A Comparison of the Best Pre-University (Pre-U) Programmes in Malaysia

Best Pre-University Courses in Malaysia

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A Pre-University Programme is a “transition” course between secondary school and university degree studies. The Pre-University Programme is general and equips students with the knowledge and skills to handle the rigours of an undergraduate programme. Choosing the right Pre-University Programme is an important step after SPM or O-Levels. The best Pre-University Programme is the one that matches your learning style, budget, academic & career goals, and soft skills.

There are a number of different Pre-University programmes in Malaysia that’s available to you. You should find out more about various pre-university programmes are available at top private colleges & universities before making your decision. You need to understand yourself, your learning style, career goals, academic goals and  capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you. EduSpiral Consultant Services  is here to help you narrow down your choices with sound professional advise.

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The Best Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia

“EduSpiral gave me advise over phone, Facebook, Skype and even took me to visit the universities. He spent a lot of time to help me make my decision on what to study and at which university.”
Ban Moon (Left), Scored 3As in the A-Levels at HELP Academy

A Pre-University programme is a preparatory course for students after SPM or O-Levels. The Pre-University programme at private colleges in Malaysia acts as a ‘bridge’ between secondary school and university, equipping you with proper knowledge and learning skills so that students will be able to handle the challenges of an undergraduate degree course.

Students who are not sure of what to study after SPM or O-Levels can contact EduSpiral Consultant Services to help guide you to choose the right course and university. There are many Pre-University programmes that you can go for after SPM or O-Levels so it can be confusing for you to choose the right one.

Choosing the right Pre-University course that fits you would mean that you have to ask yourself which methods of assessment best suit you? Exams, coursework, practicals, group projects and presentations could all be in the mix in differing quantities. Every Pre-University course in Malaysia will include a percentage of the breakdown of assessment. You need to understand yourself and capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you.

Below is a list of pre-university programmes that’s popular in Malaysia at top universities & colleges:

  1. Foundation programmes by private universities in Malaysia
  2. Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) Malaysia
  3. Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
  4. University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) UK A-Levels
  5. South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International
  6. American Degree Transfer Program (ADTP)
  7. Edexcel International Advanced Level UK A-Levels
  8. Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)
  9. Matriculation Certificate, Ministry of Education Malaysia
  10. Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP)

Duration of the Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia

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Gan Wei Cheng, 3A* in A-Levels at KDU College Penang and now JPA Scholarship at U. of Sydney for Pharmacy

The duration of the Pre-University Programme vary from programme to programme and takes about 8 months to 24 months to complete.

  • Foundation programmes by private universities in Malaysia – Duration is 12 months
  • Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) Malaysia – Duration is 18 months
  • Matriculation Certificate, Ministry of Education Malaysia – Duration is 12 months
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) UK A-Levels – Duration is 12-18 months
  • Edexcel International Advanced Level UK A-Levels – Duration is 12-18 months
  • South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International – Duration is 10 months to 18 months depending on intake
  • Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) Duration is 7 months to 10 months

Entry Requirements of Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia

General Entry Requirements for all Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia:

  • SPM or ‘O’ Level or equivalent – 5 credits. Additional requirements may include credits in English, Mathematics or Science depending on the Pre-University Programme or degree you intend to take.
  • Medical & Pharmacy degree programmes will require at least 5Bs in SPM including the Science subjects while Engineering would require credits in Physics & Maths.
  • Students must have passes in BM and Sejarah in SPM
  • Note that you will need to take into account the degree requirements for certain courses for SPM subjects.

Subjects for Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia

The number of subjects for the Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia vary from 3 to 12. When choosing the subjects, it is important to take those that would be relevant to the intended degree course. It is important to choose the right combination of subjects which would be related to your degree programme.

For example, if you take up Arts subjects, you will not be able to continue into a Biotechnology degree course.

Acceptance & Recognition of the Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia

As long as the Pre-University Programme has been accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), it will be accepted into any private university in Malaysia and the external Pre-University programmes such as A-Levels, AUSMAT, SAM, etc are accepted into universities overseas. The Internal Foundation Programmes of Private Universities in Malaysia are generally not accepted for entry by universities overseas therefore you have to take this into consideration when making your decision.

