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Friday, July 29, 2022

Kolej Matrikulasi: often overlooked path to public university

Some parents asked me about matriculation and that is why I am writing this post. In this post, I won't be talking about the details about how to apply. There are many good sites which explain this which I will link to at the end of this post. This post is meant for parents in secondary school who are planning the further education path for their kids in particularly the path to public universities in Malaysia. It is okay if your kids are still in Form 1 or 2, it is never too early to plan. I am also writing from the point of view of a non-bumi. For non-bumi who wish to go on the matriculation path, you need to instill in the kids the value of working hard because good results opens more doors for you. 

Pathways to Public Universities

There are a few paths to public universities:

  • STPM
  • Matriculation College
  • Assasi 
We all know about STPM. Assasi is the foundation course of a specific public university meaning it leads directly to the University you apply to. Matriculation is a foundation course of public universities in general so after you complete it, you still have to apply to a public university and course of your choice. It is also accepted elsewhere but we won't go into that in this post. This post focus only on public universities in Malaysia.

For more information on these and other pre-u courses, you can read this:
Know your pre-university programmes

FAQ, Application and List of Matriculation Colleges

This is the list of all the matriculation colleges in Malaysia. 

Application is easy and done online. It is based on 90% academic performance and 10% co-curricular activities. Read this post to find out which subjects will be taken into account for calculation of your academic performance: Everything you need to know about matriculation in Malaysia.

Here is the FAQ about Matriculation from the KPM (Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia). This will give you more detailed information and a better idea.

Streaming in Matriculation Colleges

There are a few streams you can apply for namely:
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Professional Accounting (for bumiputera only)
The course is either 2 semester or 4 semester. 4 semester course is for bumiputera only.

The 2 semester course is 10 months in duration and open to 10% non-bumiputera students.

If you are interested in this route, you should find out what are the subject requirements to get into the stream of your choice. Then aim to get A+ for the relevant subjects, not just A or A- but A+. Co-curricular activities is important too as it carries 10% weightage. If you do not get in the first round, appeal. There are some students who get in after 2nd or 3rd appeal because some students do not take up the offer either due to distance of the college offered to their home or they prefer to take up a scholarship offer at a private college instead.

Cost of Matriculation College

You only need to pay the registration fee. Example: The cost of the 2 semester science stream is RM12k. This is fully funded by the government. Accomodation is free of charge. This is a fully residential course so students are required to stay in the dorms within campus at all times except outing days on weekends where parents may also visit. The registration fee for the 2 semester science stream is RM599.60. You have to pay this fee after you receive an offer from the college. This fee actually covers the cost of lab coats, student cards, MUET exam fees etc. 

MUET or Malaysia University English Test is required for university admission in Malaysia. You will be required to sit for this test even as a student in a private college going to a private university. Some private universities do not cover the cost or program for MUET so you will have to study and sit for it privately though you may choose to do so at your college or university if it is one of the MUET test centers.

In addition, at the time of writing, if average of both parents income added together is less than RM10k, your child will receive an allowance of RM250/month for 10 months or the entire duration of the course.

Pros and Cons of Matriculation College

  • students will get to mix with other students of all races from all over Malaysia
  • students will learn to be independent and experience university life
  • students will learn soft skills and leadership skills as there is a lot of focus on co-curricular activities
  • the course is short and intensive and students need to be disciplined and manage their time well
  • you may not get the course or university you applied for after matriculation. once you receive an offer, you may not appeal for a change, only those who did not receive an offer may appeal
Additional Info

Once you receive an offer, you may not change the college location except for specific reasons eg. medical, sibling in the same college or switch from East to West Malaysia or vice versa. 

Why go this route? Apart from the obvious factor of cost, there is another reason. For very competitive or high demand courses in public universities, this route may give you a better chance of entry. However, note that you should aim to get a CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of 4 or be a 4 flat student scoring perfect 4As. You should also aim to get 100% co-curricular activities marks as applicants for public universities are selected based on 90% consideration for academic performance and a 10% bonus for co-curriculum activities.

There will be core subjects and compulsory subjects. Compulsory subjects are not included in the calculation for 4 flat. Students are assessed based on a combination of class assignments and end of semester examinations. Medium of instruction is English for Math and Science subjects.

