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Malaysia: Subject Guides - Must read

MUET Essay Writing Test Guide & Tips

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The MUET writing test requires students to transfer information from a non-linear source to a linear text, as well as to write an essay of at least 350 words on a given topic.


Exam paper code: 800/4
Exam duration: 90 minutes
Total weightage: 25%


The MUET writing test is to assess candidates on their ability to:


1.       Transfer information

2.       Write with good grammar

3.       Analyze graphic information. It may come in one of these five forms:

  • Line graph
  • Bar graph
  • Pie chart
  • Table
  • Diagram illustrating process

4.       Voice their opinions through words/written form

5.       Think critically


Below is an exercise for you to start practicing. 


Task 1 – Report Writing (40 marks)

· You are given 40 minutes to complete this task

· Study and analyze the graphic information

· Describe the information or the process in a report format

· Write between 150 – 200 words


Sample question:


The chart shows how students on all courses at a Malaysian university viewed different subjects on a scale of easy to difficult. You should write 150 to 200 words.


Sample question


Sample answer:


How Students on All Courses at a Malaysian University View Different Subjects According to Different Levels of Difficulty


 The bar chart shows how students who are studying in a Malaysian university rate different subjects according to its difficulty – easy, moderately difficult or difficult.


 The subject which was most commonly rated as difficult was math, by 70% of the total students.  While only 20% of students saw it as easy. Physics was also largely judged to be a difficult or moderately difficult subject. Only 25% of students viewed it as easy. By contrast, chemistry was regarded as easy by a massive 70% of students.


 As far as language subjects are concerned, languages in general were seen as easy by 40% of students. This percentage dropped to 20% for oriental languages. African languages, however, were viewed as easy by 60% of students. Next, Art was rated to be an easy subject by only 30% of students and like Physics, 50% rated it as difficult.


 In conclusion, there seems to be no clear correspondence between the type of subject and whether it was generally rated as easy or difficult.                                                             (168 words)





Tips for Task 1:


· A title MUST be written

· Title MUST be underlined

· Write a minimum of 3 paragraphs (Introduction, body and conclusion). Students can also write 2 paragraphs for body.)


Task 2 – Extended Writing (60 marks)


· Write an essay NOT LESS THAN 350 words based on the given topic

· You are given 50 minutes to complete this task

· Your essay may be written in these styles:

-          Analytical

-          Descriptive

-          Persuasive

-          Argumentative


Don't forget, you can get access to more expert advice and guidance on our Facebook page:



Past Year Exam Questions:


The following questions are examples of what you may encounter in a real exam.


Year End 2008

"People are becoming more materialistic. They are concerned with making more money and what money can buy." What is your opinion on being materialistic? You should write at least 350 words.

Mid 2009 
Information and communications technology (ICT) is the cause of today's many social ills. What is your opinion? Support your answers with examples. You should write at least 350 words.

Year End 2009
People commit crime for selfish reasons. Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

Mid 2010
The world today is turning more to electronic communications such as the e-mail, Facebook and instant messaging. What is your opinion of this growing trend? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

Year End 2010
In an arranged marriage, the choice of a husband or wife is made by parents or elders. What do you think of this practice in today's society? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.

Mid 2011
The most valuable thing in life is friendship. Do you agree? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.




· Don’t write statements that are too general. Back up your statements with facts. If you’re aiming at scoring Band 5 or Band 6, you are expected to have a high level of critical thinking.

· Have at least 5 paragraphs


1.       Introduction

- State the current situation

- State if you agree or disagree with the statement/topic and why.


2.       First point

-          Key point

-          Elaboration

-          Examples


3.       Second point

-          Key point

-          Elaboration

-          Examples


4.       Third point

-          Key point

-          Elaboration

-          Examples


5.       Conclusion

-          State why you agree/disagree once more

-          What can the government/individual/society do?


· Use these tools to help with your critical thinking:


1.       The short term, midterm, and long term effect

-          Example: Smoking

-          Short term = Bad breath/yellow teeth

-          Midterm = Affordability/waste of money

-          Long term = Health problems such as lung cancer


2.       Individual, society, and government

-          Example: Recycling

-          Individual = Practice the 3R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle)

-          Society = Community collection/fund raising

-          Government = Hold recycling campaigns


Don't forget to check out other useful tips for MUET:



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