Malaysian Private University Internal Foundation Programme

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Bryan Yap, Foundation in Business at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

Students after SPM or O-Levels can consider taking the Foundation Programmes at top private universities in Malaysia. The Foundation Programmes are 1 year and is cheaper compared to the external Pre-University Programmes.

Many private higher educational institutions in Malaysia, have developed their own internal university foundation programmes. These courses are accredited by the Malaysia Qualification Agency (MQA) and recognised by the respective foreign partner universities.

Unlike the external qualifications which focus on more general Science and Art-based subjects, the internal qualifications provide specialisation in precise areas of study such as the fields of businesscomputer IT, and engineering, and hence, cater to the specific needs of different students.

Students who know what they want to study can just go for the Foundation at the university offering the degree of interest. It is cheaper, easier and a faster way to continue to completing the degree. If you are still not sure of what to study for your degree, the Foundation programme is a good choice and is shorter in duration than the STPM and less difficult.

List of the Different Types of Foundation Programmes in Malaysia

  1. Foundation in Science
  2. Foundation in Arts
  3. Foundation in Business Administration or Management
  4. Foundation in Communication & Media Studies
  5. Foundation in Computing & Technology
  6. Foundation in Engineering
  7. Foundation in Natural & Built Environment or Architecture
  8. Foundation in Design
Duration12 months
Number of subjects12-15. Varies depending on the programme and university (usually combination of compulsory, elective & MPU subjects)
Recognition & AccreditationMalaysia Qualification Agency (MQA)
AssessmentAssessment for Foundation programmes in Malaysia will vary from university to university. It will contain a mix of coursework, assignments, quizzes and exams. The coursework could cover different assessment tasks such as projects, assignments, laboratory work, presentations, tests, and others as assigned throughout each semester. The final examination is conducted at the end of each semester. 
PriceRM8,000 – RM25,000
Advantages
  • Tailored specifically towards the degree course offered by the university
  • Shorter duration compared to the STPM and A-Level programmes
  • Generally, cheaper than most Pre-University (Pre-U) programmes
  • Most students find it easier compared to other Pre-University programmes
  • English-speaking environment which would help you to improve your language skills (depends on which university you choose)
  • The course is taught and marked by Malaysians who would understand the language skills of Malaysian students. Therefore, students who are weak in the English language should choose the Foundation and take the opportunity to improve their language skills during the Foundation programme.
Disadvantages
  • Depending on which Foundation, it may be difficult to change courses if you decide to pursue a different field
  • May not be accepted by other private universities for your undergraduate degree
  • May not be accepted into universities overseas

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) A-Levels in Malaysia

EduSpiral advised me to go for the best college for A-Levels in order to fulfil my dream of entering an Ivy League university in the USA. He met us at Taylor’s College Subang to talk to us and tour the college.
Gi Hang, A-Levels at Taylor’s College

After SPM or O-Levels, Malaysian students have a choice to continue with the GCE A-Levels programme offered by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) which is part of the Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES).

The A-level syllabuses are divided into Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced Two (A2) levels, each contributing 50% towards the final A-Level grade. AS Level is the first half of the course and forms the foundation of A-Level. A2 Level is the second part of the syllabus and covers more difficult topics.

For assessment purposes, students can choose any one of the following options:

  • Take all papers of the ‘A’ levels in one sitting, usually at the end of the second year of study, or
  • Take the ‘staged’ assessment route, that is, to take the ‘AS’ level in one examination session and the final part of the assessment ‘A2’ level at a subsequent session, or
  • Take the ‘AS’ level only, either at the end of a one-year or two-year course.

Many private colleges prepare students to sit for the Cambridge A-Levels which is a popular choice among Malaysians. It is internationally-recognised for admission into universities worldwide including professional courses.

  • Duration: 15 to 18 months (3 semesters)
  • Recognition: University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) which is part of the Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES). The A-Levels is accepted worldwide at all top universities
  • Cost: Ranges from RM10,000 to RM40,000
  • Subjects: There are normally between 2 to 4 A-level subjects and the General Paper. Both the ‘AS’ and ‘A2’ levels are flexible and students have the freedom to select the subjects that they are interested in, either to study a broad variety of subjects or to specialise in a particular area.
  • Assessment: The A-Level Programme is 100% external examination-based. Both the ‘A2’ and ‘AS’ level examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and November, with some subjects only available in June or November. Results are issued in August and February respectively.
  • Intakes: January, March & July
  • Examination Sessions: May / June and October / November

Edexcel International Advanced Levels in Malaysia

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Lay Hoe, A-Levels at HELP University

Edexcel International Advanced Levels is a new suite of A level qualifications developed for  international centres.  With a modular structure, the Edexcel new suite of International Advanced Levels have examination windows in January and June of each year, allowing students to finish their course in January if they need to, for entry to local and international universities.  Please note Law will continue to be examined in June of each year only.

