Secondary School / Secondary Education in Malaysia

After UPSR, students have the opportunity to further their studies in secondary school. Secondary education is divided into two stages:

  • Lower secondary education (form 1 to form 3)
  • Upper secondary education (form 4 to form 5)

Lower Secondary Education

This covers form 1 to form 3. The subjects taught are divided into the following:

Core Subjects Electives
Malay Islamic Studies
English Moral
Science Living Skills: Home Economics
History Living Skills: Agriculture
Geography Living Skills: Commerce and Enterpreneurship
Mathematics Integrated Living Skills
European languages
Mother tongue

The choice of elective depends on the school's capacity. In form 3, students' performance is evaluated through the Lower Secondary Assessment (PMR) examination.


Upper Secondary Education

Upon completion of lower secondary education, students have the opportunity to pursue two years of study in upper secondary (form 4 - form 5).

Since the implementation of the open certificate, students are required to take four compulsory subjects, namely Malay Language, English Language, Mathematics, Islamic or Moral Education and History.

There are three main streams in upper secondary education:

  • Academic Stream (Science/Arts)
  • Technical and Vocational Stream
  • Religious Stream

Science and Arts Stream

Students who are academically inclined can choose between the two main streams. Students interested in science will take Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Additional Mathematics and English for Science and Technology.

If the arts stream is preferred, students will take Integrated Science and any other non-science subject such as accounting or commerce.

Technical and Vocational Stream

After the PMR, interested students have the opportunity to opt for the technical stream. Among the fields offered are:

  • Mechanical Engineering Studies
  • Civil Engineering Studies
  • Electrical Engineering Studies
  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Food Management
  • Clothing Studies

Students also have the option to choose the vocational stream. Among the fields offered are:

  • Electricity
  • Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Catering
  • Computer Programming

A number of national secondary schools offer the technical stream but they are limited and only two electives are offered: Engineering Drawing and Engineering Technology.

Students interested in the fields offered must apply online for admission to a technical secondary school.

At the end of form 5, students of this stream are evaluated through the SPM examination.

Lower Secondary: Forms 1-3

Core Subjects:

  1. Malay Language
  2. English Language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. History
  6. Islamic education
  7. Moral education
  8. Civics and Citizenship Education

Compulsory Subjects:

  1. Geography
  2. Physical Education
  3. Health Education
  4. Living Skills
  5. Visual Arts Education
  6. Music Education

Additional Subjects:

  1. Chinese Language
  2. Tamil Language
  3. Arabic Language
  4. Iban Language
  5. Kadazandusun Language
  6. Japanese Language
  7. French Language
  8. German Language

Upper Secondary: Forms 4-5

Core Subjects:

  1. Malay Language
  2. English Language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. History
  6. Islamic Education
  7. Moral Education
  8. Civics and Citizenship Education.

Compulsory Subjects:

  1. Physical Education
  2. Health Education

Additional Subjects:

  1. Chinese Language
  2. Tamil Language
  3. Arabic Language
  4. Iban Language
  5. Kadazandusun Language
  6. Japanese Language
  7. French Language
  8. German Language

Elective Subjects:

  1. Malay Literature
  2. English Literature
  3. English for Science and Technology
  4. Visual Arts Education
  5. Music Education
  6. Geography
  7. Basic Economics
  8. Additional Mathematics
  9. Additional Science
  10. Physics
  11. Chemistry
  12. Biology
  13. Information and Communication Technology
  14. Invention
  15. Sports Science
  16. Domestic Construction
  17. Furniture Making
  18. Signage Design
  19. Domestic Plumbing
  20. Domestic Wiring
  21. Arc and Gas Welding
  22. Automobile Servicing
  23. Motorcycle Servicing
  24. Servicing of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Equipment
  25. Servicing of Domestic Electrical Appliances
  26. Clothing Design and Sewing
  27. Catering and Service
  28. Food Processing
  29. Facial Care and Hairdressing
  30. Basic Interior Design
  31. Early Childhood Care and Education
  32. Basic Gerontology and Geriatric Services
  33. Landscape and Nursery
  34. Aquaculture and Recreational Animals
  35. Food Cultivation
  36. Computer Graphics
  37. Multimedia Production
  38. Mechanical Engineering Studies
  39. Civil Engineering Studies
  40. Electrical & Electronic Engineering Studies
  41. Engineering Drawing
  42. Agro-technology Studies
  43. Agricultural Science
  44. Entrepreneurial Studies
  45. Commerce
  46. Principles of Accounting
  47. Clothing Studies
  48. Food Management
  49. Home Economics
  50. Engineering Technology
  51. Fundamentals of Programming
  52. Program and Development Tools
  53. Dress Pattern Making
  54. Dressmaking
  55. Bread & Yeast Food
  56. Patisserie
  57. Preparation of Western & Eastern Cuisines
  58. Preparation of Food & Beverage
  59. Make-up
  60. Hairdressing
  61. Child Development Studies
  62. Early Childhood Services
  63. Building Materials
  64. Building Technology
  65. Electrical and Electronic Principles
  66. Electrical and Electronic Applications
  67. Computerised Machining
  68. Mechanical Workshop Practice
  69. Cooling
  70. Air Conditioning
  71. Automotive
  72. Electrical and Diesel Automotive
  73. Arc Welding
  74. Gas Welding
  75. Agricultural Mechanisation
  76. Ornamental Horticulture & Landscape
  77. Crop Production
  78. Processing of Agricultural Products
  79. Livestock Production
  80. Business Office Technology
  81. Computer Application in Business
  82. Business Accounting
  83. Applied Science
  84. Animation and Publication Design
  85. Creative Multimedia Publishing
  86. Computer Support System
  87. Network Support System
  88. Basic Tourism Skills
  89. Tourism and Recreation
  90. Advanced Arabic
  91. Islamic Concepts
  92. Quran and Sunnah Education
  93. Islamic Law Education
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