Top 10 Tips on How to Make the Right Choice for Your Studies after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels

Best Guide on How to Choose the Right Course to Study after the SPM or IGCSE O-Levels at Top Private Universities in Malaysia

Written by EduSpiral Consultant Services WhatsApp 01111408838 for Great Advise

Most great things begin with a plan. Your future career and studies should be no different. A plan will give you something to work towards. It’ll also help you make the most of the opportunities that come your way.  It can be confusing to choose the right course after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels.

You should carefully think about what are the options available to you, look at your results, interests and budget. If you are not sure what to study, do ask a trained counselor and always make decisions based on evidence and facts. The decisions that you make now, can change your life forever. You don’t want to graduate after 4 to 5 years and find out that you actually don’t like the job related to the course or that the job is not in demand anymore or that the salary is very low.

After having counseled thousands of students since working in the education line in 2000, I have come up with 10 tips that will help students after SPM or O-Levels to help you choose the right course to study in Malaysia that would best fit you. You can contact us for a free career test to help you understand yourself better so that you are able to make the right decision.

For more information on how to choose the right course with high job demand, contact 01111408838

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 counsellor will send you a message on WhatsApp & provide assistance from there.


Best 10 Tips on Choosing the Right Course in Malaysia

Choosing a course or career is not a science, it is a process in finding out who you are and what you are good at. Some people find out faster while others take more time.

Choosing the best possible course to study is a very important decision to make, and often a challenging one.  For some people, choosing the course is simple as they have always wanted to be a brain surgeon or a dentist or an engineer.

Many students in Malaysia tend to choose their course based on what their parents or relatives recommend, rather than on what they are good at or really like to study. The end result is that a lot of Malaysian students discover that they have started on courses that may be unsuitable to them after studying a few semesters. Worse is when they start work, they find that it is not what they like.

One of the main problems why some Malaysian students have no clue on what course to study is because they have not participated in various types of activities at school or organisations. When you join clubs and societies, you are able to discover your talents, as well as develop leadership, critical thinking and other valuable skills.

Students after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels will have to take a Pre-University Programmefirst before entering into the degree programme. This can be a good thing as you do not need to choose which degree programme yet. The time during your Pre-Universitycan be taken to expose yourself to various courses and explore them.

Here are 10 Tips for Students after SPM or IGCSE O-Levels to help you choose the right course to study:

1  What’s the Results in your SPM or IGCSE O-Levels in Malaysia?

  • What you got for your actual SPM or IGCSE O-Levels can be used as a guide. This is a good measure of whether you are actually capable of doing well in the course or not.
  • Look at the subjects that you scored high for, they would indicate that you are good at them and like those subjects as well. However, if you have all As for the subjects, then you have to choose based on which subjects you like most.
  • Be realistic. If you are weak in certain subjects then maybe you should not choose courses related to them. Your results are a measurement on whether you can succeed in the course or not. However, if the course is your passion, then you will have to work very hard and study to succeed.

2.  What are your Interests & Hobbies?

  • Make a list of your hobbies.
  • List down your favorite subjects at school
  • A list of your extra-curricular activities can provide ideas of what type of person you are.
  • Students who love to cook can consider culinary arts. In addition, if you like to repair cars or motorbikes, then you could look at being a mechanical engineer or mechatronics engineer.

3. Make a List of the Degree Programmes that you are Interested in

  • List the fields of study that interest you, and come up with a list of courses you would consider studying based on these interests.
  • Do you meet the entry requirements for these courses?
  • Narrow down the degree programme choices and see which Pre-University Programmes would be the best to guide you to the right pathway.

4. Look at the subjects offered in the Course at the University that you are Interested in

  • Read through the course outline of the course(s) you want to apply for. See if the subjects interests you.
  • The titles of the Course may be the same but the subjects are different from university to university. Universities do not offer courses where all the subjects are the same.
  • Because the subjects vary, you must be careful to look at the subjects to see if they fit your career goals.
  • Have a look at the subjects you must undertake and the types of learning, assignments and examination tasks involved.
  • Talk to the lecturers to find out more about the courses.

5. Ask yourself and the People around you, “Are you Actually Good in that Course?”

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

  • I asked a student interested in Culinary Arts, “Have you cooked before?” and he replied, “No”! It is important to choose a course realistically based on evidence and facts.
  • There is a big difference between the desire and interest in a course and actually having the talents and skills to do well in the course.
  • Your parents have been with you since the beginning and they should know you fairly well. Talk to them to find out what you are good at.
  • Your friends can be a source of information on what you are good at. They can confirm whether or not you have certain skills.
  • In addition, your results would be an indication of whether you would be suited for the course. Other evidences would be your hobbies and participation in clubs and societies in school related to your course.
  • Your SPM or O-Level results will show what you are actually good at. Having good results in Maths, you can consider Actuarial Science, Accounting, Computing or Finance courses. Having narrowed down to these courses, you can go for the Foundation in Arts for 1 year before really choosing which one to study for your degree.
  • Alternatively you can also think about subjects you definitely don’t want to study at university level and which you can’t wait to say goodbye to. Crossing these off will make your list of options smaller and less overwhelming.
  • An undergraduate degree course in Malaysia lasts three to five years – that’s a long time to spend studying something which you don’t enjoy, especially at a more intense level! First of all ask yourself what you have enjoyed studying at secondary school in Malaysia.

