Malaysian University English Test
The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is a test of English language proficiency, largely for university admissions. The test is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council (which also runs the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia examination). MUET is largely recognised only in Malaysia and Singapore. However, a small number of universities outside Malaysia and Singapore do recognise MUET.
Most candidates who sit for MUET do so to apply for admissions in public and private universities and colleges. MUET is a prerequisite in applying for admissions into all public universities and colleges in Malaysia. MUET is also accepted for admissions into most universities in Singapore including National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University, as well as a few universities outside Malaysia and Singapore such as University of East London, Manchester Metropolitan University, Upper Iowa University, Nagoya University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and United International College.
The universities set different target band scores for different courses. For instance, most courses in the Malaysian universities set the minimal requirement of a Band 3 in MUET, while students who want to graduate Medicine or Law would be required to obtain at least Band 4. MUET is also compulsory for graduating from a local university. So, candidates are advised to take the MUET as soon as possible to avoid delays in their graduation.
Public (government) servants also take MUET for promotion opportunities. For instance, police officers, teachers and administrative staff take MUET as an English qualification.
Candidates usually have to register via their institution, private candidates with their State Education Department, with a registration fee which used to be RM 61, but has now gone up to RM 101. Candidates can register for MUET online via the mpm website. Although Malaysian government has decided to abolish government examination fees from 2007 onwards, MUET will remain as a paid test. From year 2012 onwards, MUET will be held three times per year, in March, July and November. It is advisable to allocate sufficient time for preparation, to obtain the band score required for university. On average, 85,000 candidates sit for the MUET each time.
Components, Scoring and Grading
The maximum scores for each component is 45 for Listening and Speaking, 120 for Reading Comprehension and 90 for Writing, with an aggregate score of 300. The scores are then graded in 6 bands, with Band 6 the highest and Band 1 the lowest.
Band 6- Very good user (Aggregated score:260-300) 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.
Band 5- Good user (Aggregated score:220-259) 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.
Band 4- Competent user (Aggregated score:180-219) 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.
Band 3- Modest user (Aggregated score:140-179) 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.
Band 2- Limited user (Aggregated score:101-139) 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.
Band 1- Extremely limited user (Below 100) 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.
Locations and test dates
The Malaysia Examination Council test centres are largely in national secondary schools (Malay: Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan) that offer Form 6, matriculation colleges, certain universities, as well as certain private and semi-private colleges. The test is run thrice annually, in March, July and November starting from 2012.
Three components - Listening, Reading Comprehension and Writing, are usually tested on the same day - normally the second or the fourth Saturday of the month, with the same paper nationwide. The Speaking component is tested both as an individual task and in groups of up to four, usually with different papers for different groups. When a test centre uses the same question paper for the Speaking component for more than one group, other groups are sequestered until every group has either finished the test or is in the examination room.
- Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
- SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)
- National Examination Fees Abolished from 2007 Onwards, Malaysia Students. 2 September 2006.
- New Format & Free Syllabus for STPM & MUET in 2012, Malaysia Students. 4 March 2012.
- MUET Test Format, Good English Essay Writing. 4 March 2012.
- Malaysian University English Test Components, Good English Essays. 29 July 2006.
- MUET Band Description, Good English Essays. 22 February 2007.