General Advices In Preparing For MUET

The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is a test of English language proficiency, largely for university admissions, that is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council. MUET is a prerequisite in applying for admissions into all public universities and colleges in Malaysia and most universities in Singapore. The universities set different target band scores for different courses. For instance, students who want to pursue Law would be required to obtain a Band 4 in MUET, while students who want to pursue Medicine would be required to obtain a Band 5. So, candidates are advised to take the MUET as soon as possible to avoid delays in their graduation.

There are four components in MUET, with an aggregate score of 300:

• Listening test (800/1) - (45 marks)
• Speaking test (800/2) - (45 marks)
• Reading test(800/3) - (120 marks)
• Writing test (800/4) - (90 marks)

The scores are graded in 6 bands, with Band 6 the highest and Band 1 the lowest. Scoring a Band 6 in MUET is not that hard. Here are some general advices in obtaining a band 6.

Listening test

Listening test is one of the tests in MUET which you could possibly get a perfect score. You are advised to get a perfect score here because it is important for you to get a Band 6 as you will lose points in other components of the tests. Listening does not really indicate your level of English, especially if the speaker is English. So if you do lose points here, don't worry. Just try not to lose too many points here, practise many times with your MUET teachers before the actual test, try to listen to as many tapes as you can get your hands on. During the test, please look to your friends for help if you could not catch the questions or remember the correct answers. I am not encouraging you to be dishonest, but you could always pay attention to your friends gestures, read their lips, spot the blink of an eye, the touch of an ear, etc. Having a system before the actual tests really does help.

Speaking test

If you can speak English naturally, please do all you can to convince the examiners that you have a good command of English during your individual presentation. Otherwise, use short sentences by putting forward your main ideas in simple grammatically correct sentences. Do not just harp on a single point. Try a few points, the positive side and negative side of an issue, to show that you are not a narrow-minded student. In the group discussion, you would be able to get a good score if you could lead the discussion. Be warned though, do not overdo it. Give others the opportunities to speak too. You should be polite, try to keep the flow of the discussion and help out if any of the fellow students got stuck in mid-sentence or is stammering. Remember, lead the discussion, keep its flow but do not be extravagant.

Reading test

There are not many tips to share in this test, just do your best. This test is similar to Form 5 SPM English exam. There are some tricky questions with similar answers. If you are lucky, you could get a perfect score here but usually the better students would be able to get near perfect scores, making a few mistakes here and there.

Writing test

Seriously, I can assure you that the writing test in MUET is easier than SPM GCE 'O' Level. In this test, it is important to keep to the rules, follow the recommend length of essays and finish them in allocated time. Even if you are a good English user, do not attempt to write beyond the recommended length. Concentrate instead on presenting your main ideas, this test papers are marked by Malaysian teachers, so don't bother having too many idioms, figurative meanings, etc. For students who are not too comfortable with English, this may be one of the tests which you would tend to lose many points. To avoid that, keep your sentences short, check your grammars, and try to compensate for your lack of flowery language with good ideas, mature arguments and logical explanations.

Lastly and very important, check out this very important and interesting Panduan Lengkap Peperiksaan MUET written by Norehan M. Nooh. There are some very good MUET exam tips and guides for students.

To be honest, it is not so easy to score a Band 6 in MUET after all. It is not the perfect test, but it is indicative of one's command of English, mainly because it includes listening and speaking tests. Good luck scoring a Band 6 in MUET!

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