6. Do a thorough Research on the Course that you are Interested in

I contacted EduSpiral to find an affordable college for culinary arts. He arranged to take me and my mother to tour the college that had excellent facilities and where I could learn without paying too much.
Fu Wei, Diploma in Culinary Arts at YTL International College of Hotel Management

  • The internet, newspapers, television and people around you are the best sources of information.
  • Talk to people who are working in that field to gain more insights.
  • Check online about the courses you are interested in and find out about the career prospects and the other info.
  • Find facts and evidence to support the career and job prospects. Don’t just simply listen to the counselors or agents
  • Starting salaries and how much you can earn eventually.
  • Go to education fairs and universities’ Open Days to see the campuses and collect the brochures. Tour their campus to look at the facilities. Talk to the lecturers and students.
  • Keep in mind that what you think about the course and career may be very different from the reality of working in that field.

7. Job Demand in Malaysia for the Course that You are Interested in  

My mum contacted EduSpiral to help advise me on which course & university to choose as I was quite confused. He took us to visit the universities & helped guide me to make the right choice.
Bryan Yap, Foundation in Business at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia


  • With the evolution of technology, the current job landscape in Malaysia has changed drastically. In many industries and countries, the current in-demand occupations or specialties did not exist 10 or even 5 years ago. The rise of technology has led to a disruption in the way we work and live. The Digital Era has changed the way we work. As the digital economy grows, Malaysia must be prepared to choose jobs that will be in demand in the future as well as still exist. 75 million job roles are expected to disappear by 2022 according to the “Future of Jobs Report 2018” by the World Economic Forum,. Furthermore, another 133 million roles are expected to emerge.
  • Look at the job prospects of the course before selecting one. Consider various factors such as income, job security, stress, responsibility and other benefits while researching a profession.
  • Look at statistics, evidence and facts. Not just listen to your auntie say that she thinks a particular career is excellent or a university counselor say that the course is good based on their experience.
  • There are reports and statistics which you can Google online to find. Newspapers have also written on the job demand for particular careers.
  • Government Agencies such as ILMIA, Multimedia Development Corporation, Malaysia Plan, Department of Statistics, etc.

8. What is the Salary for the Job that Your Course will Lead you Into?

  • There are many degree courses that you can choose to study in Malaysia. If you plan to work in Malaysia, then you should choose degree courses that would be in demand  in Malaysia and has a high salary so that you can support your family.
  • One of the aims of education is to get a job. One of the aims of getting a job is to obtain a salary that can take care of yourself, your future family and your parents. Therefore, keep in mind what kind of lifestyle you want and whether the course that you are choosing will give you the salary to sustain that lifestyle.
  • Human Resource companies in Malaysia have also produced salary reports and statistics on the demand for certain jobs in Malaysia. You can search for reports from Kelly Services, Hays Recruitment, Robert Walters Salary Report, Jobstreet, etc

9. Choose the Best Pre-University Course to Study in Malaysia that fits you

After you have narrowed down the list of possible degree programme choices, they would serve as a guide in choosing the Pre-University programme that will lead you to the degree.

Pre-University” means the course that you take before entering into a university bachelors degree programme. The common courses under Pre-University are STPM, A-Levels, Foundation, AUSMAT, etc.

Students after SPM or O-Levels who are not sure what to study at degree level can go for the Pre-University course in Malaysia like A-Levels, SACEi, STPM, or Foundation. During your Pre-University, talk to the lecturers and seniors about the various degree courses that you are interested in to find out more. Furthermore, join clubs and societies and expose yourself to the various fields of interest.

Students who are totally not sure of what to study can go for the arts or science streams in A-Levels, SACEi or Foundation. Since they are general, your options are wide open to most courses.

If you have narrowed down your choices to engineering courses but not sure which type of engineering course, you may go for the Foundation in Engineering. With the Foundation in Engineering, you can also enter into Computing and Business courses.

Design students may go for Foundation in Design while Architecture students can go for the Foundation in Natural & Built Environment. These courses would be better as you will be taught the technical skills and gain experience through assignments and course work. It will prepare you to do well in the degree.

