STPM or Foundation Studies?

Hey guys! :grinning: Im a SPM leavers of 2015. I got 2A+ 6A and 2A- in SPM and I din shortlist by matriculation but I hv edy done the appeal. But nw I dont know what should I continue. Foundation studies in AIMST University or just go for Form 6? I plan to take pharmacy after my pre-u studies. But nw I was confused about I hv to go foundation or form 6. Many ppl discourage me to take stpm even my parents bcos they said still got many of stpm students who got nice pointer in exam could not get their first choice uni and course. Plus, many private universities make their foundation students as priority to get into their degree course. So, it would be hard to get into private uni after stpm ( In case din get the first choice ) So my parents want me to go for foundation studies in AIMST University. But my situation is Im not from a rich family yet not so poor. Bcos of this, Im not willing to let my parents work hard and tough to pay for my education and also add on my family burden. My parents told me not to worry about the financial problem, just go if I really want to, they could afford it. So I really confused it. Cn you guys give me some advice? Follow my parents’ heart and go foundation studies or just go stpm? Thank you in advance! Pls help me! And thanks for lending yr ears for me bcos I know that I was long-winded lol. TQVM!

hey there. i guess maybe u shud try to explore the pros and cons for both. form 6 is actually would give u more oppurtunities for studying abroad and applying for scholarship. but if u were taking science side, the exams are tough. thats why, stpm holders are actually valuable. yeaa it’s true that most unis want their foundation student to pursue their degree there. but, those unis also spare some quotas for matriculation student, form6 and etc. so, abt quota, u dont have to worry, any uni would like to pick u as long s u get good result during stpm. and many scholarships also.


Hello there. I would suggest you take STPM over foundation in private university. Despite all the cons you hear about STPM, don’t forget there are many pros. Firstly, you have the chance to enter public university, and also private university (incase you fail to get the course you want in public university). But if you take foundation, you only restrict yourself to that specific private university (not allowed to apply to other uni) and it is definitely expensive (trust me, coming from a middle-income family, you will face financial problems). Besides, STPM is free, while foundation costs about RM15k on average. Don’t forget your degree will cost around RM100k-200k). Even though people say STPM is tough, however you will reap the benefits in university. As a pharmacy student in a public university, I have seen the STPM students performing extremely well, if compared to students from other pre-U. Most of the STPM students are the top of the deanlist. Besides, if you take STPM, you can still enjoy school life (unless you hate school but you’ll surely miss it one day). Don’t have to worry about accomodation because you can stay at home with your family. Another advantage is you can apply oversea too, STPM is recognized by many oversea universities. Don’t limit yourself to only one private university by taking foundation. I’m not saying foundation is totally bad, but if you want to take shortcut and don’t mind your parents paying so much for your education, by all means go for it. I’m just giving my personal opinions and suggestion. Hope it helps. Good luck in making your decision. :slight_smile:


That’s not very true. Studying STPM has its own disadvantages.

  1. STPM is hardly valuable at all. A level is more acceptable than STPM. Top universities like Cambridge, Harvard, Yale and Oxford do not accept STPM certificate. Thus, most of the STPM holders are going to study in the local universities.
  2. STPM is a two year long process of study plus examination. Why bother studying for two years when the foundation courses at private colleges only offer a year of study ? At the end of the day, you’re still getting into the university and you get to graduate with a degree, with a year quicker than those who go through STPM.
  3. If your parents can afford the cost of the tuition fees for foundation and undergraduate studies, I don’t see a point you taking up form 6.
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Just want to say thank you to @marianadujungsli98, @Alice and @derekeng1221 for sharing your insightful opinions highlighting the pros and cons of STPM vs Foundation. All points raised are valid concerns. :clap:

Thank you for taking time to offer your advices to fellow juniors, hope you will enjoy the spirit of helping other fellow students :slight_smile:

I want to clarify that top universities like Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, and Oxford do accept STPM certificates.
While Cambridge, Oxford, or any UK universties would require their applicants to have anything that is A-Levels equivalent (which includes STPM). For example, here’s a link for Cambridge Universities requirements:

For most colleges/universities from the USA (Harvard, Yale, and the likes), they only require a high school certifications (which means even SPM-leavers are eligible to apply now.) Of course, there are many standardized tests you have to take first before you can apply to most of any overseas universities.
(E.g. TOEFL, SAT, and SAT2 for American colleges and universities; IELTS for the UK system; etc.)

And, STPM does not take 2 years. The duration is the same as A-Levels. It’s half a year for Lower 6th Form and a full year for Upper 6th Form.

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