There is a myth that matriculation is easy and will not give you a good foundation. However, it is not exactly true. The course structure is just different that is all. It is intensive, so good time management is a must. It is fully residential, so students must learn to be independent. There will be a lot of co-curricular activities which will teach students soft skills and leadership skills. All in all, a good place for students to get a good experience to transition from high school to universities.

Recommended Reading
Below is a video of the various matriculation colleges in Malaysia.

Tip: You can search for  many videos about matriculation as most matriculation colleges have their own channel. There are also useful tips from matriculation students. In addition, you can find useful information from student bloggers or vloggers. They will give you very good insight from the students themselves. Here are some examples of what students have to say. These are from a few years back but I believe most of them are still relevant today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

What to do in Kangar, Perlis in one day


Here is a quick record of what we did in Perlis in one day, in continuation to my previous post. We were in Perlis to register for the Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis 2022/2023 intake

We went by train a day earlier so it won't be so tiring.

We bought our tickets online from the KTM Integrated Ticketing System or KITS in short. It is very convenient and easy to make a booking. Just book online, they will send you the tickets by email with a QR code and you can use that to scan to check in and out of the station. There are about 5 trips to Arau, Perlis (where I was heading) daily. 4 of them are Platinum service and 1 gold. The difference between the platinum and gold are the gold makes more stops and is about 15 minutes slower. It takes about 5 and 1/2 hours whereas the platinum takes about 5 hours 15 minutes. The timing for the gold is also not a popular time. However, with just 15 minutes difference for about RM25 difference in fare and only 1 service a day, usually the gold is sold out first. 

The train ride has beautiful views of miles and miles of padi fields.

Since I went there by train, I had to rent a car. We booked our car from Brother Car Rental. Interesting experience because everything was done via whatsapp. I never got to meet any of the car rental service guys. I filled up a form stating the date and place of pickup and return, made payment online and the car was waiting for me at the pickup place and time with the keys inside and no one around. I paid a deposit during booking and paid the balance upon pickup. I returned the car in a similar fashion and my deposit was returned to me online after that.

Time for breakfast

We went to My House Restaurant for breakfast. It is like a hawker coffee shop with several stalls. They have char koay teow, bak kut teh (non-halal), pao, tim sum etc. 

The food was not bad and like its name suggest, the owners have taken care of it like a house. If you pay attention you will notice, plants and flowers decorating this house of food.

After fueling up with breakfast, our first stop was Taman Melati. Taman Melati consist of  a couple of lakes and a Chinese garden with lots of lotus. We didn't visit the other lakes, only made a quick stop at the Chinese style garden. 

Watch our video on Taman Melati, Perlis below

Next stop was the Cave of Darkness or Gua Kelam. Entrance fee is only RM1 per person for adult. Parking is RM2. You may find bats in the cave too. A short walk through the dark cave will lead you to a secret garden.

Next stop is the Timah Tasoh Dam. No fee is required here and you only need a few minutes to stop by to take some nice nature photographs. If you are lucky, you may even catch a bird in flight as I did.

Below is our video of the Timah Tasoh Dam, in Perlis.


All that walking and driving leaves one hungry. So its time for lunch. We stopped by at a restaurant called OK. The food was Ok too or more than Ok especially their fish curry and mantis prawn. The price was Ok too, not too pricey.

Then it was back to the room to rest until dinner time because we weren't actually there to play tourist. We were there for a purpose which is to register to the matriculation college in Perlis. A little bit of sight seeing on the side was a bonus. 

We had dinner at the Hai Thien Seafood Restaurant in Perlis. It is located right at the Jetty at Kuala Perlis. Very strategically located so I guess the price is also strategic... It is good to go in the evening to watch the beautiful sunset. I will be back because I missed it. I was stuck waiting for a seat in the restaurant. The food took a long time to come because it was full house and by the time I had finished eating, it was dark. Planning what time to come is important in this case.

We had the Thai Style steamed fish which had ample sauce and was nice. You can get a lot of Thai food here because of its proximity to Thailand. They recommended Ambra Juice in a jug costing RM19 per jug. Rather good and we had many refills each. There were four of us. 

Perlis has beautiful sunrise and sunsets. A beautiful and peaceful place to visit.

