Seminar Recap
Pre-U to Undergraduate Sharing Session

What is a Pre-U Program?

How do you apply for a Pre-U Program?

What are the pros and cons of a Pre-U Program?……

In order to response to all the questions we have received regarding Pre-University Program to Undergraduate Degree, MSAS had held a sharing seminar regarding the topic on 20 November. Our three guest speakers had generously shared their experience and given useful tips which will definitely be put to good use in the application process. We hope everyone has managed to reap the benefits from this event.

If you have missed out on this sharing seminar, worry not because we got you covered! We have compiled all the key takeaways for you to refer to.

Aspen Choong Wai Ming

Currently: Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Antai College of Economics and Management, Year 1 

Previously: SJTU Pre-U Program for International Students, 2020

Secondary Education: Chinese Independent High School, SPM


What is a Pre-U Program?

Pre-U Program is a preparatory course to equip students with the necessary knowledge before enrolling into a university, it is similar to UEC/STPM/A-LEVEL. Pre-U Programs are provided by both local education agencies as well as universities in China.

Most universities in China do not accept SPM graduates to apply directly to their degree program because they require 3 years of upper secondary education. Therefore, Pre-U Program has become a popular option for SPM graduates who are keen to pursue an undergraduate degree in China.

Pre-U Program is right for you if:

– You graduated from SPM but has no intention of taking up STPM or A-LEVEL courses

– You are interested to pursue an undergraduate degree in China

– You are prepared for online learning


Pros & Cons


– broaden your horizon, able to meet new friends from all over the world

– classes in this program focus on preparing you for the university’s entrance exam

– one-to-one counselling is provided to ensure every student is well-prepared to embark on a new phase of education


– the course is fully held online (for now)

– tuition fee is high

– not all universities recognise Pre-U credentials (Eg. SPM+Pre-U graduates are not eligible to apply for Fudan University and Zhejiang University)

–  Pre-U Programs are only eligible to apply to universities in China


Pre-U to Undergraduate Degree Application Procedures

Firstly, search “Undergraduate Programs of XXX University” online and you shall see their application guide which includes all the information needed for you to proceed. Follow the steps to register yourself, submit your application form with relevant materials and pay the registration fee.

Kindly refer to the list of general materials needed as shown below:

Furthermore, many students are interested to know about scholarship applications. For SJTU, the system will allow you to choose whether or not to apply for a scholarship at the beginning of your application.

If you would like learn more about it, do check out the “Scholarships Application Guide” by MSAS.

Chen Shyue Leh

Currently: Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Year 2

Previously: SJTU Pre-U Program for International Students, 2019

Secondary Education: Chinese Independent High School, UEC


Pre-U to Undergraduate Degree

As a UEC graduate, the syllabus in Pre-U Program is manageable. This is because I have been taught similarly back in high school but it may still be a challenge for SPM graduates. 

Pre-U Program has provided great help and support during my university application phase especially in preparing me for the interview. Teachers will arrange a mock interview to help students familiarise with the process.  

Regarding the entrance test, difficulty of the papers varies from one school to another; hence, it is best be fully prepared.


Undergraduate Degree Application Procedures 

Kindly refer to the image below:


Interview Preparation

1. Prepare a self-introduction

2. Have a basic understanding on the background of your school as well as the city where your school is located 

3. Ensure you are familiar with the course you are applying for

Russell Hii Ching Wei

Currently: Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), UM-SJTU Joint Institute, Year 2

Previously: SJTU Pre-U Program for International Students, 2019

Secondary Education: Public School, SPM

Pre-U to Undergraduate Degree

The number of SPM graduates opting for Pre-U Program has increased in recent years. In my point of view, Mathematics pose a big challenge for SPM graduates because we need to adapt to a different language and the learning standard is high.

Regarding the degree of admission difficulty, SPM to Pre-U is low while Pre-U to undergraduate degree is high. To put it simply, it is easy to get admitted into a Pre-U Program than an undergraduate degree because the latter depends highly on your personal performance during the entrance test and interview.

Interview Experiences

Level of difficulty varies from one school to another, I was welcomed by a hard Mathematics and Physics question during my interview in the University of Science and Technology of China.

In SJTU, a “many-to-one” interview will be carried out. Make sure you are fully prepared for the self-introduction and also equip yourself with necessary background knowledge on your university/faculty/major.

Tips for Pre-U Program

– Be well equipped before intake starts. For instance, you may want to take a look at the textbooks from Chinese Independent High School to familiarise yourself in advance

– Cultivate self-discipline. It is crucial to be disciplined during this online learning period

– Be reminded of your goals. When facing hardships, keep yourself motivated and do not give up easily

– Work Smart. Learn to complete tasks and assignments more efficiently

– Do not be afraid of challenges. Have the courage to brace all difficulties and setbacks (Eg: Mathematics)

Application for Exemption

The materials needed to get exempted from the entrance test are SAT, IELTS and HSK. 

Information regarding the preparation work for the above exams is shown below:

The advantage of getting an exemption is that you will be able to receive notice regarding your application status much earlier. Moreover, SAT, IELTS and HSK will also be an additional merit.

Check out the recap video below!

We hope this seminar has provided you with the information needed to help smoothen your undergraduate degree application.

All the best and see you soon! 

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Ong Qiu Xian

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