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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Pre-university Programmes in Malaysia

NOTICE: This post was previously titled 'After SPM Plans'.

LAST UPDATED: 9 June 2016

If you have finished sitting for the SPM examination, now it is time for you to start planning for your future. Your next step is that you will be studying a pre-university course. There are several pre-university courses available, and you should choose the one that is most suitable for you. Studying a pre-university course is required in order to get into most degree courses in universities, whether local or overseas. Without pre-university course, it is not possible to get into degree courses in universities. While some people may go straight into universities after SPM, they still have to study a pre-university course (either foundation or diploma) first in that university before they can start their degree course.

For your information, I previously planned to study the Ministry of Education Matriculation after my SPM. I applied for the Matriculation on August 2012. However, the results of the application will only be known after the SPM, and the Matriculation programme will only start around June 2013. My parents did not want me to waste my time after SPM, so they wanted me to study A level first. In January 2013, I started studying A level in Taylor's College Subang Jaya. At first, I planned to switch to matriculation later if I get the offer. However, after studying A level for a few months, I began to prefer A level over Matriculation, so I no longer wanted to switch to Matriculation. Eventually, I did not get the offer to study Matriculation. I continued studying A level in Taylor's College and I completed the program in June 2014. Currently, I am studying Medicine at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia.

Here is a list of pre-university courses in Malaysia and their details.


1. A Level

Structure: This program is based entirely on examinations. A level is divided into 2 semesters, AS and A2, where there is a final examination at the end of each semester. The examination results for both semesters will be combined to give the overall A level results. You will then use your A level results to apply for universities.
Intake: The intake for A level differs according to the college. For most colleges, the intake is at January, April and July every year. Most students will choose the January intake. The January and July intakes are usually the standard course, while the April intake is usually the accelerated course.
Duration: The duration of the A level course differs according to the college and intake. The standard course usually lasts for about 1 year and 6 months while the accelerated course usually lasts for about 1 year and 3 months. Some colleges also offer 2 year A level course, but usually only for the July intake. By choosing the 2 year course, you will have more time to prepare for the A level examination, but you may have to enter universities half year or one year later than others.
Location: You will study A level in private colleges that offer A level. Examples are Taylor's College and Kolej Yayasan UEM. College life is different from secondary school life, so you may need some time to adapt to college life. Some private schools also offer A level.
Fees: The cost to study A level is quite high. Because it is studied in private colleges, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. You will also need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. Some colleges may offer scholarships to excellent students, but it usually does not cover the full cost of study.
Recognition: A level is widely recognised by universities in Malaysia and throughout the world. With the correct combination of subjects taken in A level, you can apply for almost any course in any universities. However, please note that it is not possible to use A level to apply for Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy courses in Malaysian public universities (IPTA). You can still apply for these courses in Malaysian private universities (IPTS) and overseas.
Subjects: A wide range of subjects is available in A level, including Sciences, Arts and Humanities subjects. Many colleges make it compulsory for students to take the Mathematics subject. You can take either 3, 4 or 5 subjects for A level.
Medium of instruction: All subjects, except language subjects, are studied entirely in English, and the examinations will also be set entirely in English.
Difficulty: A level is moderately difficult. For the AS semester, many of the topics are basically the same as the topics studied in SPM, with some new topics added. Most of the new topics are only found in the A2 semester. Because A level is not too difficult, many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying A level is not too stressful. A level is also not very easy, so it can still provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For A level, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your A level results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your A level results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: You need to enrol in a college that offers A level before the A level course starts. Usually, you need to visit the college or its office to submit the application. Because there are limited places available in each college and there may also be a deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early.
Entry requirements: To study A level, you need to obtain at least 5C in SPM. To enter A level science stream, you must also obtain at least grade B in all mathematics and science subjects in SPM.


2. Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM)