Alternatively, students may go for even more specific programmes such as the Diploma. The diploma is for students who are sure of what they want. If you choose a particular diploma course, you will continue on to the related degree in the second Year.

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.

Choosing the right Pre-University Programme will help you enter your university of choice to study the degree course that you want.

  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)

10. Ask the right people about the Courses

  • Ask the right Education Counselors. Would you ask a Doctor on how to repair your car? Or would you ask a mechanic for medical advise? Although this sounds ridiculous, but many students do listen to advise from young and inexperienced counselors from universities, colleges or agents’ offices.  Talking to an experienced education advisor would help you to navigate through this confusing time of choosing the best course that fits you.Speak to professionals in your field of interest and find out what it is like working in that job.
  • People who have completed university courses can give you an insight from a student’s perspective – they can tell you the pros and cons.
  • Listen to people who are experienced in the industry or know what they are talking about. Not just simply listen to Aunties or Friends who don’t know what they are talking about.
  • Talk to your school counselor or an experienced career guidance counselor. This is important as you would not ask a Doctor on how to repair your car so you must ask the right person to help you.
  • Ask your parents and friends what type of personality you are and what could fit you however note that some parents may not be objective and want you to choose the course they want for you.

Choose EduSpiral Consultant Services for Advise on Choosing the Right Course

I contacted EduSpiral to find an affordable college for culinary arts. He arranged for me and my mother for a campus tour & helped me find a college that had excellent facilities that I could afford. Fu Wei, Diploma in Culinary Arts Graduate from YTL International College of Hotel Management

I contacted EduSpiral to find an affordable college for culinary arts. He arranged for me and my mother for a campus tour & helped me find a college that had excellent facilities that I could afford.
Fu Wei, Diploma in Culinary Arts Graduate from YTL International College of Hotel Management

Choosing a course that you are passionate about without job demand and you may end up being jobless.

Look for statistics and research to support whether there is a job demand for your future career in Malaysia or Singapore. Here at EduSpiral Consultant Services, we do our research on the job demand for the careers in Malaysia, Salary Reports, and universities so that we can advise our students based on facts and evidence. Our in-depth knowledge about the courses, careers and private universities in Malaysia combined with my working in experience in the private universities itself are tools that would help you to choose the right university.

Now why would you want to talk to EduSpiral Consultant Services when you can contact the private universities directly? Well, EduSpiral Consultant Services staff have more than 20 years experience in counseling students. Having worked in the private education industry, we have in-depth knowledge of each private university and college in what they are good at.

EduSpiral Consultant Services has helped hundreds of students to choose the right course and university in Malaysia and Singapore since 2009.  With our first-hand knowledge of the universities in Malaysia and access to staff at the universities we represent, we can provide in-depth, personalized advise that no brochure or website can.

There are many factors to consider in choosing a university other than the ad in the newspaper. You have to look at the fees, financial aid, location, student culture, teaching quality, accreditation, recognition, ranking, campus size, facilities, university partnerships and more. With our vast knowledge and experience of the private higher education industry in Malaysia, we are able to help students to navigate through all the information and narrow down their choices to the best courses and universities that fit them.

We are able to offer unbiased information on the many colleges & universities in Malaysia if you are unable to visit their campuses. We will share our first hand knowledge and email you pictures of the facilities, fees, forms and other important information. We will also assist in arranging accommodation and campus tours to the universities.

Let the experienced counselors at EduSpiral Consultant Services take you step-by-step through the choices.

Take Time and Effort to Choose the Right Private University in Malaysia to Study at

My father wanted me to study at the best university for actuarial science & I wasn't sure about my results. EduSpiral met up with us, explained about the course and university.

My father wanted me to study at the best university for actuarial science & I wasn’t sure about my results. EduSpiral met up with us, explained about the course and university.
Min En, Actuarial Science, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

Choosing a university is important as it will help to shape your mind, character and help you to develop the necessary skills for a successful career. Therefore, not all private universities are the same. You should not choose a university because it is the cheapest, easiest and nearest. It should be based on which university that best fits your needs.

Many students in Malaysia also make the common mistake in choosing a university because their friends are going there. I even had one student tell me that his choice of university depends on where his girlfriend is going! This is one of the most important decisions that may change your life forever hence it should not be taken lightly.

56 replies »

  1. Hi,I got 3A 3B 3C in spm in the year 2014 which i got c’ s in physic, Chemi and addmaths. Recently I have just completed my foundation in health science and got 3.51. My friend suggest me to choose bachelor in physiotherapy but I’m still confused what to choose .i need your help.

  2. Hi , i received my spm results last week and i got 3A( moral , maths , sejarah) , 1 A-(english),1 B+ (BM) 2 B ( bio and physics) , 1 C+(chemistry) and 1 E (add maths) , any suggestions on what course should i take ?

