Thursday, March 31, 2011


Mid-2011: D-Day!

D-Day is next week (4 April and onwards)!  D-Day for you.
According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, D-Day is:
1) 6th June, 1944; in the World War II, the day the allies landed in France to begin the spread of their forces through Europe, under the command of General Eisenhower
2) a day on which an important operation or planned action is to begin:
So, today is D-day, then?
The term D-Day was first used for the day in World War II, when the allied forces made their landing on the shores of Normandy, France to make an entry into Europe and defeat the forces of Hitler. The term "D-Day" was coined to name that important day of allied operations that helped to change the course of history.

Since then, the term D-Day is used for the day where something important is going to happen.  MUET is very important for the majority of candidates.  Therefore that MUET date is D-Day for them.

Your D-Day begins on 4 April 2011, if you are taking the Mid-Year (2011) MUET Papers. Please refer to the dates of the Tests. Some of you might be given 5 April or other opportune time as deemed appropriate by the MPM for the Speaking Test (Yes, MUET starts with the Speaking-800/2 paper).  On the 16 April all Mid-Year 2011 MUET candidates will be doing the Listening 800/1, Reading 800/3 and Writing 800/4 Papers.  All in one day.

Come to MUET Speaking Well Prepared
When you come for the speaking test please treat it as though you are doing an important interview.  Do not forget to bring your identity cards, your MUET exam slips and your pen.  You should be dressed appropriately.  Please do not come looking like a rocker!  There is no problem with the school students as they come smartly dressed in school uniforms.

You will have to surrender your mobile phones to the MUET Quarantine Officer as you enter the Quarantine Room.  You can see many kinds of mobile phones being surrendered to the officer.  Do not be surprised that many of the private students come with more than one mobile phones.

The temporary forfeiture of mobile phones is to prevent the candidates from communicating with outsiders, where they might ask for tips or answers, and maybe with the other candidates who have just finished their Speaking tests in the previous groups.

Change of Test Venues
If you want to change your exam venues please do so through their respective State Education Department not later than two months before the test date.  However there could be some help from the State Education Department for those in emergency cases, eg. sudden transfers or being stranded somewhere due to unavoidable circumstances.

One candidate may have registered in Ipoh and he is suddenly transferred to Penang as, maybe, he gets a promotion in his job.  He can sit for the MUET Papers in Penang after he has made arrangements with the education authorities concerned.  As the duration of the Speaking Test takes a number of days, they may still have time to make changes to their test centres.  Meet the MUET Officer in the Education Department and inquire.  What I have brought to you here is an example of such an extreme situation.  It might be impossible to do in large states such as Pahang or Perak.

An administrative fee of RM25.00 will be levied for this purpose.  Please do not forget to bring along the receipt for this payment to the MUET Centre. 

Do Not Skip A Paper
If you skip a paper, (... No, you cannot do that!)
You skip one, you skip it ALL!  That's it.

If you skip a paper (that is you do not take it), for example the Reading 800/3 Paper, it means that you skip the whole MUET test.  That is how the MUET system works.  If you want to re-sit the Tests, you will have to re-sit all the MUET papers when the next MUET tests  are scheduled.  Please keep this important fact in mind.  There is no such thing as taking only one or two (or three ) of the papers and take the others some other time.  Take them all, or you don't!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh, My Diction!

Master English, Beef Up Your Vocabulary!
Reminiscing those halcyon days (-school days!)… Our English teacher encouraged us, students, to keep an exercise book where we could record all the new words.  The book was called the vocabulary book. I read a lot of books and recorded hundreds of new words.  I became a bookworm of sorts.

More often than not, I found new words that I did not know.  I wrote down those words with their meanings, in context, in that vocabulary book.  Every day I read and re-read them in order to commit them to memory.  I made it some kind of a 'second hobby', sort of ...

I found that that strategy to be very effective in mastering more English words. One of the effective ways to increase our mastery of English. It had stood the test of time and would always do so.  Take it from an old master (yeah, … I am a school master and I am old – tee-hee!), to try an old way – what they say, from theold school”.

In retrospect, a brief history of my school days:  I entered secondary school – a boarding school, in 1969.  That was way back, many years ago!  In that year, American Astronaut, Neil Armstrong became the first person in history to land on the moon.  Many of you, dear readers, were not born yet.  MUET? - Never heard of.

New intakes, hardly thirteen-years old, had to undergo a spell of one year's immersion in a "remove" class - to master English.  Being from a Malay-medium primary school, we had to do that one year class.  It was the practice those days that, one who came from a Malay-medium primary school and wanted to study in an English secondary school, had to do one year of "remove" class.

In that English immersion year I worked hard on my English, voraciously digesting books and magazines to read stories, read about space flights and other things and, many, many, new words.  Of course, I became more knowledgeable.  I used those new words, experimented with them in my essays and found overseas pen-pals to write them letters, sometimes sounding a bit "bombastic" - with new sophisticated words.  I continued that habit for many years onwards.  That vocabulary book method proved to be very effective and I am thankful to my English teacher, that particular one, who showed me the way.

Mark Twain, the famous American writer, who 'created' Tom Sawyer, used to say, “If you find a new word – use it three times and it’s yours”.  There is a lot of truth in what he said.  The use of that humble vocabulary note-book had proven its effectiveness, to me - at least, in the effort  of mastering more English words, and thus strengthens my mastery of that language.  With that strategy one's English can improve by leaps and bounds, God Willing!  Try it yourselves – it surely works!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The MUET Components (and Papers)

To all the candidates who are non pre-university students (private candidates), please pay attention to this. It is important to take note of this as you may miss this information due to one reason or the other.

The term Private candidates (non school-goers) includes working people, university students, job applicants, people advancing in career mobility (eg. getting a job promotion), those taking the MUET for certain purposes and those people who are simply aspiring to move forward in knowledge. This is an overview of the MUET test components. 

As we all know the MUET comes in four papers for each of its repective components.

Test Component
The MUET comprises four components:
Listening (800/1), Speaking (800/2), Reading (800/3) and Writing (800/4). The duration and weighting of each component are as follows:

Paper Code Paper Duration Weighting
30 minutes
30 minutes
90 minutes
90 minutes

Test Scores
The Test scores are reported as follow:
Test Component Maximum Score Obtained Score
Band Achieved