As announced by Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia MUET has undergone a huge change in its format from January 2021. The changes include the scoring band, assessment weightage, as well as the paper and examination structures.

Let’s take a look at the format changes for the 2021 MUET.

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MUET test components

There are four components in the MUET Malaysia examination. The table below shows the paper code, paper name, the assessment weightage and the duration of each paper.

 

Paper CodePaper NameAssessment WeightageDuration
800/1Listening25%50 minutes
800/2Speaking25%30 minutes
800/3Reading25%75 minutes
800/4Writing25%75 minutes

You will need to complete all the papers in order to obtain an overall band score. There will be no certificate awarded if you fail to attempt all four components.

MUET Listening Test

In the listening test, you will be assessed on your ability to understand a number of oral texts. The length and complexity of the texts vary from one another.

The total time for the test is 50 minutes. It carries 25% of the assessment weightage of the overall MUET result.

MUET Listening Test
The MUET Listening Test could be hard for some candidates but consistent practice will help you get through this test. (Source: Unsplash)

The listening test consists of 5 parts. During the test, you will be listening to recorded texts twice. There will be a total of 10 audios to listen to and 30 questions to answer. The questions consist of:

  • Information transfer questions
  • Short answer questions
  • 3-option multiple-choice questions

 

SectionType of AudioQuestion TypeNumber of Questions
Part 11 dialogue between 2 peopleMultiple Choice Questions (MCQs - 3 options)7
Part 21 monologue consisting of a talk, lecture or a briefingMCQs - 3 options7
Part 33 monologues from three people Multiple matching - 5 options 3
Part 41 dialogueMCQs - 3 options7
Part 53 short dialogues between 2 peopleMCQs - 3 options6
Total9 audios30 questions

The table above shows the structure of the listening test.

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MUET Speaking Test

The MUET speaking questions will evaluate your ability to make an individual presentation and also interact in a group discussion in two parts.

Part 1 - To deliver an individual presentation

  • You will be given a textual stimulus that consists of a brief statement on the topics and an aspect of the topic for you to talk about.
  • You are given two minutes to prepare for your presentation and another two minutes to present.
  • You will need to present individually to your group members.

Part 2 - To take part in a group discussion

  • You will be in a group of two to four students.
  • Each of your group members will receive visual and textual stimuli. The stimuli contain a brief statement about the topic and a mind map consisting of ideas for a discussion.
  • Each of the group members is given three minutes to prepare their points. The group discussion is limited to 8 to 12 minutes.
  • During the discussion, you may support or oppose other group members’ opinions. At the end of the discussion, all the group members should be able to come up with the best conclusion.

A total time of 30 minutes is given to the speaking test. It contributes 25% of the assessment weightage of the overall MUET result.

Speaking test MUET could be very intimidating for some students. However, you can be prepared by knowing some of the topics and questions that may be asked during the test using the MUET past year paper.

MUET Reading Test

The MUET reading questions are meant to assess your ability to comprehend the various types of texts. These texts have different complexity and length too.

You will be sitting for the reading test for 75 minutes. This paper adds up to 25% of the assessment weightage of the overall MUET result.

In this paper, you are required to read a number of passages and answer questions regarding the texts. The passage may be taken from newspapers, magazines or other sources.

The MUET reading test consists of 7 parts with 10 texts and 40 questions. The questions are usually in form of 3-option multiple-choice, 4-option multiple-choice and multiple matching questions.

 

SectionText Question TypeNumber of Questions
Part 1Three short texts of the same text type, thematically linked, amounting to a total of 100 to 150 wordsMultiple matching 
Three texts preceded by 4 multiple matching questions
4
Part 2 and 3Two texts each of 300 to 450 wordsMCQs - 3 options10
Part 4Two independent texts based on the same theme (not necessarily of the same text type) amounting to a total of 700 to 800 wordsTwo MCQs based on Text 1, two MCQs based on Text 2, and two MCQs comparing the two texts (3 options)6
Part 5One text of 500 to 600 wordsA gapped text with 6 missing sentences (7 options)6
Part 6 and 7Two texts of 700 to 900 words eachCQs - 4 options14
Total10 texts 40 questions

The table above shows the overview of the MUET reading test.

MUET Writing Test

For the writing test, you will be tested on your writing skill. In this paper, you are required to perform two writing tasks.

MUET Writing Test
Writing skill is one of the language skills that is evaluated in the MUET exam. (Source: Unsplash)

Task 1 - Writing a letter or an email

  • For task one, you will be given a text stimulus in form of a letter or an email. It will contain three or four notes and aspects of what you need to write.
  • The length of your letter or email is at least 100 words.
  • You are given 25 minutes to write your letter or email.

Task 2 - Writing an essay

  • In this task, you will be provided with a textual stimulus. It may consist of a statement on the idea or a problem that you have to respond to.
  • You are expected to write an essay of at least 250 words.
  • You are given 50 minutes to write your essay.

A total of 75 minutes of time is allocated for the writing test. This paper leads to 25% of the assessment weightage of the overall MUET result.

There is no exact or strict format that you need to follow in order to write these essays. But, it is best for you to know how to write a MUET essay in discursive, argumentative and problem-solving styles.

The MUET aggregated score

The MUET candidates’ level of proficiency is evaluated using aggregated scores that range from 1 to 360. Each of the aggregated scores corresponds to Bands from 1 (the lowest) to 5+ (the highest)

 

Aggregated ScoreBandCEFR LevelUser
331 – 360 5+C1+
Proficient
294 – 3305.0C1
258 –293 4.5B2
Independent
211 –257 4.0
164 – 2103.5B1
123 – 1633.0
82 – 1222.5A2
Basic
36 – 812.0
1 – 351.0

The table above shows the alignment of the aggregated score with the CEFR Global Scale.

Proficient

  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning.
  • Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  • Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

Independent

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Basic

  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Online learning
Getting a tutor's help with your MUET test preparation is a good way to improve your score. (Source: Unsplash)

It is possible to achieve Band 5 in the MUET test but it requires good preparation and an understanding of how the MUET papers are being marked. To get help with your MUET test preparation, it is a wise move to opt for a tutor.

You can look for an English tutor from reputable online tutoring websites such as Superprof. Superprof offers a wide selection of more than 16 million tutors for over 1000 subjects including English.

Take advantage of having a tutor to help you with your MUET listening practice or even check on your MUET writing sample. From there, you can improve and obtain a high scoring band in your MUET exams.

The new MUET format was much needed to prepare the MUET candidates for a more applicable English language function. Since the MUET format has recently changed, it is crucial for you to understand and be exposed to all the information about the MUET examination to pass the test with flying colours.

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