  3. I am studying form 6 now but i am still not get used to it, i am still in a holiday mood.Although I got 3.0 for my last semester ,but i am not really understand what the teacher is teaching. the subject that i took is biology ,chemistry, mt, pa and muet. Should i continue with my form 6 and slowly get back into the path and retake semester one (need to relearn everything because i dk what i studied last year)?Or should i directly take a new programme and get start all over again? If i want to study engineering in my degree, do i need to take physics? Can i use stpm result with no physic to get into engineering programme?

  4. I’m waiting for my spm results. As Im still considering what course should i take. I’m took Physic, Chemistry but no biology in spm. I got better result in both science subject and math. I’m considering whether should I take Food Science or not… need HELP 😭

  5. i just finished y spm and dont know what career i should enroll in…i want a job with high salary and also engineering related…i want to do aerospace engineering but what are the job demand and salary for it in malaysia?

  6. I had took a quick read on all these article but i still got no idea what course and field to study in…because business,financial and all that banking stuff looks kinda attractive and as we all know those jobs will give you a high pay. But i need guide for the courses that suits me . Hope that eduspiral can help me. Thanks

  7. I’m a pure Science stream student…get 10As in SPM.. Now I still cannot make decision to choose which course to study… Is it too late? I got A+ in Maths, bio, moral & sej… The rest subjects I gt A.. Can you give me some advises about what is the next pathway should I go… Thanks 😀

  8. I am now waiting for my spm result and going for an interview for a scholarship under the course of Insurance. I have made some research of the field and career and i truly love it. I think i will enjoy working in that field but i have no clue of the education i need to work in tht field. Is there a course/foundation to do insurance? How about university? Because insurance isnt the typical main stream course tht people always talk about. Please do help me.

  9. Good afternoon.
    I took SPM last year and clearly i’m waiting for my result. right now i want to find a suitable foundation for myself and i don’t know how. My problem is i want to study medicine but i know i am weak in those science subjects. i am afraid that i can’t afford to continue later on.
    I thought about taking foundation in business because i am good in mathematics but it is not my thing. Seriously, i don’t know what to do anymore. And also, i was selected for national service. i dont know whether i should postpone or not. i dont know anyone nearby i can consult to. Really need your time for this. Thank you.

  10. Hi..I from Artstream student and my maths is D. Because of this i am getting very hard to choose a course.. I am still confuse don’t know what course should i choose after my SPM… I am interest in something like airlines.. can u guide me please..? Hope that i will get a solution soon,thank you.

    • You need to choose based on your results, interests, passion, how much you have to study and job prospects. Not sure what you want to do with airlines. You want to be a pilot? air stewardess? aircraft maintenance? aircraft engineer?

  11. I’m having problem with choosing what course I should take in university later. Having few choices but with doubts. Can you please help me? 🙁 Thank you in advance.

  12. Hi, in my secondary school, I get better results in Sejarah,Moral and English compared to my other science subjects. I would like to ask if human resource management course would suit me in my future career. TQ

  13. hi. I still don’t know what course I should choose after my SPM. but engineering look interesting. an you help me?

  14. Hello..
    Can I know what’s the difference between foundation studies and AUSMAT?
    I was planning to do foundation but I heard AUSMAT is better than foundation..
    Can you guide me? Thank you..

  15. I just finished my Spm 2013, im really interested in physcology course.. I hope you can tell me further about this course. Tq so much

    • Psychology is basically the study of human behavior and how to help people to understand their behavior and overcome personal, emotional or mental problems. If you are a good listener, like research, like to help people, and able to understand people, then Psychology is a good course. If you are interested, you can email at with your full name and mobile number. Cheers!

  16. I don’t know what i want to study, i have finish my SPM and score an A in Modern Math and English the rest of the science subject i score a B, is there any course out there that are for me??

  17. Hi, I’m from Art Stream and I love Maths, I scored both A in Modern Maths(85) , Additional Maths(82) in Trial Exam. It seems like a problem for me to study Mechanical Engineering anywhere because I didn’t study any science subject such as : Biology, Chemistry and Physics since form 4. I’m interested in Mechanical Engineering evenly I’m not sure I can study it well or not..any advice for me…? Thank you for anything..><

  18. Hello. 🙂
    Can I know should I study AUSMAT after SPM?
    I heard my friend said that AUSMAT is better than A-Level since 50% on your coursework and 50% on your exam.
    But i am planning to study architecture and my friends planning to study Public Relation. Should we take AUSMAT?

    Please help! Thank you!

  19. Hi. I still don’t know what course I should choose after my SPM. I’m a outging person. Do you have any info about mass comm,international business and advertising? Thanks 🙂

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