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Matriculation vs IPTA Asasi

Published by Afterschool.my on Jun 11, 2021, 05:16 am

With your SPM results, the next immediate thing you need to do is to research about pre-university courses especially f you intend to go on and obtain a Degree. We at afterschool.my, will do comparisons between some of the most popular pre-university courses. Today, we will compare two extremely popular options for students looking to get into public universities & a cost effective method, Matriculation & Foundation. 

Now, lets find out.

What are the requirements needed?


The requirements of Foundation Programmes are direct but not the same for every university – Image via Pixabay


The requirements for Matriculation slightly more complicated, as they employ a merit based system. You may refer to the official website of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to read about them in detail.


The requirements for Foundation programmes are much more direct, and differ based on which university you apply to. Some have higher requirements, and some have lower ones. You can go to Unit Pusat Universiti (UPU) website for more information. 

How long will they be?



Matriculation 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



The Foundation programme lasts only one year.


What will they look like?

students assignments and exams

The final grade for Matriculation depends on the student’s assignments and exams – Image via Pixabay


Streams for Matriculation:

  • 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.


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.


When are the intakes?

Application form

Both Matriculation and Foundation require you to apply online – Image via Pixabay


May intake (Applications have to be made online on the official website which will be opened around the month of July – November)


Applications for Foundation is made online through Unit Pusat Universiti (UPU) website, and will be open around February each year.


How will you be graded?


The Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system is used to assess your performance – Image via Pixabay


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).


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.

How much do they cost?

cost and financial

Before you choose, you need to check between the cost and financial benefits – Image via Pixabay


Registration Fee is LESS than RM600. Semester based allowance of RM250.


The tuition fees are subsidised by the government. In addition, students will be given an allowance of RM1, 250 per semester. RM350 per semester for tuition fees and RM360 per semester for accommodation are also awarded. Students stay in hostels that are provided by the universities.


Who is it for?

check list

Consider making a checklist for what you want and don’t want when choosing between Matriculation or Foundation – Image via Pixabay


  • You Want a Well-Rounded Education

Matriculation 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, Matriculation is a very good option.

  • You’re Looking for a Budget Option

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


  • You Know Exactly What to Study

Foundation 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 some universities as a prep for their degree programme, even switching universities is tough.


  • You Want a Fast Option Towards a Degree

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


  • You’re Looking for a Budget Option

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


Who it isn’t for?


If you still unsure about what you want to study then don’t choose Foundation Programme – Image via Pixabay


  • You Want to Study Overseas

Matriculation is meant for students who want to continue studying at public universities. If you DO want to overseas, recognition may be hard to come by as only Indonesia, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand among others do accept it, and even then, at select courses only. Not the ideal choice if you do intend to go overseas, although IT IS possible.

  • You Want the Full College Experience

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


  • You Want to go Overseas

Foundation Programmes are 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, a Foundation 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.

Related articles: 

Which Pre-U Course is Right for You?

STPM vs Matrikulasi

Which Pre-U Qualification Is Accepted by the 5 of the Top Universities in the World?

6 things to do after you've gotten your SPM results

What to do after SPM and before university

What are your options after SPM/STPM

To find out more about scholarships and courses, click here and here.

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