australian matriculation

Study A-Levels vs AUSMAT in Malaysia.

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Choosing a pre-university program is as important as choosing the degree program a student wants to pursue  as both play a symbiotic role. It determines the students’ study paths and the opportunity for them to enrol into the top universities both abroad and locally. 

However, students are often confused with the wide selection of pre-university courses available, such as A-Levels, Australian Matriculation and Foundation, all of which have different study structures. 

The Australian Matriculation program provides two different pre university  programs under it namely, SACE the South Australian Certificate of Education and AUSMAT, the Western Australia Certificate of Education. 

At the end of the day, the battle narrows down between the best two pre-university programs are A-Levels and the Australian Matriculation, for students who would like to pursue their tertiary studies abroad especially in the UK or Australia. 

This article will be focusing on the differences between A-Levels and the Australian Matriculation. By the end of this article, you should be able to differentiate on both of the programs, A-Levels and AUSMAT.

What is A-Levels & SACE/ AUSMAT?

A-Levels is one of the most recognized pre-university programs that are accepted worldwide, and is mostly taken by students who want to pursue their degree in the UK. Known to be one of the most established pre-university programs and is recognised by top universities worldwide, including Ivy League universities. It’s often used as a benchmark for university placements. 

That doesn’t make the SACE/AUSMAT program any less. It is also a recognized pre-university program accepted worldwide and is mostly taken by students who would want to pursue their higher studies in Australia. 

Although both of the pre-university programs are widely accepted in universities around the world. It depends on the student on where they would like to pursue their degree program. If it’s the UK, then it’s advisable to enrol in the A-Levels program as it is accepted by all the top tier universities in the UK,

But if you have already made up your mind on studying in Australia, then SACE/AUSMAT would be the right choice. 

However both pre-university programs do not restrict students from applying for universities in other countries as most students have also been accepted in universities in New Zealand, Singapore, and even in the States.

Conclusion: If you have already made up your mind of studying in the UK then A-Levels would be a right choice but if you want to study in Australia then SACE/AUSMAT would be a great choice.

Program Duration for A-Levels & SACE/ AUSMAT

A-Levels roughly takes a minimum of 18 months to complete. Most students who have a clear idea of what they would like to pursue usually apply right after completing their SPM. However, the intake dates for A-Levels vary according to the higher institutions. Some might even have two to three intakes per year. Since it’s an 18 month-long program, students who have decided that they want to pursue their studies in the UK would usually enrol in the January intake as the UK’s annual intake is in September. 

SACE/AUSMAT, on the other hand, takes about 10-12 months to complete, which comes to a year when roughly calculated. It makes it the program for students who want to pursue their higher education in Australia as their intakes start in February/ March or June/ July. 

Conclusion: If you want a program with a shorter period and would allow you to get a headstart among your friends then you should opt for SACE/AUSMAT but if you’re not rushing to complete you pre-university and would like to study more in-depth of the subjects that you have chosen then A-Levels should be your choice.

For more information on A-Levels, click here to read our article on it. 

Program Structure of A-Levels & SACE/ AUSMAT

However, although students might only be required to take the minimum of 3 subjects for A-Levels, it does not mean they have got it easy. A-Levels covers the subject that students have chosen in-depth, which means you are not merely covering the subject’s surface. Their exams are challenging as they always test the students’ understanding of the particular topic. A-Levels are usually taken by students who have decided to take up challenging and competitive degrees such as Medicine or Engineering. 

The A-Level program is structured into two levels; the first part being Advanced Subsidiary (AS Level) and the second part known as A2. 

  • Advanced Subsidiary (AS Level): This is where students will usually learn the introduction of the subjects they’ve chosen or could be known as the foundation of A-Levels. 
  • A2: The second half of the program, where students will be covering more in-depth of the subjects they’ve chosen. 

On the other hand, under SACE/AUSMAT, there are two different certification programs that students can enrol into SACE/AUSMAT. Students must take 5 subjects, although 5 subjects might seem a lot they would not be going too in-depth on each subject. SACE/AUSMAT provides more flexibility to explore a broader range of subjects as students will pick subjects from different streams. However, although SACE and AUSMAT are Australian pre-university programs, they have their differences when it comes to the grading system.

