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Tips for MUET speaking

The speaking test is divided into two sections: Task A & Task B, groups of 4 usually. Here is the time frame breakdown:

Sit down clockwise, A to D. There will be two examiners for each exam. Once seated, they will check your exam slips and ICs. Handphones, notes, stationery etc not allowed as a pencil, a piece of paper and the question will be placed on the table for each student.

1st minute - just read the question and make a mental note of the words you would like to ask the examiner about. (you should ask the examiner EVEN IF YOU UNDERSTAND the terms to get the right pronunciation and 'borrow' ideas from the examiners. most examiners are very helpful and will give you some ideas if you ask nicely) (say: Excuse me but what is the meaning of ... DO NOT SAY: What means of...? which is horrendous grammar!)

2nd minute - examiners ask all candidates (A-D) one by one if they understand the question or not. (again, make sure you ask about any word/phrases during this time)

2 minutes to write your notes on the blank A4 paper given (tip: divide the paper into 4 sections, label A, B, C and D, then write only in your section. think of three points and for every point give reasons and examples, make sure it's in note form only to avoid reading)

2 minutes for each candidate to present Task A - MUST AGREE WITH POINT GIVEN (advantage for candidate D cos will hv 8 mins to prepare but the point is generally harder to elaborate than candidate A's point, so there are always pros and cons. MAKE SURE YOU SPEAK FOR THE FULL 2 MINS, and it is ok to just elaborate 1 or 2 points well instead of 3 points but not well explained.)

Speak according to this format: 1. Greetings (Good morning to the examinerS and my fellow candidateS, etc.) 2. Repeat situation (Today we are talking about...etc.) 3. Main Point (The point I would like to discuss is... etc.) 4. 1st point (Firstly,.. , This is because,.., Moreover,..., For example,.. , Therefore,... ) 5. 2nd point (Secondly,... , This means that,... , Furthermore,... , For instance,... , Thus,...) 6. 3rd point (Finally,... , This is due to the fact that... , In addition, Take for example..., Hence,... ) 7. Conclusion (In a nutshell, etc.)

2 minutes to prepare notes for Task B (now you can write notes for all candidate's points, have a ranking system 1,2,3 and 4, 1 is for best choice and 4 for the least favourite, this will help you with your discussion)

10 minutes to discuss. In the quarantine room, pre-decide who will do the introduction, and someone to do the conclusion (this person MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIME, as some examiners will NOT ALLOW you to do a conclusion if you go beyond the 10 min timeframe.)

TEST ENDS

TIPS :

YOU MUST MEMORISE THE LANGUAGE PHRASES LISTED BELOW if you want to score a high band.

Make sure you train your brain to think of 3 points with supporting reasons and examples. Always write in point form, not full sentences as 2 mins goes by way too fast!

Use your hands to gesture and explain your points. Marks will be awarded for 3 categories:

1. Task fulfillment - Did you understand the question and give a relevant and mature response?

2. Communicative ability - Did you have good eye-contact, body posture, gestures, cooperation?

3. Language - Do you have good command of the language with extended vocabulary?

Marks are given for Task A and Task B then added and divided to find the average.

LIST OF USEFUL LANGUAGE TASK A: 1. Good morning to everyone. 2. Good morning I bid to one and all. 3. Good morning to the examiners and all my fellow candidates. 4. A very good morning I wish to all examiners and fellow candidates. 5. Today we are talking about 6. The situation I have been given is 7. According to the situation 8. Based on the situation given 9. I have 3 reasons to justify my point. 10. First and foremost, 11. Firstly,

12. Secondly, 13. My second point is 14. Another reason is 15. Finally, 16. Lastly, 17. Last but not least, 18. Moreover, 19. In addition, 20. Furthermore, 21. Therefore, 22. Hence, 23. Thus, 24. However, 25. Other than that, 26. On the other hand, 27. Conversely, 28. Consequently, 29. Subsequently, 30. In contrast, 31. For example, 32. For instance, 33. Take for example, 34. and so on. 35. and many more.

36. and others. 37. In conclusion, 38. As a conclusion, 39. In short, 40. In a nutshell,

TASK B: 1. Lets kickstart this discussion by starting with.. 2. Allow me to begin 3. May I begin by saying 4. I agree with you. (NOT:IM agree) 5. Thats a great idea! 6. I see your point! 7. Thats an interesting perspective. 8. I like your suggestion. 9. Indeed! 10. I concur with your point of view. 11. Im sorry but I disagree. 12. Im afraid I have to disagree with your idea. 13. I dont see eye to eye with you. 14. Thats not a good idea/suggestion. 15. I beg to differ. 16. Im sorry for interrupting but 17. Excuse me, may I interrupt please.

