Where to study A-Levels in Malaysia

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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A-Levels Program and Scholarships in Malaysia

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It’s no joke when it comes to pre-university programs, there are plenty of choices out there and most of the time students end up confused on which one to choose. It doesn’t happen often but sometimes students tend to take the wrong path and end up not meeting the entry requirement for their preferred degree program. This leaves the students devastated and the money and time invested in the program are redundant. But fret not, in this article, we will be explaining in detail about one of the most chosen pre-university programs by Malaysian students, that has given them the opportunity to enroll in top universities both abroad and locally. 

What is A-Levels?

Advanced Based Qualifications or widely known as A-Levels, the most chosen pre-university program by young Malaysian students that opens up the gate of opportunities for students to progress into higher education. The program is based on the British education system and the A-Levels program in Malaysia is governed by two main examination bodies: the Cambridge Assessment International Education and Edexcel

Although in Malaysia the two main boards for the A-Level program, there are several other assessment boards for A-Levels too such as:

Types of A-Level Assessment Bodies

  • Council for the Curriculum, Examination and Assessment (CCEA)
  • Assessment and Qualification Alliance (AQA)
  • Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examination (OCR)
  • Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJE)

The program is 100% exam based, similar to SPM. It might be a relief that you would only need to focus on 3 main subjects instead of 9. But don’t get your hopes too high up because it is also known that it’s tough to score straight As for the A-Levels program. However, the good news is that you’ll have full control over the subjects you chose to pursue during your A-Levels. 

Signing up for A-Levels gives you a taste of what university would be as throughout the course you would be gaining in-depth knowledge of the subjects you choose to take. It will definitely be a different experience from school as you’ll not be spoon-fed but being taught how to be independent and think logically which will help you present your ideas better and prepare you for your degree program in the future. 

A-Levels Program Structure

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

  • Advanced Subsidiary (AS Level): Forms the first of the program and is the foundation of A-Levels. In this part, you’ll learn the basics of the subjects you’ve chosen, more like an introduction level to get to know the subjects better.
  • A2: Forms the second half of the program, in which you will be covering the more complex side of the chosen subjects. 

A-Levels Grading System

At the end of each level, students will need to sit for exams to test their knowledge and understanding of the subjects that they have taken. Each level will contribute 50% towards the final grade. 

However, the main difference between the Cambridge A-Levels and Edexcel A-Levels is in the event that a student would want to repeat a subject in order to improve his/her marks.  In the Edexcel A-Levels, you would not need to repeat the entire level but the subject only. Only the highest mark will be taken into account whereas for the Cambridge A-Levels you would need to repeat the entire level both AS and A2

A-Levels Grading Scale

Grade

Percentage 

A*(not applicable in AS Level grading system)

90+ average in A2 unit with 80+ average overall

A

80+

B

70-79

C

60-60

D

50-59

E

40-49

Duration of A-Levels

The entire A-Level course averagely takes 18 months to complete from start to the end. The intake dates and examination dates vary according to the institution. However, the exam period is only once a year both for AS Level and A2. 

For example:

Programs 

Edexcel

Cambridge 

Intakes 

January, March & July 

January, March & July

Exam Dates 

January & June

The exam takes place in two phases: AS and A2: May/June and Oct November 

Intake and exam dates vary according to the institution for more details please contact Excel Education

What Subjects Should You take for A-Levels?

There are over 50 subjects offered by the Cambridge International Advanced Level and around 40 subjects by the Edexcel. You’ll be spoilt for choices and might be even confused about which subject to choose, however, not all the subjects will be offered at colleges/ universities in Malaysia. You must pick the subjects wisely to create an easier path for you to progress into your degree program.

Some of the Subjects Offered in A-Levels are:

  • Physics 
  • Chemistry 
  • Biology
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • English 
  • Accounting 
  • Economic 
  • Psychology
  • Computer Science 
Subject availability depends on colleges/ universities, for more information please contact Excel Education

Example of Recommended A-Levels Subject Combinations

Degree 

Recommended Subject

Engineering or Actuarial Science

Core Subjects: Mathematics & Physics

Recommended subjects:  Economics & Further Mathematics 

Biomedical, Architecture, Business, Computing, Pharmacy, Psychology & Material Science

Core Subjects:  Biology & Chemistry 

Recommended subjects: Physics, Mathematics, Economics & Psychology. 