I still want to visit the Wang Kelian viewpoint, the floating market etc. Saved for the next round when we are less rushed for time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis Registration 2022/2023 Intake

My son got offered a place at Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis. This post is a personal post to share what we as parents go through when accepting the offer. I won't touch too much about the process of applying for a place for Kolej Matrikulasi. That will be for another post.

Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis map

Should we accept the offer? This is a question that we asked ourselves immediately because it is far and we do not know much about it so we left the decision to our son. We realize that there are some who turn down the offer especially if the college is far away and since they already have scholarship offers in private colleges. Many non-bumis who get into matriculation colleges do so with good results so they would also be entitled to scholarship offers. 

My son decided to take up the offer so we only had one week to prepare. It was very rushed. We had to fill up lots and lots of documents. Below are some of the other things we had to prepare.

  • go to photo shop to take passport sized photos
  • go to Bank Rakyat to open bank account (different matriculation colleges require you to open different bank accounts. Some are BSN or Bank Islam etc)
  • go to school to get pengetua to certify documents and sign as witness to our signatures for the agreement
  • prepare photocopy payslips (if any) or income tax returns if self employed for example
  • prepare photocopy ic of student and parents, birthcert etc 
  • go to income tax office to get agreement stamped

On top of all these documentation, we had to go shopping for some formal clothes which is their required attire during lectures, shirts, slacks, tie. We also had to book train tickets, hotel accommodation and car rental as we were going there by train. The college is located in Arau, Perlis. There are about 4 to 5 ETS trains to Arau in a day. The journey is about 5 hours and 15 minutes long. The KTM train station is about 5 minutes away from the college. Convenient for students travelling to and from college.

We booked our car from Brother Car Rental. Interesting experience because everything was done via whatsapp. I never got to meet any of the car rental service guys. I filled up a form stating the date and place of pickup and return, made payment online and the car was waiting for me at the pickup place and time with the keys inside and no one around. I paid a deposit during booking and paid the balance upon pickup. I returned the car in a similar fashion and my deposit was returned to me online after that.

We had to do the rest of the shopping in Perlis. Since it was our first time in Perlis, we had totally no idea where to go to buy stuff. We saw several Mr DIY at Arau, where the college is located and Kangar (about 15 minutes drive away). However, the one we went to was closed on that Sunday. Eventually we found Giant hypermarket and The Store at Kangar, Perlis which is about 15 to 20 minutes drive away from Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis which was located in Arau, Perlis. There is also a smaller CMart in Arau which may be useful for students on an outing.

Everything done within a week. Phew! 

Below is a short video of our arrival on registration day at Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis 2022/2023 intake.


There are 6 dorms for girls and 3 for boys and they have 3 big cafeterias. Other facilities include the lecture rooms, library, a bakery, mini market, science lab, sports facilities etc and a nice lake too with beautiful sunrise and sunset. I am not sure why the sunrise and sunset here is especially breathtaking.  

Below is how the boys dorm look like. To give them privacy, I am not posting up photos. Instead, here is a layout of the room. (Please ignore the measurements). Basically the room is for max 8 students. There are 4 double bunk beds in a room or unit. The study area is in the centre of the room and there is a divider between the study area and the sleeping area. Currently there are 4 students to a room. Each student takes up a double bunk bed. 

Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis Boy's Dorm room layout

Next: What to do in Arau and Kangar, Perlis.

Benefit From 1-to-1 Tutoring Without Breaking The Bank



Ever wondered which type of learning or teaching method is most effective for your child? Group tuition, private tuition, online classes, self study?

Educationalist Benjamin S Bloom published a research paper in 1984 that showed that the average student performed around 98% better under one-to-one tutoring as compared to a classroom group setting. This tells us that all students can in fact succeed if they received high quality interactions with tutors and were simply taught the right way.

This research paper was titled “The 2 Sigma Problem” because though effective, not everyone can afford one-to-one tutoring.

Even today in Malaysia, the market rate for private tuition for Primary is around RM60/hour per subject while private tuition for Secondary can go up to RM85/hour per subject. Most private tutors also expect monthly payment upfront for each student they take on. Again, this is not a luxury that every household can afford.

Introducing AskBee - Reducing The Cost Of Personal Tutoring

AskBee is an app that helps primary and secondary school students learn better, by providing them with live, on-demand access to personal tutors at a reasonable cost.

