I have been thinking of writing about this topic for some time, just all the events that happened around me kept this article delayed and at last, today, a few hours after the end of my STPM trials, I can spare some time to sit in front of my laptop and finish up this article!

Alright! First of all, STPM and Matrix are basically two of the most common public Pre-U courses in Malaysia. With this, it means that both of them share some similar traits which I'll explain below. But though, when it comes to decide between STPM and Matrix, many students face a hard time because both STPM and Matrix too, have very big difference in many aspects, and the decision-making is getting harder when the new STPM Baharu modular system is introduced due to the lack of info and accurate information. Well, as always, read on with an open mind peeps!

Subjects offered for STPM differed according to the particular school, while for Matrix there are 3 modules for the Science Stream and 1 module for Arts:
  1. Science Stream
  • Physics, Chemistry, Bio, Maths
  • Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Maths
  • Bio, Chem, Computer Science, Maths
   2. Art Stream
  • Matematik, Perakaunan, Ekonomi dan Pengurusan.

STPM - 18 freaking months.
Basically this is one of the reason why many prefer to go for Matrix, because STPM is more time-consuming compared to Matrix. Longer period of study means you will be going to university later compared to Matrix students. A simple example, a same age friend of mine, now has started his university life in UM after completing Matrix while I am now still in my last semester of STPM. But for SPM-leavers that are still unsure about the right path to go in the future, STPM might be the Pre-U for you as you'll have more time to explore and discover your passion.

Matriculation - There're two different program for Matrix, one with 1 year duration (PST) and another with 2 years duration (PDT). But since only PST is opened for both Bumiputras and Non-Bumi, I'll just focus on the 1 year PST program. Yeah, so generally Matrix is a 1 year Pre-U program. With this, it means that Matrix students get to step into university life earlier than STPM students. But bare in mind, a shorter studying duration means that there'll be something that you might left out in your studies compared to STPM students. Read on and I'll explain about this.

As I mentioned earlier, a shorter studying period means what you learnt in Matrix will be lesser when compared to STPM students. This is a what I got from an article written by an ex-Matrix student:

"Okay don’t worry, I’m not going to be one of those people who defend the standards of matriculation and compare it directly to STPM. Let’s get real. This sh*t is easy. Anybody can do well here. Trust me." 

Well, whether it is that easy, I cannot tell since I'm not a Matrix student. But here, read about what another ex-Matrix student wrote: 

"Yes, matrix is easier than STPM. Matriculation's syllabus is just the summary of what form 6 learnt at school. In matrix, we still can use STPM syllabus for revision. But the content of the book is quite a lot compare to matrix."

So, from this I think it is okay to say that STPM's syllabus is more in depth compared to Matrix. 

For your information, in order to enter public universities, you'll be considered along with your co-curriculum achievements (10%) besides your academic results. And for that I must say that STPM students are facing a tough time to get that 10% compared to Matrix students. 

"This was the only thing that bugged me throughout. I really wasn’t that involved. But fortunately, as I came to realise later, the point accumulation system they used made scoring very….errr...easy? Seriously, STPM students rage when they read this. Here’s what I mean:

Activity among hostel block members? Considered district level. Activities within college? Considered state level. Competitions against other colleges? Considered national level."

STPM students are required to involved in all 3 bodies (sports, uniform and clubs) and you can imagine the 10% is really really hard to get. Everyday after school everyone will just go back home to study or go for tuition, who are there to plan activities for you? Sigh....................

Further Study Opportunities 
STPM - Good thing about STPM is, you're well-recognized in many countries' universities, so you can often read that STPM students with good results that didn't receive the course they want or not wanted by public universities being offered scholarships from different countries.

The pathetic side is if you are aiming to get into public university with the course you want, better think twice about taking up STPM. To get into public university is lucky, and to get the course you want is luckier, and to get into the university you wish and also getting the course you want, is one in a million for STPM-leavers!

Sad huh?

Matriculation - Matrix-leavers are all confirmed a place in public university. Yay..............not yet! What if you do not get the course you want? There is where all the problem comes in. If you do not get the course you want or you do not get the choice of university that you want, you're pretty much in trouble. Yes, private universities are starting to accept Matrix, but not all. So this means that your choices will be very limited if you are in this situation. 

STPM - Studying in STPM gives you a second chance to return to school to pursue your Pre-U. But Form 6 is definitely not Form 5 thingy, it is pretty much a huge leap of standard from SPM and STPM. And with the new modular system that is still immature, there'll be some coping for you to do (at least that freaked me out for some time in Sem 1). 

Matriculation - Like it or not, most of the Matriculation colleges are built in rural areas or less developed areas. This means less fun, less makan place, less shopping malls, no chatime, no BurgerLab etc etc etc.... and even no cinemas (oh nooo ~ ~ ~). Your daily weekdays routine are kinda restricted in your college, and you are given day off in the weekend, but sometimes you'll not even have the  weekend off because weekend activities in your college. Well, even you can go out, where would you go? There are not even interesting places for you to go. LOL. 

This is perfect for those who do not like distractions in their studies and those who do not mind less-PJ/KL style of living. Still, good news, you're given RM1250 of 'pocket money' per semester in Matriculation. I think you will be able to survive life in Matrix if you have been to NS and you're not a mama-boy and knows how to do a little bit of houseworks. 

To End.............
In a nutshell, I can only say affordable education such as STPM and Matriculation come with a price. It might not in the form of money but the life experiences and academic opportunities compared to private Pre-U students. STPM is tough, but believe me, endure through it, and you are a champion. Matriculation seems easy, but the different lifestyle especially for city kids that always live a comfortable life, it is another tough challenge to overcome. In the end, it is still your ATTITUDE that decides your FUTURE. If you have the right attitude, whether you are in STPM or Matrix you'll succeed either way. But if you have the wrong attitude, you are pretty much doom in any Pre-U. 

Keep on with the right attitude, stay focus and persevere, in the end you might not be the best among your peers, but you know, deep in your heart, you are the champ! All the best and good luck!  

*Credits to for the example paragraphs that I had picked (words in grey colour) from their well-written articles*


  1. informative and thought-provoking

  2. very well written... keep it up.

  3. Very good I love your article very much

  4. Very good I love your article very much

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