Working Hard To Improve English Proficiency
The Malaysian University English Test (Muet) comprises four parts — listening, writing, reading and interaction (speaking).
In the listening test, candidates listen to pre-recorded passages being read out in the clear voices of talented local people.
Each passage is read twice, and candidates are given a total of 30 minutes to complete this test. Three passages are prepared for this purpose, and candidates have to focus on listening to them carefully, in order to answer the 20 compulsory questions based on them.
“We always remind candidates to listen carefully and prepare draft answers immediately. They should not wait for the playback to end before attempting to answer the question booklet.
“The instructions given must be adhered to strictly,” said Mazlina Mohamad Ariff, the officer in charge of Muet at the Malaysian Examination Council (MPM).
Mazlina went on to explain that the listening test is carried out together with two other tests, namely reading and essay-writing.
Questions are in both multiple-choice and subjective formats. One such example is where a candidate has to fill in the blanks with one of several given words.
Testing Writing Skills:
To test their writing skills, Muet candidates are asked to compose two essays — one containing data and the other an opinion piece on a given topic. They are given 90 minutes to attempt and complete the two essays.
“We look at the accuracy of facts in the written piece and the style adopted by the candidates. It is true that there are many approaches to the writing of an essay, but sufficient elaboration on the given points and the interpretation of information based on the specific guidelines provided is crucial.
“This will help the candidate fulfill the required task and achieve the necessary grade to graduate later,” said another officer from the Council.
In the November 2012 test papers, the first essay tested report-writing skills, while the second required candidates to voice their stands on a given topic.
“Candidates must take a clear stand on the given topic, whether they choose to agree, disagree or be in partial agreement with the topic.
“We also look at grammar and spelling errors seriously. Besides that, we lay emphasis on the length of the essays handed in, as they must adhere to the instructions given at the beginning of each question,” the second officer, who declined to be named, added.
Passages to test Reading Comprehension:
Six passages, comprising excerpts adapted from foreign books and internationally renowned magazines, are included in this 90 minute section.
There are 45 multiple-choice questions with either three or four alternative answers.
by Hazlinda Hamzah.