Choosing A Pre-University Course: The 3 Common Mistakes To Avoid

Published by Afterschool.my on May 09, 2022, 11:14 am

Have you thought about what to do after getting your SPM results? With results expected to be out in June, most of you would most likely be planning on what to do next. 

If you have decided to embark on tertiary education, you first have to take a Pre-University course. Pre-university courses are a prerequisite before pursuing your degree in any university. It is meant to help you build the skills and knowledge required to succeed in your degree studies. 

Choosing the right pre-university course can be a daunting task. With a wide range of pre-university programmes available, you must choose a course wisely.  Here are the 3 common mistakes students make in choosing a pre-university course.

1. Rushing to Enrol 

What students usually do: After SPM, many students tend to rush to enrol in a pre-university course without adequate research. They believe that the faster they enroll in a course, the quicker they can graduate. However, little do they know that they are likely to end up with a longer study duration without proper research about the course.

What you SHOULD do: If you’ve not decided on what to study, don’t rush to enrol in a pre-university course. Remember that there are multiple intakes in the same calendar year, so there is no need to rush. Instead, we encourage you to begin preparing for your tertiary studies by identifying what degree you plan to do and where you plan to do it. Once you know your interest, you can determine the pre-university course that would allow you to pursue the degree fastest while still keeping your option open in case you change your mind later. For example, if you intend to pursue your studies overseas but have not decided which country you would want to go to, it’s best that you take a pre-university course that is widely accepted worldwide like A-Level or International Baccalaureate (IB). You definitely should not be taking a local Foundation course as it is only suitable if you intend to finish your degree in the same local university.

2. Being pressured by peers & parents 

What students usually do: Students tend to get pressured into choosing a pre-university course by their peers or parents. Most students don’t wish to part ways with their BFF or school friends, so they do ‘whatever it takes’ to stay together, even if it means taking a pre-university course that doesn't suit them. At the same time, many students tend to overly rely on their parents when selecting a pre-university course. Some blindly follow their parents' opinions, while some wish to pursue entirely different courses but are forced to take a pre-university course they hate to satisfy their parents.

What you SHOULD do: There are other ways to keep in touch with your friends; social media and ‘mamak sessions’ etc. However, taking the wrong pre-university course to be with your friends is not one of them. Remember, everyone has a different strength and career path. So, you should follow what's best for you.

While parents’ opinions are essential, you shouldn't rely entirely on them to make such an important decision for you. For example, your parents may want you to do the Australian Matriculation programme so that you can study in Australia and later migrate over there. But you don’t share their vision as you may want to stay in Malaysia and do a Diploma here so that you can enter the workforce immediately. 

Since you’re the one that would be making a career out of it later, it's best if you decide on the pre-university course that is appropriate for your career goals. Then, once you figure that out, you can sit down with your parents and seek their advice. 

3. Lack of knowledge about the Pre-University course

What students usually do: Many students don’t do proper research before choosing their pre-university course. As a result, they lack enough knowledge about the course they are about to pursue. This scenario frequently happens because students often overlook the pre-university course and instead focus on the degree. Such behavior puts them at significant risk of ruining their higher education as they aren't aware of the pre-university course’s syllabus.   

What you SHOULD do: You need to identify your strengths. Then choose a pre-university course that is suitable and one that would enable you to achieve your degree/career aspirations. You may start with deciding if you prefer an exam based or coursework based programme? For example, if you hate exams and enrol in A-Levels because your BFF is taking them, you’d be putting yourself in a difficult situation. Pre-university courses such as A-Levels are exam-oriented. Instead, you could have taken a Foundation or CIMP course that is designed more toward the coursework path. Hence, do your research before taking up a pre-university course. 

In A Nutshell

To avoid these 3 mistakes listed above, you must read “How to Choose A Pre-University Course in Malaysia” - a comprehensive guide to help all SPM leavers choose the most suitable pre-university course for yourselves. We created this guide with you in mind. Thus, you'll find all the relevant information you need to know about pre-university courses right here at your fingertips. We are confident it’ll help you choose the right pre-university course for you.

To learn more about the pre-university courses available in Malaysia, watch these exclusive videos (below) that we have prepared on each type of pre-university course.

  • Foundation - A fast track option among the pre-university programme
  • A-Level - Find out how A-Levels can help you pursue your education at some of the top universities around the world.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) - A globally recognized pre-university qualification that help promotes critical and independent thinking.
  • Diploma - Another popular pre-university option and widely recognized by the workforce, you can pursue a diploma if you want to work immediately.
  • American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP) - Secure a direct entry into the undergraduate level after SPM with the prestigious ADP programme. 
  • Australian Pre-University Programme - If you're keen on studying in the Land Down Under, you can consider the Australian pre-university programmes such as SACE, WACE/AUSMAT, and NSW HSC. 
  • Canadian Pre-University (CPU) - If you’re thinking of pursuing your degree in Canada or anywhere else, CPU is definitely an option you should consider.  
  • Public Pre-University Programme - If you wish to save costs and study internationally recognized courses, you should consider the public pre-university programmes such as STPM, Matriculation, etc. 

We wish you all the best!

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