Student Info & Guide

Choosing The Right Pre-University Programme: STPM

by on December 18, 2019 | Top Stories, Pre-University Programmes & Foundation Studies

Choosing The Right Pre-University Programme: STPM -

If you have an SPM qualification and you are planning to pursue a bachelor degree, you would most likely need a pre-U qualification to gain admission to a university or college. So which pre-U programme should you choose?

The Sixth Form (Malaysian High School Certificate)

The Sixth Form prepares students for a common public examination leading to the award of a high school certificate, namely, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). This qualification is equivalent to the GCE A-Level certificate and is awarded by Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia.

STPM programmes offer two streams – Science and Arts and is conducted over one and a half years. Students can enrol for the examination with a minimum of one subject and a maximum of five subjects (including General Studies). There is only one intake per year in May. Besides subjects in science and maths which are conducted in English, the medium of instruction for other subjects is in Bahasa Melayu. Subjects offered are categorised as language and literature; social sciences and religion as well as science and mathematics.

In 2012, MOE introduced a modular system of assessment based on three semesters where students are evaluated at the end of every semester. The assessment includes coursework and school-based projects. Besides local universities, the STPM certificate is accepted by universities around the world as an admission qualification for degree programmes.


  • The qualification is recognised by MOE as the minimum entry requirement for degree programmes at public universities.
  • Affordable and takes 3 semesters (18 months) to complete.
  • The qualifications are accepted by public and private universities, as well as many universities abroad.
  • The modular assessment system has taken away the stress of sitting for only one exam at the end of the programme.

STPM programmes offer two streams – Science and Arts. Students can enrol for the examination with a minimum of one subject and a maximum of five subjects (including General Studies).

Language and Literature General Studies (compulsory)
Malay Language
Chinese Language
Tamil Language
Arabic Language
Literature in English
Communicative Malay Literature
Social Sciences and Religion Sharia (Islamic Law)
Usuluddin (Islamic Studies)
Business Studies
Science and Mathematics Mathematics M (Management)- May not be taken with Mathematics T.
Mathematics T (Technology)-May not be taken with Mathematics M.
Information And Communications Technology (ICT)
Sports Science

8 reasons why you should consider STPM:

  • It’s an extremely affordable pre-U option.
  • You don’t have to wear the school uniform unless you want to.
  • STPM is recognised locally and internationally as a pre-university qualification.
  • You have a wide range of subject choice.
  • The new STPM modular format is more appealing: instead of one BIG exam at the end of 18 months, you will be assessed at the end of each of the three terms.
  • Most subjects have a School-Based Assessment (SBA) component; your project work, field study and practical work will help contribute towards your final grade.
  • You will progress to the next term regardless of your academic performance (no getting held back if you fail a paper).
  • You can improve your subject grade point by re-sitting for your first and second term papers.

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