Choosing the right Pre-U programme

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In collaboration with:

Get There is collaborating with Base Initiative with this year’s Pre-University Pathways webinar!

Meet The Speakers

Wan Haziq

Currently taking International Baccalaureate (IB) at Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).

Syabil Ilham Shah

Currently taking A-Levels at Kolej Yayasan UEM (KYUEM).

Sharafuddin Kaus

Currently taking American Degree Programme (ADP) at INTEC Education College.


Harvynna Kler

Kolej Yayasan Saad (KYS) class of 2021.



  • The duration of A-Levels, 2 years, is what attracted Syabil, believing it being ample time to truly discover what he wants to do in life and have time to change it during those 2  years.
  • Sharafuddin chose to do (ADP) as it was less exam based and more holistic in its structure but at the same time can guarantee overseas study.
  • For ADP, only 30% is on the exams and 70% is the assignments given. Thus giving you more freedom to join clubs and societies.
  • A-Levels is well suited for those who are familiar and more comfortable with how SPM and IGCSE are conducted in terms of studying and examinations since it is 100% exam based.
  • College is a time for independence, your entire study schedule is up to you since there is very limited risk in skipping or being absent for classes as compared to high school.
  • For those who enjoy more hands-on work, foundation is the way to go since there will be many assignments that require to be a group project.
  • The entry requirement for American Degree Programme (ADP) at INTEC College is 5 credits or 5 C’s and above for SPM
  • The entry requirement for International Baccalaureate in Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) is 5 solid A’s including your sciences and A- for your languages.
  • For those who are not sure of what to take, speak to an education counsellor be it from a college or an educational officer. You should also go for forums like these to have more in depth information from those who actually did the courses.
  • Ask your seniors who have done courses that you are even remotely interested in. It is always best to ask the people who have experienced it.
  • Applications are easier and faster done if you do it physically on campus.


  • Students without scholarships will have to apply themselves or with the help from the respective college counsellor. Students with scholarships will be guided throughout by their scholarly bodies.
  • Syabil received the Bank Negara scholarship where they offered many courses such as International Baccalaureate (IB) , American Degree Programme (ADP) , Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) and A-Levels.
  • Bank Negara scholarship applicants would have to write a 600 word essay and roughly wait between 1 to 2 weeks before being offered or rejected for an interview which consists of a group and individual interview. The interview consists of a case study as well as personal, general knowledge and questions about the bank itself.
  • JPA scholarship applicants will have to record about themselves and their aspirations in 10 years. The interviews will be done in two parts, one in Malay and one in English. Topics such as global knowledge, Industrial Revolution 4 and other similar topics would be asked.
  • It is important to stand out since you are not the only straight A student or student athlete in the mix. Find something unique about yourself to entice the interviewer.
  • It is important to be humble at the same time only highlight your highest achievements and rather than boasting about them, write and tell what you learnt and gained from the experience.
  • Remember that these scholarly bodies are investing money in your future as well as the country’s.
  • During group interviews, it is important to not overshadow the other applicants. This is an opportunity to show that you are a team player and can lead not only order.
  • Your answers should be straight to the point.

College experience

  • Sharafuddin expressed his appreciation towards the lecturers at INTEC who go above and beyond in teaching above their pay grade.
  • Lorraine stated that Taylor’s College is still in hybrid mode (online and physical), which gives more flexibility for students and lecturers.
  • The teaching style at Taylor’s pushes students to take charge of their own learning, something very different from being in high school. The institution also offers over 70 clubs and societies ranging from sports to anime to being a barista
  • Syabil pointed out the dedicated lecturers in KYUEM. Some are very interactive where they push their students to be more active in class discussions.
  • Syabil also highlighted the vast amount of extracurriculars both academic and physical that made him discover things about himself such as sports he never once played before such as squash which he realised he has a talent for.
  • Syabil’s favourite events are the sports carnival and the end of semester concert. He specifically mentioned about the cheering and sports participation he did, something very new to him. The end of semester concert was a farewell to the seniors. He felt a sense of camaraderie amongst his friends when they played sports and enjoyed each other’s performances.
  • Haziq pointed out the importance of staying true to yourself, not only during your essays or interviews but also when choosing a course. Do not let anyone be the decider especially since you are the one who will go through it, not them.

Biggest challenges

  • Even though for A-Levels you only take 3 or 4 subjects, there is a lot to cover and the pressure is more mounting than one would expect.
  • Sharafuddin explained his struggles of being uncomfortable when he first started college and the insecurity he felt when applying for universities. He overcame them by reaching out to friends and being more spiritual.
  • Lorraine’s biggest challenge was inconsiderate group mates. This however, improved her crisis management and made her more self-sufficient. She overcame the problem by reaching out to the lecturer.
  • Haziq felt lost when trying to find ideas for his Internal Assessment projects. He reached out to his seniors if they had any previous ideas that could correlate with his project objective.
  • Their respective colleges gave many opportunities to improve themselves.
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