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Friday, August 03, 2007

How to Get Band 6 in MUET

This article on Malaysian University English Test (MUET) preparation, tips and experience was written by Michelle Tam, one of the 176 candidates who got band six in MUET April/May 2007.

MUET Preparation

The only things I did was read up on how to do the summary section as I always find cutting down on words the tricky part. As a former debater and public speaker, I needed no preparation for the speaking section, but only took part actively in class discussions and since I'm quite a chatterbox (and 99% of the time I converse in English, so that helps.)

As for the writing section, once again I did not prepare or look out for 'hot' topics, but I am an avid reader, having started at the tender age of 3. I devour books, finishing an average of 2-3 novels/fiction pieces a week. That helped me build a tremendous vocabulary bank and also helped me with the subtle nuances of the English language, allowing me to add flair and flavour to my writing.

As for the objective section, I got a perfect score here (135/135, I think?) by simply being careful and using every minute I had to go over the questions.


The only tips I have would be :
  1. Read as much as you can, not just for the exam, but for your own enrichment and enjoyment. This is seriously the best way to prepare yourself for MUET, as it helps you understand the finer nuances of the language and the subtle meanings and slight but critical differences in the meanings of similar words.

  2. Speak English as much as you can. I speak English all the time (and I mean ALL the time) and this has helped me to speak clearly and confidently. Even if you're weak in it, persist at it. There is no better way to better yourself in this area than by speaking the language.

  3. Participate in the UNSW (University of New South Wales) International Competitions for Schools, English. It is an international competition that I participate in every year, and I find it extremely useful as they give you detailed descriptions of your mistakes, how proficient or accurate you are compared to the rest of the country, and how you rank amongst the students in your country.

    I've been taking part in it for 3/4 years now, and every year I rank among the top 2% of the country, getting a Distinction. I find it to be very useful as it is MUCH TOUGHER than MUET, and is great help for your objective section, although it does focus on literature and 'deeper' pieces compared to MUET.

  4. Get involved in English based activities. I was actively involved in public speaking and debating in my secondary school, and this helped to further refine and polish my English speaking skills (plus it helps with the counter arguments during the speaking test - quick rebuttals always save the day!). Also get involved in drama as this helps you think creatively and also to express all sorts of emotions/convince the audience etc.

MUET Experience

My MUET experience was pretty ordinary. I missed my Band 6 the first time by a mere 4 points and that was pretty upsetting - I breezed through the objective part too quickly, I think, causing me to lose those much needed marks.

Second time around, I was more careful. I made sure I went through my objective session thoroughly and also drew on my National Service experience and knowledge to make my essay on firearms convincing. I practiced the speaking section with a group of people on the same level of eloquence and intelligence (such as other national level best speakers + drama champions), ensuring that I wasn't just out talking the rest, but actually facing a challenge with answering their sharp and incisive questions and also thinking on my feet.

When I got my Band 6, I was elated, as it wasn't just a scrape through but a comfortable score of 273. I knew I could do it, and I wish I had been more serious during my first try as it would have saved me RM 60, hee.

All in all, it was a pleasant journey that was not taxed by arduous preparation. technically, I had been getting ready for it all along, as I read a lot, speak English all the time, enter English related competitions and get involved in English related school activities. I'm glad that it has all paid off - the Band 6 truly was the icing on the cake.

About the Author
Michelle Tam is currently an Upper Sixer in St. Paul's Insititution, Seremban. She is an outgoing, creative person who is highly enthusiastic about all life has to offer, yet practical, sensible and mature when occasion calls for it, due to the many responsibilities shouldered in the past (Asst Head Prefect, Editor of the The Paulian, Sports House Captain, Cheer Team Captain etc etc).

She is also an avid reader and writer, as she loves anything and everything to do with the English Language. She takes part in as many writing competitions as she can, garnering Highly Commended's in the international Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition and emerged as runner up in the Oxford-Cambridge Essay Writing Competition in 2005, am the school's drama team's script editor (they are going to the nationals in Langkawi!) amongst a few achievements.