Structure: This program is based on both examinations and courseworks. Examinations carry a greater weightage (around 70% to 90%) compared to courseworks (around 10% to 30%), but the actual weightage differs according to the subject. The STPM is divided into 3 semesters, where there is a final examination at the end of each semester. The marks for the courseworks and the examination results for all semesters will be combined to give the overall STPM results. You will then use your STPM results to apply for universities.
Intake: The STPM program starts at June of the year after your SPM. No other intakes are available.
Duration: The STPM program lasts for about 1 year and 6 months, where each of the 3 semesters lasts for 6 months. Becuase the STPM program only starts about 6 months after your SPM, you will have to spend about 2 years if you take STPM. Therefore, you may have to enter universities half year later than those who took other pre-university programs.
Location: You will study STPM in government secondary schools that offer Form 6. If your secondary school offers Form 6, you will continue to study in the same school. Otherwise, you will study in another school that offers Form 6. Therefore, STPM life is basically the same as secondary school life, so it will be easy for you to adapt to it. Some private schools and colleges also offer STPM.
Fees: Because STPM is studied in government schools, there is no need to pay for any tuition, examination or resource fees. You will still need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. However, if you study STPM in private schools and colleges, you have to pay for tuition, resource and examination fees.
Recognition: STPM is widely recognised by universities in Malaysia and throughout the world. With the correct combination of subjects taken in STPM, you can apply for almost any course in any universities.
Subjects: A wide range of subjects is available in STPM, including Sciences, Arts and Humanities subjects. Pengajian Am is a compulsory subject for STPM, and you must also pass it in order to pass the STPM. You can take either 4 or 5 subjects including Pengajian Am for STPM.
Medium of instruction: Science and Mathematics subjects are studied entirely in English, but the examination papers will be set in both English and Malay, and you can choose to answer in either language. All other subjects, except language subjects, are studied entirely in Malay, and the examination will also be in Malay.
Difficulty: STPM is very difficult. In fact, it is one of the most difficult pre-university examinations in the world. The STPM syllabus has a wide coverage, and its standard is high. Therefore, you need to study very hard in order to get good results for STPM. Studying STPM can be very stressful. Weaker students may face difficulties in catching up with the syllabus. However, due to the high standard of STPM, it can provide you with excellent preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For STPM, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your STPM results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your STPM results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: There is no need to apply for STPM. You will be offered to study STPM automatically if you meet the requirements. The offer to study STPM is usually out on April of the year after your SPM. If you meet the requirements but do not get the offer, you can make an appeal.
Entry requirements: To study STPM, you have to pass the Bahasa Malaysia, Sejarah and Mathematics subjects in SPM and obtain at least 3C in SPM. To enter STPM science stream, you must also obtain at least grade C in all mathematics and science subjects in SPM.


3. Ministry of Education Matriculation

Structure: This program is based on examinations, coursework, and assignments. Examinations carry a weightage of about 70% while coursework and assignments carry a weightage of about 30%. The matriculation program is divided into 2 semesters (for 1 year program) or 4 semesters (for 2 year program), where there is a final examination at the end of each semester. The marks for the coursework & assignments and the examination results for all semesters will be combined to give the overall matriculation results. You will then be offered a place in one of the Malaysian public universities (IPTA) based on your results. You can also use your matriculation results to apply for other universities.
Intake: The matricluation program starts at June of the year after your SPM. No other intakes are available.
Duration: There are 2 types of the matriculation program, the 1-year program (Program satu tahun) and the 2-year program (Program dua tahun). Students are offered one of the programs based on the SPM results. Usually, stronger students are offered the 1-year program while weaker students are offered the 2-year program. Usually, it is not possible to switch from one program to the other. For the 2 year program, you may have to enter universities half year or one year later than those who took other pre-university programs.
Location: You will study matriculation in one of the matriculation colleges. Matriculation life is different from secondary school life, and you will be required to stay in the hostel. Therefore, it may be difficult for you to adapt to matriculation life.
Fees: Because the Ministry of Education Matriculation is a government program, there is no need to pay for any tuition, examination or resource fees. You will still need to pay for the reference books and some other fees.
Recognition: The matriculation certificate is recognised by both public universities (IPTA) and private universities (IPTS) in Malaysia. Some overseas universities may also recognize the matriculation certificate.
Subjects: Only subjects related to Science, Accounting and Technical are available in matriculation. Pendidikan Islam/Moral and Information & Communication Technology are compulsory subjects, but students only have to attend classes for these 2 subjects without taking examinations. You have to take 4 subjects for matriculation excluding the compulsory subjects.
Medium of instruction: Science and Mathematics subjects are studied entirely in English, but the examination papers will be set in both English and Malay, and you can choose to answer in either language. All other subjects are studied entirely in Malay, and the examination will also be in Malay.
Difficulty: Matriculation is not very difficult. Therefore, many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying matriculation is not too stressful. However, its standard is quite low, so it may not be able provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For matriculation, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your matriculation results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your matriculation results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: You need to apply for the matriculation online around August when you were in Form 5. The offer to study matriculation is usually out on April of the year after your SPM. If you meet the requirements but do not get the offer, you can make an appeal.
Entry requirements: To study matriculation, you have to obtain at least grade B for SPM Mathematics and grades C for SPM Bahasa Malaysia, English, Additional Mathematics and 2 other subjects that related to the stream that you are applying for.


