There Are Many Study Options for Students After SPM or IGCSE in Malaysia
Finally, you have completed SPM/IGCSE, 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.
After finishing your SPM or IGCSE exams, there are many questions going through your mind such as:
- What are my study options?
- Should you study locally or overseas?
- Which university or college is the best?
- What course should you take?
- Can my parents afford for me to study at a Private University in Malaysia?
- 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 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 SPM/IGCSE.
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- 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
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What are your options after SPM/IGCSE?
Choosing the right Pre-University Programme will help you enter your university of choice to study the degree course that you want.
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, SACEi Sciences or STPM science stream.
Students who are sure of what they want to study can go specifically for the Diploma in Electrical & Electronic Engineering or Foundation in Engineering. If you are still considering other courses, then take more general Pre-U like Foundation in Science, A-Levels Sciences, SACEi Sciences or STPM Science stream.
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 SACEi while students who plan to study locally at private universities can go for the Foundation or Diploma. Students who have a limited budget can go for the STPM and try to get into your course of interest at the public universities or IPTA.
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, practical, group projects and presentations could all be in the mix in differing quantities. Every Pre-University course will include a percentage breakdown of assessment. You need to understand yourself and capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you.
Read on below to find out the best points about the various Pre-University programmes in Malaysia.
Ten of the Most Popular Study Options for Students After SPM/IGCSE in Malaysia
Option 1 – 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 SPM/IGCSE 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.
- Upon completion of the Diploma, you may choose to start work or continue on to Year 2 of the related degree
Option 2 – Foundation Course – Short & Affordable
Foundation courses are offered by Private Universities as a transition into their degree programmes. It helps students after SPM or IGCSE 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?
- 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.
Option 3 – A-Levels – Exam-Base with Worldwide Recognition
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 SPM/IGCSE and prefer exam-oriented assessment rather than coursework or assignments, should go for the A-Levels.
- Accepted by universities worldwide
- Students who are still unsure of what to study for their degree programme
- General subjects therefore the choices to enter degree programmes are wide depending on your subject combination
Option 4 – 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 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
Option 5 – 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 SPM or 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.
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.
Option 6 – 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
Option 7 – STPM – Exam-Based for Entry into Public Universities
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 acknowledged as one of the toughest exams in the world.
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.
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.
- 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.
Option 8 – Matriculation Certificate, Ministry of Education Malaysia
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.
Option 9 – Professional Papers
A professional qualification means an advanced vocational credential that provides you with specialised training in a specific profession. Students will take the professional papers required by the professional association and obtain the qualification. These qualifications are awarded by the examination body of professional associations of a specific skill or trade. The most popular Professional Qualifications in Malaysia are related to accounting such as the ACCA, CIMA, CPA, ICAEW, etc.
Option 10 – Certificate course
Students with 1-2 credits in SPM and a pass in BM & Sejarah or 1-2 credits in IGCSE can join a Certificate course for 1 year 4 months and then go on to the Diploma for 2 or 2.5 years.
After completing the Diploma, you will enter into Year 2 of the related Degree for another 2 years.
- Certificate (1 year 4 months) – Diploma (2 or 2.5 years) – Degree (2 years)
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- 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
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