Update: I asked Michelle to share the answers for reading comprehension paper of MUET April/May 2007 and she replied,
heya chong, i'm sorry, i can't find my reading comprehension paper :( you're not the first to ask for it, and i wish i had put it away properly.

my apologies once again!
Recommended: Free MUET Tips & 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy This MUET Guide (Panduan MUET) written by MUET teacher & examiner at RM30!
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  1. Michelle, do you still have your reading comprehension paper of MUET April/May 2007 with you? If yes, I hope that you can share your answers with us as I believe some candidates use it as a model paper in the preparation for upcoming MUET.

    The answer for Paper 1 Listening Test of MUET April/May 2007 is as follows: (but I doubt who will need it since we don't have the recording CD)
    1.D 2.B 3.A 4.C 5.A
    6.D 7.C 8.B 9.C 10.D
    11.B 12.D 13.A 14.C 15.A

  2. Hi

    Call me Signez. I want to sit for MUET at around this time because I want to apply for UITM intake in December. Will there be any possibilities to sit for it? When is the closing date? I need this information really quick!

    Please email me at [email protected]

  3. Signez, it is impossible to register for MUET October/November 2007 now as the registration has been closed months ago. The exact closing date for new MUET candidates is June 4, 2007. I suggest you to pay close attention to Majlis Peperiksaan Malaysia to not miss the next registration opportunity. Even if you were able to sit for this coming MUET, the result will only be available around February 2008.

  4. Hi, I'm Maryam. I have applied to become a lecturer at a few local universities. My question is, must I take the Muet examination? If yes, where should I apply and how?

  5. hi

    juz kol me izda
    im goin to sit for muet exam next yar..
    im can talk in english but no very well..
    how to improve ?

    1. easy My Friend~ Always talk in english daily~ wif u friends.. ur family.. If u are stuck for words.. find in dictionary ^^ Good luck for ur MUet~

  6. From my experience, I only talks english with my parents and certain well spoken friends. And most of my conversation with others are in malay. You definitely can improve ur english by reading. Fortunately for me, it is a handy thing to do but not for some. So, my advice is before sitting for speaking test, try to remember some quotations. My tester said to me, she was impressed with my ability to quote. To tell you the truth, I JUST MAKE THOSE QUOTATION UP AT THAT TIME! lol. Confident is a plus.


  7. My personal MUET success tips:

    1) listening - try not to get more than 3 mistakes in total, listen carefully, try to share answers with friends if for some questions you are unsure about the answer(it is possible, pandai pandai lar!)

    2) speaking - speak confidently, defend your answer with a logical reason, most importantly, help fellow other students when they have tied tongues (conduct the discussions with authority but not too much!)

    3) reading - read naturally, with good punctuation and fluency, don't attempt to read like a Brit.

    4) writing - good luck on this, I personally think that the writing task is even easier than SPM 1119, so you should have no problem if you have grammar, vocab and logics...

  8. the competition u mentioned above (UNSW (University of New South Wales) International Competitions for Schools, English) how u take part in it? does it need any fees?

  9. hai...everybody

    i'm jane. Guys...for you all inform actually i took STPM 1999, im among the first students took this MUET exam for the first time. i got band 2 for the first and second time. i'm very upset because i dont know how to learn english..my english language is very lousy...i dont know how to polish it to make it good.

    now i read NST everday to enrichment and improve my english..

    i just want to know whether i can sit this exam again or not...???? because i think im too old for take it again....thank you....you comment is good for me actually...

  10. Hello there... we are melody and anabell.. we will together sit MUET exam for this year, 2009... So, we want to ask for anyone to help us on a way to sit for MUET... because it quite difficult to us... i have try to speak English with all of my friend but they did non give s good response, so i don't know what else to do except giving a text messages in English to my friend that have a good english to improve my grammar... hahaha... just, i'm not sure either all my words here are correct or lousy@broken... hahahahah...

  11. it IS quite difficult
    have TRIED
    Try to watch english drama to improve.

  12. halo guys..i'll taking the exam tbis saturday too...i'm too excited..you know why..?this is my second test that i will sit for it...but i'm not ready enough...i just finish up my matriculation programmes last week..pray for me k...

  13. hiii theree..
    im miky..

    i'll take muet this MID year...
    i feel so upset every second...
    wooried about coming MUET...
    without enough preparetion it is hard 2 get a POWER result...
    so those who sit a muet dis coming..let Pray together...
    reGuest Bless From GOD....GUD lUck DUDE,!!!

