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STPM vs Matriculation vs Asasi: The Ultimate Showdown

Published by Afterschool.my on Jul 12, 2017, 05:28 pm

In a time where success seems to come to those of a younger age, many school-going students already feel the premature pressure of making the right choice when it comes to college/university. The first step of course, is choosing the right pre-university course, and there are three extremely popular options offered by the government, STPM and Matriculation via the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Asasi via the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). So which one should you choose? Here, we break down the must know details and help your make the right, first step.

1. Requirements

STPM

At least grade C for three subjects, or at least a grade C in two subjects and a pass in four subjects.

Matrikulasi

Science Stream

1. C in Bahasa Melayu

2. C in English

3. B in Mathematics

4. C in Additional Mathematics

5. C in Chemistry

6. C in either one (1) of the following subjects:

– Physics

– Biology

Accountancy Stream

1. C in Bahasa Melayu

2. C in English

3. C in Mathematics

4. E in Additional Mathematics

5. C in either two (2) of the following subjects:

– Prinsip Akaun

– Basic Economics

– Entrepreneurship

– Perdagangan (Commerce)

– Additional Science

– Physics

– Chemistry

– Biology

– Technical related subject

Technical Stream

1. C in Bahasa Melayu

2. C in English

3. B in Mathematics

4. C in Additional Mathematics

5. C in Physics

6. C in either one (1) of the Technical subjects

7. E in Chemistry

8. B in Technical Drawings

The minimum qualification requirement for a two-year Matriculation programme:

1. C in Bahasa Melayu

2. C in English

3. C in Mathematics

4. C in Chemistry

5. D in Mathematics

6. C in either one (1) of the following subjects:

-Physics

-Biology

Asasi

The requirements for Asasi are much more direct, and differ based on which university you apply to. Some have higher requirements, and some have lower ones. All of them though can be checked via the UPU system.

2. Duration

STPM

STPM itself takes 18 months in total, with only ONE intake in May every year. However, it should be noted that IF you intend to apply to a public university, you would have to wait another 6 months, putting the grand total at 24 months.

Matrikulasi

Matrikulasi has two programmes with different durations:

• One Year Programme (or, Program Satu Tahun, in short, PST): 12 months

• Two Year Programme (Program Dua Tahun, in short, PDT): 24 months

Asasi

The Asasi programme lasts only one year.

3. Structure

STPM

STPM is divided into 3 parts, with each part consisting of ONE term (One part = One term)

School-based assessment (projects, practical) count for 20-40% of your total grade, whereas common or centralised examinations count for 60-80% of your grade, varying with each subject. There will be 23 different subjects to choose from, ranging from Arabic Language to Information and Communications Technology. However, you can only take up to a maximum of five subjects, including the compulsory General Studies.

Matrikulasi

Streams for Matrikulasi:

  • Science stream (one-year PST or two-year PDT): For Science stream students, ONLY
  • Accounting stream (one-year PST only): For Science & Arts Stream Students
  • Technical stream (one-year PST only): For students from technical schools.

Your final grade is a combination of classroom assignments & examinations.

Asasi

Exams are done on a semester basis. Depending on the IPTA, there may be additional exams. For example, IIUM requires a test in the Arabic language through the Arabic Placement Test (APT).

Grades are based on the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) system. The highest CGPA is 4.0, and students are expected to obtain 2.0 and above to be able to move on to their respective degree programmes.

4. Intakes

STPM

The STPM registration usually opens in January and is done once enrolled in a school. Candidates may refer to the STPM calendar published on MEC's portal http://www.mpm.edu.my. The announcements are also made in the local media.

Matrikulasi

Open now till March 18, 2018 (Only for SPM students).

Asasi

Applications for Asasi is made online through UPU and is currently open

5. Grading System

STPM

Each grade carries a specific Subject Grade Point (SGP), with 4.00 (Grade A) as the highest. Your overall SGP will be aggregated by taking into account your four highest SGPs. Don't get confused, a SGP is not to dissimilar to a CGPA. 

Matrikulasi

Grading is similar to those of public universities, where the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is used to assess your performance. Your final CGPA grade is computed from all your Grade Point Averages (GPA) which you will obtain every semester. (Grades: CGPA = A- : 3.67, B+: 3.33, B: 3.00, B-: 2.67, etc).

