What is STPM program?

The Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM, English: Malaysian Higher School Certificate) is a very common PRE-U examination taken by many students in Malaysia. STPM was the precursor of the GCE A-Level in the UK.

Starting from year 2012 onwards, a new modular system replaced the existing terminal system for Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). Besides that, examination results under the new STPM assessment system will be monitored by representatives from Cambridge Assessment to maintain standards and quality.


3 credits in any subjects and pass BM and Sejarah.


STPM is 18 months long, 1.5 years and only one intake offered in every May. The programme will end in November the following year (Upper 6), and students will receive their STPM results in March of the year after the STPM exam.


There will be a total of three terms in STPM curriculum. Examinations will be held in each term and results will be released after the term ends.

You will be assessed based on:

  • School-based assignment ( 20 – 40% of the final score)
  • Final examination (60 – 80% of the final score)

You can only take up to a maximum of five subjects(including compulsory General Studies) from the 23 different subjects. Normally, many secondary schools or Form 6 college only offer science stream and art stream.


STPM uses a Cumulative grade point average (CGPA) system. There are 11 grades, which are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+ and D, with F as the failing grade. The grading points for each of these grades are between 4.0 and 1.0, A being 4.0 and D- being 1.0. The F grade gives a grade point of 0. Cited the information from an experienced STPM teacher’s website, marks below 40% (grade lower than C) is considered as fail. However, MEC announced that grade lower than C is considered as “Partial Pass”.

Why choose STPM program? 

– STPM is very low-cost routes compare to all PRE-U pathway as you only need to pay about RM1,000 for the whole course.
– STPM is one of the most difficult exams in the world so you will find it very challenging.
– STPM results can be used to apply for degree courses at BOTH public and private universities in Malaysia, and also foreign universities. (Subject to their requirement)

Different Pre-U program has different strengths; which one is the best for you? 

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