What’s next after SPM?
After attending a decade year of school and you did well on your SPM, the celebration has ended, and the excitement has cool off, what’s next? This is the common dilemma faced by the majority of school leavers after SPM! A few of you would already have a plan and knows exactly what you want to do, which college or university you will attend, and what career you will embark on, but the majority of you are not sure yet. Let me help you to explore your options.
First, decide either you want to attend a government or private education institution. This will help you to choose the pre-university course that you need to complete for you to proceed with your tertiary education based on the industry or career that you have chosen. Below chart present the options that you have moving forward after SPM:
Government matriculation programme that covers science, technical or accounting streams that cater for entry into public universities in Malaysia.
Consist of 5 courses in Science, Accounting or Technical discipline.
General assessments include coursework and examinations for an average duration of 12 months. Average tuition fee is not less than RM1,000.
Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM)
A widely recognized Malaysian Pre-University Programme that caters for Arts or Science Streams.
Consist 4 or 5 courses in Science or Non-Science discipline.
General assessments are 100% examinations for an average duration of 18 months. Average tuition fee is not less than RM1,000.
A foundation programme designed by the individual university, which is geared towards the degree programmes of that particular university.
The number of courses varies depending on the programmes and the Institutions, usually in the Arts or Science discipline.
General assessments include coursework and examinations for an average duration of 12 months. Average tuition fee is around RM18,000.
A widely accepted pre-university programme from the UK.
Consist 3 or 4 courses in Science or Non-Science discipline.
General assessments are 100% examinations for an average duration of 18 months. Average tuition fee is around RM28,000.
Australian Pre-university Programmes
Australian pre-university programmes that lead to an Australian Year 12 qualification.
Consist of 5 courses, including English. The courses can be a combination of different disciplines.
General assessments includes 30% - 40% coursework and 50% - 70% examinations for an average duration of 10 months. Average tuition fee is around RM21,000.
Canadian Pre-university Programmes
Canadian pre-university programmes that are equivalent to a Secondary School Diploma in Canada.
Consist of 6 courses. The courses can be a combination of different disciplines.
General assessments include 70% coursework and 30% examinations for an average duration of 15 months. Average tuition fee is around RM28,000.
An industry-related academic programme that awards students with a ‘Diploma’ upon completion of the programme. It prepares the students straight into the workforce.
The number of courses and type of discipline varies depending on the programmes.
General assessments include coursework and examinations for an average duration of 2 – 3 years. Average tuition fee is around RM35,000.
American Degree Program (ADP)
A degree programme based on the American Education System. A pathway to enter an American or Canadian institution.
The number of courses varies and usually cover both the arts and science disciplines.
General assessments include 70% coursework and 30% examinations for an average duration of 4 years. Average tuition fee is around RM40,000.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
A pre-university programme from Switzerland, which is known for its curriculum being well-balanced but academically challenging.
1 course each from 6 groups of disciplines at different difficulty levels, plus 3 ‘components’ based on chosen discipline.
90% Internal and external assessments which includes 20% - 50% coursework and 50% - 80% examinations, and 10% ‘core component’ for an average duration of 2 years. Average tuition fee is around RM20,000 to RM100,000.
So which programme is the right one for me?
There are other considerations you need to ponder on to make the right choice for you. Common questions you should ask yourself:
- Can my parents/family afford to bear the cost throughout my study? What are my options for financial aid?
- Am I more academically inclined and do better with examinations? – Then I should consider STPM or ADP.
- Do I prefer a programme that offers a wider breadth of knowledge? – Then I should consider Australian Pre-U, Canadian Pre-U, ADP or IBDP programmes.
- How much time do I want to invest? – If you are not keen to take too long before you start your career, then you can consider a shorter course.
- If I have made up my mind on the degree I would like to study, which programme should I take? – Depending on the type of degree, you can enroll for foundation studies, Diploma or ADP programmes.
- Should I go overseas or stay local?
- Do I want or need specific hands-on learning, develop specific skill such as critical thinking or ready for a specific job?
Other factors to consider when choosing the institution or programme are:
- When and where will you graduate?
- Transportation cost, availability, and convenience
- Grocery, food and other facilities’ availability and convenience
- Accommodation cost, availability, and convenience
- Academic and personal support
- Accreditation (institution and programme)
- Other hidden costs
With all the options available for you and tips to choose what is right for you, don’t fret too much, ask for advice from your family members, friends, teachers, and seniors as well as do some research and you will be okay. Good luck and all the best in taking the first step into a successful future.