Options After SPM

Options After SPM

BY R. Lee, Malaysia Education Fair Writer


WONDERING what to do next now that you’ve completed Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)? You’re not alone. In fact, most of us were in that situation once and it definitely was not a pleasant one to endure.


While many believe that school-leavers have the luxury of spending a few short months to kick-back, relax and enjoy their time doing what they please until the SPM results are announced, it isn’t the case – especially amid the on-going Covid-19 pandemic which has caused drastic changes in economies and industries, including the education sector.


This is the period where most, if not all school-leavers, would be thinking (and most likely secretly worrying and stressing) about how successful they want to be in their career and future. This translates to choosing the “perfect” study programme that can help them achieve their goals.


Here are a few popular post-SPM options:



Equivalent to A-levels, STPM – which takes about 2 years to complete – is recognised around the world. And, it is free of charge! Students who choose this option will also stand a chance to be accepted into public universities.



A 100% exam-based pre-university programme that takes between 1.5 years to 2 years to complete. It follows the UK education system, allowing students to take a minimum of three subjects out of the 60 available subjects. Recognised worldwide and gives students flexibility in choosing country of study and university after completion.



Students who have a specific Bachelor’s degree and university in mind can take this option. It is a 1-year pathway to get a foot into your university of choice.


Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET)

Great for students who prefer hands-on or practical experience. It is a misconception to think that TVET is only for the academically weak or those with low career prospects. In reality, TVET graduates have a high rate of employability that commands an attractive salary.


Local Matriculation

This cost-effective option is for students keen on studying in public universities because matriculation almost guarantees a spot in local universities. However, once the student completes matriculation and proceeds to university, he or she may not get the degree programme and university of their choice.



A diploma is more practical while a degree course leans towards being theoretical and academic. Taking a diploma is one of the fastest methods to employment if the student prefers to enter the workforce upon completion of the course. However, the student can also opt to continue onto Year 2 of the degree if your college or university offers the degree, or opt to transfer credits to another higher learning institution.


American Degree Transfer Programme (ADTP/ADP)

With a broad-based and flexible curriculum, ADTP allows students to skip the pre-university stage and directly graduate with a degree in their chosen field after completion of this course. Students enrolled in the ADTP have the option of spending 1 or 2 years in Malaysia, and the rest of the ADP’s years in a university located in the USA or Canada. This way, the cost of taking up a full degree in the USA is greatly reduced. However, it is important for students to note that studying in the USA is what they really want because ADTP cannot be used to enter into degree programmes at other private universities in Malaysia, UK or Australia.


International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

IB is not for fainthearted students. Recognised worldwide, the IB system is structured in a way which produces students knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of the sciences and arts. IB students are required to complete courses and assessments on two subjects: Creative, Action and Service Activities (CAS), and Theory of Knowledge (TOK).


Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) / South Australian Matriculation (SACEi)

Recognised worldwide and recommended for students keen on furthering studies in Australia. The 1-year course provides students flexibility in choosing country of study and university after completion. Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) is administered by the Western Australian Government, while the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) International comes under the South Australian government. While the two are different programmes, they are similar in every way, with the exception of the weight of assessments. AUSMAT offers students with 50% school-based assessments and 50% exams and SACEi offers students with 70% school-based assessments and 30% exams.


Canadian Pre-University (CPU)

This option is recommended for students who prefer assignments and coursework. Unlike A-Levels or STPM, CPU puts emphasis on real world and practical skills, through assessments which include presentations and projects, among others. It is 70% coursework and 30% final exam. CPU students are also required to finish a specific number of hours of Community Service. This programme allows students to venture to countries worldwide instead of just Canadian universities for their degrees.


Decisions, decisions. With this many choices, it is unsurprising that school-leavers are having a tough time making up their minds. This is on top of fending off pressure from parents who may want them to enroll in the “traditionally desired” programmes such as medicine, engineering, accounting and law.


Making such decisions would be much easier with the help of experts at the upcoming education fair organised by Malaysia Education Fair – which has over 20 year of experience in the Higher Education sector.


The Malaysia Education Fair will be held on April 17 and 18 at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre from 11am to 6pm. All-under-one-roof, the fair will house an array of higher-learning institutions – including Quest University Perak, UOW KDU Malaysia, AIMST University, SEGI College, TARUC & many more – with trained education counsellors and experts who are ready to answer every query about courses offered, scholarships, taking the next step, and more, you or your parents may have.


Log onto www.malaysiaeducation.com.my for more information, or contact Leong and Jasmine at info@successgroup.com.my from 9am to 7pm on Monday to Friday.