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Exams for Studying in Malaysia - IELTS, TOEFL and other requirements

Anam Shams Anam Shams
Content Curator

For all the international students preparing to study in Malaysia, it is imperative to understand the different courses and providers of higher education. There are different kinds of requirements to qualify for a diploma, certificate and undergraduate courses. In Malaysia, the primary providers of higher education are polytechnics, universities, and colleges.

To study diploma and certificate courses in Malaysia, students need to be above 17 years of age, while to study bachelors/masters’ students need to be 19-20 years of age.

English Language Requirements: Study in Malaysia

As Malaysia is a culturally diverse nation, with no specific primary language being spoken in the country, it is essential to know the language entry requirements for entering the top universities in Malaysia.  Almost all recognized universities in Malaysia ask students to undertake certain English language tests and prove their proficiency in the language. Here is the academic qualification wise English language requirement to study in Malaysia.

Foundation and Diploma courses in Malaysia

  • IELTS 4.0
  • CEFR A2
  • CAE 160 (Cambridge Advanced English)
  • CPE 180 (Cambridge English Proficiency)
  • MUET Band 2 (Malaysian University English Test)

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Malaysia

  • IELTS 6.0
  • TOEFL 550
  • PTE 51-58 (Pearson Test of English)

Ph.D./Doctorate Courses in Malaysia

  • IELTS 6.0+
  • TOEFL 550+
  • MUET Band 3 (Malaysian University English Test)
  • CAE 160 (Cambridge Advanced English)

Entry Requirements for Top Universities in Malaysia

As per the QS World Ranking, the three top universities in Malaysia and their eligibility criteria for undergraduate and postgraduate courses are as follows.

University Eligibility Criteria (Undergraduate Courses)Eligibility Criteria (Postgraduate Courses)
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)IELTS (Band 5.0+)Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with CGPA 3.00 (min)
TOEFL – 500IELTS – 5.5/6
Advanced level certificate with grades above than 80 / National level certificate with grades above than 80TOEFL - 500
Diploma with CGPA 3.00-
Universiti Malaya (UM)IELTS (Band 5.5+)Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with CGPA 3.00 (min)
TOEFL – 500IELTS – 5.5/6
Diploma from a recognized university with CGPA 3.0 (min)TOEFL - 550
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)IELTS – 5.5Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with CGPA 3.00 (min)
TOEFL – 500IELTS – 5.5/6
Diploma with CGPA 3.0TOEFL - 550

Entry Requirements and Duration of Course in Malaysia

Qualification LevelEligibilityAge Study Duration
CertificateSPM- Secondary School Qualification17+1-1.5 Years
DiplomaSPM- Secondary School Qualification17+2-3 Years
BachelorsPre-university and post-secondary qualification like GCE-A level and STPM19+3-5 Years
MastersBachelor’s DegreeAny Age1-3 Years
PhDMaster’s DegreeAny Age3-5 Years

How to Prepare for Getting into Top Universities in Malaysia?

  • Preparatory Courses: If a student wishes to excel in one specific course of study, then he should take a course that teaches him the basics of the main curriculum. In this way, they can seek an extra education boost before straightaway jumping into masters and research programs. Some notable examples of preparatory courses to study in Malaysia are, pre-Law, pre-medicine and pre-MBA courses
  • English Language Courses: If a student is contemplating to study in Malaysia, he or she should know that having English language skill set is extremely essential to be active in the campus circle. At some universities in Malaysia, lectures and examinations are conducted in Malaya while others are strictly English-speaking universities. Nevertheless, students need to know the language regardless of the type of university. English language requirement to study in Malaysia are, IELTS, TOEFL and C1 C2 proficiency.

Getting into the top universities in Malaysia is simple on the off chance that students understand and are through with all the entry requirements in Malaysia. These tests are conducted throughout the year; hence students have the liberty to start preparing for these on time.

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