Say goodbye to forking out hundreds of dollars for a single subject…

With personal or online tutoring, you would have to spend RM 400/month on a single subject. Now picture your child needing help for 3 subjects - that’s RM1,200/month per child!

Fret not because sessions on AskBee start from as low as just RM 9! Payment on AskBee works on a token basis. Each time your child places a request for a tutor, tokens will be credited from their account. The more tokens you purchase, the lower the cost of a session.

Another great thing about AskBee is that the tokens are not restricted to a single subject. So if your child is registering as a Primary 1 student, they’re free to use their tokens on all Primary 1 subjects available on the app.

Say goodbye to weekly or monthly tuition payments…

Forget about large upfront payments or having to commit to weekly or monthly payment schedules with your child’s tutor.

All tokens on AskBee are valid for 1 full year. Payment also works on a prepaid basis with no lock-in commitment!

Why not save yourself time and cost by reallocating just a portion of that tuition allowance into AskBee where tokens can be used on any subjects and are valid throughout the entire year.

Say goodbye to unnecessary travel time…

Don’t bother getting stuck in traffic on the way to the tutor’s house, or wasting precious time circling the block looking for parking around the tuition centre.

With on-demand access to live tutoring, sessions can take place anytime and anywhere. Your child simply has to whip out the app & get matched with an expert tutor who will help guide them through their homework or worksheet within 15 minutes.

With quick and effective sessions on AskBee for as low as RM9, everyone can now afford one-to-one tutoring. Help your child reach his or her full potential through one-on-one guidance from AskBee’s expert tutors.

“The app is so easy to use and all the tutors have been so helpful and friendly. I feel a lot more confident in my studies these days knowing that I have my favourite tutors on standby ready to help me whenever I need them. ”

(Ethan Yap, Standard 6)

This post was brought to you by AskBee. AskBee is an app that helps primary and secondary school students to learn better, by providing them with live, on-demand access to a personal tutor.

The app’s unique live video format enhances learning through face-to-face chat, different interactive modes and screen sharing functions.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Matrikulasi Results 2022

The Matrikulasi Program 2022/2023 results will be out soon on 16 July 2022. Applicants may check the results here:


Below are other important dates to remember.

16 - 23 July 2022 - Checking results and acceptance. Appeals to be done online
24 - 25 July 2022 - Registration to respective colleges that have been assigned to student
16 - 18 July 2022 - Appeal to change course/college
22 July 2022 - Results for appeal to change
29 July 2022 - Results for second intake
31 July 2022 - Registration to respective colleges for second intake

Note that applicants may appeal online if they did not receive an offer. Those that have received offers to colleges cannot change college location unless under specific conditions eg: medical, sibling in college or changing from West to East Malaysia or vice versa. 

Source of info: https://matrikulasi.moe.gov.my/system/index.cfm

There are 17 Matriculation colleges all together. They are as follows:

1. Perlis: Kolej Matrikulasi Perlis Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 02600 Arau, Perlis. Tel: 04-9868613 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmp.matrik.edu.my

2. Kedah: Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 06010 Changlun, Kedah. Tel: 04-9286100 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmk.matrik.edu.my

3. Kedah: Kolej Matrikulasi Kejuruteraan Kedah Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, Pokok Tai, 06720 Pendang, Kedah. Tel: 04-4682508 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmkk.matrik.edu.my

4. Kedah: Kolej MARA Kuala Nerang Lot 556, Daerah Padang Terap, 06300 Kuala Nerang, Kedah Tel: 04-7867250 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmkn.edu.my

5. Kedah: Kolej MARA Kulim Jalan Junjong, 09000 Kulim, Kedah. Tel: 04-4906422 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmkulim.edu.my

6. Pulau Pinang: Kolej Matrikulasi Pulau Pinang Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 13200 Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang. Tel: 04-5756090 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmpp.matrik.edu.my

7. Perak: Kolej Matrikulasi Perak Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 31600 Gopeng, Perak. Tel: 05-3594449 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmpk.matrik.edu.my

8. Kelantan: Kolej Matrikulasi Kelantan Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, Beg Berkunci No. 3, 16810 Selising, Kelantan. Tel: 09-7808000 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmkt.matrik.edu.my

9. Pahang: Kolej Matrikulasi Pahang Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 26300 Gambang, Pahang. Tel: 09-5495000 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmph.matrik.edu.my