Law, Education, Finance, Journalism, Management Studies & Mass Communication

Core subjects: Mathematics & Economics

Recommended subjects: Accounting, English Literature, Sociology, Business. Computer Science, Law, Psychology and Further Mathematics. 

Please note that these are just examples of the combination of subjects that can be taken; subject availability depends on the college/ university; for further information please contact Excel Education

There are plenty of art and science subjects that you can choose from, but again it all depends on which type of degree you would like to pursue in the future. If you’re not quite sure yet on which degree program you would like to pursue;

Tips for Choosing the A-Levels Subjects Combination

  • Choose subjects you’ll excel in: It’s no joke when it comes to a 100% exam based course. You’ll be spending most of your time with your nose in books, pulling an all-nighter so why not choose a subject that you might enjoy.
  • Choose subjects that are relevant to your degree: Since A-Levels provides you with the freedom to pick a combination of subjects for your degree program, you must choose the right ones as some subjects might allow you to change courses if you change your mind; therefore, all your hard work would not go to waste.
  • Pick subjects which provide more comprehensive degree options: Being cited as one of the most flexible pre-university programs and widely accepted by universities worldwide, you would not be pressured into choosing a degree program, if you have not made up your mind yet. The rule here is to keep your options broad by taking some of the flexible subjects which are frequently required for admission in top universities

For further information, please contact Excel Education

Why take A-Levels?

Opens a gate of opportunity: Since the program is well known, it is widely accepted by many top universities around the world. It is also known to be the golden ticket for those who would like to pursue their degree in the UK and many other countries such as Australia, Singapore, and Canada

Specialized subjects : Unlike foundation programs where you would be learning new sets of subjects every semester, A-Level only focuses on the subjects that you’ve chosen. 

Resources/Study Materials: There are plenty of resources for A-Levels students ranging from past year papers and lecture notes, which could help you prepare better for the exams.

Who should take up A-Levels?

You should take up A-Levels if:

  • You’re comfortable with 100% exam based courses
  • Aiming to apply for competitive degree programs such as Medicine or Law
  • You have plans to study your degree in the UK 
  • If you like being in a structured program 

You shouldn't take up A-Levels if:

  • You prefer coursework over the examination
  • You don’t want to learn a wide range of subjects 
  • You do not have plans to study abroad.
  • You’re planning to take up more hands-on degrees such as Hospitality, Culinary Arts and so on. 

General Entry Requirement for A-Levels

SPM/ IGCSE

Minimum 5 Credits (including English and relevant subjects to the course)

UEC

Minimum 3Bs including English and relevant subjects to the course)

The requirements may vary among colleges/universities, for inquiries on other entry requirements, contact Excel Education.

Being similar to other pre-university courses such as Canadian Pre- University (CPU) and STPM, the entry requirement for A-Levels in Malaysia requires at least 5 credits from SPM or IGCSE students. In the event, if you like to pursue subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Further Mathematics, you would need to have a subject prerequisite which means that you would need to achieve the minimum entry grade for the subjects during your SPM/ IGCSE.

Best Universities to Study A-Levels in Malaysia

Taylor’s College & University

Video Credits: Taylor Univeristy 

Taylor’s College & University has continuously produced more than 3000 students scoring 3As, earning the institution 144 awards for Top in the World Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award and 45 awards for the top in Malaysia, outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards.