  14. 2moro is my muat speaking test..i'm so nervous..bcoz my english is the most lousy in my group..i worry i hav not much time to think the point & no chance to talk when the discussion...

  15. this time the speaking examiner is fierce...i so worry she will give a lower marks to me...
    omg...i so scare...

  16. where can i get stpm last years question?

  17. dush..i juz finished my diploma stdy 1 year ago... i'm gonna take MUET this oktober..i really2 weak in my english..long time i'm not speak in english..i dont know how to write assay, how to make a gud sentence..i'm so scare..:( so..anybody can help me?? emel me at [email protected]. i'm waiting..

  18. after reading this feedback, it is so impressive since i knew getting excellent in muet is just like cracking nuts in your mouth, whether u like to chew it or crash it using your teeth, it's all depend on your attitude, u can simply chew your nut if u work harder for this or u need to double your work on this if u wait until the end, so be physically and mentally prepared for this big event. hurry up guys!!

  19. hhahhahahaha.wtf.how difficult it is.actually,,i'm quite oke in english before.but when i was in form 4,my friend and i chilled and we didn't study at all.and just now we regretted for what had happenned.but the subject is not there.i had forgot the grammar and those vocabulary that quite superb.not actually la for you.i am in lower 6 right now.next week,we got our speaking test for final exam.i just can't get any confident to speak ):

  20. muet is easy but hard in a good way. u thought u did well, turn out to be u suck.that's the truth. i took muet exam and i got band 4, n i had to repeat it last october to get a higher band..

  21. Hey guys, I'm pretty upset that i only got band 5 in my MUET... Do you guys think that having MUET classes will really help me to get the coveted band 6? I didn't take any because my university didn't offer it. Should i take it again or just let bygone be bygone?

  22. hye.....
    it's must be good pass in muet
    when i will pass it?
    i'm just done my best......
    but the result ......
    help me frenz......

  23. hi chong, i just registered for muet.nd now im realy worried. how would it be like nd so on. im so nervous. help!!! plss

  24. Actually is it compulsory to take MUET? Or a optional subject? I myself is a super weak in english type of foolish, if the MUET is a must, then i probably will go and commit suicide.Someone please give a hand to me.

  25. Hi,
    I'm going to sit for my MUET in April.I think my english is quite ok as i manage to get A2 for my GCE O level in SPM. However, when it comes to the speaking test, i am worried as i think i am not so fluent in English.I am also having problem with my self confidence.

  26. hi i'm gone a sit MUET this term ...
    i'm so nervous to take this exam because not very expert in this paper. how can i improve my language,speaking ,writing and listening in just short time....do you have a tips....
    MUET around the conner, but nothing prepare....

  27. i'll sit for muet this mid year.ahh.i totally have no confident.please help me

  28. good day.
    i got my muet next week and God, i am so nervous right now perhaps i dont have enough preparation for this upcoming test so now i just try to act cool and be chill.

  29. hallo...you can help me...
    im no ready muet..im afraid...pleazz

  30. 24/4 its coming........ggreeeee

  31. Where can find the essay writing in part 1 of MUET Paper 4 ?????

  32. hello there.i am paan.i will sitting MUET in just next week.no preparation properly due to my buzy working day.but i have had some briefing from my close friend.so what your advices for the coming examination day.(dah tersepit dah oi)

  33. i will be taking my 1st muet exam tommorow and i am a little concern about my exam.i hve prepared as far as i could.but still a little worried bout my speaking.give tips for speaking next time so that i could improved my speaking

  34. more like showing off yourself rather than giving tips on how to get band 6 in muet as title mention...i didnt get any benefit from this article after wasting my time reading this rubissh.

  35. hi,

    do you have MUET answer for 2009???

  36. Try learning Singapore English, and you will pass MUET with flying colours. Easy.

  37. i want 2 take muet next year coz im not ready yet

  38. im ready for muet next yer.. hahhahahahha...

  39. I just got my muet result...i am so frustated...I got only band 3......so frustated....I need min band 4 to get my degree..So frustated....