Asasi

Grades are based on the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) system. The highest CGPA is 4.0, and students are expected to obtain 2.0 and above. This is similar to the grading system in Matrikulasi. 

6. Cost

STPM

Less than RM1,000

Matrikulasi

Registration Fee of LESS than RM600 based on chosen stream. Semester based allowance of RM1,250.00

Asasi

The tuition fees are subsidised by the government. The registration fee must still be paid for some institutions (e.g. UM's fee is around RM800.00). The allowance also varies based on institutions (UM's allowance is RM1,250.00 with accommodation and tuition also paid for).

7. Who is it for?

STPM

  • You’re Looking for a Budget Option

STPM may be difficult and comprehensive, but it comes bundled with a price tag that would make other options stare with envy. The total cost of STPM doesn’t even cross the RM1,000 mark, making it an incredible option for students who are cost conscious (EVERY student, basically).

  • You Don’t Know if you Want to Study Locally or Abroad

If you’re still undecided whether you want to proceed to study at an IPTA or overseas, then STPM would be the best option as far as pre-u programmes go. It’s accepted in every public university in Malaysia, and widely accepted overseas as well, leaving you with a multitude of options when you finally do graduate.

  • You’re Up for a Challenge

While STPM may not be as difficult as the exaggerated manner it has been perceived by some, it’s no walk in the park. There is no such thing as an easy pre-university course, but STPM IS one of the more difficult ones, requiring effort both in and out of the classroom. Be prepared to think outside the box!

Matrikulasi

  • You Want a Well-Rounded Education

Matrikulasi provides emphasis on the three cornerstones of a pre-university course, namely examinations, cocurricular activities as well as character/personality development. Students looking for something more than just 100% exams should consider this option.

  • You Want a Fast Option Towards a Degree

With the one year option, you potentially have the fastest route to obtaining a Degree as far as pre-university courses go (Only SACE/AUSMAT is shorter). If you want to get a head start by gaining your Degree as fast as possible, Matrikulasi is a very good option.

  • You’re Looking for a Budget Option

Matrikulasi is actually FREE (With the exception of the registration free you will have to pay, a nominal fee less than RM600).

Asasi

  • You Know Exactly What to Study

Asasi leaves little wriggle room to change your chosen course. Like a foundation programme, it's for those who know exactly what field they want to go into and have next to no doubts about it. Because it is tailor made by soem universities as a prep for their degree programme, even switching universities is tough.

  • You Want a Fast Option Towards a Degree

Like Matrikulasi, this is an accelerated programme that will last you only a year.

  • You’re Looking for a Budget Option

Like Matrikulasi as well, the programme is subsidised by to government.

8. Who it isn't for

 STPM

  • You Want a Fast Pre-U Course

While STPM may only be an 18-month course from start to the release of results, you will need to wait an additional 5-6 months for public university intakes, a grand total of 2 years. If you’re just looking for the fastest route to a Degree, then this isn’t it.

  • You Don’t Test Well

Some students fare much better with classroom activities and assignments, where they truly flourish during programmes that emphasise this. STPM is NOT one of those pre-university courses, with heavy emphasis on exams being the name of the game.

  • You Can’t Handle Pressure

With the aura of increasing difficulty surrounding STPM, you’ll constantly hear people talk about how tough it is, and how much effort you’ll have to put in. If you’re someone who handles pressure horribly and cannot take it, then perhaps STPM is not the way for you to go.

Matrikulasi

  •  Your Dream is to Study Overseas

Matrikulasi is meant for students who want to continue studying at public universities. If you DO want to overseas, recognition is given by countries like Indonesia, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand among other however, this is only at select universities in certain courses only. Not the ideal choice if you have your heart set on going abroad, although do note that it is still possible.

  • You Want the Full College Experience

While STPM students are now allowed to use normal civilian clothing to class Matrikulasi students still need to prep up in formal attire. While this is but a small detail, some may be put off by this.

Asasi

  • You Want to go Overseas

Asasi is tailor made to continue on with a degree programme at the chosen university. While going overseas is technically possible, it would be remarkably difficult .

  • You Don't Know What To Study

Like While pre-u courses like STPM still give you time to figure out what you like and prefer, an Asasi programme will limit your options. If you aren't certain about what field to pursue as of yet, it might be best to look elsewhere.

Click here to view Scholarships for Malaysians (July 2017)

Click here to view the Skim Prihatin Pendidikan 1Malaysia (SPP1M) Guide

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