10. Pahang: Kolej Matrikulasi Kejuruteraan Pahang Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 26400 Bandar Jengka, Pahang. Tel: 09-4677103 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmkph.matrik.edu.my

11. Selangor: Kolej Matrikulasi Selangor Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, Kathong Mukim Jugra, 42700 Banting, Selangor Tel: 03-31201410 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kms.matrik.edu.my

12. Negeri Sembilan: Kolej Matrikulasi Negeri Sembilan Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 72000 Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan Tel: 06-4841825 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmns.matrik.edu.my

13. Melaka: Kolej Matrikulasi Melaka Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 78300 Masjid Tanah, Melaka. Tel: 06-3832000 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmm.matrik.edu.my

14. Johor: i. Kolej Matrikulasi Johor Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, Jalan Payamas, 84900 Tangkak, Ledang, Johor. Tel: 06-9781613 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmj.matrik.edu.my

15. Johor: Kolej Matrikulasi Kejuruteraan Johor Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, KM 5, Jalan Kukup, Mukim Rimba Terjun, 82000 Pontian, Johor. Tel: 07-6881629 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmkj.matrik.edu.my

16. Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan: Kolej Matrikulasi Labuan Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, Jalan OKK Daud, Merinding, Peti Surat 81735, 87027 Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan. Tel: 087-465311 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kml.matrik.edu.my

17. Sarawak: Kolej Matrikulasi Sarawak Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, Lot 216, Fasa II, Taman Perindustrian Sejingkat, Peti Surat P17, 93457 Kuching, Sarawak. Tel: 082-439100 Laman Sesawang: http://www.kmsw.matrik.edu.my

Read the following FAQ on the Matriculation Program to know more about the registration and appeal process.

Finally, here is the Academic Calendar for 2022/2023 for the Program Matrikulasi or Matriculation Program.

Good luck to students who applied!

Lower Primary school English learning resources

This post was brought to you by British Council Malaysia.

One of the most wonderful developments we often see in our Lower Primary students is a deepening connection with books. Between the ages of seven and 12, children learn the skills to interact closely with stories, using their imagination as they practise organising and expressing their thoughts.

By focusing on literature, we can help our young learners grow into passionate readers, but also creative thinkers and confident communicators. Let’s take a look at why it can be such a powerful learning tool and explore some fantastic reading material recommended by our teachers.

Lower Primary School English Learning Resources

The role of literature in Lower Primary education

English enrichment can help Lower Primary students to excel academically and develop key skills in all areas. By exploring a variety of literature, they will not only learn English, but also core competencies such as resilience, critical thinking and creativity. Crucially, they will also grow in confidence, enabling them to collaborate effectively with their peers and respond well to new challenges.

Children learn best when they are relaxed, happy, and purposefully engaged. They should associate learning with rewarding and stimulating lessons, where they can speak up and ask questions. Literature ignites discussion and the sharing of ideas, allowing children to find their voice in a supportive and positive learning environment.

Seven Lower Primary book recommendations from our teachers

Reading comprehension is the foundation for confident communication. Here are seven books loved by our teachers and students alike to help boost your child’s English at home.

Roald Dahl books

It would be impossible to pick the best, but The Twits and Revolting Rhymes are particularly entertaining for children. The books of Roald Dahl are children’s classics that deserve a place on every family’s bookshelves.

David Walliams books

From Gangsta Granny to Billionaire Boy, David Walliams’ wildly successful children’s books are filled with jokes and outrageous characters.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The first in the series, this popular book is bound to produce laughter and is a good choice for children who are not fully convinced by the joys of reading yet.

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks series by Kristina Stephenson

These vividly illustrated books are a feast for the imagination and contain plenty of humour to keep children engaged.

The Alien Next Door by Al Newton

This lighthearted series of science-fiction books tell the story of a boy who is trying to fit in at school (and on a new planet).

Spy Toys by Mark Powers

An action-packed series about a band of ‘Spy Toys’ and their top-secret missions, these books are heartfelt and humorous.

Geronimo Stilton series by Elisabetta Dami

This charming series takes children on worldwide adventures with plenty of wordplay to enjoy.

About The British Council in Malaysia

The British Council in Malaysia offers English courses for kids and teens. Your child will learn more than just language, they will develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and making connections.

To find out more about our courses for kids and teens, visit our website or book a free consultation with our friendly consultant.

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