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?
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 origin||United Kingdom (UK)|
|Duration||12 – 18 months|
|Number of subjects||2- 4. Students may choose the following subjects:|
|Assessment||It 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.|
|Price||RM20,000 – RM40,000|
South Australia Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International Programme in Malaysia
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
- English as an Additional Language
- Legal Studies
- Mathematical Methods
- 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 origin||Australia|
|Duration||7 – 18 months|
|Number of subjects||5 subjects (including English)|
|Awarding Body||South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)|
|Price||RM21,000 – RM40,000|
American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP)
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 origin||USA|
|Duration||48 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 subjects||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 ADP and the rest are completed in the USA. Students will normally take about 4-5 subjects each semester.|
|Assessment||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.|
|Grading System||Final 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.|
|Cost||RM30,000 – 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.|
Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM)
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 origin||Malaysia|
|Duration||18 months (+6 months if you intend to apply to public universities)|
|Number of subjects||Between 4 – 5 (including General Paper)|
|Grading||Final 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.|
|Cost||Less than RM1,000|
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 origin||Malaysia|
|Duration||12 months (Program Satu Tahun) – 24 months (Program Dua Tahun)|
|Number of subjects||Students 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|
|Assessment||Combination of classroom assignments and examinations|
|Grading System||Your GPA is determined from the grade values associated with the grades that you obtain for each subject every semester. All grades are internally assessed.|