4. Foundation / Asasi

Structure: There are a few types of foundation programs, such as Foundation in Science, Foundation in Business and others. Foundation program is based on examinations, coursework, and assignments. The weightage of examinations, coursework and assignments differs according to the university or college. Usually, examinations carry a weightage of about 70% while coursework and assignments carry a weightage of about 30%. The foundation program is usually divided into 2 semesters, where there is a final examination at the end of each semester. The marks for the coursework & assignments and the examination results for all semesters will be combined to give the overall foundation results. You will then be offered a place for degree course in the same university where you do the foundation based on your results.
Intake: The intake for foundation courses differs according to the university or college. For most universities and colleges, the intake is around June or July every year.
Duration: The duration of the foundation course differs according to the university or college. Most foundation programs last for about 1 year. Therefore, you may be able to enter degree courses half year or one year earlier than those who take other pre-university programs.
Location: You will study foundation in Malaysian private universities (IPTS) or public universities (IPTA) that offer foundation programs. Examples are Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia and International Medical University. Some private colleges also offer foundation programs. University or college life is different from secondary school life, so you may need some time to adapt to it.
Fees: The cost to study foundation differs according to the university. If you study it in private universities (IPTS) or colleges, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. However, if you study it in public universities (IPTA), there is no need to pay for any tuition, examination and resource fees. In either case, you will still need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. Some universities may offer scholarships to excellent students, but it usually does not cover the full cost of study.
Recognition: In most cases, foundation program is recognised only by the same university where you do the foundation. Therefore, after completing the foundation program in a university, usually you can only apply for degree courses in that university. However, some universities may accept the foundation program of other universities. For example, International Medical University and Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia accept the Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY) program.
Subjects: The subjects available depends on the type of foundation program you take. For example, if you do Foundation in Science, usually you can only take Science related subjects. The number of subjects you need to take depends on the university or college. Usually, you have to take between 3 to 5 subjects.
Medium of instruction: The medium of instruction depends on the university or college. In most universities and colleges, the program is studied entirely in English, and the examinations will also be set entirely in English. However, in some universities and colleges, the program may be studied in Malay.
Difficulty: Foundation is usually not very difficult. Therefore, many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying foundation is not too stressful. However, its standard is usually quite low, so it may not be able to provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For foundation, you are usually guaranteed a place for degree course in the same university where you do the foundation, provided that you meet the entry requirements for the degree course.
Application method: You need to enrol in a university or college that offers foundation programs. For private universities (IPTS), you usually need to visit the university or its office to submit the application. For public universities (IPTA), you have to apply it online through the UPU. The offer to study foundation in public universities is usually out on May of the year after your SPM.
Entry requirements: The requirement to study foundation differs according to the university. Usually, you need to obtain at least 5C in SPM. To enter Foundation in Science, usually you must also obtain at least grade B in all mathematics and science subjects in SPM.


5. South Australian Matriculation (SAM) / Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) / Canadian Pre-University (CPU) / Canadian International Matriculation Program (CIMP)

Structure: These 4 programs are similar to each other. The difference is that SAM and AUSMAT use the Australian syllabus, while CPU and CIMP use the Canadian syllabus. These programs are based on examinations, coursework, and assignments. Courseworks and assignments carry a weightage of 70% while examinations carry a weightage of only 30%. The marks for the coursework, assignments and examinations will be combined to give the overall results. You will then use your results to apply for universities.
Intake: The intake for these programs differs according to the college. For most colleges, the intake is at January, April and July every year. Most students will choose the January intake. The January and July intakes are usually the standard course, while the April intake is usually the accelerated course.
Duration: The duration of these courses differs according to the college and intake. The standard course usually lasts for about 1 year while the accelerated course usually lasts for about 9 months. Therefore, you may be able to enter universities half year or one year earlier than those who take other pre-university programs.
Location: You will study either one of these 4 programs in private colleges that offer it. An example is Taylor's College. College life is different from secondary school life, so you may need some time to adapt to college life.
Fees: The cost to study these programs is quite high. Because they are studied in private colleges, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. You will also need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. Some colleges may offer scholarships to excellent students, but it usually does not cover the full cost of study.
Recognition: These programs are recognised by most private universities (IPTS) in Malaysia. However, they are not recognised by Malaysia public universities (IPTA). Outside Malaysia, SAM and AUSMAT is widely recognised in Australia and New Zealand, while CPU and CIMP is widely recognised in Canada and United States of America. In other countries, many universities also recognise these programs.
Subjects: A wide range of subjects is available for these programs, including Sciences, Arts and Humanities subjects. Many colleges make it compulsory for students to take the Mathematics or English Language subject or both. Usually, you have to take 5 subjects for these programs.
Medium of instruction: All subjects are studied entirely in English, and the examinations will also be set entirely in English.
Difficulty: These programs are not very difficult. Therefore, many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying these programs is not too stressful. However, their standards are quite low, so they may not be able provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For these programs, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities including those in Australia and Canada, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: You need to enrol in a college that offers the program before the course starts. Usually, you need to visit the college or its office to submit the application. Because there are limited places available in each college and there may also be a deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early.
Entry requirements: To study these programs, you need to obtain at least 5C in SPM. To take the Science subjects, you must also obtain at least grade B in all mathematics and science subjects in SPM.


