What to do after getting your SPM or STPM results?
You’ve probably been feeling anxious for days in anticipation of your exam results. And now that results day has come, it’s perfectly normal to feel a whole range of emotions. You may experience one or more of these feelings: stress, relief, happiness, excitement, disappointment, confusion, sadness, anger or even guilt. At this point, it’s good to be aware that how you feel is probably related to your own expectations and those of the people whom are close to you – such as your family and friends.
The exam result scenario generally comes down to three categories:
- You did better than you expected;
- Your results are just what you expected (more or less); or
- You didn’t do as well as you hoped.
In the first and second scenarios, you can probably go ahead with what you have planned for your higher education (but if you haven’t, just read on, we have you covered). But if you didn’t quite get what you were hoping for, don’t fret. Don’t let one exam result stop you from pursuing your dreams. There are many education options out there that can help you achieve your goals in the long term.
For many students, you are probably considering furthering your studies. But if you don’t know where to begin, or if you’re unsure of your options, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions.
Dealing with pressure and expectations
There are some things you can do to deal with pressure. They include:
- Talking to someone outside the situation, like a friend or counsellor.
- Talking to the person setting the expectations, and try to make it clear they're not helping.
- Re-setting your own expectations – they could be unrealistic or just unhelpful.
- Taking some space – go for a walk, play sports or video games and give your brain a break.
- Writing down your feelings.
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol – they just help compound stress.
Also remember that your exam results are just that – marks given to one thing you wrote down, once. They're not a number that reflects your worth, and they won't stop you doing what you want in the long-term.
Source: Dealing with exam results
1. What study options do I have after SPM/STPM?
Foundation programmes, A levels, IB Diploma, Form 6, and more…. Check out your choices in Options After SPM: What Can I Study?
The diagrams below can help you have a better understanding on how you can map out your study pathway.
2. How do I know what course I’m interested in?
For many students, choosing a course can be quite confusing or difficult because they’re not sure what areas of study interests them. In the article How to Begin Your Search for the Right Course After SPM?, you can read more about fields of study. By finding out which field of study you are interested in, you will be able to determine a good career match for yourself.
3. I don’t know what career I want to pursue. How do I decide on a course?
The key to finding out what career is suitable for you is to get to know and understand yourself better. As you start to know yourself better, you will be able to identify career choices that are best for you and have the highest chances of giving you a fulfilling career.
Our 4-part career guide series can help you get started.
You can also find out more about different careers and fields of study in our Career Guide section.
4. I only have 3 credits in SPM. What courses can I take?
Scoring only three credits doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of studying for a higher education qualification. Most diploma programmes require only 3 credits in SPM. Find out Why SPM Students are choosing Diplomas Over Degrees
The tables below will also give you an idea of what types of courses you can apply for.
Table 1: Types of Programmes Offered at Public Universities for Students with SPM and STPM Qualifications
|No.||Qualification (Entry Requirement)||Programme Offered|
|1.||SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) qualifications (with minimum 5 credits)||University foundation studies|
||Bachelor degree programmes|
Table 2: Types of Programmes Offered at Polytechnics for Students with SPM Qualifications
|No.||Qualification (Entry Requirement)||Programme Offered|
|1.||SPM qualifications (with 3-6 credits)||Diploma Programmes|
|Advanced diploma programmes for those with diploma qualifications|
Table 3: General Entry Requirements for Pre-University / Diploma / Degree Programmes at Private HEIs
|Education Level||General Entry Requirement|
|Pre-university studies||SPM/IGCSE or O-Level with 5 credits, or its equivalent|
|Certificate level||SPM/IGCSE or O-Level with 1 credit, or its equivalent|
|Diploma level||SPM/IGCSE or O-Level with 3 credits, or its equivalent (some healthcare programmes require 5 credits)|
|Year 1 bachelor degree||GCE A-levels (minimum 2 principles) + English proficiency or its equivalent (eg AUSMAT, SAM, CPU and other foundation studies)|
5. I don’t know which pre-U programme to choose.
Your choice of pre-U programme depends on a number of factors – from your budget to your choice of bachelor’s degree programme – check out these articles to find out more.
If you've shortlisted a few pre-U options but still don't know which one to pick, then it's time for the checklist crunch. Chances are, you'll be more certain of your destination after this. Let's get started...
External qualifications like A levels, IB or STPM are very useful for students who still haven't quite decided where or what course they want to study. In contrast, students who already know what they want to pursue could benefit from internal qualifications like foundation or matriculation programmes. Learn more.
6. There seems to be a lot of students talking about Form 6. Should I take STPM?
Although many students might have put Form 6 as the last option on their pre-U list previously, this trend could change soon. Besides being extremely affordable, STPM is now conducted in a modular format. That means students are assessed over three terms instead of sitting for one big exam at the end of 18 months. Find out more reasons why STPM could be right for you in this article:
Since 2012, STPM has adopted a modular system which assesses students continuously over three terms. The previous terminal system was based on one final exam. Read more.
7. How can I apply for a scholarship? What scholarships are there for SPM/STPM students?
Get the latest announcements on scholarships here. You can also download a free e-booklet on Student Financial Aid 2016.
8. I wish I could study for a foreign degree but I don’t think I could afford it.
If you’ve always dreamed of studying abroad but lack the education funds, read How to get a foreign degree even if you think you can’t afford it before you dash off all your hopes.
9. When’s the application deadline for public universities?
Applications for admission to public universities for 2018/19 are now open. The deadline is at 11.59pm on 10 April 2018. It is expected that the outcome of your application will be available on 21 May 2018.
10. How about courses at polytechnics? Where can I get more information?
There are 33 polytechnics in the country which can be divided into three categories - premier, conversional and metro. These polytechnics provide skilled semi-professionals in the fields of engineering, commerce and hospitality at diploma and advanced diploma levels. Read more here.
Applications to polytechnics, community colleges and public skills training institutes are now open to qualified candidates and can be made through UPU 2018/19.
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