Which are the Best Pre-University Courses to Study in Malaysia After High School?
Finally, you have completed IGCSE/O-Levels, one of the biggest exams in your life, and have been looking for a the right Pre-University Programme or Diploma course so that you can continue on to the degree programme.
There are many questions going through your mind such as: Should you study locally or overseas after completing high school? Which Pre-University Course is the best? How to choose the right Pre-U Programme? Which university or college is the best? What degree course should you take? Does the course have future high job demand & salary? How to choose the right course with so many choices?
But with the many difference choices out there, which one will you choose? So, to make it easier for you, I have made a list of the most popular Pre-University study options in Malaysia. The summary will give you a snapshot of the good points of each Pre-University course in Malaysia so that you can make the best choice after IGCSE/O-Levels.
You might also be interested to read:
- Choosing the Right Course After SPM or O-Levels Increases Your Chances of Getting a Good Job & Salary in Malaysia
- Top 10 Most Popular Pre-University (Pre-U) Programmes in Malaysia
- Best Diploma Courses in Malaysia at Top Colleges & Universities
- Study Courses that has High Job Demand in Malaysia
- Top 20 Courses to Study in Malaysia that has High Job Demand & Stable Salary
- Top 10 Best Courses to Study in Malaysia
- Malaysia’s 28 Top Jobs in Demand in Future with High Salaries
Do you have any questions for us on this article? Or need advise on choosing the right course and private university? If so, then please fill up the Enquiry Form below. Our team of experts will help you solve your queries at the earliest via WhatsApp.
What are your options after IGCSE/O-Levels?
Choosing the right Pre-University Programme will help you enter your university of choice to study the degree course that you want. After IGCSE/O-Levels, before entering a degree programme, students have to take a Pre-University Course or Diploma. Since you have taken IGCSE/O-Levels, you will not be able to enter into the government universities or IPTA.
Sometimes students choose the Pre-University programme for the wrong reasons. Students must research carefully the type of Pre-University and its assessment style.
Some students don’t perform well in the Pre-University because the assessment of the Pre-University doesn’t fit them or their command of the English language is too weak to handle the written assignments.
Know what you want to Study for the Degree
In order to choose the right Pre-University or Diploma course, you have to figure out what you want to study in your degree or at least have some idea. For example, if you plan to study Engineering, then your choices are Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Foundation in Engineering, Foundation in Science, A-Levels Sciences, or AUSMAT Sciences.
Students who are not sure of what to study or you are still considering other courses, then take more general Pre-U like Foundation in Science, A-Levels Sciences, or AUSMAT Sciences. These Pre-U programmes are able to enter most degree programmes giving you more options.
Know where you want to Study for the Degree
Furthermore, your budget will also determine which course would be suitable. Students who plan to go overseas to study can go for the A-Levels or AUSMAT while students who plan to study locally at private universities can go for the Foundation or Diploma.
If you plan to go overseas, then go for the external Pre-University programme and choose based on which country you want to go to. If you plan to continue your degree course in Malaysia, you should just take the Foundation course as it is cheaper and generally easier than the external Pre-U. To study overseas will cost from RM150,000 to RM200,000 a year at least.
Know what type of Assessment fits your learning Style
Do you prefer exam-based or a mix of exams, assignments, course work, etc.?
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 will include a % breakdown of assessment. You need to understand yourself and capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you.
Know when you Should Start your Pre-U Course
Intakes are also important for students who want to perform the best in the exams. Taking the March intake is generally a mistake as it is compressed in duration therefore making the student having to complete the syllabus in a short amount of time.
Furthermore, you must also find out when you will get your results in order to meet the application deadline for your university of choice.
Need Help in Choosing the Right Pre-U Programme after IGCSE/O-Levels?
As you can see, choosing the right course to study can be confusing so do WhatsApp me at 01111408838 for advise if you need more help. Read on below to find out the best points about the various Pre-University programmes in Malaysia.
Top Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia Suitable for Students after IGCSE/O-Levels
Diploma Programme – Practical & Specific
Students who are sure of what they want to study can go for a Diploma course. The diploma generally is more practical while a degree course is more theoretical and academic.
The duration of the diploma is 2 years or 2.5 years depending on the university. Some have internships.
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.
Students will take 25-35 subjects in the diploma and it is a mix of Assignments, Coursework, and written examination percentage.
Why Study Diploma?
- The course is more practical with mixed assessment.
- You have at least 3 credits in IGCSE/O-Levels to enter the Diploma programme
- Students may apply for the PTPTN Loan for Diploma courses. There is no PTPTN 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.
- Upon completion of the Diploma, you may choose to start work or continue on to Year 2 of the related degree
Foundation Course – Short & Affordable
Foundation courses are offered by Private Universities as a transition into their degree programmes. It helps students after IGCSE/O-Levels to familiarise with the university’s own degree courses & adjust to university life.
Furthermore, students will take about 15 subjects depending on the type of Foundation Programme. Assessment is about 50% exam and 50% coursework and assignments.
Why Study Foundation at a Private University?
- The 1-year Foundation Programmes are accredited by MQA and is cheaper, easier & faster compared to the external Pre-University Programmes.
- Unlike the external pre-university programmes in Malaysia which focus on more general Science and Art-based subjects, the Foundation programmes for private universities provide specialisation in specific areas of study such as architecture, business, computer & IT, communication, design or engineering, and hence, cater to the specific needs of different students. Students who are unsure of what to study can go for the Foundation in Science or Foundation in Arts.
- If you don’t plan to go overseas immediately after Pre-University, it is easier and cheaper to take the Foundation course and then continue to Year 1 of the degree and then transfer overseas.
A-Levels – Exam-Base with Worldwide Recognition
A-Levels is a UK-based programme that’s popular in Malaysia. The A-Level programme places emphasis on knowledge, understanding and reasoning abilities and skills. Students can choose to take 2 to 4 subjects from a wide range of subjects depending on their degree path.
The A-level course is 12 – 18 months and is a 100% external examination-based course.
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.
Why Study A-Levels?
- Students who have good results in IGCSE/O-Levels and prefer exam-oriented assessment rather than coursework or assignments, should go for the A-Levels.
- Accepted by universities worldwide
- General subjects therefore the choices to enter degree programmes are wide depending on your subject combination
- If you plan to go overseas after your Pre-University programme, then the A-Levels is a good choice as it is accepted by universities worldwide.
- Students who intend to join Ivy League universities in the USA or to enter top universities like Cambridge or Oxford or National University of Singapore (NUS) are encouraged to take the A-Levels.
- Students who intend to take up Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry or Veterinary should go for this course as it will prepare you well to handle the undergraduate programme.
Australian Matriculation – Coursework & Recognised Worldwide
TheSouth Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International is an internationally-recognised Australian pre-university matriculation programme which is set and administered by the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA).
SAM or SACEi has been offered to students outside of Australia since 1984 and is accepted by many renowned universities in Australia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, India, and private universities in Malaysia as an admission criterion into their undergraduate programmes.
SACEi is a 10-month matriculation programme which is 30% exam and remaining 70% is awarded internally through continuous assessment of coursework and tests.
- 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
Why Australian Matriculation
- Recognised for entry by most countries overseas
- Shorter duration compared to the A-Levels
- 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
American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP) – Only if you want to Study in the USA
The USA has one of the world’s finest education systems, with the highest number of top ranked universities in the world. Students interested to save money and study the first part of their degree program in Malaysia before continuing on to the USA for the final part can go for the American Degree Transfer Program or ADTP.
In addition, the American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP) provides an education that emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking and decision-making skills. It produces graduates with strong critical and analytical thinking skills with the ability to put knowledge into action.
Students after IGCSE/O-Levels 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. Students are assessed through exams, coursework, assignments, presentations, quizzes and research papers.