18. Pardon me for interrupting but.. 19. Id like to add something please. 20. May I say something? 21. Could you please hear me out? 22. So what do you think, Candidate X? 23. How about your point of view? 24. Candidate X, what is your opinion? 25. Does anyone agree with me? 26. Why dont we consider the other points? 27. I dont understand, can you please repeat? 28. Im sorry I dont understand, can you please elaborate again? 29. In conclusion, ALL OF US agree that 30. To conclude, MOST OF US agree that 31. In a nutshell, SOME OF US agree that while the rest prefer 32. As time is running out, it seems that ALL OF US cant seem to agree on a single point so 33. Thats the end of this discussion, thank you.

FORMAT MUET 2012 MUET Paper 1: Listening (30 minutes) Candidates will be required to listen to recorded texts twice and answer questions on them.

There is a total of 20 questions consisting of information transfer, short-answer questions, 3option multiple-choice questions and 4-option multiple-choice questions.

MUET Paper 2: Speaking (30 minutes) Candidates will be required to perform two tasks: individual presentation and group interaction.

For the individual presentation, candidates will be given 2 minutes to prepare for the given task and 2 minutes to present. Candidates will also listen to the other candidates while they are making their presentations and take down notes for the group interaction.

For the group interaction (4 to a group), candidates will be given 2 minutes to prepare points to support or oppose the other candidates views. After listening to everyone in the group, candidates will try to come to a consensus. The group will be given 10 minutes for the group interaction.

MUET Paper 3: Reading (90 minutes) This paper comprises 45 multiple-choice questions based on passages from texts which may be taken from journals, newspapers, magazines, and academic and electronic sources. Questions are in the form of 3-option multiple-choice and 4-option multiple-choice questions.

MUET Paper 4: Writing (90 minutes)

This paper comprises two writing tasks: transferring information from a non-linear source to a linear text and a piece of extended writing. The stimulus may take the form of linear and/or non-linear texts.

Muet: Speaking Component Test Specifications

Candidates are assessed on their ability to make individual presentations and to take part in group discussions on a wide range of contemporary issues.

Assessment will cover the following:

(i) accuracy

using grammatically correct language using correct pronunciation, stress and intonation

(ii) fluency

speaking with confidence and fluency

(iii) appropriacy

using language appropriate for the intended purpose and audience using varied vocabulary and expressions using varied sentence structures observing conventions appropriate to a specific situation

(iv) coherence and cohesion developing and organising ideas using appropriate markers and linking devices using anaphora appropriately together with other cohesive devices

(v) use of language functions

defining, describing, explaining comparing and contrasting classifying giving reasons giving opinions expressing relationships making suggestions and recommendations expressing agreement and disagreement seeking clarification asking for and giving information persuading drawing conclusions stating and justifying points of view presenting an argument

(vi) managing a discussion initiating turn-taking interrupting prompting negotiating closing

(vii) task fulfilment

presenting relevant ideas providing adequate content showing a mature treatment of topic

ESSAY
QUESTION 2: Mid Year 2010 By Audrey Wiles The world today is turning more to electronic communications such as the e-mail, Facebook and Short message System (SMS). What is your opinion of this growing trend? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

Generally, in answering academic essays, you need to really focus on a higher level of thinking which befits a Band 6, university style response. If you were to just answer that this electronic communication trend is good and that you can chat with your friends and keep in touch, then you really haven't explored the question in a mature and critical way.

How do you train your mind to be more critical and mature in approaching the question? Well, you need to focus not just on the effects of the concept to yourself and the people around you, but focus on how it will affect society not just in your country but globally.

Anyway, have a read of the sample answer below. Take note that I'm sticking to my writing template, but better students can use a more creative style to show their flair in writing effective compositions.

Everywhere we turn today, the world is crowded with people busy typing SMSes on their Nokias or iPhones or someone is staring unblinkingly at a Facebook or Yahoo page on the computer screen. Whether you like it or not, the age of Information Technology is upon us, and we can either learn new skills and adapt to this new technology, or be forever lost and stuck in the older generation. In my opinion, I am fully convinced that this growing trend is the way of the future, and it brings countless benefits to mankind. In this essay, I will discuss three positive effects of electronic communication, namely its efficiency, enhances communication and creates a borderless world community.

First and foremost, more and more people are relying on e-mail, Facebook, Short Message System (SMS) and other types of electronic communication tools because of its high efficiency. This is because in today's age of globalisation, we need information at the tip of our fingers. Moreover, with the use of these tools, we can increase the speed of getting the necessary and relevant information within seconds and this will increase our productivity. For example, gone are the days of using 'snail mail' or regular letters using stamps and envelopes and many more examples of 'old' technology because it is simply too slow and inefficient. Therefore, these ecommunication tools increases the access to important information which is why the new generation is fully accepting this growing trend.

