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STPM vs Matrikulasi

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 23, 2017, 02:46 pm

SPM results were released, and now, students have slowly begun to think about their next step in life. If you intend to go on to obtain a Degree, your first step will be obtaining a pre-university qualification. 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, STPM & Matrikulasi.


What are the requirements?

requirement to stpm

What are grades that are needed to apply for STPM and Matrikulasi? – Image via Pexels


The general requirements are: Pass SPM with a Credit in Bahasa Malaysia. However, to obtain a place a certain stream, there are more detailed requirements. To qualify to the Social Sciences, the number of units for the three best subjects must not exceed 12, for the Science stream, the number of units not must not exceed 18 points, while for Religious Studies, it must not exceed 14.



The requirements for Matrikulasi are slightly more complicated. You can refer to the official website of the Ministry of Education (MOE) here to read on them.

How long are they?

phone calendar

Matrikulasi has two programmes with different durations. – Image via Pexels


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 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


What will they look like?


Both STPM and Matrikulasi will require your total marks from your exams and assignments for the final mark – Image via Pexels


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.


Stream 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.
  • TESL Stream
  • Law Stream
  • Engineering Stream

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


When are the intakes?


Both of the intakes start on May – Image via Pexels


May of every year


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


How will you be graded?


STPM students have a chance of improving their results – Image via Pexels


Students will receive the results of each term. They can improve exam results of P1 and P2 with examinations U1 and / or U2. Assessment of student’s achievement and examination results are based on three terms. The overall results of the STPM are the best cumulative results for the three terms as follows: Best [(P1 or U1) + (P2 or U2) + P3 + Coursework]



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).


How much do they cost?


Consider Matrikulasi if you are looking for more reasonable fees – Image via Pexels


Less than RM1,000



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


Who is it for?

best choice

After reading all these advices, consider what your best choice would be and choose wisely – Image via Pexels


  • 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!



  • 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 

Consider your limitations when you decide to choose between STPM and Matrikulasi – Image via Pexels


  • 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.


  • You Want to Study Overseas

Matrikulasi 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 Matrikulasi students still need to prep up in formal attire. While this is but a small detail, some may be put off by this.

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