6. International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

Structure: This program is based on examinations, coursework, and assignments. Courseworks and assignments carry a weightage of around 20% to 50% , while examinations carry a weightage of around 50% to 80% . The marks for the coursework, assignments and examinations will be combined to give the overall results. You will then be given an IB diploma, where you will use it to apply for universities.
Intake: For most colleges, the IBDP starts at July every year. Usually, no other intakes are available.
Duration: The IBDP lasts for about 2 years. Because the IBDP only starts about 6 months after your SPM, you will have to spend about 2 and a half years if you take IBDP. Therefore, you may have to enter universities half year or one year later than those who took other pre-university programs.
Location: You will study IBDP in private colleges that offer IBDP. An example is Taylor's College. College life is different from secondary school life, so you may need some time to adapt to college life.
Fees: The cost to study IBDP is very high. Because it is studied in private colleges, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. You will also need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. Some colleges may offer scholarships to excellent students, but it usually does not cover the full cost of study.
Recognition: The IB diploma is widely recognised by universities in Malaysia and throughout the world. With the correct combination of subjects taken in IBDP, you can apply for almost any course in any universities. However, please note that it is not possible to use IB diploma to apply for Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy courses in Malaysian public universities (IPTA). You can still apply for these courses in Malaysian private universities (IPTS) and overseas.
Subjects: A wide range of subjects is available in IBDP. There are 6 groups of subjects in IBDP, which are Language & Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals & Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and Arts. You must take 6 subjects for IBDP, one from each of the 6 subject groups. Besides, you must also complete 3 core elements, which are Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) .
Medium of instruction: All subjects, except language subjects, are studied entirely in English, and the examinations will also be set entirely in English.
Difficulty: IBDP is very difficult. The IBDP syllabus has a wide coverage, and its standard is high. Therefore, you need to study very hard in order to get good results for IBDP. Besides, there are a lot of assignments and courseworks that you need to do. Studying IBDP can be very stressful. Weaker students may face difficulties in catching up with the syllabus. However, due to the high standard of IBDP, it can provide you with excellent preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For IBDP, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your IBDP results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your IBDP results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: You need to enrol in a college that offers IBDP before the IBDP starts. Usually, you need to visit the college or its office to submit the application. Because there are limited places available in each college and there may also be a deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early.
Entry requirements: To study IBDP, you need to obtain at least 5C in SPM and grade B for SPM English.


7. Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) Senior Middle 3

Structure: This program is based entirely on examinations. There will be a final UEC Senior Middle examination at the end of the program. You will then use your UEC Senior Middle examination results to apply for universities.
Intake: The UEC Senior Middle 3 program starts at January every year. No other intakes are available.
Duration: The UEC Senior Middle 3 program lasts for about 1 year. Therefore, you may be able to enter universities half year or one year earlier than those who take other pre-university programs.
Location: You will study UEC Senior Middle 3 in Chinese independent secondary schools in Malaysia. Examples are Hin Hua High School and Foon Yew High School. If you are previously studying Senior Middle 2 in a Chinese independent secondary school, you can continue to study in the same school. Therefore, UEC Senior Middle 3 life is basically the same as secondary school life, so it will be easy for you to adapt to it.
Fees: The cost to study UEC is moderately high. Because it is studied in private schools, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. You will also need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. However, Chinese independent secondary schools often receive donations from the public, so the study cost is not too high.
Recognition: The UEC Senior Middle examination is recognised by most private universities (IPTS) in Malaysia. However, it is not recognised by Malaysian public universities (IPTA). Many universities in other countries also recognise the UEC Senior Middle examination.
Subjects: A wide range of subjects is available in UEC Senior Middle, including Sciences, Arts and Humanities subjects. Usually, there is no compulsory subject for UEC Senior Middle. You are free to take any number of subjects for UEC Senior Middle.
Medium of instruction: All subjects, except language subjects, are studied entirely in Mandarin Chinese. For the Science and Mathematics subjects, the examination papers will be set in both English and Chinese, and you can choose to answer in either language. For all other subjects, except language subjects, the examination papers will be set entirely in Chinese.
Difficulty: UEC Senior Middle 3 is moderately difficult. Because UEC Senior Middle 3 is not too difficult, many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying UEC Senior Middle 3 is not too stressful. UEC Senior Middle 3 is also not very easy, so it can still provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For UEC Senior Middle 3, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your UEC Senior Middle examination results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your UEC Senior Middle examination results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: If you are previously studying Senior Middle 2 in a Chinese independent secondary school, there is no need to apply for Senior Middle 3, and you can continue to study Senior Middle 3 in the same school if you meet the requirements. If you are not previously studying in a Chinese independent secondary school, you need to enrol in a Chinese independent secondary school. Usually, you need to visit the school to submit the application. Because there are limited places available in each school and there may also be a deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early.
Entry requirements: If you are previously studying Senior Middle 2 in a Chinese independent secondary school, you will need to pass the school examination during Senior Middle 2 in order to study UEC Senior Middle 3. If you are not previously studying in a Chinese independent school, you need to pass the SPM examination in order to study UEC Senior Middle 3.


8. Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM)

Structure: This program is based on the curriculum of Ma’ahad Bu’uth Al Azhar. There will be oral test during the program and there will be a written examination at the end of the program. The marks for the oral test and written examination will be combined to give the overall STAM results. You will then use your STAM results to apply for universities.
Intake: The STAM program starts at January of the year after your SPM. No other intakes are available.
Duration: The STAM program usually lasts for about either 1 year or 2 years. Usually, if you took Bahasa Arab in SPM, you can choose the 1 year program, but if you did not take Bahasa Arab in SPM, you have to choose the 2 year program.
Location: You will study STAM in Islamic religious schools or colleges that offer STAM. If you are previously studying in an Islamic religious school and the school offers STAM, you can continue to study in the same school.
Fees: If you study STAM in government schools, there is no need to pay for any tuition, examination and resource fees. If you study STAM in private schools or colleges, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. In either case, you will still need to pay for the reference books and some other fees.
Recognition: STAM is recognised by most public universities (IPTA) in Malaysia. It is also recognised by some private universities (IPTS) in Malaysia. Some universities in other countries, such as Al-Azhar University in Egypt and University of Jordan, also recognise the STAM.
Subjects: There are 10 subjects in STAM. It is compulsory to take all the subjects. You also have to pass all subjects in order to pass the STAM.
Medium of instruction: All subjects are studied entirely in Arabic, and the examination will also be set entirely in Arabic.
Difficulty: The STAM syllabus has a wide coverage, and its standard is high. Therefore, it can provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For STAM, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your STAM results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your STAM results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: You need to enrol in an Islamic religious school or college that offers STAM before the STAM course starts. Usually, you need to visit the school or college to submit the application.
Entry requirements: To study STAM, you need to pass the SPM examination.


9. Diploma

Structure: There are several types of diploma programs, such as Diploma in Health Science, Diploma in International Business and others. Diploma program is based on examinations, coursework, and assignments. The weightage of examinations, coursework and assignments differs according to the university and program. After completing the program, you will be given a diploma. You will then use your diploma to apply for degree course in the same university where you do the diploma or other universities. Sometimes, you can apply for direct entry into the 2nd year of degree course using diploma. You can also use your diploma to apply for jobs.
Intake: The intake for diploma courses differs according to the university and program. For some universities, there are intakes almost every month.
Duration: The duration of diploma course differs according to the university and program. Most diploma programs last for about 3 years. Therefore, you may have to enter degree courses one or two years later than those who take other pre-university programs. However, because it is possible to apply for direct entry into the 2nd year of degree course, you may be able to spend one year less when taking degree course compared to others.
Location: You will study diploma in Malaysian private universities (IPTS) or public universities (IPTA) that offer diploma programs. Examples are the Taylor's University and Inti University. University life is different from secondary school life, so you may need some time to adapt to it.
Fees: The cost to study diploma differs according to the university. If you study it in private universities (IPTS), you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. However, if you study it in public universities (IPTA), there is no need to pay for any tuition, examination and resource fees. In either case, you will still need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. Some universities may offer scholarships to excellent students, but it usually does not cover the full cost of study.
Recognition: Usually, diploma course taken in Malaysian public universities (IPTA) is recognised by many Malaysian public universities (IPTA) and private universities (IPTS), while diploma course taken in Malaysian private universities (IPTS) is only recognised by Malaysian private universities (IPTS) but not public universities (IPTA). However, some universities only recognise the diploma courses taken in the same university but not those of other universities. Some universities in other countries also recognise the diploma programs taken in Malaysian universities.
Subjects: The subjects you have to take depends on the university and type of diploma program you do. For example, if you do Diploma in Business, you have to take Business related subjects.
Medium of instruction: The medium of instruction depends on the university. In most universities, the program is studied entirely in English. However, in some universities, the program may be studied in Malay.
Difficulty: The diploma syllabus has a wide coverage, and its standard is higher than most other pre-university programs. Therefore, it can provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses. Diploma is also not very difficult, because the duration of diploma program is quite long, so there will be plenty of time for you to study. Many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying diploma is not too stressful.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For diploma, you are usually guaranteed a place for degree course in the same university where you do the diploma, provided that you meet the entry requirements for the degree course.
Application method: You need to enrol in a university that offers diploma programs. For private universities (IPTS), you usually need to visit the university or its office to submit the application. For public universities (IPTA), you have to apply it online through the UPU. The offer to study diploma in public universities is usually out on May of the year after your SPM.
Entry requirements: The requirement to study diploma differs according to the university. Usually, you need to pass the SPM and obtain grade C in certain subjects in SPM.


10. American Degree Program (ADP)

Structure: There are several types of ADP programs, such as Business, Computer Science and others. This program is based on examinations, coursework, and assignments. Courseworks and assignments carry a weightage of about 70% while examinations carry a weightage of only about 30%. The marks for the coursework, assignments and examinations will be combined to give the overall results. You will then use your results to apply for universities. Usually, for universities in the United States of America and Canada, you can apply for direct entry into the 3rd year of degree course using ADP.
Intake: The intake for ADP differs according to the college or university. For most colleges, the intake is at January, May and September every year.
Duration: This course usually lasts for about 2 years. Therefore, you may have to enter degree courses half year or one year later than those who take other pre-university programs. However, because it is possible to apply for direct entry into the 3rd year of degree course in universities in United States of America and Canada, you can spend two years less when taking degree course compared to others.
Location: You will study ADP in private colleges or universities that offer ADP. Examples are Taylor's University and Inti University. College life is different from secondary school life, so you may need some time to adapt to college life.
Fees: The cost to study ADP is quite high. Because it is studied in private colleges or universities, you have to pay for tuition, examination and resource fees. You will also need to pay for the reference books and some other fees. Some colleges or universities may offer scholarships to excellent students, but it usually does not cover the full cost of study.
Recognition: ADP is recognised by many private universities (IPTS) in Malaysia. However, it is not recognised by Malaysian public universities (IPTA). Outside Malaysia, ADP is widely recognised only in United States of America and Canada. In other countries, ADP is not recognised by many universities, although some may recognise it.
Subjects: The subjects you have to take depends on the type of ADP program you do. For example, if you do the Business program, you have to take Business related subjects.
Medium of instruction: All subjects are studied entirely in English, and the examinations will also be set entirely in English.
Difficulty: ADP is not very difficult. Therefore, many students are able to catch up with the syllabus. Besides, studying ADP is not too stressful. However, its standard is quite low, so it may not be able provide you with sufficient preparation for degree courses.
Guarantee of entry into universities: For ADP, there is no guarantee of entry into any universities including those in United States of America and Canada, no matter how your results is. You will have to apply for universities by yourself. Your results must meet the entry requirements for the universities you apply in order to be accepted by the universities. If your results is poor, you may not be accepted by any universities.
Application method: You need to enrol in a college or university that offers ADP before the course starts. Usually, you need to visit the college or its office to submit the application. Because there are limited places available in each college and there may also be a deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early.
Entry requirements: To study ADP, usually you need to obtain at least 5C in SPM, including English and Mathematics.



