Alevels 101 for SPM Graduates

What you should think about in choosing your Pre U course

  1. What are you interested in? Law? Mass Com?
  2. Where do you want to go? Do you want to study abroad?
  3. Do you prefer coursework or exams?

I’m only familiar with the international pre-u courses such as Alevels, SAM, IB, and CPU. But here i’m gonna talk about Alevels, (based on my own personal experience) and hope it helps.

Why I chose Alevels?

I didn’t know what course to take. I didn’t want to tie myself down to only learning 1 subject, but instead to explore different interests of mine. With Alevels I can take up to 4 subjects. So I took, Law, Psychology and Literature in English. With these 3 subjects, I had an open road for my degree. I could go with either one of these subjects. But kid you not, just because Alevels have 3 subjects doesn’t mean its easy.

“Eleeeh, 3 subject je dia belajar. Senang la, SPM 8 subject.” I hear this a lot. It’s also a common reason why people took Alevels. Please, 3 subjects doesn’t mean its easy. Nearly half of the students in my class dropped out after the first Sem. The 3/4 subjects you take, will teach you in depth the introduction. For example, in Law, I learnt the English Legal System, Contract Law and Tort Law. I learnt to analyse 6 books for my Literature in English, from Shakespeare to Chaucer. For Psychology, I learnt different studies, and also went deep into Psychology and Abnormality, and Psychology and Education. ALL IN 18 MONTHS.

Alevels is exam based. There’s no course work, no presentations, none of that. It’s 100% exam. 50% AS, and 50% A2 – these are the level. There’s fast track, which is 18 months. Which is what most colleges offer. There is also, the normal duration of 2 years. In which you learn your AS for a year, and A2 for the other. Even though only your final exams count, doesn’t mean you can slack off and study last minute. Well, not if you want really impressive results.

With a certificate of Alevels, you can go anywhere in the world. ANYWHERE. It is recognised everywhere, from UK to US. This was also another reason I chose Alevels, I love the option. The wide road of opportunities. Most people who do Alevels wants to go to UK, but there are the few who wants to go to the prestigious universities in US with Alevels. It’s easier they say?? I don’t know about that. You can also continue locally, to Universities that are from the UK or you can try apply to the local universities like UM, or UiTM. Though, the chances are slim because they skim through foundation, diploma, metric, and all first before Alevels. Unless your results are tremendous.

My experience with Alevels. HELL. Once you do alevels, you abandon your social life. Well, a part of it. HAHA, I don’t really know how I survived. The reason I didn’t quit was because I didn’t want to waste my parents’ money. But also, I was really determined going in. My father said “you can only go to UK, if you get into the top Universities.” So I googled the rankings of universities and their entry requirements, and aimed for AAB for the course in Philosophy and Psychology, at University of Warwick. IM- POSS- SI- BLE. Was all I thought about. But I studied in my own way, and got out of Alevels alive, even made my parents proud. Which was my main aim.


I got 3As and an offer to Warwick University for Philosophy and Psychology. But I decided to stay here and go to Nottingham University for Psychology, just to be closer to home. And ease my way there.

Some Tips in choosing your pre u course.

  1. ALWAYS follow your interest. Don’t just do something your parents want you to do, it’s always going to be a struggle when your passion is not there. That passion is what motivates you at 3am doing your revisions.
  2. Keep in mind your next step. If you don’t want to study abroad, taking alevels isn’t necessary. You should take diploma, or foundation.
  3. Study at your own pace, and if you feel like it. When you have the mood to study you can study up to 2am, but when you don’t. That 20 mins read won’t even go in your head.
  4. Pre U is kinda important. Don’t fuck it up, you’ll regret it if you’re stuck in a shitty university for your degree because you didn’t take pre u seriously. This is a huge chunk of how your future looks like.
  5. This is the time you find your people. Because its where you are put together with people of the same interest. So explore.
  6. This is the time your find yourself. As much as education is important, take this opportunity to learn yourself too.



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