3 Steps to jumpstart your MUET preparations

October 17, 2014
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With government’s new policy on MUET (Malaysian University English Test) requirements for public varsities, it is best to start preparing for your exams this early. Previously, a MUET band 1 is enough however the new policy will be making it difficult for students who want to get into public universities. Here are some simple tips on how to improve your exam preparations.

1. Get familiar with the test structure

You can easily obtain model test papers or past year papers from book stores or from your MUET tutor. Generally, MUET is made of four components – listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  The duration and weighing of each component are as follows:

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One look at it and reading paper is obviously the one that carries the highest weightage of 40%. Therefore, it’s important to start reading, and not just any content but read articles and books that are written by respected authors and reliable publications such as TIME Magazine, National Geographic, The Economist, Reader’s Digest, The New Yorker, and so forth. Aside from these, you need to keep abreast with local issues and these can be gained by reading newspapers such as The Star, News Straits Times, The Edge, and many more.

For more information on the MUET exam structure, please visit this link.

2. Practice makes perfect

English language proficiency is a skill, and skills do not develop overnight. To master this skill, one must some invest time to practice.

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  • Practice speaking and listening – In order to speak English fluently, you need to practice speaking. Get someone (a teacher, coach, or a friend who practices English) to converse with. Practice speaking out loud until your mouth and brain can do it without any effort. As much as possible, avoid translating your thoughts from your mother tongue, and try to think in English. Talk naturally and try to add some humour in your conversation.
  • Practice writing – Once you have gained some confidence in expressing yourself in the English language, it’s time to put these thoughts on paper. Take time to write down your thoughts, views, opinion, and ideas in an orderly and logical manner. Social media activities such as blogging can help you feel motivated to write.
  • Practice reading – To help enrich your vocabulary, you will need to read a lot of material. From reading word-by-word, try to learn how to browse and capture keywords. By doing so, you get to expand the number of words you read at a time, which is very important in exams. Another tip is to concentrate and avoid regression or re-reading a material. This will slow you down, and lose the overall meaning of a subject.

3. Engage in play and conversation

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Play is a good form of learning because it is motivating and fun! Word games such as scrabble, crossword puzzles, anagrams, and word scramble can challenge you and help you discover new meanings and new words. Furthermore, these games encourage you to check with a thesaurus or dictionary.

Another way to expand your vocabulary is to simply talk with other people. This can help you learn and discover new words. As with reading, once you hear a new word, remember to jot it down so that you can study it later — and then slowly add the new word to your vocabulary.

You hold the key to a better vocabulary. These tips featured in this article, will help you on your way to discovering and learning new words to expand your vocabulary and strengthen your use of the English language. Good luck!

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