MUET

Malaysian University English Test (MUET), first launched in 1999 and administered by Malaysian Examinations Council (Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia), is a test to measure candidates’ English language proficiency. MUET is taken by students who intend to pursue their tertiary education at local public universities since it is a mandatory test to gain entry into degree courses offered at all Malaysian public universities. This test is carried out twice a year, in April/May and October/November. Candidates usually register through their academic institutions while private candidates through State Education Departments (Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri), with a registration fee of RM60. Unlike International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) which are globally accepted as the certification of English language proficiency, MUET is recognized only in Malaysia and Singapore (National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University). MUET consists of four components: listening, speaking, reading and writing. New test specifications have been introduced officially and will apply from MUET October/November 2008 onwards while old test specifications will still apply for MUET October/November 2007 and April/May 2008. The table below shows the detailed comparison between new and old format of MUET.

Old Test New Test Possible Specifications Specifications Genres Listening 45 marks 45 marks Lecture, (800/1) briefing, talk, Duration: 30 minutes 30 minutes discussion, Weighting: 15% 15% interview, Number of 3 5 telephone texts: conversation, Number of 15 20 announcement, Test

questions: instructions, Question Four-option - Information advertisement, type: multiple-choice transfer news, meeting, - Short answer documentary - Four-option multiple-choice - Three-option multiple choice Speaking 45 marks 45 marks Contemporary (800/2) issues Duration: 30 minutes 30 minutes Weighting: 15% 15% Number of 2 2 tasks: Task A: Individual A: Individual format: presentation presentation B: Group B: Group interaction interaction Reading 135 marks 120 marks Articles from (800/3) journals, Duration: 120 minutes 90 minutes newspapers and Weighting: 45% 40% magazines, Number of 4 6 shorter texts academic texts, texts: (at least one text electronic texts with graphics) Number of 50 50 questions: Question - Cloze - Three-option type: - Information multiple-choice transfer - Four-option - Four-option multiple-choice multiple-choice Writing 75 marks 90 marks Report, article, (800/4) letter, essay Duration: 90 minutes 90 minutes Weighting: 25% 30% Number of 2 2 questions: Question Task 1: Task 1: type: Summary of not Interpretation more than 100 of information words based on Task 2: specific stimuli Extended provided (no writing not less than 150 fewer than 250 words)

words

Task 2: Extended writing based on a given topic (no less than 350 words)

Candidates are rated into six bands – band one being the lowest and band six being the highest -- according to their test scores. The total score is 300 and the table below shows MUET band description.

Band

Aggregated Score

Description Very good user - Very good command of the language. Highly expressive, fluent, accurate and appropriate language: hardly any inaccuracies. Very good understanding of language and contexts. Functions extremely well in the language. Good user - Good command of the language. Expressive, fluent, accurate and appropriate language but with minor inaccuracies. Good understanding of language and contexts. Functions well in the language. Competent user - Satisfactory command of the language. Satisfactory expressive and fluent, appropriate language but with occasional inaccuracies. Satisfactory understanding of language and contexts. Functions satisfactorily in the language. Modest user - Modest command of the language. Modestly expressive and fluent, appropriate language but with noticeable inaccuracies. Modest understanding of language and contexts. Able to function modestly in the language.

6

260 - 300

5

220 - 259

4

180 - 219

3

140 - 179

2

100 - 139

1

Below 100

Limited user - Limited command of the language. Lacks expressiveness, fluency and appropriacy: inaccurate use of the language resulting in breakdown in communication. Limited understanding of language and contexts. Limited ability to function in the language. Extremely limited user - Poor command of the language. Unable to use language to express ideas: inaccurate use of the language resulting in frequent breakdowns in communication. Little or poor understanding of language and contexts. Hardly able to function in the language.

Students that have taken MUET are eligible to be enrolled into degree courses offered at local public universities as long as their CGPA for Diploma STPM or Malaysian Matriculation examinations are good enough to fulfil the entry requirement. The difference between all these bands is that students from band 1 and 2 have to take two extra English courses during holidays while band 3 and 4 students take one extra course. Students with band 5 or 6 can skip the extra English course. Some competitive degree courses like medicine and pharmacy, however, require students to get band 5 or 6 in MUET.

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