The main differences between SACE and AUSMAT are:

South Australian Certification of Education (SACE)

  • Governed by the South Australian government 
  • The course would be graded on a 70% coursework and 30% examination

Western Australian Certificate of Education (AUSMAT)

  • Governed by the Western Australian government
  • The course would be graded on 50% coursework and 50% examination

However, both programs would need students to have prerequisite subjects before choosing their subjects, especially if they’re looking to enrol under the science stream. 

Conclusion: If you prefer to study more in-depth for your pre-university subjects, A-Levels would be a great choice but if you like studying more subjects without dwelling into too deep, SACE/AUSMAT it is.

For more information on SACE/AUSMAT, please click here to read our article on it. 

Academic Assessment for A-Levels & SACE/ AUSMAT

A-Levels: Is a 100% exam based program that is split up into 2 parts. AS Level and A2 Level, both parts equally contribute 50% towards the student’s final grade.

SACE/AUSMAT: Students will be graded based on a combination of coursework and exam. However, the ratio differs for both the SACE and AUSMAT program. SACE carries a 70% coursework and 30% exam rate while AUSMAT carries an equal 50% for both coursework and exam. 

The final grade for SACE/AUSMAT is known as ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). However, ATAR is a rank and not a mark;it provides a measure of a student’s overall academic achievement as compared to his/her coursemates. The score is calculated based on the students results at the end of the program. The score is calculated based on four of the highest scoring subjects and 50% from the 5th highest scoring subject.

This means the students overall percentage from the five subjects will be used to compare his/her ranking to others. For example, an ATAR of 90 means you have performed better than 90% of your coursemates who took the program with you

If you’re comfortable reliving the SPM days and performing better in exams than A-Levels should be a problem for you, however, bear in mind that it’s not similar to SPM where you memorize a whole textbook and sit for an exam. A-Levels test your analytic skills and the mind. Therefore you really need to be prepared for their exams. 

If you’re someone who would strive better by combining coursework and examination, SACE/AUSMAT would be the ideal choice for you. 

Conclusion: If you’re someone who does crack under pressure and can perform well under exams (as A-Levels is a 100% exam based program) A-Levels would be the perfect suit for you but if you do not want your final grade to be depending only one exam and would like to have a combination of both exams and coursework, you should choose SACE/AUSMAT.

Entry Requirement for A-Levels & SACE/ AUSMAT

A-Levels & SACE/AUSMAT 

SPM/IGCSE 

Minimum 5 credits (including English and relevant subjects to course)

O Level

Minimum 5 credits ( relevant subjects to course)

UEC

Minimum 5 credits ( relevant subjects to course)

Conclusion: The entry requirement for both the programs is the same however it depends on the student on which pre university program that they would prefer to enrol in.

For more details on the entry requirement please contact Excel Education

Program Fees for A-Levels & SACE/ AUSMAT

The rough cost estimation for A-Levels is between RM16,000 to RM45,000 while for AUSMAT is between RM14,000 to RM35,000.

A-Levels might be slightly more expensive than SACE/AUSMAT as the course duration is generally longer than SACE/AUSMAT which is about 15 – 25 months compared to SACE/AUSMAT which is about 10 -12 months long. 

 However, plenty of universities are now offering scholarships for pre-university programs that reduce the students and parents’ financial burden. 

Conclusion: If you’re looking for a more affordable program and want to be done with your pre-university program, fast SACE/AUSMAT would be the right choice.

For more details on the program fees, please contact Excel Education

Differences Between A-Levels & AUSMAT

 

A-Levels

SACE/AUSMAT

Syllabus 

UK 

Australia 

Duration 

18 months 

10-12 months 

Subjects 

Min 3 

Min 5

Assessment 

100% Exam 

Coursework and Exams 

Tuition Fees

Higher Cost

Lower Cost 

Program Recognition 

Worldwide 

Worldwide

Well, that’s the end of the comparison between A-Levels and AUSMAT. Hope this article has given you a clearer picture on how both the programs work. If you would like to have more details on either one of the above programs, do not hesitate to contact us at Excel Education for a free consultation.

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Rebecca Visvanathan

Caffeine addict thats constantly on the run!

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Which Pre-Uni Should You Choose: Foundation, A-Level, SAM, or AUSMAT?

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What's a Pre-University program?

Choosing the right path of study is crucial for the future. If you have taken your SPM/UEC, the next thing to think about is: what’s next? If your next decision is to pursue a degree, then the next step you are most likely to take is doing a Pre-University program.

A Pre-University program is a preparatory course that aims to provide students with essential skills and knowledge that helps them to handle the challenges of an undergraduate course.

