Which Should You Choose Between A-Level and STPM

A Level vs STPM Feature

Many students have debated for years whether A-Level or STPM is the superior option.
In search of answers, people will go great distances to question relatives, seniors, instructors, and anybody else who can provide them with the most real answers. Some people may even ask the topic in online forums, social media groups, or on Google in order to get more information.

However, the fact is that no single path is superior than the others (yes, this applies to other Pre-U courses as well). Based on your needs and tastes, there is only one course that is right for you.
As a result, we’ve split down both A-Level and STPM into distinct areas of consideration so that you can make a better educated selection.


#1. How long will you be studying?

Duration of Study: A-Level vs. STPM

A-Level: Duration varies based on the intake, ranging from 15 to 24 months. Most institutions have many intakes throughout the year, with the most common being in January, March, July, and September.

STPM: 18-month programme with only one admission each year in May.


What You Should Think About:

Are you pressed for time to finish your studies?

If you’re thinking about taking STPM, you’ll have to wait roughly 5 months after finishing SPM to begin your studies.

A-Level, on the other hand, has admissions in January and March, allowing for the most efficient use of time. If you choose the January or March intakes, you will be up to 6 months ahead of your STPM colleagues.

Bottom Line: If you’re not in a hurry, STPM is a viable option. Choose A-Level if you want to get started right away.

#2. How much is it going to cost?

Costs of Study for A-Level vs. STPM

A-Level: Fees at International Schools can range from RM16,000 to RM120,000!
Many universities, on the other hand, provide scholarships (up to 100% tuition cost remission) if you achieve excellent SPM grades. #ohyes

STPM: The entire cost is less than RM1,000, making it one of the most affordable options for higher education!


What to Think About: Are fees a major worry for you?
Consult your parents to find out how much money they have set up for you.

The majority of college and university scholarships are partial scholarships, which means you will still have to pay a portion of your tuition.

Even if you receive a full A-Level scholarship, you may still be responsible for other charges and expenditures, such as Cambridge exam fees, lab fees, and accommodation fees if you are living away from home.

Bottom Line: If money is a big factor for you, STPM is the way to go.

#3. What subjects are available to you?

Subjects in A-Level vs. STPM

A-Level: Provides a diverse selection of courses, including Languages & Literature, Social Sciences, Arts, Sports, and Science.

STPM: This programme covers a comparable variety of topics.

Most schools, on the other hand, give fixed lists of curriculum to Form 6 classes. It may be difficult for you to choose and choose subjects as you like.


What to Think About: Are you going to take classes or subject combinations that aren’t as well-known as others?
Both A-Level and STPM are meant to appeal to a varied group of students with a variety of interests.In actuality, however, not all schools or institutions are able to provide such a broad range of disciplines due to low student enrollment or a shortage of experienced professors or lecturers.

You are more likely to be able to choose “niche” courses for A-Level, such as Psychology, as well as subject combinations that include both Arts and Science. STPM, on the other hand, may be more restrictive in terms of subjects and subject combinations, restricting you to a limited number of options.

The idea is to conduct some research and find particular colleges or institutions that offer the topics and subject combinations that you are interested in.

Bottom Line: A-Level is a better choice if you want greater flexibility and freedom to choose your preferred group of topics.


#4. Will my credentials be recognised?

A-Level vs. STPM – What’s the Difference?

A-Level: One of the most well-known credentials in the world is the A-Level.

However, only a few public institutions in the area accept A-Levels. This is to make place for students enrolled in locally run Pre-University programmes such as STPM, Matrikulasi, Asasi, and other similar programmes.

STPM: STPM is also extensively recognised on a global scale.
STPM is recognised by both private and governmental institutions in the United States, as well as colleges across the world.


What You Should Think About:

Where do you want to further your education?
Students who take A-Levels often have a strong desire to pursue their degrees abroad, whereas STPM students will want to attend Malaysian state universities.

Both A-Level and STPM are accepted in local private colleges if you wish to study there. However, keep in mind that certain disciplines, such as Veterinary Science, are not available at local private institutions.

Bottom Line: If you wish to study at one of Malaysia’s public institutions, STPM is the best option. Because many STPM topics are taught in Malay, A-Level is often a preferable choice if you wish to continue your education overseas.


#6. What criteria will be used to evaluate you?

Assessment of A-Level vs. STPM

A-Level: A-Level is entirely exam-based and is divided into two parts: AS Level and A2 Level. Each component counts for half of your final A-Level grade.

STPM: School-based evaluations are weighted between 20% and 40%. For centralised exams, the weightage ranges from 60% to 80%.


What to Think About: Are you looking for a “simple” Pre-University course?
Despite the fundamental differences between A-Level and STPM, both courses are quite demanding.

Representatives from Cambridge International Examinations set and mark A-Level papers (CIE). The Malaysian Examinations Council (MPM) grades STPM papers, and your results will be reviewed and verified by a representative from Cambridge Assessment in the United Kingdom.

Because the syllabuses are far more in-depth and concentrated (compared to SPM), you can anticipate to study extra hard.

It doesn’t matter which is more difficult; the reality remains that both A-Level and STPM demand a significant amount of dedication and discipline on your part.

Bottom Line: Both A-Level and STPM are a massive no-no if you want to easily move to your Degree. Instead, look into alternative Pre-University options including the American Degree Program (ADP), Canadian Pre-University (CPU), or Foundation courses.

It is critical that you select a Pre-U curriculum that matches your tastes and learning style. If you choose the incorrect Pre-U course, you may struggle and risk jeopardising your marks and


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