The Complete Guide to Studying MUET in Malaysia

What is MUET and is it applicable to you? Learn all about this English proficiency test including when and how much it costs in this guide.

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If you are planning to pursue your studies at local public universities in Malaysia, you may have heard the requirement to take an English proficiency test called MUET. And if you are currently a Matrikulasi, Asasi or STPM student, you would have definitely heard of this acronym being thrown around.

But what exactly is MUET? How is it different from other proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL, and do you really have to sit for it?

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about MUET in Malaysia so that you have a clear understanding of this locally-administered English proficiency test.

#1. What is MUET?

a) What It Is

MUET Malaysia - What is MUET

MUET Malaysia is an English proficiency test administered by the Malaysian Examination Council (MEC). Otherwise known as the Malaysian University English Test, it is usually taken by students who aim to further their degree studies in Malaysian public universities.

The main objective of the MUET proficiency test is to measure the level of English proficiency of pre-university students (e.g. STPM, Matrikulasi, Asasi) for their entry into local public institutions. Certain private universities may also have English language requirements for certain courses, and you can use MUET to prove your level of English proficiency.

MUET is generally accepted by universities in Malaysia and Singapore only.

The MUET examination is held 3 times every year – for 2023, the exam starts in May, June and October. If you can't make it for those dates, you can also consider taking MUET on Demand (MoD) which is offered more often.

Remember: The MUET examination will not affect your grades in your pre-university programme. However, it will play a significant role in determining whether you are successful in obtaining a place at public universities. There are minimum MUET requirements that vary depending on the course and institution that you choose, so do take it seriously!

#2. How Is MUET Structured

cg-muet-2023-structure

Like most English proficiency tests, the assessment for MUET primarily focuses on Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking components.

There will be four different tests for each of the component tests, and you will be allocated scores for each component.

Here are further details about the 4 language skills that you will be tested.

 Skills Tested Details
Listening
  • Approximately 50 minutes allocated
  • 30 questions
  • 7 texts divided into 5 parts with genres ranging from lectures, briefing, interviews, announcements and meetings
  • Each recorded monologue / conversation will be heard twice (make sure you pay your fullest attention!)
  • Questions may be in the forms of information transfer, short-answer questions or multiple choice questions
Reading
  • 75 minutes allocated
  • 40 questions, consisting of multiple choice and matching questions
  • 10 texts of varying lengths
Writing
  • 75 minutes allocated
  • 2 tasks which may come in the form of email, letter or essay formats
    • Task 1
      Guided writing with no less than 100 words. You will be asked to write a letter or email which may include features such as accepting or declining invitations, providing justifications, making requests and expressing thanks
    • Task 2
      Extended writing with no less than 250 words. You will be given a specific topic or issue which you will have to write about
Speaking
  • Approximately 30 minutes allocated
  • 2 tasks involved which are based on contemporary issues
    • Task 1
      Individual presentation. You will be asked to speak and elaborate more on a certain point about a specific topic. You will be given 2 minutes to prepare and another 2 minutes to speak
    • Task 2

      Group interaction. In most cases, groups will consist of four candidates. The group will be given 3 minutes to prepare

      The discussion is based on a written question and five prompts in the form of a mind map. Each group will be given 8 to 12 minutes to discuss

#3. How Will You Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated on the 4 language skills, which are Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Each component has a different maximum score, and contributes a different percentage to the overall score. Your level of proficiency is measured using a scoring system with a maximum score of 300.

Component Maximum Score Percentage of Overall Score
Listening 90 25%
Reading 90 25%
Writing 90 25%
Speaking 90 25%
TOTAL SCORE 360 100%

Your total score across the 4 components will determine your MUET Band, which is from Band 1 (lowest proficiency) to Band 5+ (highest proficiency). The maximum score you can get is a MUET Band 5+.

Here is a summary of your MUET Band scores and what they mean.

MUET Band (Score range) CEFR Level Description
5+
(331 – 360)
C1+ Proficient
5.0
(294 – 330)
C1
4.5
(258 – 293)
B2 Independent
4.0
(211 – 257)
3.5
(164 – 210)
B1
3.0
(123 – 163)
2.5
(82 – 122)
A2 Basic
2.0
(36 – 81)
1.0
(1 – 35)

Depending on which course you are planning to apply in public universities, the MUET Band requirements may differ. Generally, we would recommmend to get Band 3 and above for Engineering courses, or Band 4 and above for Medicine courses.

If you are planning to apply for admission to foreign universities (Singapore, for example), the Band requirements are Band 5 and above.

#4. Why Do You Need To Take MUET Malaysia

MUET Malaysia - Why Take MUET

You will need to take the MUET test if...

  • You are planning to pursue your university degree in local public universities (MUET is compulsory in this case)
  • You require proof of your English language proficiency by universities that accept MUET

Remember to check what the English requirements are at your desired university, as different universities may have different conditions.

#5. How Can You Register for MUET Malaysia

MUET Malaysia - Register

You can register for MUET via two ways:

  • Register through your school / institution
  • Register online through MEC’s website as a private candidate

As the MUET exam is only held 3 times a year (March, July and November), you will need to submit your registration for MUET before the appropriate deadlines. MEC will announce the dates for MUET registration the local newspapers and their website.

Additionally, if you’re unable to take the MUET exam following the normal schedule, you can also consider registering for MUET on Demand (MoD). The MoD is generally held once every month, making it the perfect alternative for students who are short on time and cannot afford to wait for the next MUET cycle. However, it does cost more than the normal MUET exam. 

#6. How Much Is the Fee

The MUET and MoD test fees are as follows:

Test Type Test Fee
Malaysian Non-Malaysian
MUET RM100 RM350
MoD RM250 RM550

You can make your fee payment through credit card, online banking or by buying the an MEC PIN from the counter or a kiosk of the nearest branch of Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN).

On Your MUET Test Day...

MUET Malaysia - Reminders

You will sit for the Listening, Reading and Writing components of the MUET test consecutively on the same test day. The MUET Speaking test, on the other hand, will normally be conducted in a separate day over a duration of 2 weeks. However, for MoD, all four tests will often be held on the same day although this will depend on the number of candidates and availability of rooms for the Speaking component.

You will have to prepare and bring along your own stationery during the test day. Remember to bring along sufficient usable pens in black or blue for your Writing and Listening tests.

For your Reading test where there will be multiple choice questions involved, you are advised to use BB or 2B pencils for your answers. Also, be reminded to bring along erasers and other stationery you deem necessary.

#7. Getting Your MUET Result

You can collect your result through your school or institution. If you are a private candidate, you will receive your result through MEC by post. The results will also be available to check through the MEC portal and SMS.

Note that your MUET result is only valid for 5 years from the date stated in your MUET results slip.

#8. What Can You Do If You Are Unhappy With Your MUET Results

(a) Retake your MUET examination

You can choose to resit the MUET tests. Just look out for the next opening for MUET registration and register as a candidate again. Make sure you make significant effort to practice and improve your proficiency in English if you choose to retake.

(b) Remark your test(s)

You can submit an appeal for your MUET examination within one week after your results were released with a fee of RM70. A charge of RM2.00 and RM2.50 will apply for payment made through FPX and debit / credit card respectively.

You can check the result of your appeal 18 working days after the deadline closes through the MEC portal. A new result slip will only be issued to you in the event where there are changes to your overall scores after your appeal.

Thinking of applying for universities abroad? Perhaps you’ll need IELTS instead. Find out more about IELTS here.

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