Student Info & Guide

Picking a Pre-U Programme - Part 3

by on December 5, 2014 | Top Stories, Pre-University Programmes & Foundation Studies

If the A level programme doesn't appeal to you, do you have other choices of pre-U programmes here in Malaysia? The answer is, "YES"! Find out what they are in part 3 of this article.

The A level programme may be one of the most popular pre-U programmes in Malaysia but your choice doesn't have to stop there. Besides pre-U qualifications from the UK, Malaysia also has programmes from Canada and Australia.

Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP) and Canadian Pre-University (CPU)

CIMP and CPU both share the same curriculum, that is, the final year of the secondary school programme in Ontario, Canada. It has become the largest Canadian matriculation programme in the world and is designed based on the course guidelines and standards of the Ministry of Education and Training of the Ontario Province. Students will obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma upon completion of the programme.

The advantage of CIMP and CPU is that it can be completed in 12 months or less. Did we just get your attention? Students take a total of six subjects which include one English subject, that is, either ENG4E or ENG4U.

Subject options include

  • Business Studies (Financial Accounting Principles, International Business Fundamentals, Business Leadership: Management Fundamentals);
  • Computer Studies (Communications Technology);
  • Mathematics (Mathematics of Data Management, Advanced Functions, Calculus and Vectors);
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics); and
  • Social Science (World Issues: A Geographic Analysis, World History: The West and The World, Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society, Challenge and Change in Society, Analysing Current Economic Issues).

Assessment comprises 70% coursework and 30% final examinations. In addition, students need to perform 10 hours of community service as well as pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

This could be course for you if you prefer continual assessment. You will be able to choose what type of community service you'd like to do and in many ways, be responsible for your own learning. Attendance is important as you will be assessed through your participation and discussions in class.

At this point, you might be thinking, the programme sounds great, but does that mean I need to study my bachelor's degree in Canada? "No, not at all!" Besides universities in Canada and Malaysia, students who have obtained the Ontario Secondary School Diploma in Malaysia have gone on to pursue a bachelor's degree in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.

Intakes are typically in January, March and July. Students usually take 2 semesters (a year) to complete the programme. CPU is offered at Taylor's College and CIMP is offered at Sunway College.

Australian Matriculation Programme (AUSMAT)

Picking a Pre-U Programme - Part 3 Besides CPU and CIMP, you might also want to consider AUSMAT, which is equivalent to the final year (Year 12) of secondary schools in Western Australia. Before you ask, the answer is "yes", the AUSMAT is recognised in other countries besides Australia, such as the UK, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Russia, Germany, Singapore, and of course, Malaysia.

AUSMAT is administered by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia. Students are graded based on their performance throughout the year, i.e. 50% internal continuous assessment (moderated by the Curriculum Council) and the remaining 50% in an external final examination, i.e. the Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE). The student's score (based on best four subjects) is ranked for the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for university application at undergraduate level. This arrangement not only helps to remove pressure from the single year-end assessment, but also provides opportunities for the usage of a variety of assessment techniques in determining the students' standard of achievement.

Students are required to take five subjects including English as an Additional Language (EAL/D) or English. The remaining four subjects can be a combination of these subjects: Applicable Mathematics, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Accounting, Information Systems, German, and others.

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.

At the end of the 10-month programme, students will be required to sit for the Tertiary Entrance Examination (TEE) which occurs once a year, in the first week of November.

South Australian Matriculation (SAM)

SAM is an internationally-recognised Australian pre-university matriculation programme which is set and administered by the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA). SAM has been offered to students outside of Australia since 1984 and is accepted by many renowned universities in Australia, the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, India, and private universities in Malaysia as an admission criterion into their undergraduate programmes.

SAM is a 10-month matriculation programme with a unique assessment pattern - 50% of the final mark is derived from the final public examination (usually in the month of October/November) while the remaining 50% is awarded internally through continuous assessment of coursework and tests. It offers students the flexibility to complete the programme over an extended period although the normal duration of study is one year.

Students taking the SAM programme must complete five subjects, including one subject from List 1 and at least one subject from List 2. In addition, students must achieve a satisfactory score (10/20 or better) in either English as Second Language Studies, or English Studies. Students can also repeat subjects without a penalty.

The usual intake for the 10-month SAM 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 / Science.

Like AUSMAT, the SAM programme gives students an ATAR score that is used as a selection criterion for students applying for a bachelor's degree course in Australia and different parts of the world. Students will be awarded the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

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.

The course commences in January and is conducted over 10½ months. Students are required to take five subjects including English to make up a minimum of 10 units. Some of the subjects offered are English, Mathematics, Mathematics Extension, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Information Processes and Technology, Business Studies, and Economics.

Students are assessed based on 50% course work (internal assessment) and the remaining 50% in a final external examination which takes place in October/November.

With the HSC qualification, students will also obtain an ATAR score used for university admission.

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

Name of pre-university programme Qualification
awarded by
Intake(s) Duration Examination Examples of providers
Australian Matriculation Programme (AUSMAT) Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), Government of Western Australia January
10 months
8 months
14 months
First week of November for all intakes KBU International College
KDU University College
Methodist College Kuala Lumpur
Sunway University
South Australian Matriculation (SAM) South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), Board of South Australia January
11 months
8 months
November Disted College
INTI International University
Taylor's College
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 INTI International University

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

Missed Part 1 & 2? Click here for Part 1 and Part 2. Checkout our Part 4 here too. We will give you a checklist of things to consider before you decide on which pre-U programme is right for you.

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