I would like to express my heartful thanks to all the four co-authors: Terance Yap, Bryan Wong, N. Bala and Ronnie Kueh who took about two years of great pains to complete the writing, reviewing and editing works. Equally thanks and gratitude to the editors:Sing Yin and Hui Lin from Pan Asia, to sculpt out the final products of incredible perfection. The book was launched in January 2010 by the publisher - Pan Asia.
I was trilled by the fact that the book was now out of stock in Segamat, Johor, Malaysia. I recommended the book to my Form 4 and Form 5 Biology students in SMJK Seg Hwa Segamat, on the very first day of the new school semester.
Today is Sunday, which also marked the end of the first week the school reopened after a long pause for year end school holidays. I was so surprised to learn that Spotlight SPM Biology book is now sold out of stock in Segamat bookstores!
Thank you very much to all the Biology teachers, and all the secondary school students in Segamat, and other places in Johor or around Malaysia. Your continuous support may become a motivator and can generate a catalytic reaction for me and my other friends to move forward in the future.
Some competitive advantages in Spotlight SPM Biology in comparison to other Biology reference books in the market are:
First of all, techniques in answering SPM Biology Paper 3 questions are explained in great detail in Chapter 1 according to the SPM question format. Paper 3 is a stereotyped form of question in SPM Biology. But in general, most of the students failed to score high marks in this paper. The main reason may due to one or more of the factors below:
(i) Some of the new teachers are not familiar with the SPM examination question format for Biology Paper 3, and no "guidebook" in the market for the maiden voyager to follow.
(ii) Some students are unable to follow the lesson in the class. They have to depend on their own initiative to look for information from the reference books. Unfortunately, most of them tried in futile effort.
(iii) Some students rely on the tuition teachers to solve problems in order to achieve their ultimate destination. Unfortunately, no Biology tuition teacher is available in small town like Segamat.
Secondly, the SPM Biology has a wider syllabus scope than both Physics and Chemistry. This can easily be seen from the lesser first encountered new topic in STPM Biology syllabus. The reverse is true to both Physics and Chemistry. As a result, it is more difficult to score good grade in SPM Biology compared to both Physics and Chemistry. To seek a balance between a wider syllabus scope and to obtain a good grade, we are introducing many less common biological terms that may be useful for those high acheiver students to satisfy their insatiable thirst for knowledge. These include:
(a) Non-disjunction (one of the answer in 2009 SPM Paper 2) in "Variation" topic
(b) Classification between characters and traits (one of the question in 2009 SPM Paper 2) in "Inheritance" topic.
(c) Interpret graphs for simple diffusion and facilitated diffusion (one of the question in 2006 SPM Paper 2) in "Movement of Substances across the Plasma Membrane" topic.
(d) Cardiac cycle, T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes and helper T cells in "Transport" topic.
Thirdly, Spotlight SPM Biology include a "Learn It Right" section. The main purpose of the section is to remind the students of some common mistakes in each and every topic. Many of the SPM candidates may know the answer for a particular question, but may not be able to get any mark because the answer is not appropriate. Take for example: The function of chloroplast (grana) is "to trap or absorb light energy". The common mistake among students is "to carry out photosynthesis".
Undeniably, Spotlight SPM Biology is a good book for Form 4 and Form 5 students who are taking SPM examination in Malaysia. By and large, the First Publication is difficult to achieve zero error perfection, but I am very optimistic that in the coming second edition, a zero defect target can be hit.