Do you know that the UEC is the only school-based exam qualification in Malaysia that uses simplified Mandarin Chinese as its medium of instruction?

The Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) known as 统考 is a pre-university exam that is exclusively taken by students who are studying at Chinese Independent High Schools (华文独立中学).

As of today, there are 60 registered Chinese independent high schools in Malaysia.

The first UEC took place in 1975 and the entire examination system (teaching syllabus, examination timetable and grading criteria) is administered by The United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia, commonly known as Dong Zong (董总) every year.

In this article, you will learn more about the UEC in terms of its subjects, education pathway and ways to ace this exam.

The best Homework help tutors available
Syed abdul jabbar
Syed abdul jabbar
RM25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Rifqi
Rifqi
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Yamuna
Yamuna
RM100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kogi
Kogi
RM46
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kumaresan
Kumaresan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hhu
Hhu
RM35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nurul al malina
Nurul al malina
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hao yuan
Hao yuan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Syed abdul jabbar
Syed abdul jabbar
RM25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Rifqi
Rifqi
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Yamuna
Yamuna
RM100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kogi
Kogi
RM46
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kumaresan
Kumaresan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hhu
Hhu
RM35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nurul al malina
Nurul al malina
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hao yuan
Hao yuan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

What Are The Different Levels And Subjects For UEC Exams?

There are three levels of UEC, which include the Junior Middle Three exams, Senior Middle Three exams and also the Vocational section exams.

Here is the list of subjects that students will study for different levels and streams.

Junior Middle Three UEC [Taken during Form 3 studies (初三)- 15 years old]

  • Art
  • Bahasa Malaysia
  • Chinese Language
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Science

Learn more about the assessments for lower secondary at the Malaysian public schools.

Senior Middle Three UEC  [Taken during Form 6 studies (高三)- 18 years old ]

The table below shows the total number of students that registered for the Senior UEC exam from 2017 to 2021.

YearNumber of students that registered for Senior UEC exams
201710217
201812221
201911522
202011726
202111499

Students will either study the Science stream, Commerce stream or Pure Art stream at this level.

The 3 languages are compulsory subjects for all the UEC streams. Students can sit for 7 subjects up to 10 subjects combination.

  • Accounting
  • Advanced Mathematics
  • Advanced Mathematics I
  • Advanced Mathematics II
  • Art
  • Bahasa Malaysia
  • Basic Circuit Theory
  • Biology
  • Bookkeeping & Accounts
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Language
  • Computing & Information Technology
  • Digital Logic
  • English
  • Economics
  • Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Principles of Electronics
exam uec malaysia
There are many subjects that you can choose to study for your UEC exam.
Source: Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Vocational section

  • Car Repair & Maintenance
  • Car Repair & Maintenance (Practical)
  • Fine Art & Craft
  • Fine Art & Craft (Practical)
  • Industrial English

If you're interested to know more about vocational studies in Malaysia, you can also refer to this guide to understand the Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM).

What Is The Grading System Of UEC?

The UEC grading system follows a different grading system from its public school equivalent, STPM.

For STPM (Form Six studies) in public schools, students only need to sit for four subjects and their grading system is calculated using the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system.

GradeCGPA
A4
A-3.67
B+3.33
B3
B-2.67
C+2.33
C2
C-1.67
D+1.33
D1
F0

When it comes to UEC, the subjects are graded according to nine grades as listed below:

  • A1 
  • A2
  • B3 
  • B4
  • B5
  • B6
  • C7 [Pass]
  • C8 [Pass]
  • F9 [Fail]

Have a better understanding of the SPM exam that is taken by Form 5 students in Malaysian public schools.

The best Homework help tutors available
Syed abdul jabbar
Syed abdul jabbar
RM25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Rifqi
Rifqi
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Yamuna
Yamuna
RM100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kogi
Kogi
RM46
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kumaresan
Kumaresan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hhu
Hhu
RM35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nurul al malina
Nurul al malina
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hao yuan
Hao yuan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Syed abdul jabbar
Syed abdul jabbar
RM25
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Rifqi
Rifqi
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Yamuna
Yamuna
RM100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kogi
Kogi
RM46
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Kumaresan
Kumaresan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hhu
Hhu
RM35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Nurul al malina
Nurul al malina
RM30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Hao yuan
Hao yuan
RM50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

What Is The UEC Entry Requirements To Study Degree/Other Programmes In Malaysia?

The general rule of thumb for minimum degree entry requirements for private universities and colleges in Malaysia is this:

  1. Most of the time, students can proceed to a direct degree programme if they score 5 credits (Bs) for any subjects for their UEC exams.
  2. If students have at least 3 credits (Bs) to 4 credits (Bs), they cannot enrol for a degree programme straight away and must choose to do a Diploma/ Foundation programme locally.

However, different degree programmes/universities will indicate their specification for their targeted UEC entry requirement. This could be due to the nature of the degree and also the ranking of the universities.

  • For the Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) offered by Asia Pacific University in Malaysia, the UEC entry requirement is 5 Grade B Passes in Science Stream in any subject including Mathematics and one Science or ICT subject. 
  • For the BSc Nutrition (Hons) offered by the University of Nottingham Malaysia, the UEC entry requirement is at least 1 A and 4 B3s, including biology and chemistry, excluding Bahasa Malaysia and the Chinese language.

