STPM or A-level?


#1

Hi everyone. I’m a SPM leaver. I can’t decide whether to choose STPM or A-level. Can anyone help me?


Is stpm really difficult to score?
STPM or A levels?
#2

Hi @Jessica, no worries, as you’re not alone in making this difficult and important lifetime decision. Each year, many SPM leavers face the same dilemma.

Here are my advice and comments:

  1. First, you need to realize one important thing: there is no one best pre-u for everyone. STPM can be the best choice or decision for some SPM result holders while A-level can be the best choice for others, depending on each student’s personal circumstances. Also, not forgetting there are many other options like IB, diploma, matrikulasi etc too!

  2. As for your case, I believe you have narrowed down to two choices: STPM vs A-level. This should be easy as now you can compare these two pre-university programmes directly. But before that, what is your main concern? For example, cost, duration, difficulty to score, international/local acceptance?

  3. As I’m not clear about your main concern, I just try to list down the comparison of all four aspects based on my own research and understanding:

  • Cost: STPM is definitely much cheaper compared to A-level. STPM fees at public secondary school is as cheap as your SPM school fees. However, A-level is much more expensive as it is only offered at private colleges and universities. If you score straight As or many As in SPM, you will usually be able to apply for the 100% tuition fee scholarship for A-level which mean cost is not really an issue.

  • Duration: A-level is faster and you can complete it in one year. STPM, however, will take two years if you factor in the waiting time for enrolment and waiting period before you get into university.

  • Difficulty to score: STPM is way harder, just compare the number of straight A (CGPA4.00) of STPM vs of A-level you will get the idea, mind you that the number of STPM students is way more than number of A-level students yet only very few STPM students score the best 4.00 CGPA result every year.

  • International/local acceptance: Both are accepted internationally. However, STPM is more locally acceptable. If you plan to apply to local public universities (IPTA) using A-level result, there is some restriction (for example you better remember to take MUET otherwise without MUET result you won’t be accepted at all) and only limited local public universities accept A-level result. All local private universities accept A-level result.

Hope my two-cent sharing is helpful to you. If anyone of you are reading this and have gone through this phase, feel free to share with us your decision making process and your consideration. Thanks!


#3

@Ong Which course is better for a student who is still uncertain what degree programme to take?


split this topic #4

2 posts were split to a new topic: MUET, IELTS or TOEFL?


#5

Haha, like I previously mentioned, there is no best course because everyone is in different circumstances.

If just based on one criteria (uncertain about what degree programme to take), then I can’t make any recommendation because both programmes allow you to further study any degree programme upon graduation.


#6

@Ong STPM or A-level is harder?


#7

Harder or not is subjective, unless someone takes both A-level and STPM (or at least carefully examines the subject syllabus and exam question) and compares the difficulty subject to subject.

If you are referring to the general sentiment people have on STPM vs A-Level, then generally people perceive STPM as harder.


#8

Hello, is anybody else know when is the open school date normally?


#9

Are you referring to A level or Form Six?


#10

Yeap, I mean Form 6…


#11

For those who get form six (tingkatan enam) offer, you need to register at school on 4 May 2016 9AM

For PLKN / National Service (NS) batch 13/2016 participants, they need to report to the school on 10 May 2016


#12

If you can afford the fees , just go for A-level , A-level are much easier then STPM …

  1. The questions tested in the exam will be always repeated three years once ( with same patterns , but different questions ) , but you have to think harder in order to solve the questions in STPM exam . ( TRUTH )
  2. The marking for STPM is much strict than A-level . The markers of STPM will not simply give candidates marks but the markers of A-level are lenient . ( TRUTH )
  3. The teachers of STPM are only Degree holders / Master holders but the lecturers of A-level are master or even PhD holders . ( TRUTH )

BUT , if you wish to enter local universities , CHOOSE Form 6 ( STPM ) . Thanks , but I am not saying that taking A-level is easier , what I am trying to say is , compared to STPM , A-level is much much easier .


