Detailed Information on the Best Pre-University Courses in Malaysia
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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.
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.
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The Best Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia
A Pre-University course is a transition programme that students after SPM or O-Levels take before entering into a degree at university in Malaysia. In addition, there are many types of pre-university programmes available which are designed to accommodate the different learning styles.
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.
Students should take the time and effort to find out more about various pre-university programmes are available at top private colleges & universities to see which Pre-University programme would be most suited for you.
There are many different Pre-University programmes available in Malaysia. I will list some of the most popular ones.
- Foundation programmes by private universities in Malaysia
- Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) Malaysia
- Matriculation Certificate, Ministry of Education Malaysia
- University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) UK A-Levels
- Edexcel International Advanced Level UK A-Levels
- South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International
- Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)
How to Choose the Best Pre-University Course in Malaysia that Fits You
Choosing the right Pre-University course after SPM or O-Levels can be confusing. There is no such thing as the “best” Pre-University programme. It is choosing the right Pre-U programme that fits you and your future goals. Students need to do the research and compare the various Pre-University (Pre-U) Programmes in Malaysia to see which one fits their tertiary and career goals.
To choose the best Pre-University programme to study in Malaysia, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your Learning Style?
- Do you prefer exam-based or a mix of exams, assignments, course work, etc.?
- Each Pre-University course has its own assessment methods. Understanding your own learning style and choosing the right Pre-U course that fits you will enhance the chances of you doing better.
- Talk to the counsellors at the private universities to find out in detail about the curriculum of the Pre-University programme to see which one best fits you.
- What you want to study for your degree?
- Knowing what you want to study for your degree will help to narrow down which Pre-U course to take such as Arts or Sciences, or A-Levels for Law, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy.
- If you know that you want to go for Business studies, then there is no need to take the Foundation in Science.
- Students planning to go for medicine, law, pharmacy or dentistry are recommended to take the A-Levels as it will prepare you well and is recognised for entry by most universities.
- What is your budget?
- Talk to your parents to find out how much that they have set aside for your studies. With a budget you are able to narrow down which Pre-U courses that you can or cannot afford to take.
- A Foundation programme tuition fee could range from RM10,000 to RM25,000 while a degree at a private university may cost from RM50,000 – RM150,000 for a business course and RM130,000 to RM200,000 for a Pharmacy course in Malaysia.
- If this is out of your budget, then you should consider taking the STPM and going for Public University. If you do not have the finances to study at private universities, then just go for STPM. Note that STPM is extremely tough and takes 2 years of your time. However, you may not get the degree of your choice when entering into Public University.
- Do you want to continue your studies in Malaysia or overseas?
- 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. So, if you do not have the finances to study overseas, there is no point to go for an external Pre-University Programme. A Foundation course at a top private university in Malaysia will be sufficient.
- What’s your results in SPM or O-Levels?
- If your results is weak, I would recommend for you to either go for Foundation or a Diploma programme as they would be easier to handle compared to A-Levels or STPM.
- Knowing whether you can handle a course is important. Many students have chosen courses blindly without researching on the assessment methods have done badly for the Pre-U that they had chosen.
- Which university do you want to enter?
- Having an idea of which university that you would like to go to would help you to narrow down the Pre-University choices. Top universities would have their own preferences.
- Students wanting to go to IVY League universities in the USA should go for A-Levels instead of the American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP). Students planning to go to Monash University can go for the Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY) or better still go for the South Australian Matriculation (SAM) which is recognised by all universities in Australia and New Zealand for entry.
Make the Right Choice
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.
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.
Just because a Pre-University is free, doesn’t mean that it would be the best or “less burden” to your parents. Taking the STPM may be free but it is a very tough exam. If you have 9As and you take the STPM, which is tougher to score, you may not be able to get 4As to apply for scholarships for degree. But if you take the Foundation, even if you have to pay a bit, but you score because it is very much easier than STPM, you will be able to apply for partial or even full scholarship for your degree.
Duration of the Pre-University Programmes in Malaysia
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.