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The basics
Malaysia: Subject Guides - Must read

What is MUET? (Malaysian University English Test)

MUET in Malaysia

Have you ever heard of the term – MUET? This abbreviation, quite prominently heard of especially among pre-university students, actually stands for – The Malaysian University English Test. It’s an English test created by the Malaysian government to set a benchmark for English among Malaysian students. So if you are planning to pursue your degree in a local university, keep reading – because this article will have all the information you need.


Who should take MUET?

MUET is compulsory for all STPM (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia) and matriculation students, as well as diploma and pre-university students who wish to pursue a first degree program in local universities. There is no entry requirement for MUET. For STPM and matriculation candidates, MUET will automatically be a required subject for all students to take, but it will not be shown in your result slip. There will be a separate result slip for MUET.


What is the test format like?

There are a total of four papers in MUET ranging from Listening (800/1), Speaking (800/2), Reading (800/3) and Writing (800/4). This is to ensure that students master all four skills, rather than just being good at one but struggling with the other three.

The Malaysian government’s aim is to produce students who can converse in English comfortably, but more than just that – students who can master the English language in order to become a competent competitor in the corporate world with English being the International Language in this age and time.


How often is MUET held?

MUET used to be held only twice a year during the middle of the year between April and May, and during the end of the year between October and November. But from 2012, MUET is now held up to three times a year – in March, July, and November.


Can I retake MUET?

The answer is – YES. Yes, you can retake MUET if failed in your first test, or if you’re dissatisfied with your results. There is no limit to this – however, it will be wise for students to plan ahead. Students should bear in mind the local university intake period. This is because only students who have taken MUET are eligible to register themselves into a degree course at local universities. Students can still take MUET even after they have graduated from STPM or matriculation. However, it is best to obtain both STPM/matriculation results along with MUET’s results so that students can immediately apply for their desired courses when the registration for local university application opens.

Grading system

Grading system for MUET
When students obtain their MUET result, the result slip will show marks of all the 4 individual papers – which will then be summarized into Band 1 to Band 6 (Band 6 being the best). The average grade for MUET is Band 3. Any lower than that (Band 1 or Band 2), students will have to take two extra English courses during school holidays. Students who score a Band 3 and Band 4 will only have to take one extra course. Students who score a Band 5 or Band 6 can be exempted from the extra course.  (However, this may vary from different schools, depending on the arrangement of their syllabus). 


Here’s a brief summary of each band:


Band 6 – Very good user (Aggregated score: 260-300)

Very good command of the language. Highly expressive, fluent, accurate and appropriate language: hardly any inaccuracies. Very good understanding of language and contexts. Functions extremely well in the language.


Band 5 – Good user (Aggregated score: 220-259)

Good command of the language. Expressive, fluent, accurate, and appropriate language but with minor inaccuracies.Good understanding of language and contexts. Functions well in the language.


Band 4 – Competent user (Aggregated score: 180-219)

Satisfactory command of the language. Satisfactory, expressive and fluent. Approriate language but with occasional inaccuracies. Satisfactory understanding of the language and contexts. Functions satisfactorily in the language.


Band 3 – Modest user (Aggregated score: 140-179)

Modest command of the language. Modestly expressive and fluent, appropriate language but with noticeable inaccuracies. Modest understanding of the language and contexts. Able to function modestly in the language.


Band 2 – Limited user (Aggregated score: 101-139)

Limited command of the language. Lacks expressiveness, fluency and appropriateness: inaccurate use of the language resulting in breakdown in communication. Limited understanding of language and contexts. Limited ability to function in the language.


Band 1 – Extremely limited user (Aggregated score: below 100)

Poor command of the language. Unable to use language to express ideas: inaccurate use of the language resulting in frequent breakdowns in communication. Little or poor understanding of language and contexts. Hardly able to function in the language.


Need guides for the specific tests? Click on the interactive image below for Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing tips.



More info:

It is highly encouraged that you find out about the minimum grade for MUET in the degree course(s) which you are planning to apply for. This will increase your eligibility in getting the course(s) that you are applying for.


For example, courses like Law, Pharmacy and Medicine require a minimum of Band 5 in order for applicants to qualify themselves a place in university.


If you are thinking of studying abroad, then you might want to find out more about other English tests such as IELTS.


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