#13

I think it’s how students view it? I’m currently enrolled in Form 6 and they said that the format this year is different. You study for one semester, then you take STPM 1. You study for second semester, you take STPM 2. Your last semester, you study and you take STPM 3. Each semesters have different chapters. I don’t know if the chapters will be linked together but my point is you study the chapters needed for one semester and then you can take your STPM. Your final STPM result will be your average from the 3 semesters. I believe this makes it easier to study for as you do not have to cram all the chapters in 18 months for the final results. But for form 6, co-curricular activities are compulsory. If you wish not to participate, you can go for A levels in college as they do not stress for co-curricular activities. :smile: Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think A levels is as easy as people make it sound ahaha. I have several friends in A levels taking their AS now and they are, in their words, “dying”, and one of my friend said she might have to retake all her papers( I don’t think it’s true haha) If you don’t do well in STPM you can retake for RM 50 per paper(if I’m not mistaken) Retaking a paper for A levels (if you don’t think you did well) is RM 550. So yeah, that is my opinion on this haha. Feel free to ignore me. :slight_smile:


#14

i totally disagree on what you said , I am taking STPM , our teachers took pass year papers questions from A-level and STPM for us to try out . What we students found out was , the questions from A-level will repeat once three years ( not exactly the same , but with same patterns ) , so easy we can get them done , but the STPM questions are much harder , i tried the questions before so i knew it . Came to the marking scheme , the marking for Alevel is not so strict compared to STPM !


#16

HI GUYS! I’m a fresh SPM leaver (2015) and I am currently pursuing STPM in my old school. I got a decent SPM result and manage to get bursary by JPA. I can’t help but wondering if I am making a right choice to go for STPM since I can use my bursary to pay for A levels. Most of my friends strongly suggested me to go for A levels but my parents want me to do STPM. But at the end of the day, the choice is in my hands. I would like to know more about the pros and cons of both pre uni program so i can make a better desicion. Thanks!


#17

Hi , if you can afford the fees , just go for A-level , A-level are much easier then STPM …

  1. The questions tested in the exam will be always repeated three years once ( with same patterns , but different questions ) , but you have to think harder in order to solve the questions in STPM exam . ( TRUTH )
  2. The marking for STPM is much strict than A-level . The markers of STPM will not simply give candidates marks but the markers of A-level are lenient . ( TRUTH )
  3. The teachers of STPM are only Degree holders / Master holders but the lecturers of A-level are master or even PhD holders . ( TRUTH )

BUT , if you wish to enter local universities , CHOOSE Form 6 ( STPM ) . Thanks , but I am not saying that taking A-level is easier , what I am trying to say is , compared to STPM , A-level is much much easier . My suggestion is to go Form 6 as you will be facing a lot of problems , challenges and difficulties to make you more matured , stronger ! Good luck , Han Ming !


#18

Hi! Hmmmmm yes you’ve got a point there… Actually I’m not aiming for public or private, it’s just that the course that I want to go after (agriculture) is not really offered in private uni… I’m not super locked in with that particular course, as I’m pretty sure things will change… But for now, I have to choose between this two courses… So do you recommend a levels more or stpm ? Thanks!


#19

I feel you! I am a SPM 2015 graduate and I’m currently in Form 6. I also got the JPA bursary and couldn’t decide to go for STPM or A levels. However, I finally chose to go Form 6 as the colleges in Penang (my hometown) are not the bursary centres for A levels. I have to go KL if I wish to do A levels. Therefore, I chose to stick to STPM as I am not ready to leave home yet. And actually, it’s not really true about how STPM teachers are only Degree holders because in the current school I’m enrolled in, there are 2 PhD holders teachers teaching STPM. Besides that, I think a PhD doesn’t really mean you can teach better right? Getting a PhD is result of research and reports. I would suggest you choose something you’re more confortable with. If you cannot stand school rules, then you should just go college because they are more lenient about dress codes haha. I would suggest STPM haha. You can have a wider range of unis(private and local) and STPM is as internationally recognised as A levels. Good luck and all the best!


#20

OMG hi Jessie! Congrats on your wonderful results! Yeap PhD doesn’t prove how good you can teach… I’m ok with school rules, it’s just I’m not clear on which courses gives me a better option and path later on degree level. Thanks for the answer and good luck!


#21

Thank you! Haha, I believe you got pretty good results as well to get the bursary haha (didn’t they say 9A+ and above ahaha) I think for now you don’t have to worry much about the courses yet because pre university programmes are mostly just a base for you when you want to continue your degree. Like if you’re currently interested in agriculture, you can take biology and chemistry in Form 6. But if you do not want to do agriculture anymore, you still have a wide range of degree courses to choose from :smiley: