Selection of a reading strategy is a critical factor in development of students’ comprehension and critical thinking skills. This study examined the level of reading strategy utilized by students when reading English academic text and investigated if there were any significant differences between Malaysian and Chinese students in terms of metacognitive awareness and perceived use of metacognitive reading strategies. A total of 55 second year and third year TESL students (31 Malaysian and 24 China Chinese) in the University of Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia completed 30-item questionnaires adopted from a Survey of Reading Strategies (SORS) questionnaire. The result indicated a high level of reading strategy using metacognitive reading strategies among all the students. Visualizing strategy was the most popular item that students “looked at the title before reading to get a hint about text content”. T-test result showed that there were significant differences in the use of the two categories of strategies; global and problem-solving strategies. Malaysian students demonstrated higher level of using global and problem-solving strategies compared to their China counterparts. Therefore, university reading courses ought to emphasize all global, problem-solving, and support strategies. Lecturers should also emphasize on reading itself. The result of this study served as the basis for achieving the students’ metacognition ability.