The qualifications have been written to the same rigorous standard as all Edexcel qualifications and Edexcel International Advanced level qualifications are already recognised by many leading universities in the UK and internationally.

  • Duration: 15 to 18 months
  • Recognition: Recognised by Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), UK and fully accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) The A-Levels is accepted worldwide at all top universities
  • Cost: Ranges from RM10,000 to RM40,000
  • Subjects: There are normally between 2 to 4 A-level subjects and the General Paper
  • Assessment:   No coursework (100% examination)
  • Structure: Modular structure. AS can be used as a stage on the way to completing an Advanced Level.
  • Intakes: January, March & July
  • Examination Sessions: January and June examinations. Students sit for the exams in the same time as UK students

What’s the difference between the Cambridge A-Levels and the Edexcel A-Levels in Malaysia?

I scored 10As in my SPM and needed scholarships to help me continue my studies. EduSpiral gave me the information online and took me around to the campuses to help me make the best choice.
Lay Hoe, A-Levels at HELP Academy

Academic system: The Cambridge A-Level programme follows a staged assessment route to A Level by taking the AS Level in one examination session and completing the final A Level assessments at a subsequent session. Some papers are actually practical papers, in which you have to do experiments and answer related questions.

The Edexcel A- Level programme follows a modular system. Most Edexcel A-Level students would sit for 1-2 papers per subject at the end of every 5 to 6-month period.

Examination board: Edexcel and CIE are both examples of UK examination boards which provide a range of exams and qualifications. All exam boards operate under the guidelines produced by the JCQ (Joint Committee for Qualifications).

There is no difference in the level or degree of difficulty between the examination offered by Edexcel and CIE. The specifications of syllabuses might differ but both of them are recognized by colleges, universities and employers all around the world.

The Edexcel International Advanced Levels A-Levels modular system aims to test you on the application of each unit, and hence a student can choose to repeat a single unit on its own, without having to repeat an entire level.

Only the highest mark scored in any attempt will automatically be taken into account.

The Cambridge Board, on the other hand, is linear-based. Students attempt to take the examinations in two stages, AS & A2 Level.

Students unsatisfied with any of their individual units must re-sit the entire level, i.e. either AS or A2, and only the last score will automatically be taken into account.

Advantage of the Cambridge A-Level programme

  • Examination fees for Cambridge A-Level are lower than its Edexcel counterpart.
  • Fewer modules per subject (max five) than Edexcel (max six).
  • The CIE is internationally recognised by universities around the world including all UK universities and over 450 US universities including Harvard, Yale, MIT and Stanford.

Advantage of the Edexcel International Advanced Levels programme

  • This modular system aims to test you on the application of each unit, and hence a student can choose to repeat a single unit on its own, without having to repeat an entire level. Only the highest mark scored in any attempt will automatically be taken into account.
  • The Cambridge Board, on the other hand, is linear-based. Students attempt to take the examinations in two stages, AS & A2 Level. Students unsatisfied with any of their individual units must re-sit the entire level, i.e. either AS or A2, and only the last score will automatically be taken into account.
Country of originUnited Kingdom (UK)
Duration12 – 18 months
Number of subjects2- 4. Students may choose the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Law
  • Accounting
AssessmentIt is 100% external examination-based. Both the ‘A2’ and ‘AS’ level examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and November, with some subjects only available in June or November. Results are issued in August and February respectively.
Awarding Body
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or
  • Edexcel International Advanced Levels (Modular structure)
PriceRM20,000 – RM40,000
Advantages
  • Commonly considered the ‘Gold Standard’ of Pre-U programmes and is globally accepted (UK, US, Singapore, Australia etc.)
  • Accepted by universities worldwide
  • General subjects therefore the choices to enter degree programmes are wide depending on your subject combination
Disadvantages
  • Higher cost compared to most Pre-University (Pre-U) programmes
  • Longer duration than most Pre-University programmes
  • The A-Levels is rigorous and requires students who have strong academic results in SPM or O-Levels to do well in it
  • Subjects are general therefore students who have taken it may not be sure of what they want to study at degree level
  • If your command of the English language is weak then you may find this course very challenging
  

