Cover Image

Key differences between AUSMAT & SACE International

You can still study in other countries besides Australia with either one of them.

Do you want to study in Australia?

If your answer is yes, then you should really stay on this page to discover the vital information you need to know about two of the most popular pre-university programmes.

First of all, you need to know what AUSMAT and SACE International mean.

AUSMAT stands for Australian Matriculation Programme, whereas SACE International simply stands for South Australian Certificate of Education, or formerly known as South Australian Matriculation (SAM).

It is common to mix up these two programmes as they both allow you entry into universities in Australia within a year. Let’s get them sorted out, shall we?

Similarities of AUSMAT and SACE International


Gone were the high school days where you have to cram at least 9 subjects into your mind. You only need to take 5 subjects with AUSMAT and SACE International.

Additionally, you have the freedom to combine science and arts subjects!

Both syllabus are the same, hence none will be more prestigious than the other.

Your grade will be based on the ATAR system, or the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It is worth noting that ATAR is a rank and not a mark. To quote the Universities Admissions Centre of Australia (UAC):

“The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a number between 0.00 and 99.95 that indicates a student’s position relative to all the students in their age group (i.e. all 16 to 20 year olds).”

For example, if your ATAR percentage score is above 90%, you’re pretty much in the top percentage amongst your peers of the same intake!

Your ATAR score is made up of 4 of your best scoring subjects and half of your 5th best performing subject.


AUSMAT and SACE International last for a year. Popular intakes include January and March, although some universities offer August and September intakes as well.


Both programmes require a minimum 5 credits in your high school examination certificate (e.g. SPM, O Level and equivalent), including English and Mathematics.

If you already know what course to take after AUSMAT/SACE, we suggest you take these subject combinations to get a strong head start in the industry. Make sure that your high school exam grades meet the minimum requirements of these subjects.

Business/Accounting/Finance/Relevant Courses

  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Legal Studies/Psychology/Specialist Mathematics/Research Methods

Information Technology and/or Computing

  • Mathematical Methods
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Psychology/Legal Studies/Research Methods


  • Legal Studies
  • Psychology
  • Accounting
  • Economics/Mathematical Methods/Research Methods

Health Science/Medicine

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Accounting/Physics/Psychology/Research Methods


  • Physics
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Specialist Mathematics
  • Chemistry/Research Methods

Note: English as a Second Language (ELS) is mandatory in most universities that offer AUSMAT/SACE International.


Rest assured, both AUSMAT and SACE International are highly-regarded and demanded by leading universities in the world aside from Australian universities, such as the UK, New Zealand, and Singapore.

How much do they cost?

Tuition fees for AUSMAT and SACE International vary for each university, but a general estimation is between RM 15,000 and RM 27,000.

*Currency conversion rate as of 26 August 2022

Key differences between AUSMAT and SACE

1. Assessment methods

The assessment for SACE International involves 70% coursework and class assessments, and 30% examinations.

AUSMAT, on the other hand, splits coursework and examinations equally.

2. AUSMAT and SACE International are regulated by different government bodies.

This means your Pre-U certificate will be administered by either the Western Australian government (AUSMAT) or the South Australian government (SACE).

You should study SACE International if..

You prefer sitting for less exams and getting involved in hands-on assignments. With SACE, you must put effort throughout the year to accumulate your scores from coursework and assessments.

Universities that offer SACE in Malaysia

You should study AUSMAT if..

You prefer a balance between coursework and exams. As some students still prefer gaining scores by studying and applying their knowledge in exams, AUSMAT will be the perfect alternative.

Universities that offer AUSMAT in Malaysia


Can I still study AUSMAT or SACE international even if I don’t want to pursue my degree in Australia?
Yes, you can. These programmes only take 1 year to complete, compared to other Pre-U programmes like A-levels and STPM that take up to 1.5 years to complete. The certificate is also recognised worldwide, so if you have the budget, go for it!

Can I use my AUSMAT/SACE qualification to apply for local universities?
Yes. Malaysian private universities also accept AUSMAT and SACE qualifications, so don’t worry about it.

How can AUSMAT/SACE help me save money?
If you’re living away from your family, this means spending extra on food, transportation, and even accommodation. As you only need 1 year to complete AUSMAT/SACE, you are also paying less on those necessities while living away from home.


This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using this site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions .

Maximum 6 courses for comparison!

Chat on WhatsApp

Courses selected for comparison