In Malaysia, there are numerous different pre-university programs that are offered by universities and it can surely be challenging to find one that best suits you. It is necessary to spend some time finding out more about each type of pre-university program so that your transition into a bachelor’s degree will be much easier. That’s why here, we’ll help you clarify different pre-university programs such as:

  1. Foundation Program
  2. A-Level
  3. South Australian Matriculation (SAM) and Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)

and get you a better understanding of each of them!

Foundation Program

What is Foudation?

Certain qualification does not allow students to enter University directly. So, the Foundation program will be the key for the students to enter the University. At the same time, pursuing foundation program helps students to build up their understanding towards the field that they are interested in. For international students, it helps them to improve their English language skills while learning the basics of their field. Foundation Program comes with several benefits.

Benefits of Foundation Program

  • Short Study Duration

Usually, the University foundation program will only take 12 months to be completed. It is considered as a short duration because the alternative option which is the A-Level, will take 18-24 months to be completed. Shorter the duration means lesser the cost. The average price for the Foundation Program in Malaysia is RM 16,000 but it may vary at each university.

  • Opportunity to settle into tertiary studies

Tertiary studies are significantly different than how we are used to studying in school. The style of learning will be more independent and the interaction with lecturers will be lower. It could be a challenge for the students but it will be a chance for them to adapt to the changes and prepare themselves to continue with their tertiary studies.

  • Study area

The Foundation program is short and focused on a particular area of study. It will prepare the students with the basics of their chosen field. Subjects that the students learn in this program will be the fundamental components of their chosen area of study.

Types of Foundation Program in Malaysia

There are many top private universities in Malaysia that offers different foundation programs. There are some foundation programs like engineering and science which are available in many Universities and there are some rare programs such as the arts and creative media fields that are only available in certain Universities. Therefore, knowing which program suits you the most is important. The entry requirement may vary for different programs and different places. These are some of the Foundation Program available in Malaysia:

  • Foundation In Science
  • Foundation In Engineering
  • Foundation In Business 
  • Foundation In Arts
  • Foundation In Information Technology
  • Foundation In Communication 
  • Foundation In Design
  • Foundation In Law

Top Universities to study Foundation Program in Malaysia

These are the recommended and well-reputed Universities in Malaysia to study foundation program:

1. UCSI University

UCSI University is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This can be a desirable choice for you. Ucsi has managed to be ranked as Malaysia’s top private university in the QS World University Ranking 2020. UCSI University is also one of the largest universities in Malaysia with over 12,000 students. UCSI offers a number of foundation programs.

Foundation Program In UCSI University

Program

Tuition Fee

Foundation in Arts (Arts and Design)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

Foundation In Arts (Hospitality and Tourism)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

Foundation In Science (Applied Science)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

Foundation In Science (Engineering)

RM 18,000 (Local Student)

RM 20,000 (International Student)

2. Taylor's University

Taylor’s Lakeside Campus is located in Subang Jaya, Selangor. It is one of the most well recognized and reputed universities in Malaysia. Taylor’s University is ranked 2nd as the best private university in Malaysia in the QS World University Ranking 2020. The University has been awarded an overall 5-star rating. It shows that the Taylor’s hospitality and leisure management is well recognized. 

Program 

Tuition Fee

Foundation In Business

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

Foundation In Science

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

Foundation In Communication

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

Foundation In Design

RM 24,500 (Local Student)

RM 44,177 (International Student)

3. Sunway College

Sunway College was established on 25th July 1987 and is located in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Sunway College has developed locally and internationally into a highly reputable and respected institution of higher learning by offering quality and excellence in education. Studying foundation in Sunway College can leads you to receive a continuing scholarship. These are the foundations that are offered by Sunway College

Program 

Tuition Fee

Foundation In Arts

RM 23,000 (Local Student)

 

RM 24,980 (International Student)

Foundation In Science and Technology

RM 24,980 (Local Student)

 

RM 24,980 (International Student)

 

4. Multimedia University (MMU)

Multimedia University (MMU) is one of the well-established universities in Malaysia. It has three campuses located at Cyberjaya, Melaka, and Johor. Based on QS World University Ranking, MMU is ranked in the top 15 University in Malaysia and holds the 4th position for the best private University in Malaysia. A survey conducted by the Malaysian Ministry of Education and MMU showed that 97% of MMU graduates had secured a job within six months after completion of their studies. It is one of the highest employment rates for a private Malaysian university.