South Australia Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International Programme in Malaysia

I met EduSpiral a few years back & although I wanted to pursue his advise, my parents asked me to take STPM. I wasn’t satistied with my STPM results and finally, EduSpiral helped me to understand clearly that SAM was the best Pre-U that suit me.
Khalil, South Australian Matriculation (SAM) at Taylors College

The South Australian Matriculation (SAM) (SAM / SACE International (SACEI) attracts aspiring individuals who enjoy self-directed learning and leadership through an investigative approach. The various activities in the programme allow students to lead and contribute to society, making it the most popular Australian-based Pre-U programme in Malaysia. Many SAM / SACE International graduates have gained entries into top universities worldwide.

SAM is a 10-month matriculation programme with a unique assessment pattern – 30% of the final mark is derived from the final public examination (usually in the month of October/November) while the remaining 70% is awarded internally through continuous assessment of coursework and tests. It offers students the flexibility to complete the programme over an extended period although the normal duration of study is one year. Students can also repeat subjects without a penalty.

Students may choose from the following subjects

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English as an Additional Language
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Nutrition
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Research Project B
  • Specialist Mathematics

The SAM programme gives students an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR, which is a percentile ranking that is utilised as a selection criterion of students for bachelor’s degree courses by universities in Australia and different parts of the world.

  • Duration: 10 to 18 months
  • Recognition: Recognised by Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA) and fully accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA). Students will be awarded the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).SAM or SACE International is accepted worldwide at all top universities
  • Cost: Ranges from RM30,000 to RM45,000
  • Subjects: 6
  • Assessment:  30% Exam while the remaining 70% is awarded internally through continuous assessment of coursework and tests
  • Intakes: January, March or August
  • Examination Sessions: November & March

Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) in Malaysia

The Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) is the final year (Year 12) of the secondary school programme offered by the government of Western Australia to enable entry into year one Bachelor’s degree programmes of most universities around the world.

I would not advise students to go for the March intake as it is an intensive programme which is shorter in duration where the exam is in November. Many students with good SPM results have not done well after taking the March intake for AUSMAT.

The AUSMAT is an internationally-recognised pre-university programme administered by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia on behalf of the Western Australian government.  Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE). The student’s score (based on best four subjects) is ranked for the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for university application at undergraduate level. This arrangement not only helps to remove pressure from the single year-end assessment, but also provides opportunities for the usage of a variety of assessment techniques in determining the students’ standard of achievement.

Students are required to take five subjects including English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) or English. The remaining four subjects can be a combination of these subjects: Applicable Mathematics, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Accounting, Information Systems, German, and others.

  • Duration: 7 to 10 months
  • Recognition: Recognised by Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)
  • Cost: Ranges from RM30,000 to RM45,000
  • Subjects: 5
  • Assessment:  50% Exam while the remaining 50% continuous assessment of coursework and tests
  • Intakes: January & March
  • Examination Sessions: November

Difference between AUSMAT and SAM/SACE International

Both of these pre-university programmes are based on the Australian education system and both incorporate a combination of coursework and final exams which ultimately leads to an Australian Year 12 qualification.

The South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International is administered by the SACE Board of South Australia, a statutory authority of the South Australian Government. SAM students will be assessed and graded based on 70% college-based assessment (coursework) and 30% final examination.

The difference between SAM/SACE International and The Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) is that AUSMAT is administered by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority of Western Australia, a statutory authority of the Western Australian Government. Unlike SAM, those studying AUSMAT will be assessed and graded based on 50% coursework and 50% examination.

