Here are your options after SPM

Does your SPM results qualify you to enter the program you want?

By Huzraifah Atikah

Are you wondering what to do with your SPM results especially on where or what to study?

Although there are many options, your qualifications are still the key to it.

Youth Connect has listed out the 6 options with their minimum qualification requirements.

The options you may have on your hands are either STPM, Diploma, Matriculation, Foundation, A level or Pre-Diploma (only offered by UiTM). 

So here are the minimum grades requirements for these 6 options:


Here’s what you need to know about STPM requirements.

You must have a compulsory credit in Bahasa Melayu and a pass in History.

For Science stream – Total grade values of the best three subjects (to be safe, your three Science subjects) do not exceed 18 units, or

For Arts stream – Total grade values of the best three subjects do not exceed 12 units

The unit points are assigned based on the table below:

So, if you are questioning why you should take STPM, here’s why:

STPM is extremely affordable - the basic fee for the examination is RM120, while the fees for each subject is RM90. It means the cost for STPM is less than RM1,000. 

STPM is widely recognised globally - it is equivalent to a variety of pre-university programmes such as A-Levels.

STPM keeps your options wide open- your STPM results can be used to apply for degrees locally at both public and private universities.

2. Diploma

If you are still clueless about diploma, it is actually a level below a degree. 

Diploma programmes are usually 24 – 36 months long and you can enter these programmes directly after SPM.

Now, you might think that taking a diploma could be a waste of time because it will take a longer time if you are planning to do your degree later.

Hold up that thought!

You need to keep in mind that, some universities that offer Diploma courses will also offer a shorter period of study for a degree at the same university. 

For example in UiTM, if you finished your diploma and wish to pursue a degree in the related field, instead of doing 3 years with 6 semesters, you can do it over 2 years with 4 semesters. 

So, there’s no such thing as wasting time. You will be surprised to see that you finish your studies at almost the same time as your other friends who took different paths.

However, do your research as not all universities are offering this. Since there are plenty of courses you can choose, each of them requires different qualifications based on the university itself. 

Some universities’ requirements maybe will be lower or higher, but there won't be too much difference.

Now, why should you take a diploma? Here’s why:

Once you’ve completed a Diploma, you can choose to either start working or continue for your degree.

Learn practical and hands-on skills

Lower entry requirements

Eligible for PTPTN loan

3. Matriculation

You may have heard it many times but what exactly is Matriculation or ‘Matrikulasi’?

If you are from the science or accounts classes during SPM and you are happy with your result, this one is for you. 

But first, you need to know that Matriculation programme offers only three streams, which are:

Science stream (up to 2 years)

Accounting stream (1 year)

Technical stream (1 year)

If you are from the Science stream, you will be able to choose either the Science or Accounting stream. 

Account stream students can only opt for Accounting. As for the Technical stream, it is usually reserved for students from technical secondary schools.

So, what are the minimum requirements to enter Matriculation?

Well, for the science stream:

For accountancy stream:

The two subjects could be either Accounting Principles, Basic Economics, Commerce, Science, Additional Science, Entrepreneurial Studies, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mechanical Engineering Studies, Civil Engineering Studies, Electrical Engineering Studies, Engineering Drawing or Engineering Technology.

For the technical stream:

So, for any of the one subject, it could be either Mechanical Engineering Studies, Civil Engineering Studies, Electrical Engineering Studies, Engineering Drawing or Engineering Technology.

However, the important note here is that Additional Mathematics is compulsory to apply for Matriculation. 

Now, wait a minute. Why does it seem like it is so easy to get into Matriculation?

Well, the tricky part is the selection process.

Students are selected based on academic results 90% and co-curricular performance 10%.

So, it is not a surprise if students who obtained a generally good results gets rejected in their Matriculation application.

But do not be upset if you couldn’t get in, it’s not you, it’s the Matriculation system. They are just...complicated. 

4. Foundation

How many foundation programmes are there? 

For your info, there are three types of foundation, which are science, business and arts. 

Most colleges require you to have at least 5 credits (1 credit is a C or above) for their science programmes.

However, if you plan to pursue Medicine, Dentistry or Pharmacy, colleges usually require you to have at least 5Bs with good grades in Mathematics and Science.

Next, for a foundation in business or arts, the minimum entry requirements are at least is 5 credits (1 credit is a C or above).

But why should you consider taking a foundation programme?

It is one of the fastest paths to enter into a degree programme.

Gives you a chance to explore different pathways.

Universities typically offer better financial aid & more affordable fees.

Now whatever it is, if you are interested in taking foundation, you need to do your own research. 

Start right away, do not wait, the more you know, the easier for you to decide. 

5. A-Levels

What is A-Levels? Is it as good as all the other options mentioned above?

A-Levels is a UK-based qualification that is offered to students before entering university. 

It is considered a Year 12 qualification, which is equivalent to STPM or Matriculation (Matrikulasi).

Generally, A-Level courses take 15 to 24 months, depending on the pathway you choose to pursue.

The minimum requirements to enter A-Levels is a minimum of 5 credits (C and above) at SPM, O-Level or equivalent.

Certain A-Level subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Further Mathematics, have subject pre-requisites that you need to fulfill. 

It means you need to have studied and achieved the minimum required grades for them at the SPM level in order to take these subjects in A-Levels. The requirements could vary according to different colleges or universities.

6. Pra-Diploma/MDAB (only offered by UiTM)

Now, this is the very last option for those of you who got bad results but still want to continue your studies. 

What is pra diploma anyway?

Pra diploma is like a preparation level for you to continue studies before taking any Diploma course and MDAB is short for' Mengubah Destini Anak Bumiputera' (only for Malay and Bumiputra).

For Pra diploma, you can either finish it within 1 semester (6 months) or up to 2 semesters (1 year). For example, after the first semester, if your CGPA is above 3.5, you can proceed to take any diploma course. 

However, if your result is 3.5 below, you might need to take another semester in Pra diploma. 

There are two streams for Pra diploma, which is ‘Pra diploma Sains’ and ‘Pra diploma Perdagangan’.

The requirements for this is you only need to pass the core subjects for SPM.

However, for Pra diploma Science, you need to come from a science class and have taken Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. 

Why should you consider Pra diploma? What are the benefits?

It is free and if you come from a poor family, you even get an allowance from UiTM.

The certificate is recognised by UiTM, and most importantly, UiTM has the cheapest fees in comparison to other universities!

After completion, you can choose any 3 courses. It is guaranteed by UiTM.

Well, now you have all these options and the knowledge of which one fits your qualifications. 

YC would like to wish all the best to everyone who still hasn’t chosen their paths. May you choose the best path for your future.

Good luck!