I hope that the information above can help you to plan your future wisely. However, the information above are only based on my personal knowledge, experience and opinion. I did not actually try to find out about every pre-university courses in detail. The information are for reference only so do not rely solely on them. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the all information. You should find out more about every pre-university courses by searching on the internet. You can also refer to family, friends, relatives, education fairs, newpapers, magazines and others for more information.

For information about the JPA Scholarship, go to here:
http://daniellimjj.blogspot.com/2015/04/guide-to-jpa-scholarship.html

62 comments:

  1. hi, you've said that f6 is much more difficult than a level??? is it true??? i scored 7a+, 2a and 1b+ , i didnt gt matrik , though my frens of the same results gt it.. damn disappointed.....

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    1. STPM is considered to be equivalent to A-level, but in reality, STPM is much more difficult. A-level syllabus only covers about 75% of the STPM syllabus. I recommend you to take A-levels if possible. For your information, I also did not get the matriculation, although I got 9A+ 1A in SPM.

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  2. Nice post. If you are planning to do accounting - then the fastest way is to start your FIA when you are in Form 4 and then complete your degree when you are 19 at 20% of the cost of doing anything else. Obviously this only applies for those that are interested in getting a business degree

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    1. Probably is foundation in arts

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    2. I think obviously is foundation in accauntacy

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  3. Pretty good advise on your experience in choosing the options after SPM. Good job and all the best in your future!

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  4. thanks for your info, really helpful as I just finished my spm not long ago....
    I applied for matrik already , well its hard to say who they will choose, I will not depend solely on it, so I have to start to apply for something else also :)

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  5. So Daniel , you were a bursary holder right ? Actually , I am a bursary holder for this year . may I ask a question , after we finished our pre u , no matter what , we need to apply for JPA scholarship and go to the interviews to get it or it will automatically given to us to pursue our study in degree ? Hope you can help . thanks .

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    Replies
    1. For all Bursary holders, we will be automatically given the JPA scholarship if we obtain a CGPA of at least 3.5 in Pre U and also get an unconditional offer from one of the universities in the JPA list. We do not need to attend interview, but we have to go for the SAC (whether we are studying locally or overseas) and BTN camp (only if we want to study overseas).

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  6. Hi Daniel, I am Melissa. I took A- Level and I will get my results in two days time. I am also a bursary holder. I would like to ask, how do I apply for JPA PIDN scholarship? I would like to pursue medicine. Since I will be getting my results next week, do I send in my results to JPA only when the application for scholarship is open or do I send in once I get my results? If it's latter, to which email do I send my results?

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  7. Hi Daniel Lim.I'm Dina and I'll be taking my SPM this 3rd November.After I get my results,I'm planning to take A-Level.Can you recommend me some good A-Level collage or university.

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    Replies
    1. Regarding to your question, I would recommend to you Taylor College. If you interested in other college, you may refer to http://mrsaimun.blogspot.com/2013/03/top-5-private-colleges-in-malaysia.html?m=1

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  8. Hello daniel :D i just want to ask about the A-levels fee ?

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    Replies
    1. The fee is usually is very high, Taylor Collage's fee is usually around RM 44000 and the miscellaneous fee is around RM5115

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    2. Hey man. If you are financially stuck but still want to study alevel. I would advise you to study at Riam Institute of Technology. The cost to study at there are low, usually below rm 20000. It is located at Miri, Sarawak

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  9. Hello there...
    If you are interested to get any international scholarship, I can forward you one of the best newly growing scholarship website. Perhaps, it will help you to get your desire scholarship.

    http://www.sclrship.com

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  10. Hi besides SPM & O Levels what else can i do to study mbbs in local u ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alternatives to SPM and O Level include IGCSE, IB Middle Years Programme and UEC Senior Middle 2. However, after completing SPM, O Level or their alternatives, you still have to study one of the pre-university programmes that I listed above before you can study MBBS.