Students after high school will enter directly into Year 1 of the degree program for a total of 4 years. The American Degree system is:
- Year 1 (Freshman) – ADTP in Malaysia
- Year 2 (Sophomore) – ADTP in Malaysia
- Year 3 (Junior) – University in the USA
- Year 4 (Senior) – University in the USA
Why American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP)?
- You save a lot of money by studying the first 2 years in Malaysia.
- 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.
- 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.
Canadian Pre-University (CPU) or CIMP
The Canadian Pre-University (CPU) or CIMP is the final year of the secondary school programme in Ontario, Canada.
CIMP is a 12-month course where intake occurs three times a year in January, March and July.
The examination sessions occur twice a year, in May and November.
It is 70% coursework (e.g. tests, research papers, assignments) and 30% final exam. Students must also complete 10 hours of approved community service
EduSpiral gets to know who you are so we can advise you how to choose the best course that fits you
EduSpiral Consultant Services has more than 10 years of experience in counseling students on choosing the right courses
- We review the student’s high school profile, all high school transcripts, projected courses, extracurricular activities, awards, hobbies, interests and outstanding talents.
- Then we discuss the factors that are most important to the student in identifying appropriate colleges & universities that would fit you
- We assist to develop priorities for university selection, including courses of study, location, size, extracurricular opportunities, and many other factors
- Ensure that the student’s interests and achievements are carefully matched with appropriate private colleges and universities in Malaysia
Top Criteria to Consider When Choosing the Best Pre-University (Pre-U) Programme in Malaysia
- Is the Pre-University (Pre-U) course popular at that college or university? Quality/reputation/ranking of the private college in Malaysia
- Which are the awarding bodies? Are the certificates recognised for enter at all universities overseas?
- Are the courses recognised and approved by the Ministry of Education Malaysia and the relevant external bodies?
- Are the courses accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Audit (MQA)?
- Subjects offered in the Pre-University (Pre-U) Programme. Do they help you to achieve your undergraduate academic goals. Does the subject combinations allow you to enter your university and degree of choice.
- Which are the subjects that you must take in order to enter the degree of your choice.
- Is the class size small so that you have personal attention from the lecturer? If the fees are very cheap and the class size is big, then you may not have the attention that you need from the lecturer to guide you to do well in the Pre-University (Pre-U) Programme.
- Do they have enough students to start a class?
- How many students do they have studying that Pre-University (Pre-U) Programme at that university?
- What is the duration of the Pre-University (Pre-U) Programme?
- When do you get your results so that you can meet the application deadline for the overseas university?
- Does the college or university have a dedicated department to assist students for the overseas university and scholarship applications?
- Does the college have regular visits from overseas universities so that you can expose yourself to the various universities and ask questions?
- Quality of lecturers. What are their qualifications? How many years of experience in teaching?
- Faculty contact/classes taught by full-time qualified & experienced faculty
- Ask your friends who have studied there for their opinion. Ask your friends who are currently studying there as well.
- Entry requirements
- How much money do I have to pay for the course and cost of living? Ask your parents. Note that you will need to have enough to pay the tuition fees as well as your cost of living. (tuition, hostel, food, transportation, etc.)
- How much are the tuition fees? Does it include the external exam fees and other fees?
- How much is on-campus accommodation?
- How much is off-campus accommodation? Note that it might be cheaper to find off campus accommodation on your own with friends. Is the accommodations near eateries, banks, entertainment, public transportation, etc.?
- What is the student culture at the university? (English-speaking environment, ambitious, serious about studies, lifestyle or party university, etc) The language spoken mostly at the college by the students may also matter if you don’t know Mandarin or BM or English. If most of the students speak Mandarin at that university then it will not help you to improve your English. Having a good command of the English language helps you to get good jobs and promotions.
- What are the Extra-curricular activities available? (Student organisations, clubs, sports, etc.)