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Monday, March 13, 2017

MUET MARCH 2017 READING 800/3 SUGGESTED ANSWERS

Before you check your answers, why not look at the questions. I have scanned it here MUET Mac 2017


My students did not take this test so I have finally managed to get a hardcopy. Note that these are my 1st draft answers and teachers/students may leave a comment if they disagree with any of my suggested answers. Good luck all!

1. B (20% clearly means it does not exceed)
2. C (No preference stated)
3. B
4. C
5. A
6. A
7. A
8. B (China & Egypt)
9. A
10. C (no info)
11. C
12. C
13. A
14. A
15. A
16. A
17. B
18. C
19. B
20. B
21. B
22. C
23. B
24. A
25. C
26. A
27. A (preclude = prevent)
28. A
29. C
30. A
31. D
32. A
33. B
34. A
35. A
36. B (D is possible)
37. D
38. C
39. A
40. D
41. D
42. A
43. B
44. B
45. B


Ok, done. Open to suggestions. As always, be civil and well mannered or I will delete your comments if they are offensive/rude. Have a nice day!

p/s:  21/45 for a Band 3, 27/45 for Band 4. However, this is NOT  a guarantee as you would need to perform just as well in the other 3 papers to maintain this result.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Student's sample MUET essay.

It always impresses me how far and wide my blog has reached and how even when I do not upload as much, this blog of mine manages to reach out and help the masses. Well it is doubly impressive when a student like this ine below manages to produce a well written academic essay which warrants a high band. I wish it were this easy to transfer my skills to students. Congrats 
Wong Mee Wan for your impressive attempt. 

However, it is unlikely that a question like this will come out though as blogging may be considered a specialist subject more relevant to urban candidates. Nevertheless, kudos!


Question : Students should start their own blog. Do you agree ? Support your answer with examples. You should write at least 350 words.
     In recent years, the world has witnessed a significant rise in technological advancements across all fields. We saw science improved, mathematical questions answered, and social media flourished. The mushroom of blogs has positively correlated with the increasingly affordable price of computers and gadgets. Majority of the bloggers are students who use it for various purposes. Despite the ongoing debate on whether students should start their own blog, I strongly agree that starting a blog and constantly updating it helps develop critical thinking skills, creates a knowledgeable society and fortifies multiracial unity.
     First and foremost, starting and updating a blog helps to stimulate a critical way of thinking. Blog acts as a platform which opens up avenues for sharing and discussing ideas. Students are free to share their viewpoints with netizens all over the world and anyone can propose his or her ideas in the comment section below. Consequently, a discussion will be built up and the commenters need to analyse the arguments by considering the issue from different aspects and backgrounds. Thus, critical thinking skills develop slowly in the students’ mind without one realising it. For instance, the discussion on the economic issue can only come to an ideal conclusion through critical analysis of the current situation by viewing from different aspects, involving the countries, citizens and resources. Therefore, it is crystal clear that blogging can develop a critical thinking mind, especially among the students.
     In addition to this, blogging plays a key role in moulding a knowledgeable society. It is a universal truth that most students in this era of globalisation where technology reigns adapt better to learning via electronic media. Furthermore, most students spend more time browsing the Internet compared to reading books and newspapers. Hence, information and knowledge shared via blogs can reach more students than the traditional way of sharing through books. As an exemplification, students who have created mnemonics to ease the memorisation of difficult topics in the syllabus can share them via their blogs so that other students can learn it and even discuss to come up with a better idea. As a result, the knowledge input of students who access to the blogs will be escalated dramatically to eventually mould a knowledgeable society.
     Moreover, blogging can enhance the unity among different races. When students of different races blog about their unique cultures and traditions, students of other races who came across the articles will be well-informed about the cultures of other races and thus open their eyes to realise the existence of other cultures in one’s country. This can develop a better sense of understanding and hence maintain the precious unity among races, which is crucial to the harmony of a multiracial country such as Malaysia. For example, when a Malay student posts about their tradition of visiting one another during the Aidilfitri, Chinese, Indian as well as indigenous students will get to know more about the culture of Malays and the dos and don’ts when they join the celebration. Subsequently, students will develop a better understanding about races and unity is fortified when all sorts of misunderstandings are avoided.
     On the other hand, one may argue that blogging is time consuming and distracting for the students. This notion anchored its arguments on the common scenario that most students are very likely to get carried away when they access the Internet and eventually wasted so much time doing unbeneficial activities in the Internet. Students are also prone to the exposure towards the underlying negative influences in the Internet such as violence, gore and sexually explicit contents which are able to corrupt the students’ mind once and for all.

