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A-Level or Foundation: Which is better?

You must be familiar with foundation programmes and A-Level. It is likely that you have also learned that both programmes may be used as a stepping stone to a university degree programme. But which one ought to you pick? Is a foundation superior than A-Level or the opposite?

We are happy to offer you guidance and go over the benefits of both programmes in this post. Find out by reading on!



  • 100% exam based

  • Duration of study: 18 months to 2 years

  • Number of subjects: 3 or 4 subjects


  • Exam & coursework based

  • Duration of study: 9 months to 1 year

  • Number of subjects: 3 or 4 subjects (different subjects for each semester)

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A-Level Vs. Foundation in Malaysia

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A-Level: 100% exam-based, divided into AS Level and A2 Level. Both your AS and A2 Level grades will contribute to your final A-Level grade. Depending on the student intake, the course of study might vary from 18 months to 2 years. Within this time frame, you will be provided in-depth study in 3–4 of the subjects of your choosing.

Foundation: A shorter but focused programme that typically takes 9 months to 1 year to complete. Various universities will use different evaluation standards. However, you should anticipate that both tests and assignments will be used to evaluate you. You will also be exposed to a number of subjects every semester, 3 or 4 subjects, depending on the university.



RM30,000 to RM40,000 


RM10,000 to RM30,000


A-Level: A-level is a programme that not only prepares you for university but also allows you the opportunity to pursue further study abroad in countries like Australia, the United States, Canada, and Singapore. A-Level can be used to pursue degrees locally as well because most private colleges accept them. After earning your A-Level, your options will undoubtedly be lot more varied.

Foundation: Between the two programmes, foundation is undoubtedly the faster path. Its shorter study period might put you up to a year ahead of your A-Level peers, which is why this programme has a cheaper tuition fee. Foundation will equip you with the fundamentals of your chosen field of study, whether it be in science, engineering, or business, despite the short study duration. Foundation is the better choice if you want to get right in to your chosen area.


  • Opens to many options

  • Prepares students well for university

  • Is recognised worldwide


  • Provides shorter study duration

  • Offers a lower cost of fees

  • Is specific to students' intended major

A-Level: Despite the fact that A-Level is often more expensive, you are really paying for more. In addition to studying for a longer period of time, you will be required to pay for the worldwide recognition that opens up a larger range of universities.

Foundation: Due to the foundation's shorter study period, the pricing range begins relatively lower than A-Level. Foundation is still an excellent investment since you pay fairly for a quicker path and a smooth transfer to a degree.

Note: Some prestigious universities, such the University of Warwick, University of Bristol, Durham University, and University of Leeds, do provide their foundation programmes. Some foundations are acknowledged by foreign universities as well.  For further information, feel free to contact Edu Experts.



  • Costs more

  • Takes longer to complete


  • Hectic class schedules

  • Recognition is limited

A-Level: The majority of students' worries often centre on the cost of the a-levels. It makes sense since, even if you receive a full scholarship for your A-Level studies, you could still have to pay for Cambridge test fees, lab fees, and so forth. In fact, A-Level is one of the most costly pre-university programmes available, even with the cheapest options being rather pricey. As a result, you would need to be ready and plan appropriately.

Foundation: A year less than A-level, university foundation courses last around one year. However, the shorter length results in a busier schedule with fewer breaks between semesters and more classes. In addition, for each particular university, foundation courses are specially designed. The university itself is responsible for running it. Because of this, it has a lower chance of being accepted by foreign colleges. 



Consider A-Level if you...​

  • Obtain above average results and excel in SPM/IGCSE

  • Keen to pursue your studies abroad, particularly in the UK

  • Wish to pursue highly competitive degrees such as medicine, dentistry or veterinary science


Consider foundation if you...​

  • Prefer a combination of exams and coursework assessment

  • Wish to pursue your degree in Malaysia

  • Are sure of the interest and field that you want to pursue and eager to get started

It should be mentioned that neither option is superior than the other. This also applies to other pre-university courses. Whatever best suits you will ultimately depend on your priorities, requirements, and preferences. Now that these details are known, it is up to you to choose wisely.

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