Country of originAustralia
Duration7 – 18 months
Number of subjects5 subjects (including English)
Assessment
  • South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International: 70% coursework (e.g. tests, research papers, assignments) and 30% exams
  • AUSMAT: 50% coursework (e.g. tests, research papers, assignments) and 50% exams
Awarding BodySouth Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)
PriceRM21,000 – RM40,000
Advantages
  • Recognised for entry by most countries overseas
  • Shorter duration compared to the A-Levels and STPM
  • Continuous assessment helps to accumulate marks towards your final grade, instead of depending on a particular exam or coursework
  • Students who have a strong command of the English language & like assignment based courses would do well in the Australian Matriculation
Disadvantages
  • Very high entry requirements for competitive programmes like Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, etc.
  • Students must do well consistently in all assessment types to obtain a high final grade
  • Self-directed learning may not be suitable for everyone
  • The March intake for AUSMAT is short and too intensive. Many students do not do well in it

American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP)

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Zhi Leong, ADP at HELP College of Arts & Technology

After SPM or O-Levels, students will enter into the American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP) for 2 years before transferring their credits to a university of their choice in the USA for the final 2 years.

Students after SPM or O-Levels will enter directly into Year 1 of the degree program for a total of 4 years. The American Degree system after SPM or O-Levels is Year 1 (Freshman), Year 2 (Sophomore), Year 3 (Junior) and finally Year 4 (Senior).

Students will take about 40 subjects (110 – 140 credit hours) in total during their four years of studies, where 20 subjects (60 credit hours) are completed at ADTP and the rest are completed in the USA. Students will normally take about 4-5 subjects each semester.

Students are assessed through exams, coursework, assignments, presentations, quizzes and research papers. The percentage of exams and assignments varies depending on the subject you are taking.

The American undergraduate degree provides an education that emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking and decision-making skills. American education provides a flexible, holistic and well-rounded approach to education. It produces graduates with strong critical and analytical thinking skills with the ability to put knowledge into action.

  • It is a 4-year degree program after SPM or O-Levels
  • Students gain direct entry to university level after high school.
  • The curriculum is broad based and flexible.
  • Students are allowed to switch major if they decided to do so even after 2 years of studies.
  • Students are required to take courses outside of their major (commonly known as the liberal arts education philosophy).
  • Continuous learning and testing system (70% coursework, 30% final examination) where students are involved in projects, teamwork, presentation, extra- and co-curricular activities.
  • The education is learning-driven instead of exam-driven. Students are groomed to be all rounded team players with strong critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Students are expected to speak, ask, and challenge your instructors during discussions in / outside of class.
Country of originUSA
Duration48 months. After SPM or O-Levels, students will enter into the American Degree Programme for 2 years before transferring their credits to a university of their choice in the USA for the final 2 years.
Number of subjectsStudents will take about 40 subjects (110 – 140 credit hours) in total during their four years of studies, where 20 subjects (60 credit hours) are completed at ADP and the rest are completed in the USA. Students will normally take about 4-5 subjects each semester.
AssessmentStudents are assessed through exams, coursework, assignments, presentations, quizzes and research papers. The percentage of exams and assignments varies depending on the subject you are taking.
Grading SystemFinal results will be a single score, the Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 0.0 to 4.0 scale. The highest grade is an A, which equals 4.0 The final result is the CGPA (cumulative grade point average) which is also on a 0.0 to 4.0 scale, and is your GPA obtained from all subjects taken.
CostRM30,000 – RM60,000 for duration of 2 years of study in Malaysia. Cost of studying in the USA would range from RM150,000 to RM200,000 per year including cost of living.
Advantages
  • The curriculum is broad based and flexible.
  • Students are allowed to switch major if they decided to do so even after 2 years of studies.
  • Students are required to take courses outside of their major (commonly known as the liberal arts education philosophy).
  • Continuous learning and testing system (70% coursework, 30% final examination) where students are involved in projects, teamwork, presentation, extra- and co-curricular activities.
  • The education is learning-driven instead of exam-driven. Students are groomed to be all rounded team players with strong critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Students are expected to speak, ask, and challenge your instructors during discussions in / outside of class.
Disadvantages
  • Students must transfer to the USA for the final part of the studies. If you complete the ADTP and decide not to go to the USA, it is not accepted for entry at any university in Malaysia.
  • Students who prefer exam-based programmes will find the ADTP challenging.

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM)

I was planning to study in IPTA after STPM but then my parents talked to EduSpiral. They realised the importance of studying at a top award winning university for computing.
Mark Siew, Software Engineering at Asia Pacific University

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) is Malaysia’s version of the UK’s GCE A-Levels and is a Pre-University course recognised for entry into public universities (IPTA) in Malaysia. The STPM is also accepted for entry into private universities in Malaysia and overseas universities. The STPM is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council since 1982. 