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  11. Hi Daniel. I got 6A+ and 3As in my spm, so is it not possible for me to get bursary or jpa scholarship? I am actually planning to do a levels and if my results in a levels is good could I be entitled for those scholarships then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will not be able to get the MOE Bursary. However, you can still apply for the JPA scholarship after you have completed A Level if you obtain at least BBB in A Level. You will need to attend interviews and the Student Assessment Center (SAC) and there is no guarantee of getting the JPA scholarship. JPA will sponsor for local public universities (all courses) and local private universities (Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy only) that are in their list. Since you are not under the MOE Bursary, JPA will not sponsor for overseas universities.

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  12. Is combined spm results accepted for medicine in ipta. As I don't have enough b's for my spm.L,but I have enough for my spm retake

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, IPTA does accept combined SPM results. However, I am not sure if it is accepted for Medicine because Medicine is a competitive course. You should check with the IPTA about this. Even if it is accepted, your application may be at a disadvantage compared to others who obtained their SPM results in the first attempt.

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    2. Greetings, how abt if I wish to retake for all science subject(bio, chemist, physic), and apply for mbbs in private medical school? Is it possible to me?

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    3. Yes, most private medical schools in Malaysia do not disadvantage applicants who retook SPM or pre-university. It is alright as long as you can get the required grades after retaking.

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  13. hi i am a bursary holder too, we need not to go through any interview if we have achieved all the requirement of JPA, am i right?
    and do kpm offers us full accomodation fee ?
    thank you in advance

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    Replies
    1. Yes, there is no need to attend any interview. For the MOE Bursary, the accommodation will be paid by MOE in full. But for the JPA scholarship, JPA will not pay for the accommodation, instead you have to use part of your monthly allowances provided by JPA to pay for the accommodation.

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  14. Hi Daniel, I am impress with your knowledge at your age. My son failed BM & Sejarah. He got credit for Account, Science and Math. Pass for English. The problem is he is reluctant to re-sit for both subjects. He is keen to study IT. Any advise for this worry mom?

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  15. This is a great article. For students who are not sure what to study after SPM, they can check out this article http://eduspiral.com/2015/02/22/which-is-the-best-course-to-study-after-spm-stpm-or-uec/

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a great article. For students who are not sure what to study after SPM, they can check out this article http://eduspiral.com/2015/02/22/which-is-the-best-course-to-study-after-spm-stpm-or-uec/

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  17. hi daniel! may i ask for your opinion? if u have been given the opportunity to choose either jpa or bursary..which one u would prefer?

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    1. Are you referring to the Program Biasiswa Nasional JPA which is given to the top 50 SPM candidates in Malaysia? For me, if I was in the top 50 for SPM 2012 last time, to be honest, I would prefer the MOE Bursary instead of the Program Biasiswa Nasional JPA. Both of them guarantee sponsorship until degree course in university as long as we meet the conditions, and their conditions are similar. However, the advantage of the MOE Bursary is that it allows me to continue with the January intake of my A Level programme in Taylor's College, while the Program Biasiswa Nasional JPA makes it compulsory to switch to the July intake and restart the A Level programme. I did not want to switch to the July intake, because that would delay my entry into university.

      However, things are different now. If you are an SPM 2014 candidate and you are in the top 50, you should definitely choose the Program Biasiswa Nasional JPA over the MOE Bursary. This is because for SPM 2014 candidates, Bursary students are no longer guaranteed sponsorship until degree course in university, while students under the Program Biasiswa Nasional JPA are still guaranteed sponsorship until degree course provided that they meet certain requirements.

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    2. oww..but I am not referring to the PNB JPA scholarship since I dont get it..however it is nice info to be shared. thank you. actually, I mean JPA scholarship which sponsor u to Germany and other countries in engineering..

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    3. For me, I would definitely choose the Bursary instead of that JPA scholarship, because that scholarship only sponsors for Engineering courses, while the course that I want to study is Medicine. I did not apply for that scholarship last time because I never wanted to study Engineering. On the other hand, the Bursary allows us to choose almost any degree course, including both Medicine and Engineering.

      If you are offered that JPA scholarship, you should think carefully whether you want to study Engineering or not. If you are very sure that you want to study Engineering, then you should choose that JPA scholarship, because it guarantees sponsorship from pre-university until degree course. Otherwise, you should choose the Bursary instead.

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    4. Thank you for you opinions :) I am really appreciate it

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  19. Hi Daniel... i obtained straight A's for my SPM... but i did not manage to get a place in matrix.. so I made up my mind to go for STPM... BUT today I got an offer in IPTA for diploma in IT... but what i worry the most is it is a diploma cert... can i like use the diploma cert to apply for degree courses in other local uni like USM or even overseas? I am now really confuse to do STPM or diploma... Hope u can help me by giving me advices... Thanks in advance

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  20. Thanks dear for the blog information. I really appreciate for your style in writing blog.It remains beneficial for the students across the world.

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  21. Hi! I m in d hesitating stage whether to send my daughter to private school for UEC or national school for SPM, may I hv ur advice? Since we r in Malaysia, is it we will hv wider choices of University if taking SPM?
    What is MOE bursary? What is bursary holder?