Program

Tuition Fee

Foundation In Management

RM 15,180

Foundation In Business

RM 15,180

Foundation In Engineering

RM 15,840

Foundation In Information Technology

RM 15,180

A-Level

What is A-Level?

A-Level, short for ‘Advanced Level’, is a widely recognized pre-university program that is based on the UK education system and is offered in Malaysia. The program can take up to 18 months depending on when you start your studies. It can be said as the “STPM” of UK since both are equivalent to other pre-university programs. Thus, they still have some differences. As A-Level is 100% exam based, STPM consist of school-based assessments (20–40% of final score) plus final exams (60–80% of final score).

In Malaysia, A-Level courses offered are either governed by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or Edexcel examination boards.

The A level subject is divided into two levels: Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced Two (A2) levels. Each of them contributes 50% of the final grade. The A level programs offer two streams – Science and Arts. It offered various subjects from Biology, Math, Chemistry, Computer Science, Accounting, to Law. You have the freedom to choose the subjects that you want to take. Universities usually required you to take 3-4 subjects only, since it is better for you to focus and concentrate on fewer subjects and then do well on them.

Benefits of A-Level

  • Opens to a lot of options

Since you can choose different subjects that you want, you can choose the one that you are expert in and like the most. Moreover, if you still don’t know what to pursue, then A-level is perfect for you since it enables you to pursue a wide range of degrees after the completion of the program.

If you still have some trouble in choosing the combination of subjects that you want to take, consult with us here!

  • Pathway to top universities

It is widely known that A-Level is one of the most popular qualifications studied to get into higher education. Since it is accepted worldwide in over 160 countries, pathway for you to study in top universities overseas such as UK, USA, Singapore, and Australia is widely open.

  • Gain deeper knowledge

As mentioned previously, A-Level allows you to focus on only a few subjects and gain in-depth knowledge of your chosen subjects. Furthermore, with only taking 3-4 subjects, you are eligible to enroll in a lot of universities.

Top Universities to study A-Level Program in Malaysia

1. INTI University

Why choose Inti University?
  • INTI offers over 100 programs which all are approved by Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and its qualification agency (MQA)
  • They aim to strive towards your desired career upon graduation with workshops, initiatives, coaching sessions, and academic programs that are designed in consultation with renowned industry partners.
  • INTI partnered up with universities from all over the world such as Singapore, USA, UK, China, Canada, and many more.

Intake

Jan, Jul

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

1. INTI Subang
-RM 29,997 (Local Student)
-RM 29,997 (International Student)

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5Cs including a credit in
English, or;
2. UEC: 3Bs including credit in English,
or other equivalent qualifications

2. Taylor's University

Why choose Taylor’s University?
  • Taylor’s University was the first one in Asia to introduce Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which benefited people from every part of the world.
  • One of their best courses, Hospitality and Leisure Management is ranked #14 by QUS WUR By Subject Ranking 
  • It was among the top 2% of global universities, ranked  511-520th worldwide according to QS Top University. 

Intake

Jan, Mar, Aug

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

-RM 35,690 (Local Student)
-RM 48,546 (International Student)

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Law
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5Cs including a credit in
English, or;
2. UEC:
Science: 3Bs including credit in English,
Math, and one science subject.
Humanities: 3Bs including credit in
English, Math, or any other equivalent
qualifications.

3. HELP University

Why choose HELP University?
  • HELP University was the first University to offer both Edexcel International Advanced Level and Cambridge A-Level.
  • Recognized by Forbes as one of the 200 Best Performing companies in Asia Pacific with capitalization below USD1 billion (2011)

Intake

Jan, Mar, Jul

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

RM 26,700

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry or Law
  • Physics or Accounting
  • Biology or Economics
  • Further Mathematics or English Literature

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5 credits (with a pass on
Bahasa Melayu&Sejarah for SPM students)
or equivalent qualifications

4. UCSI

Why choose UCSI University?
  • Appearing at #442, UCSI University is the highest-ranked private university in Malaysia 2 years in a row.
  • Acknowledged as a Regional Centre of Expertise Kuching (RCE Kuching) by United Nations University (2018).

Intake

Jan, Apr, Jul

Duration

1.5 Year (18 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects 

RM 25,020

A-Level subjects that are offered

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology / Economics
  • Physics / Accounting
  • Psychology
  • Further Mathematics

Entry requirement

1. SPM: 5 credits (inclusive of English and relevant course)
2. O-Level: 5 credits (inclusive of relevant
course)
3. UEC: 3 credits (inclusive of English and
relevant course)

South Australian Matriculation (SAM)

What is South Australian Matriculation (SAM)?

