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.
What is MUET?
What It Is
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 – March, July and November.
How Is MUET Structured
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. The entire duration for all 4 tests is approximately 4 hours.
Here are further details about the 4 language skills that you will be tested.
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.
Percentage of Overall Score
Your total score across the 4 components will determine your MUET Band, which is from Band 1 (lowest proficiency) to Band 6 (highest proficiency). The maximum score you can get is a MUET Band 6.
Here is a summary of your MUET Band scores and what they mean.
MUET Band (Score range)
(260 – 300)
|Very fluent with hardly any grammatical errors. Very good ability in understanding the language and context. Very high ability to work in the language.
(220 – 259)
|Fluent with few grammatical errors. Good ability in understanding the language and context. High ability to work in the language.|
(180 – 219)
|Generally fluent with occasional grammatical errors. Satisfactory ability in understanding of language and context. Satisfactory ability to work in the language.|
(140 – 179)
|Fairly fluent with frequent grammatical errors. Decent ability in understanding of language and context. Decent ability to work in the language.|
(100 – 139)
|Not fluent with very frequent grammatical errors. Limited ability in understanding the language and context. Limited ability to work in the language.|
|Hardly able to use and work with the language. Very limited understanding of the language and context.|
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.
Why Do You Need To Take MUET Malaysia
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.
How Can You Register for MUET Malaysia
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 through their website, on their examination calendars and also in local newspapers.
How Much Is the Fee
The MUET registration fee is RM100 only.
You can make your fee payment through online banking or by buying the PIN MEC from the counter or a kiosk of the nearest branch of Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN). There will be an extra charge of RM1 from BSN on top of your purchase of a PIN MEC.
On Your MUET Test Day…
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.
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.
Getting Your MUET Result
Your MUET result will usually be available 10 weeks after you complete your MUET test.
You will receive a result slip indicating the scores for all four component tests respectively, your overall score and which MUET Band you achieved.
You can also check your result online from MEC’s website or by SMS. Just type MUET <space> RESULT <space> I/C Number <space> and send to 15888.
An example would be: MUET RESULT 981111223333
Note that your MUET result is only valid for 5 years from the date stated in your MUET results slip.
What Can You Do If You Are Unhappy With Your MUET Results
#1 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.
#2 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. You can check the result of your appeal 18 working days after your submission of appeal was received on MEC’s 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.