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  22. Hi! I m in d hesitating stage whether to send my daughter to private school for UEC or national school for SPM, may I hv ur advice? Since we r in Malaysia, is it we will hv wider choices of University if taking SPM?
    What is MOE bursary? What is bursary holder?

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  23. My son will be sitting for SPM 2015 next month. For pre university, he prefers the the Australia Matriculation which is not 100% based on examination as in A-Level. His ultimate goal is to pursue a degree in Information Technology overseas. But I personally prefer him to take up A -Level as the acceptance for undergraduate course and scholarship is wider. Which path should we take if our goal is to take up a degree in IT overseas with a scholarship? Which pre university course and which college should we enroll?

    Thank you and wish you all the best.

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    Replies
    1. I would recommend A Level over Australian Matriculation because A Level has wider recognition overseas, and students with A Level may be given priority for entry into degree courses and award of scholarships. I would recommend that your son study at Taylor's College Subang Jaya because it has excellent teaching and facilities as well as an environment conducive for studying.

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    2. I am glad that you took effort to reply me. Thank you very much.

      I have been browsing JPA website to see whether they accept SAM, Ausmat or Monach University Foundation Year to apply for the scholarship for first degree in overseas. I didn't seem to get this specific info from the web. Do you mind sharing with me any website or material on this info?

      Thank you

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  24. I would like to take up pharmacy course overseas. Should I choose Ausmat or a-level ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recommend that you choose A Level, because it has wider recognition internationally.

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  25. hi, everyone.
    i have some question ,hope you all could help me.thank you.
    may i know which college can i get private STPM course intake?
    cos i fail to go for local STPM course, and i really wish i can get offer to local university after intake of STPM .

    2.Is that STPM certificate recognized by local university and oversea university?

    I really hope i could get some respone as soon as posssible .thank you very much

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  26. hi, everyone.
    i have some question ,hope you all could help me.thank you.
    may i know which college can i get private STPM course intake?
    cos i fail to go for local STPM course, and i really wish i can get offer to local university after intake of STPM .

    2.Is that STPM certificate recognized by local university and oversea university?

    I really hope i could get some respone as soon as posssible .thank you very much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Sorry, I do not know which private colleges offer STPM. Try searching on Google about that.
      2. Yes, STPM is recognised by local and overseas universities.

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Where do u live while studing in taylors college subang

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    Replies
    1. I lived in my parents' house in Subang Jaya.

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  29. Can I know is there any method to get into matrix for the second intake if I didn't apply for it, I mean I did not buy the code or fill the form n do all sort of things as others.Will the rayuan helps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can apply for the 2nd intake through the rayuan.

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    2. Thank you so much!!When I phone them,they said u will know whether it works when the result for the second intake comes out…Anywhere thx

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  30. Hey is it true if you get excellent results in your stpm there is no guarantee that you'll get the course that you want for IPTA especially critical courses like medicine , pharmacy , law and so on . I scored 6A+ 2A and 1B+ for my spm .i was offered form 6 and now I'm in lower 6 . I really want so study pharmacy in the future . I don't mind the university is local or in overseas but if I scored well in my stpm can i study pharmacy since many people say that the IPTA people will give priority for matriculation students than stpm students . 😭

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey is it true if you get excellent results in your stpm there is no guarantee that you'll get the course that you want for IPTA especially critical courses like medicine , pharmacy , law and so on . I scored 6A+ 2A and 1B+ for my spm .i was offered form 6 and now I'm in lower 6 . I really want so study pharmacy in the future . I don't mind the university is local or in overseas but if I scored well in my stpm can i study pharmacy since many people say that the IPTA people will give priority for matriculation students than stpm students . 😭

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regardless of the pre-university programme you study (whether STPM, Matriculation, Foundation or others), there is no guarantee of getting into the course of your choice at IPTA because it is very competitive. It is widely believed that IPTA gives priority to Matriculation over STPM, but this is actually not true at all. Instead, it is the opposite, STPM is actually given a slight priority over Matriculation due to the fact that STPM is of higher standard.

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  32. hello daniel , i would like to hear your voice out , i just finished my matriculation studies, is there any chances if i want to continue studies oversea in mechanical engineering ? if yes , which university qualified the matriculation certificate ?

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    Replies
    1. Actually, most UK universities accept the Matriculation certificate. There are exceptions though, such as Cambridge and Oxford.

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  33. Great info Daniel!

    Is it compulsory to obtain SPM BM credit for someone to practice medicine in Malaysia?
    If anyone takes IGCSE O level, without SPM BM, will he be able to do housemanship and eventually practice in Malaysia?
    If unable, any solution?

    What's your plan after your graduation in Newcastle university?

    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. A minimum grade C in SPM BM is compulsory in order to do housemanship in Malaysia. If you don't have it, you have to take the SPM BM subject as a private candidate.

      Currently, my plan is to become a GP first. I have not yet decided what specialist I would like to become.

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  34. I owe a lot to this writer for providing such valuable information about STUDY IN MALAYSIA. I have finally decided to study in malaysia and the credit goes to the moderator and writers of this website. Thank you a lot. #Way2Go

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