6 Things You Got Completely Wrong About Australian Matriculation
Think you know everything about SACE? Here are some things about the international pre-university course you have probably gotten wrong.
Updated 27 Apr 2022
The South Australian Certificate of Education (also known as SACEi) is a world-leading Australian pre-university qualification. Unfortunately, not enough people truly know what the programme is all about.
From concerns that it's not widely recognised to mistakenly believing that you'll have to pursue your degree in Australia, this programme is rife with misconceptions.
As someone who is about to make one of the biggest decisions of your life, it’s crucial that you have an accurate understanding of all the choices in front of you. Here are 6 things about SACEi that you probably didn’t know about.
#1. It's a less-recognised pre-university programme
Wondering if SACEi is a prestigious programme? You'd be surprised.
Far from being a random programme, SACEi is the official senior secondary qualification of the South Australian Government and is taught in over 30 schools around the world including Malaysia, China, Vietnam and the South Pacific. In fact, more than 40,000 students have graduated from SACEi since its establishment in 1982, a testament to its popularity.
As an international pre-university qualification, its quality and renown are on par with that of other programmes such as the Cambridge A Level. Upon completion, you can use the award to gain admittance into renowned universities worldwide such as the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney and the National University of Singapore.
#2. You can only use it to pursue your degree in Australia
Don’t let the name fool you — it only suggests where the programme comes from, not where it can lead you to.
While SACEi graduates will receive a direct pathway to Australian universities, you'll also qualify for entry into universities around the world using the globally recognised Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). In fact, many of the world's top universities outside Australia have accepted SACEi graduates, including Yale University (USA), University of Oxford (UK) and University of Hong Kong.
So don't assume that you're limited to pursuing your studies in Australia. The world is your oyster!
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#3. It’s hard to do well because of the coursework
As a fresh SPM graduate who is used to the all-exams system, finding out that coursework counts for 70% of your grades at SACEi may be daunting. After all, it's theoretically possible to get full marks for an exam but to consistently score 100% for all your assignments? Impossible.
Before you jump ship, hear us out.
The coursework at SACEi doesn't only include long-form essays and assignments. In fact, it encompasses a whole range of school-based assessments such as lab reports, weekly quizzes and test and summative assignments. Instead of having one big exam to determine your future, it's broken down into bite-sized pieces so you can accumulate marks along the way.
There are plenty of advantages to this method of assessment. Firstly, it rewards effort and consistency, and you're likely to have a better understanding of your subject material. In addition, it gives you a taste of what university life will be like as most, if not all, degree courses will have some form of coursework or project on top of final exams.
#4. Your options with SACEi are limited
Some people take longer than others to realise their calling in life — and there's no shame in that. If you’re one of these people, then SACEi is definitely the programme for you.
First of all, it’s a versatile programme. Subject-wise, you don’t have to worry about having to choose your specialisation early on like you would in a specialised foundation. This will allow you to explore your interests, giving you more time before you have to decide.
Moreover, the programme also provides you with the opportunity to take both science and arts subjects at the same time. This means you'll have a good foundation for whatever degree you eventually decide on, whether it's in the realm of science or humanities.
#5. It’s not recognised by professional bodies
Even at the pre-university level, it's important to have your end goal in mind. And it all means nothing if you end up not being able to pursue your dream career because you picked the wrong pre-university qualification.
In the case of SACEi, you'll have nothing to worry about.
The SACEi qualification is recognised by a number of professional bodies — whether it's in the field of medicine, dentistry or law. The renowned programme has met the strict standards set by the likes of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) and the Legal Profession Qualifying Board (LPQB).
This basically means that these professional organisations actually acknowledge the quality of the SACEi programme. So when you choose SACEi, you are choosing quality.
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#6. It's not accepted by Malaysian universities
Not everyone wants to study overseas, leaving their family and friends behind. If that’s the case, should you still take SACEi? Do local institutions even accept it as an entry requirement?
The answer is a resounding yes!
SACEi is a recognised programme in Malaysia and you can easily use it to apply to any private Malaysian institution of your choice. So even if you decided to study locally, you don’t have to worry about your SACEi qualification losing its value.