Cambridge IGCSE Malay

Cambridge IGCSE Malay – First Language (0696)

The Cambridge IGCSE Malay exam is designed to teach students of English-speaking backgrounds the most relevant aspects of the Malay language in order to improve their English skills, while being immersed in the most pertinent aspects of the Malay language and culture.

In 2018, Cambridge Assessment International Education announced the addition of IGCSE First Language Malay to their list of subjects. Prior to this, Cambridge IGCSE only offered the Malay Foreign Language to students with no foundation in the language. Therefore, IGCSE First Language Malay is designed with Malaysian students in mind.

Education Destination Malaysia says, “it is important to take note that IGCSE First Language Malay is not equivalent to Bahasa Melayu at SPM level.”


Cambridge IGCSE First Language Malay encourages learners to read a variety of texts and improve their use and style of language in a range of contexts. Learners develop the ability to understand and respond to what they read and to communicate effectively in writing. These skills equip them for progression to further study or employment.

Candidates will be expected to read and understand a variety of written and spoken texts on familiar topics. Candidates will be required to demonstrate understanding of the main ideas, opinions and attitudes, as well as select and extract relevant details and deduce the meaning of occasional unknown words from context. They will also have opportunities to write in Malay on familiar, everyday topics, and to speak the language by taking part in everyday conversations.


Paper 1 – Reading and Directed Writing Written paper, 2 hours, 50 marks Candidates answer all the questions in two compulsory sections. Dictionaries may not be used.

Section 1 Comprehension and Use of Language (25 marks)

Section 2 Directed Writing (25 marks)

Paper 2 – Composition Written paper, 2 hours, 50 marks Candidates answer two questions, one from each section. Dictionaries may not be used.

Section 1 Argumentative/Discursive Writing (25 marks)

Section 2 Descriptive/Narrative Writing (25 marks)

Points to Note

Learners starting this course should have a level in Malay equivalent to first language competence.

Candidates can take this syllabus alongside other Cambridge International syllabuses in a single exam series. The only exceptions are; Cambridge IGCSE Malay (0546) and syllabuses with the same title at the same level.

Grading and reporting Grades A*, A, B, C, D, E, F or G indicate the standard a candidate achieved at Cambridge IGCSE. A* is the highest and G is the lowest. ‘Ungraded’ means that the candidate’s performance did not meet the standard required for grade G. ‘

Candidates can retake the whole qualification as many times as they want to. This is a linear qualification so candidates cannot re-sit individual components.

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