South Australian Matriculation (SAM), also can be known as South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) International is a pre-university program that is equivalent to a year-12 Australian High School course. If A-Level is the UK version of STPM, then SAM is the South Australian version of STPM.

It is set and administered by the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA). This is a statutory authority of the South Australian Government that is utilized and recognized in several countries, including Malaysia.

Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)

What is Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)?

Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) or WACE (West Australian Certificate of Education) is also a pre-university program that is based on Australia and equivalent to year-12. It is administrated by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia. This program takes up to 12 months of completion. 

If you’re wondering: so what’s the difference between SAM/SACE International and AUSMAT?

Let us give you the brief difference :

  • SAM/SACE International
  1. It covers 70% coursework (which includes assignments, test, research papers, etc) and 30% exam
  2. Administrated by South Australian Government
  • AUSMAT
  1. It covers 50% coursework (which includes assignments, test, research papers, etc) and 50% exam
  2.  Administrated by Westers Australia Government

If you still need more information about both program, contact us here!

Benefits of SAM & AUSMAT

  • Balanced between exam and assessment

Good news for you who don’t really like exam! As mentioned previously, this pre-uni program looks more into your assessment. If 100% exam based like A-Level might scare you, taking SAM/SACE International or AUSMAT can be your choice. You can perfectioned your performance throughout the program duration by completing all assignments, projects, and other requirements in class.

  • Flexibility

Both SAM/SACE International and AUSMAT requires you to take 5 subjects. Furthermore, you’ll have the flexibility to take whichever subjects you loved the most, from science related to art-related subjects.

  • Get access to study abroad

If you wanted to take either SAM or AUSMAT, but doesn’t want to study further in Australia, it is totally possible! Both SAM and AUSMAT are internationally recognized pre-university programs and accepted in the home to top university countries such as UK, USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, and many more.

Top Universities to study SAM/SACE International and/or AUSMAT Program in Malaysia

1. INTI University

Apart from foundation and A-Level programs that were mentioned above, INTI University also provide SACE Program that allows students to pursue their Australian based education

SACE International Program

Intake

Jan, Apr

Duration

1 Year (12 Months)

Fee for 3 subjects

RM 24,000 for Local Students

RM 24,000 for International

Subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English as Second Language Studies
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematical Studies
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Research Project
  • Specialist Mathematics

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: 5 Cs Including English, or;

2. UEC: 3 BS Including English

2. Taylor's University

Taylor’s University has not only A-Level and foundation program, but they also provide SAM/SACE International Program. The SAM/SACE International program at Taylor’s continues to be the largest center for Australian Pre-University programs in Malaysia since its inception in 1982. 

SACE International Program

Intake

Jan, Mar, Aug

Duration

1 Year (12 Months) on average

Fee for 3 subjects

RM 24,000 for Local Students

RM 24,000 for International

Subjects that are offered

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English as an Additional Language
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Nutrition
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Specialist Mathematics

Entry requirement

1. SPM/O-Level: Pass with minimum of 5
credits including English, or;
2. UEC: 
Science: 3Bs including credit in English
Math, and one science subject,
Humanities: 3Bs including credit in
English, Math, or any other equivalent
qualification

3. Sunway University

With plenty of bachelor’s degree available, Sunway University provides pre-university pathway for students to choose before pursuing their degree, including AUSMAT program

AUSMAT International Program

Intake

Jan, Mar, Sep

Duration

Up to 14 months

Fee for 3 subjects

Jan & Mar intake: RM 28,880

Sep intake: RM 33,275

Subjects that are offered

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English
  • English as an Additional Language or Dialect
  • Human Biology
  • Mathematics Application
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Mathematics Specialist
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Entry requirement

Pass SPM, O-Level, or equivalent with minimum
five (5) credits

That’s it for the recommendations which may be the best for you. For more information about tuition fees, entry requirement or scholarships, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll help you 100% and we provide best consultancy services for FREE!

Contact us to find out more:

Phone: +6018-241-4802, +6016-214-3443

Email: info.my@exceleducation.com.au

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About Post Author

Amanda Silmy Kaffah

I am a part-time content writer, a part-time Computer Science student, and a full-time dreamer. Likes to munch some food while doing some work or watching Netflix.

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