On a side note, some universities may require students to calculate the cumulative points of their best 5 or 6 subjects' results for scholarship application.

Here's how to calculate them.

UEC gradePoint
A11
A22
B33
B44
B55
B66

Is UEC Very Difficult And What Should You Take Note Of If You Take It?

By now, you would have gained some idea about the UEC exams in terms of their subjects and grading system. Perhaps this will lead to the impression that it is super difficult to score.

Well, it would be less challenging if you apply these study tips while you're preparing for the exams.

Tip 1: You need to be a master of the Chinese language 

Granted that the majority of the exams will be conducted in Chinese, you definitely need to make sure your Chinese skill is top-notch.

This means you have to consistently improve your reading and writing in Chinese to have excellent comprehension and answer explanation skills when you're attempting the exams.

test uec malaysia
Chinese language proficiency is a key to doing well in UEC.
Photo by Leon Gao on Unsplash

If learning a foreign language is your passion, you can check out this guide on the UPBA.

Tip 2: Take note of the entry requirement for your desired degree 

It is important to set a feasible and clear goal as you prepare while you're just starting as a UEC student.

When you have verified the minimum entry requirement for the programme that you want to study, it serves as a guideline to motivate and educate you on:

  • which subjects to register
  • which subjects to prioritize based on your current level
  • the ideal grade combination you should aim for

For example, if you want to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering, you'll know that the minimum entry requirement for UEC is to pass with 5Bs including Mathematics and Physics / Chemistry.

Tip 3:  Take up private tutoring

After confirming the UEC entry requirement for the programme that you intend to study, you can then come out with an effective studying routine to score well for the registered subjects.

You might even want to attend private tutoring lessons after class to deepen your understanding of the subjects.

At Superprof, you can find many tutors of various subjects to equip you with the best studying and exam answering techniques for different learning levels including IGCSE.

Whether you are looking for a Science tutor, Business Studies tutor, Accounting tutor or even Art tutor, Superprof got you covered!

You can even choose between face-to-face lessons or online lessons to have the best flexible learning experience. Not only that, you can find many reliable and experienced Superprof tutors from different parts of Malaysia.

You don't have to worry about the cost of the lessons as you are the one who determines the maximum budget of the hourly rate for your lessons.

How can you do that?

While you are at the Superprof Malaysia homepage, you can select the maximum budget of your hourly rate (for example RM40 per hour for Accounting lessons) at the tab on the left-hand side of the website.

After doing that, you will be directed to a pool of Accounting tutor profiles that only offer their lessons according to your chosen price range. Then you can start browsing while comparing the profiles' information and later proceed to contact the tutor to book your first lesson.

It's easy as ABC, right?

Now, let's talk about the 3 main reasons why many students still prefer to take the UEC over the years.

a) One of the most cost-effective pre-university programme 

Do you know that some local foundation programmes can go up to RM20k? For other pre-university programmes like A-Level, Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT), the amount could be higher depending on the institutions that you are studying at.

In general, you only need RM5000 to RM8000 a year if you're studying for UEC at a Chinese Independent High School. The costs include tuition fee, annual fee, daily expenses and hostel fees if you're from outstation.

b) Shorter duration 

The entire duration to get a UEC qualification takes only one year. By the time your results is released, you're only 19 years old. Imagine entering the first year of a degree before the age of 20!

study uec malaysia
You can enter a degree earlier with a UEC qualification.
Source: Xframe

You're able to complete your studies early and graduate earlier as compared to your same-age peers who took the A-Level, for instance.

Discover more about the secondary school examinations in Malaysia.

c) Internationally recognized comprehensive syllabus with Chinese-language emphasis 

This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why UEC remains a top pick among the Chinese community in Malaysia.

The syllabus of UEC is distinctively curated from learning materials from China and Taiwan, making it a globally recognized qualification. UEC graduates, therefore, have a solid foundation in the Mandarin language and Chinese history, making them a strong candidate to thrive in Chinese speaking countries if they choose to study or work there in the future.

How Is UEC Recognized In Malaysia And Other Countries?

Here are some countries and higher learning institutions that acknowledge UEC as a pre-university qualification

  • Malaysia 

As of 2022, the UEC is widely accepted by all foreign branch campuses in Malaysia (Monash University), local private universities (Taylor's University), private university colleges (UOW Malaysia)and colleges (Raffles Kuala Lumpur).

One thing to take note of: The UEC however is not recognized by local public universities like Universiti Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia.

  • Singapore

Singapore has since recognized the UEC qualification since 1997 and many universities, polytechnics and colleges have received many Malaysian UEC graduates.

Here is the list of countries that also accept the UEC qualifications to pursue a degree.

  • Taiwan, China and Hong Kong 
  • United Kingdom 
  • Australia
  • America 
  • Canada
  • New Zealand 
  • Ireland
  • South Korea, Japan and many more

In short, the UEC certificate can take you places, be it in Malaysia or overseas. We hope this article has broadened your knowledge on this subject and will inspire you to study hard!

>

The platform that connects tutors and students

First Lesson Free

Enjoyed this article? Leave a rating.

5.00 (1 rating(s))
Loading...

An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.