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Choosing The Right Pre-University Programme: AUSMAT, SACE, NSW HSC

by on January 22, 2018 | Top Stories, Pre-University Programmes & Foundation Studies

Choosing The Right Pre-University Programme: AUSMAT, SACE, NSW HSC -

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?

Australian Matriculation Programme (AUSMAT)

AUSMAT is administered by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia. The entry requirement is SPM, O-level certificate or its equivalent, with a minimum of five credits including Science and Mathematics. Student intakes are in January and March. Students sit for the Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE), which occurs once a year, in the first week of November.

Students are required to take five subjects including one English subject, that is, either English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) or English*. The other four subject options can be chosen from the list below:

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) or English*
  • Business Management & Enterprise
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Economics
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics 3A/3B
  • Mathematics 3C/3D
  • Mathematics Specialist 3C/3D

SACE International

SACE International (formerly known as the South Australian Matriculation (SAM) programme) is an internationally-recognised Australian pre-university matriculation programme. The graduates are issued the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) by the SACE Board of South Australia, the Government of South Australia.

Students taking the SACE programme must complete five subjects, including one subject from List 1 and at least one subject from List 2.

List 1 List 2
Economics Accounting
English as Second Language Studies Biology
English Studies Chemistry
Legal Studies Information Technology Studies
Mathematical Studies
Specialist Mathematics

In addition, students must achieve a satisfactory score (10/20 or better) in either English as Second Language Studies, or English Studies. Other subjects are Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, IT, Psychology, etc. The usual intake for the 10-month SACE International programme is in January and the minimum qualification for admission is the SPM/O-level certificate or equivalent, with at least five credits totalling not more than 30 points, including credits in English and Mathematics or Science.

Like AUSMAT, the SACE program gives students an ATAR score that is used as a selection criterion for students applying for a bachelor degree course in Australia and different parts of the world.

New South Wales Higher School Certificate (NSW HSC)

The New South Wales HSC is the final year matriculation programme in New South Wales, Australia and is also widely recognised internationally. With the HSC qualification, students will also obtain an ATAR score used for university admission.

Students are required to take a total of five subjects including English as Second Language*. Some of the subjects offered are:

  • English as Second Language*
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Extension 1
  • Mathematics Extension 2
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Information Processes and Technology
  • Business Studies
  • Economics

Advantages of AUSMAT, SACE and NSW HSC:

  • These programmes take less than a year to complete.
  • The qualifications are accepted by many renowned universities in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, and private universities in Malaysia as an admission criterion into their undergraduate programmes.
  • Less stress for students during the final exam as 50% of the students’ grade comes from continuous assessment of coursework and tests.
  • Students’ achievements are determined using a variety of assessment techniques.

Here’s a summary of Australian pre-U programmes offered in Malaysia.

Name of pre-university programme Qualification awarded by Intake(s) Duration Examination
Australian Matriculation Programme (AUSMAT) Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), Government of Western Australia January 10 months first week of November for all intakes
March 8 months
September 14 months
SACE International (formerly known as SAM) South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), Board of South Australia January 11 months November
March 8 months
New South Wales Higher School Certificate (NSW HSC) Higher School Certificate issued by the Board of Studies, New South Wales January 11 months October / November

Note: The intakes listed are possible intake dates from the some PHEIs. Please check for intakes at the PHEI you are interested in as some may offer fewer intakes in a given year.

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