T HE Malaysian University Entrance Test (MUET) is a test of English language proficiency for university admissions.
The test is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council. Most candidates who sit the MUET do so to apply for admission into public universities and institutions of higher learning.
The MUET tests four components: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The scores of each of the components are graded into six bands, with Band 1 being “Extremely Limited User” and Band 6 being “Very Good User”.
The MUET is a standard, reliable and authentic testing procedure that tests on all the four components of language skills.
However, the MUET has been given less significance and importance by some institutions of higher learning.
Many colleges and institutions that offer twinning programmes do not consider MUET as an acceptable test for English language
In recent years, the MUET has lost its prominence as a requirement test for admission into local universities, be they public or private ones. Many public universities now require students to only sit the MUET in order to graduate, without taking into account the bands achieved.
The MUET should be reinstated to its original status. Why have institutions of higher learning relaxed their ruling on the MUET and the bands achieved by undergraduates?
Why do universities require a separate “must pass” test for undergraduates in the universities? The MUET would be a good and reliable test to place undergraduates in the different bands to show their levels of proficiency and competency in the English language.
In addition, the Teacher Education Division had, in the early years, required trainees to sit the test. English option trainees (Tesol) were required to obtain a Band 4 while non-English option teacher trainees a Band 3.
This was fine and many trainees worked hard for the Bands, taking pains to speak in English to pass the test. However, over the years, the Teacher Education Service has nullified the MUET test and issued a directive that trainees in teacher training campuses need not sit the MUET.
The division could have its reasons for exempting trainees from sitting the MUET but it is a standardised and comprehensive test that offers extra impetus to improve their proficiency.
Hopefully, the authorities will take measures to place emphasis on the significance of the MUET requirements.Samuel Yesuiah, Seremban, Negri Sembilan NST Letters 13 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:07 AM