The STPM is acknowledged as one of the toughest exams in the world. The other way to enter public university (IPTA) is the Matriculation course where only 10% of the seats are set aside for Non-bumis therefore the competition will be extremely high for the spots.

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Recognition: Exams are set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council. The STPM is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).
  • Cost: Almost Free
  • Subjects: 5
  • Assessment:  Students will go through a school-based assessment with a weighting of 20-40% of the final score and a centralised examination with a weighting of 60-80% of the final score (The weighting varies according to subjects).
  • Intakes: May
  • Examination Sessions: You will take the examinations at the end of each term (3 in total). One term is 6 months. Students who are not satisfied with their results for the first two terms can retake the examinations at the end of the third term.
  • Structure: Modular
Country of originMalaysia
Duration18 months (+6 months if you intend to apply to public universities)
Number of subjectsBetween 4 – 5 (including General Paper)
Assessment
  • Students will go through a school-based assessment with a weighting of 20-40% of the final score and a centralised examination with a weighting of 60-80% of the final score (The weighting varies according to subjects).
  • Nevertheless, School Based Assessment (SBA) cannot be repeated and repeaters are required to sit for an alternative written paper in place with SBA.
  • The curriculum is divided into three parts based on topic areas. Each part will be taught and studied in either the first, second or third term.
  • You will take the examinations at the end of each term (3 in total). One term is 6 months. Students who are not satisfied with their results for the first two terms can retake the examinations at the end of the third term.
  • Students’ assessment will be carried out each term with the results being released at the end of each respective term. The overall STPM results will be based on the best combined results of the three terms.
GradingFinal results will be a single score, the Overall Subject Grade Point. Grades are given from A to F for each subject taken, which corresponds to a grade point. The Overall Subject Grade Point is the average of the top four subjects with the maximum score of 4.0.
CostLess than RM1,000
Advantages
  • A Pre-University course recognised for entry into public universities (IPTA) in Malaysia
  • An affordable Pre-University programme
  • Recognised for entry into universities worldwide
  • With School Based Assessment, teaching and learning are integrated with assessment. Students are allowed to improve on their first term and second term results by retaking these term examinations at the end of the third term. Students who do not obtain satisfactory results for the third term may also re-sit it.
Disadvantages
  • The STPM can be very challenging for students who are weak academically or who do not prepare themselves well
  • Longer duration compared to most Pre-University courses in Malaysia
  • Heavy weightage of exam-based assessment
  • As soon as you enter Lower 6 you will have to hit the books because your first exam will be in December and you will have not much time to study and the teachers do no have enough time to cover the material as well. There is no rest as you will need to keep studying  the exams every 6 months.
  • To enter into most private universities, students must achieve at least a CGPA of 2.00 or at least 2 Principal Cs in the relevant subjects. A C- is not a principal and some universities do not accept the Pengajian Am as entry into the university.
  • STPM requires you to take in too much information in 1.5 years. That in itself shows the inadequacies of a system which doesn’t give enough time for students to consume the information required. Furthermore, STPM needs a lot of study time in order to score well. If you are not ready to commit the time and effort, you should consider other options.
  • From the time you enter Form 6 till the exam and getting into IPTA would be 2 years. If you had taken a diploma, you would have already completed it.
  • English language not emphasized so you do not gain the all important language and communication skills needed to succeed in the workforce
  • The government chooses the course and university (IPTA) for you. Therefore, after 2 years, you may not get to study what you want.

Malaysian Matriculation Programme (Matrikulasi) and Asasi IPTA

Program Matrikulasi Malaysia) is a one-year pre-university preparatory programme offered by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. Starting 2005, the selection process for the programme is done through a race-based quota system, where 90% of the places are reserved for bumiputeras students while the remaining 10% are open for non-bumiputeras.

Prior to 2006, only one-year programmes are being conducted. Since then, four different programmes are offered. They are One Year Programme (PST, short for Program Satu Tahun in Malay), Two Year Programme (PDT, short for Program Dua Tahun in Malay), Technical Programme and Accounting Programme. Mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry and informatics science subjects are conducted in English. Other compulsory subjects are English, Dynamics Skills (Kemahiran Dinamika), Islamic/Moral Study and Information Technology. Students are also required to take up a co-curricular activity of their choice (sports/games, societies/clubs or marching band) during the programme.