Secondly, this form of technology enhances communication among people today. This means that when we use SMS, e-mails and websites like Facebook, we are able to communicate clearly and directly to our target audience. Furthermore, people today find that the message is more important than the form it comes in as an e-mail in short but clear sentences is just as good or even better than a long and formal letter. For instance, an SMS can give clear instructions in just a few words and this communicates what needs to be done quickly and directly. Thus, when the intended message can be spread clearly using short and clear information like in SMSes and emails, communication can be enhanced and there will be less problems of miscommunication.

Last but not least, e-communication creates a borderless community in the world we live in today. This is due to the fact that the boundaries that separate each country becomes less relevant when information is transferred without limitations. In addition, the world would be a better place because there is a sense of 1-World commitment, respect and tolerance for the global community through efficient and clear e-communication. Take for example, we are able to connect with people on an international basis using Facebook, Friendster, Tagged, Hotmail, Yahoo and others. Hence, these tools will enhance global unity and create a more peaceful world.

In a nutshell, this growing trend has many positive effects not just to individuals but the global society in terms of efficiency, enhancing communicative skills and shaping a borderless community. In my opinion, I still firmly believe that this latest trend is the best way forward and if we do not catch up, we will be left behind by the tide of development. Our government can encourage the proper usage of electronic communications by increasing communication amenities and broadband accessibility especially in rural areas so that they can enjoy the same

facilities as city-folks therefore balancing the development of our country towards achieving Vision 2020.

Question 1 - Mid Year 2010


By Audrey Wiles

So what does it take to write a good report for Question 1 of the writing paper? Well there is a secret formula which I've developed based on the marking scheme course I attended organised by MPM two years ago when the new examination format was unveiled.

The problem with this formula is that I can teach it to you, and chances of you understanding the theory is very high, but the actual application of the theory and the formula boils down to your own language proficiency and MOST IMPORTANTLY your critical thinking skills.

Therefore, while I advocate that you must use this formula to answer well in the exam, I realise that actually applying the theory and synthesising information from the stimuli is extremely difficult for students who are used to being spoonfed.

So what is the solution to this? Sorry, there's no shortcut but to read more, think more, write more and quadruple your motivation and effort.

Q1 Formula:

TITLE 1) OV + CI 2-3) KFs 4) P(i) + P(ii)

Now I'm sure you're wondering what all this means.

Firstly, extract the TITLE from the question and underline it.

For the first paragraph, it consists of minimum 2 sentences: the OverView (OV) and Controlling Idea (CI). OV- What does the stimuli present? Answer: a bar graph, diagram, pie chart, pictograph, newspaper headline or article, some notes etc. CI- What is the general trend of all the stimuli combined? Answer: Increasing, Decreasing, Consistent or Fluctuating (NOTE: These are the FOUR main trends)

For the second and/or third paragraphs, you need to identify the Key Features (KFs) which are the MOST OUTSTANDING ideas from the stimuli. (NOTE: report will be marked DOWN if students just LIST ALL FEATURES and information from the stimuli without choosing the MOST IMPORTANT AND OUTSTANDING details, students must be SELECTIVE of which details to include) *There is no set number of KFs that need to be identified unlike PMR summary (5 points), SPM summary (10 points). Therefore, this report writing is more difficult to perfect as it depends heavily on the students' understanding and proficiency. **Also ensure that students do not make any external ASSUMPTIONS! Do not give your own ideas and opinions no matter how plausible they may be. This is NOT LIKE PENGAJIAN AM where ANDAIAN is part of the marking scheme. ***You may write in just 1 paragraph but 2 or 3 paragraphs are also accepted, generally it depends on what kind of stimuli are given. Begin each paragraph with phrases like: i) According to the... ii) Based on the... iii) With reference to...

For the closing, it consists of minimum two sentences, Prediction (Pi) and Proposal (Pii).

P(i)- What future trend can you predict? Answer: If x happens, then y will continue to increase, decrease, stabilise or fluctuate. P(ii)- What recommendation can you propose? Answer: The government/company/United Nations can... *P(ii) is not compulsory but it will differentiate the higher bands from the lower ones.

NOTE: While the word limit suggested is 150 to 200 words, you can write more without being penalised. However, writing more means there may be more grammatical errors which will cause you to be marked down. Besides, it will leave less time for you to complete the 350 word academic essay needed. So act wisely. ;-)

Now that I have dealt with the theory and the formula, let us now look at the model answer for the mid year MUET writing paper, question 1.

