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Studying for the UEC and your education pathway at tertiary level

by StudyMalaysia.com on March 1, 2021 | Top Stories

Studying for the UEC and your education pathway at tertiary
level - StudyMalaysia.com

About UEC

The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is a standardised examination under the Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary Schools (MICSS) system. Students who want to prepare for the UEC typically would have completed six years of their primary education at a Chinese primary school before continuing their education as an MICSS student.

The MICSS system offers six years of secondary education—three years of Junior Middle (comparable to Forms 1, 2 and 3) and three years of Senior Middle (comparable to Forms 4, 5 and 6).

At the end of Junior Middle, students will need to sit for the Junior Middle Three exams. Subsequently, Senior Middle Three students will sit for the Unified Examination or Vocational Unified Examination, which are held in October every year.

Some schools also teach the national secondary school curriculum (in BM) alongside the independent school curriculum (in Chinese) to prepare the student to sit for the government standardised examination, SPM (Sijil Peperiksaan Malaysia) as private school candidates. Some schools also prepare their students to sit for the Cambridge IGCSE examination.

MICSS Curriculum

The learning of three languages, viz. Chinese, Malay and English, takes up almost 50% of the classes’ contact hours, and is compulsory for all students in the MICSS system. At the Senior Middle level, students are streamed into Science, Arts, Commerce or Vocational classes. Technical and Vocational courses are available in various MICSS.

Junior Middle Level

The Junior Unified Examination offers 8 subjects, namely:

  • Chinese Language
  • Malay Language (National)
  • English Language
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Art

With the exception of the language papers, all subjects are tested in Chinese language. In Sabah, bilingual (Chinese and English) exam papers are offered for Maths and Science subjects. Candidates are allowed to register for any number of subjects up to a maximum of eight.

Senior Middle Level

The Senior Unified Examination offers 22 subjects as follows:

  • Chinese Language
  • Malay Language (National)
  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Advanced Mathematics
  • Advanced Mathematics (I)
  • Advanced Mathematics (II)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Digital Logic
  • Business Studies
  • Book-keeping and Accounts
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Computing and Information Technology
  • Art
  • Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
  • Principle Electronic
  • Basic Circuit Theory

Candidates are allowed to register for any number of subjects up to a maximum of 14. The examination papers for Geography, History, Economics, Art, Computing & Information Technology, Basic Circuit Theory, Principle Electronic, Digital Logic and Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering are set in both Chinese and English versions. Candidates who take these subjects may choose to answer in either language.

Technical and Vocational stream

The Vocational & Technical Unified Examination offers 5 subjects:

  • Industrial English
  • Car Repair and Maintenance
  • Car Repair and Maintenance (Practical)
  • Fine Art and Craft
  • Fine Art and Craft (Practical)

Candidates are allowed to register for any number of subjects up to a maximum of 12. With the exception of the language papers, all four vocational subjects are tested in Chinese language.

Who can register for the Unified Examination?

All Junior Middle Three and Senior Middle Three students who are currently studying at a Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary School are eligible to register for the Unified Examination.

Registration for the three types of Unified Examination is scheduled in January each year. Students typically sit for the UEC exams in October while the results are normally released in mid-December. Students can check their results online using their index number and identity card number at www.djz.edu.my.

UEC Grading System

The grading of the Junior Middle UEC is based on a 5-point scale from A to E as follows:

A - Distinction
B - Credit
C - Good
D - Required Level Attained
E – Required Level Not Attained

The grading of the Senior Middle and Vocational UEC is based on a 9-point scale, from the highest (A1) to the lowest (F9) as follows:

A1 - Distinction
A2, B3, B4, B6 - Credit
C7, C8 – Pass
F9 - Fail

Comparison of exam grades for UEC, STPM and A levels

CGPA 4 3.67 3.33 3 2.67 2.33 2 1.67 1.33 1 0
UEC grade A1 A2 B3 B4 B5 B6 C7 C8 F9
STPM grade A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
A level Grade A B C D E F

Study pathways after UEC

Students who have attained a UEC qualification can apply directly to a private college or university in Malaysia to pursue a tertiary qualification; however, UEC is not accepted for entry into a public university in Malaysia.

In addition to more than 300 private higher education institutions in Malaysia that recognise the UEC qualification, over 1000 universities around the world including those in Singapore, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Russia, the United States, Canada and others accept the UEC qualification for direct entry into their tertiary programmes.

Studying for the UEC and your education pathway at tertiary

Entry requirements

Level of study UEC grade
Diploma courses minimum grade B in 3 relevant subjects
Bachelor degree programmes minimum grade B in 5 relevant subjects
American degree programs minimum grade B in 5 relevant subjects
Professional qualifications, e.g. ACCA minimum grade B in 5 relevant subjects

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