KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) is set to become an internationally-recognised English qualification.
Malaysia Examination Council (MPM) chairman Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said efforts were underway to align the Malaysian test with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
“The plan is to have the new test and specification match the European standards so that it can be marketed internationally especially for international students planning to further their studies in Malaysia,” he told a press conference at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia.
MUET is the English language competency examination taken by local students as a requirement to enter local public and private universities.
“The European framework is a benchmark (for English proficiency) and this would make the local test comparable to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS),” he said.
Prof Mohamed Mustafa said the decision to have the Malaysian test benchmarked against the European framework was made based on a study done by MPM, the Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU), the Education Ministry and Cambridge English Language, England, last year.
The study is to ascertain if MUET matches the standards outlined in the CEFR for ascertaining language proficiency.
Based on the findings of the report by Cambridge English Language, he said it showed the Malaysian test has an “almost similar” standard with the framework.
“This means that highly competent candidates would score a high band in both the tests,” he said.
He said the study revealed that Band 6 in MUET was equivalent to Level C2 in CEFR.
Both Band 6 and Level C2 are the highest grade one can score in these examinations.
He said Cambridge English Language would be helping and advising the MUET Test Syllabus and Specification Aligning Committee to ensure the English examination matches the European framework and was accepted internationally.
Prof Mohamed Mustafa added that the fine-tuning exercise was expected to be completed in 18 months.
He said MPM was planning to launch “MUET on Demand” in 2018, a form of e-testing that would enable candidates to take the examination at any time, rather than the fixed sessions held in March, July and November each year.