Country of originMalaysia
Duration12 months (Program Satu Tahun) – 24 months (Program Dua Tahun)
Number of subjectsStudents must study at least six subjects over two semesters (one year). There is one intake a year, usually in March or April. The matriculation programme in Malaysia offers three streams – science, accountancy and technical streams
AssessmentCombination of classroom assignments and examinations
Grading SystemYour GPA is determined from the grade values associated with the grades that you obtain for each subject every semester. All grades are internally assessed.
CostRM600
Advantages
  • Extremely affordable
  • Good prospects to gain admission into public universities
  • Wide range of subjects to choose from
Cons
  • Recognised for entry into universities in Commonwealth countries
  • Has limitations, such as ‘Program Dua Tahun’ only open for bumiputras
  • Fewer options of degree courses as the subjects are divided into ‘streams’

Diploma Course at Private Universities in Malaysia

Students who are sure of what they want to study can go for a Diploma course. If you are still not sure, then you should go for a Pre-University programme. The diploma generally is more practical while a degree course is more theoretical and academic.

After completing your diploma, you can go find a job or continue on to Year 2 of the degree if your college or university offers the degree or you can transfer credits into another university. If you transfer to another university, you may not be able to get the full exemptions to enter into Year 2 of the degree.

Duration24 – 30 months
Number of subjects25-35 subjects (May include internship)
AssessmentA mix of Assignments, Coursework, and written examination percentage. The diploma programme provides students with relevant, interesting, stimulating and practical experience via a variety of teaching and practical techniques.

Students will experience different dynamic learning processes are employed in the delivery of a diploma programme, such as lectures, tutorials, computer lab work, team-based project, real life system development, presentations, independent projects supervised by supervisors from university lecturers or industry experts. The learning is very much practical oriented.

Recognition Accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA)
CostRM15,000 to RM50,000
Advantages
  • The Diploma is technically not a pre-university programme; it is one level below undergraduate degree
  • Needs at least 3 credits in SPM to enter the Diploma programme
  • Students may apply for the PTPN Loan for Diploma courses. There is no PTPN Loan for Foundation & External Pre-University programmes
  • You will study the subjects that you are interested in. The subjects are specific to your field of interest.
  • The course is more practical with mixed assessment.
  • Upon completion of the Diploma, you may choose to start work or continue on to Year 2 of the related degree.
Disadvantages
  • You cannot change to a different course for degree level
  • You may lose some credits when transferring to a different university

 

EduSpiral Consultant Services – Your Online Education Advisor

EduSpiral Consultant Services is a full-service educational counseling & planning firm that guides students from across Malaysia to help them choose the right course and university.

EduSpiral Consultant Services represents the best colleges and universities in Malaysia offering a wide range of choices for students to choose from. These colleges and universities offer value for money in the quality of education and excellent facilities that you get.

These universities and colleges are chosen by EduSpiral because they represent the best in their fields in Malaysia and affordable. EduSpiral provides in-depth information and counseling on their courses so that students are able to make the right choice.

If you are still not sure what to study, please contact us and we will send you a free EduSpiral Career Assessment FormEduSpiral Consultant Services has helped hundreds of students to choose the right course and enter into the university of choice. Please do contact us should you need any advise.

Please contact us for more details.

Please fill up the Form below and I will WhatsApp you and provide you with sound advise on how to choose the best private university or college in Malaysia to study at. If you do not give your mobile number or full name as in IC, your query will not be answered. Our knowledgeable & experienced courselor will send you a message on WhatsApp & provide assistance from there.

About EduSpiral Consultant Services

EduSpiral seeks to offer information and advise on courses & careers and placement services to top private colleges & universities in Malaysia & Singapore. Our experienced consultants will share from years of counselling students to guide students personally on to the best possible career choice. The decision that you make now, can change your life forever....so make it wisely.

Posted on October 20, 2013, in Best College in Malaysia, Best University, Choosing the right course, Choosing the right university, Foundation Programmes, Pre-U Courses, Study in Malaysia, Top Universities and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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