Cambridge A-Levels

Intake

January, April & August

Duration

1.5 Years (18 months)

Subjects offered

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

Indicative Tuition Fees (2021)

Local

3 Subjects: RM 35, 690

4 Subjects: RM 44, 540

 

International:

3 Subjects: USD 12, 302

4 Subjects: USD 14, 515

Scholarships or Bursaries for A-Levels by Taylor’s University

Category 

Academic Requirement 

Awards

Assessment 

Taylor’s Merit Scholarship 

SPM: Minimum 45 points 

IGCSE: Minimum 40 points 

UEC: Minimum 10 points 

50% Tuition Fee Waiver

75% Tuition Fee Waiver

Full Scholarship

Online Assessment 

Taylor’s Excellence Award

5As – 9A

Scholarship starting from RM4,000 

Help University

Video Credit: Help University 

Help University is one of the first to offer both Cambridge and Edexcel A-Levels modules. Help University is currently the holder of the highest record of 101 World Top Awards for best scores worldwide in individual subjects together with another 37 National Awards.

Cambridge A-Levels & Edexcel A-Levels

Intake

January, March & July

Duration

1.5 Years (18 Months) 

Subjects offered

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

Indicative Tuition Fees (2021)

Local & International:

3 Subjects: RM28,000 

4 Subjects: RM35,000

Scholarships or Bursaries for A-Levels by Help University

Category 

Requirement 

Scholarship Amount 

Help A-Levels Scholarship 

1A to 8As  and above

Starting from RM13,000 to Full Scholarship 

Distinction Award

6A/A+to 10A/A+

Partial Scholarship starting from RM5, 000 to RM13,000. 

UCSI College

Video Credit: UCSI University

UCSI College continues to repeat its streak of 100% passing rate for its Cambridge A-Levels program throughout the years. Many of its students have been admitted to universities around the world such as Cambridge University, King’s College London. Australia National University and also University of New South Wales.

Cambridge A-Levels

Intake

January, May, July & September

Duration

1.5 Years (18 Months) 

Subjects offered

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

Indicative Tuition Fees (2021)

Local 

3 Subjects: RM25, 020

4 Subjects: RM30, 000

 

International:

3 Subjects: RM27, 000

4 Subjects: RM33, 000

Scholarships or Bursaries for A-Levels by UCSI University

Category 

Requirement 

Scholarship Amount 

UCSI University Trust Principal’s Award 2021

Merit-based scholarship recognises students who demonstrate excellent academic achievements, exemplary leadership, as well as notable accomplishment in sports and extracurricular activities

Tuition Fee Waiver up to 100%

UCSI University Trust A-Level Scholarship 

5A+/A/A- to 9A (minimum 8A+)

Scholarship amount starting from RM 5,000

Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL)

Video Credit: MCKL 

MCKL A-Level graduates have gained admission to some of the world’s top universities such as the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, Yale University and Imperial College upon completing their A-Levels. They have also gotten the award for 14 top in the world outstanding Cambridge Learner Award in the November 2019 series.

Cambridge A-Levels

Cambridge A-Levels

Intake

March & August

Duration

1.5 Years (18 Months) 

Subjects offered

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

Indicative Tuition Fees (2021)

Local:

3 Subjects: RM 35, 690

4 Subjects: RM 44, 540

 

International:

3 Subjects: RM 30, 300

4 Subjects: RM 33, 000

MCKL provides a German A-Levels pathway for students who are interested in furthering their studies in Germany. There are many advantages of studying in Germany, the first being the low tuition fees and also their affordable living cost compared to the other European countries. MCKL also works with German Educare to ensure that students are proficient in the language.

 

Cambridge A-Levels (German Pathway)

Intake

January & August

Duration

1.5 Years (18 Months) 

Subjects offered

  • German Language
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Law 
  • Economics/Business
  • Psychology 

Indicative Tuition Fees (2021)

Local: RM38, 000

 

International: RM48, 000

Scholarships or Bursaries for A-Levels by MCKL

Category 

Requirement 

Scholarship Amount 

Assessment

Merit Scholarship 

9A+ or 10A (minimum 9A+)

100% Scholarship 

Interview 

Other Merit Scholarship 

5As and above 

Starting from RM1,000

       –

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Student enquiries:

Call/Whatsapp: +60182414802

Email: info.my@exceleducation.com.au

For more stories like this, join the Excel Education community on Facebook or follow us on Instagram

Need help with your uni application? Connect with us here

About the Author

Rebecca Visvanathan

Caffeine addict thats constantly on the run!

Sharing is caring :)