  40. can i ask something?
    now i currently in upper six student 2010. n i got band 2 in mid year exam in muet. i think i want to take again in november 2010.
    but i still thinking about my stpm examination in final also in november.
    how is it? can i do it?
    can i make my muet rsult better?

  41. Joe, u shld try again cause' band 2 isn't good enough for a degree
    course....best of luck 2 u & it will be a piece of cake this time, trust me!

  42. pls sggest whether better take muet in universiti or school??

  43. hi michelle. congrates for your remarkable achievement. Talking about MUET, where can i get the collections of past years MUET exam papers? because i will be sitting my MUET this year. or anyone can help me, i'm pretty glad to receive your comment. tq

    any info, do email me at [email protected] =)

  44. hi michelle, can i ask u smthing?how u manage your timing during reading comp paper?actually, i'm really upset with this paper....so, how i want 2 improve my result 4 this paper?

  45. Hi michelle, can i ask you something? can you suggest me,is there any good reference book for MUET out there?

  46. Hi there, for those who need the compilation of 2008 - 2009 actual MUET paper, please look out for it in the book store. It has blue colour cover page and is published by Oxford Fajar. It also comes with free audio CD for listening component and suggested answers.

  47. Hi, here are some sharing and tips for MUET's listening component.

    When you get the questions, take time to analyse each question. For example, check what kind of answer you are to give. When you understand the questions well enough, you can actually predict the answers. Your answers can be in the forms of numbers, places, things, actions, adjectives, reasons, etc. Take this question from MUET 2009 year- end listening paper as an instance. " By asking customer if it is a suitable time to talk when phoning them, we are respecting their______________ "(answer in NOT MORE THAN FIVE WORDS), we can predict the answers to be privacy/ time, etc. The suggested answer given is 'personal space and time' (4 words).

    Why are you advised to analyse the questions and do prediction?
    This aids you to listen to what you need to listen to and not wasting time listening to unnecessary information. Don't forget to stick to the word limit when attempting the short- answer questions.

    The next technique you can acquire is by highlighting the words which you think might be mentioned in the recording. The words highlighted may be repeated a number of times. This is your clue where you can locate your answer.

    However, listen attentively. There are times whereby the words/ phrases you have highlighted are not mentioned exactly the same way they are written in the questions. For example, 'cannot remember' may be mentioned as 'forget' in the recording. The sentences are paraphrased but don't worry, the meanings retained. Don't let this dampens your mood. With lots of practices, you will eventually get used to it.


  48. hi, i'm going to sit for MUET examination soon (oct/nov),
    can I have any tips on any topics that may come out?
    thankyou. :)

  49. hello, i'm mieza. i will be sitting for my MUET Speaking test in a week time. i found this page very interesting and it helps me a lot because i've started feeling nauseous thinking about the becoming exam. thanks.

  50. hello..
    i'm going to take a MUET by next week...
    n trust me..
    i'm so scared..i worried that my scared influence my confidence during that speaking test..
    and causes a bad result..
    can u help me..how should i confidence myself??

  51. Hello, just helping out. Suggestion for speaking component: better talk than not talking at all.

    **Always practise courtesy. Please do not address the time keeper as 'time keeper'. He/ she is also an examiner. Just do simple greeting is sufficient. E.g Good morning everyone.

    **Please get your tenses correct. It really reflects how proficient you are in English. Tip: Practise subject verb agreement.

    **For individual task, please ensure you listen attentively to jot down notes in order to seek for clarification in the second task.

    **NEVER, NEVER read from your note. Prepare note in point form and be as spontaneous as possible.

    **If you run out of idea of what to say, probably you can prompt some candidates to give their point of view. E.g. What do you think Candidate A?

    **Don't refer other candidates by their name. Refer them as Candidate A/ Candidate B/ Candidate C/ Candidate D.

    **Just be relax. Find any helpful way to increase oxygen into your brain even if it means you need to tear paper and chew on it.


  52. Greetings...
    Im going to sit on my writing paper next week..any tips?

  53. my MUET is on Oct.19th..so so so nervous!!

  54. All can I get is only band 2. I dont know why. Its my 6 times. Im really sad.

    1. I'm surprised that you're saying you don't know why you keep getting Band 2. Perhaps that's the core problem. You are unaware of the areas in which you are weak. Only then will you be able to develop in those areas.


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