed!), you will be able to attain a higher grade that will open doors to various opportunities.

To submit an appeal, go to the Lembaga Peperiksaan website. Create an account and fill in your information.   

You will receive your reviewed results within 2 months after the appeal deadline.

#2. Retake your subjects

Poor spm result what to do next - 2 Retake your subjects

If you are not confident that having your papers reviewed will improve your grades, you can choose to resit your papers.

Note that you can only register for 3 subjects for the SPM Ulangan through the Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia website, which are:

  • Mathematics
  • Bahasa Melayu
  • Sejarah

If you’d like to retake papers for other subjects, you will need to register as an SPM private candidate (retake)and sit for the papers with the rest of the present year’s SPM students. Resitting papers are usually for students who are looking to enter specific pre-university or degree courses.

Do consider this option thoroughly as it will take another year for you to obtain better grades. By then, your peers may have already completed a year of their pre-university studies so be sure to make it count!

For a step-by-step guide on repeating your SPM subjects, click here.

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#3. Pursue diploma or certificate courses

Poor spm result what to do next - 3 Pursue diploma or certificate courses

If you’re missing a couple of credits from your SPM slip, you can also consider other pathways, such as pursuing a diploma or certificate. After all, they can still lead you to selected degree courses.

A diploma only requires 3 credits at SPM. Upon completion, you can then progress to the second year of a relevant degree. This makes your total study duration similar to taking a foundation then a degree.

Certificate courses, on the other hand, typically require only 1 credit, as long as you pass Bahasa Melayu and History. Completing a certificate will allow you to progress to a diploma and subsequently a degree.

So if you think retaking your papers will not change your grades, you may consider these alternatives, provided that you meet the entry requirements.

#4. Consider TVET programmes


TVET refers to Technical and Vocational Education and Training, a vocational pathway that's designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and competencies required for specific trades, crafts or professions. The TVET pathway is an alternate pathway for those who learn better through practical and hands-on work and is a good option for those who did not do so well for SPM.

Instead of academic learning, TVET programmes combine theoretical instruction with hands-on learning, allowing you to develop practical skills in specific areas such as culinary/baking, hospitality, early childhood education, automotive maintenance, business and precision engineering. These programmes often collaborate closely with industry partners and some TVET colleges even have a job guarantee. 

At the end of your programme, you will obtain a skills certificate known as Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM). Essentially, the TVET pathway allows you to continue your education, even if you do not have an SPM certificate. 


Want to learn more about TVET or SKM courses? Our education advisors can help you figure out your next step. Fill in this form and we'll be in touch. 

#5. Start working

Poor spm result what to do next - 4 Start working

If you feel that studying isn’t for you, you can always enter the workforce after SPM.

For a start, you can work your way up the career ladder by taking on jobs such as sales advisor, administrative officer, customer service executive, tutor for primary students, service or kitchen crew, technician and conveyancing clerk.

Alternatively, if you have a creative or technical skill that people will pay for, such as mobile app or web development, writing, video editing and graphic design, there are plenty of freelance opportunities available.

And if the entrepreneurial spirit is burning inside you, have a go at starting a business! Whether it’s custom cakes, handmade soaps or the next Angry Birds, it’s easier than ever to be an entrepreneur.

Launching yourself into the working world does not mean that your education stops there — conversely, you can still enjoy a steep learning curve, only without the systematic methods to guide you.

#6. Contact us

Poor spm result what to do next - 5 Contact us

If you find yourself stuck at a crossroads, you can always get in touch with us here by speaking to our education advisors. Get solid advice, compare institutions and we can even apply to universities for you. And the best part — it’s all free!

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if your SPM results are good or bad because it’s not the end of the road yet. There are still plenty of things you can do to secure your future. Many have managed to become successful, even without a string of As.

Wondering which courses you can get into with your grades? We’ll give you the details here.

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    Chia Wei Choong

    Chia Wei Choong

    Retiring night owl. Occasionally addicted to caffeine and absolutely addicted to fried chicken.