(NOTE: This blog doesn't allow me to underline the title and write using paragraphs. Please amend it mentally on your own, thanks)

Frequency of Visits to the Three Music Websites by Teenagers

The stimuli present a bar graph on visits to the three music websites by teenagers in the month of August and a table on promotional activities of the three sites within the same period. In general, visits to the music websites especially Music Connect increased in direct proportion to the frequency and type of promotional activities provided by the websites.

According to the bar graph, Music Connect was the most popularly visited website by teenagers as it recorded a total of about 133 000 visitors for the month of August. This was followed closely by Music Network which had 125 000 visitors while the least visited of the three websits was Era Music with only 50 000 visitors. The number of visitors fluctuated from week to week

and website to website depending on how attractive were the promotional activities carried out by each website each week.

Based on the table, Music Network was the only website that had a promotional activity called 'Name that tune' in the first week therefore it scored the highest hits with 40 000 visitors compared to Music Connect (15 000) and Era Music (10 000). In week 2, Music Connect organised free music CDs for its visitors which gave them 35 000 hits. This promotion was more attractive than 'Name the singer' by Music Network and 'Name the movie' by Era Music therefore the type of promotionial activity carried out is a major factor to draw more visitors to the websites. Week 3 showed the least hits for all three websites as there were no promotional activities carried out at that time. Finally, in week 4, visits to Music Connect skyrocketed to 55 000 hits because they organised free concert tickets for its visitors. Music Network came in second after carrying out a 'Whose line is it' promotion compared to Era Music which attracted only 10 000 as they did not plan any promotional activity for their website.

In conclusion, if websites carry out exciting and attractive promotional activities such as those conducted by Music Connect, then the number of teenage visitors will continue to increase. The websites should increase promotional activities that can capture the attention of more teenagers by providing free gifts or meet the celebrity tickets because it will directly affect their website's popularity especially among the younger generation.

Sample Essay: Fuel Price By Audrey Wiles

Question: The rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products. How will this affect the society? Give your opinion. You should write at least 350 words.

When tackling this question, one should think in terms of : 1. short term effect, 2. mid term and finally 3. long term. This question gauges a student's level of critical thinking and prediction.

I would like to stress that it is unnecessary to pepper the entire essay with bombastic words. Better to keep it short and simple.

Note: affect (verb), effect (noun)

Here's a sample answer.

Money is always an issue in today's era of materialism. Most people need it for basic survival while the lucky few indulge in luxuries without worrying about money. In my opinion, I strongly agree that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will definitely affect the society. In this essay, I would like to touch on the effects this price increase has on society today, namely increasing vice activities, widening the gap between the rich and the poor and affecting the population trend in the long term.

First and foremost, society will immediately be affected by the rise in fuel prices because consumer products will be more costly and this leads to an increase of vice activities. This is because basic necessities such as rice, flour, sugar and so on will be in great demand and some

warehouses will store or hoard the items to further increase the price of the product. Moreover, in the newspapers today, reports of smuggling of these items prove that this vice activity is on the rise. For example, the recent sugar price hike caused a furor among the Malaysian society as it costs more fuel to travel to and from the supermarket and when arriving, most places had run out of stock even though the government had allocated 2kg of sugar to one person. Therefore, the fuel price increase had definitely caused more hardships to society today.

Secondly, it is undeniable that the rise in fuel prices leads to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. This is due to the fact that people are greatly affected by the price of basic necessities such as food and fuel in particular. Furthermore, the rich people will still be able to afford such things but the poor will face greater challenges as the popular saying goes: "The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer." For instance, when money is used to purchase consumer products that are necessary for survival, then less money will be spent on health and dental check-up, educational purposes and others. Thus, it is clear that the fuel price hike will further stress on the differences between the rich and the poor which is such a tragedy.

Last but not least, in the long term the population trend or demographics of the society will be greatly affected. This means that new families will consciously decide not to have too many children in order to increase their quality of life. In addition, society is now more aware of birth control and family planning so this will greatly reduce the population as most families will have 1 to 5 children instead of more. Take for example, new families with less children will surely spend less on basic necessities like food, clothes, transport and many more. Hence, the demographics of the whole country will be affected and this in turn will reduce our workforce which will affect our country's productivity and prosperity.

In short, there are many short term to long term effects of a fuel price increase which includes more crimes like hoarding and smuggling will occur and this leads to the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor as well as a change in the society's demographics. I still strongly believe that the rising fuel price has pushed up the price of other consumer products and this will surely cause a negative impact to society. The government must find a way to stabilise the fuel price at a reasonable rate so that it does not affect the productivity of this country towards achieving the aspirations of the nation for Vision 2020.