     In a nutshell, I still totally believe that students should start their own blog as this brings magnificent advantages to the students, society as well as our beloved country. Blogging stimulates a critical way of thinking, produces an enlightened society and strengthen the unity among races. The minor drawbacks can be prevented by careful measures such as parental control. The government through the Ministry of Education should spearhead a foolproof blueprint to instill the habit of blogging among students by providing special training and increasing incentives for the usage of technology in schools.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

4 Sample MUET Outlines for A Model Academic Essay Question

Well it is now February and one month away from the March exam. I have been getting many enquiries about how to approach academic essays. The most straightforward way is to agree 100% in 5 paragraphs (intro, 3 arguments and conclusion) but that will possibly just give you passing band. To show your flair for the language and critical thinking skills, may I suggest you follow one of the 4 sample outlines I have written out for the same single question on banning smoking. Note that in MUET, the question itself will usually have 2 parts to it so you must be smart in linking the two ideas (A &B) together in order to not veer off topic and stay within the required parametres. Anyway, have a read and leave a comment about which style you prefer.

MUETmyway Cloned Question:
Smoking should be banned (A) as it is a hazard to mankind (B). Do you agree with this statement? Give relevant examples. You should write at least 350 words.


Agree
(5 + 1 paragraphs)
100     or    75:25
1) Thesis Statement:
Smoking should be banned because it is a serious hazard to mankind in terms of health, waste of money and causes pollution.
2) Agree 1:
Firstly, smoking should be banned because it is a serious hazard to our health.
3) Agree 2:
Secondly, smoking should indeed be banned as it is a blatant waste of money.
4) Agree 3:
Last but not least, it is a hazard to mankind because it creates continuous pollution which is bad for our environment.
5 (OPTIONAL) Counter-Argument:
However, there are some benefits including a good source of income and the tax collected can be used to improve the infrastructure in our country. Nevertheless, smoking has more disadvantages and should be banned.
6) Recommendation:
The government should streamline immediate and effective action to ban smoking throughout the country by banning import and sales of cigarettes and increasing the fines and jail sentences for tobacco smuggling and distribution.

Disagree
(5 + 1 paragraphs)
100     or     75:25
1) Thesis Statement:
Smoking should not be banned because there are many benefits for our country in terms of increasing profits, stimulating the economy and tax collected can improve infrastructure for everyone.
2) Disagree 1:
First and foremost, smoking should not be banned as it increases the profit for the shop owners who sell it to the public.
3) Disagree 2:
The second reason it should not be banned is because the collective sales of cigarettes can stimulate our economy due to its high demand.
4) Disagree 3:
Lastly, banning smoking is not a good idea because the tax collected can be used to improve and upgrade infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals.
5 (OPTIONAL) Counter-Argument:
On the contrary, there are some advantages of banning smoking as it does have some hazardous effects to smokers’ health and the environment. Nevertheless, we should not deny a person’s choice to smoke or not especially since it can still bring some benefits to our country.
6) Recommendation:
The government should draw up an effective strategy to maximise tax collection of tobacco products in order to boost the economy and use the funds to provide better quality basic facilities for everyone’s mutual benefit.

Partially Agree 
(6 paragraphs)
50:50
1) Thesis Statement: 
There are both advantages and disadvantages of banning smoking as it is a hazard to mankind. 
2) Agree 1: 
For starters, smoking should be banned because it is a serious hazard to our health.
3) Disagree 1: 
In contrast, there are many people who have smoked and lived until old age, proving that smoking is not necessarily a health hazard as there may be other factors.
4) Agree 2: 
Another advantage of banning smoking is it can stop people from wasting money whereby the money can be better used for food, transportation, daily necessities or as savings.
5) Disagree 2: 
On the other hand, although they can be said to be wasting money on an individual level but the money is contributed back into society and tax collection increases as well which is used to improve and upgrade infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals. 
6) Recommendation:
The government should implement a comprehensive action plan to reduce smoking in our country by increasing the price and taxes of cigarettes and organising anti-smoking talks and exhibitions in schools and hospitals. 

Agree to a Certain Extent 
(5 paragraphs)
50:50
1) Thesis Statement: 
There are always two sides to a coin so we should look into the pros and cons should smoking be banned due to its hazardous nature towards mankind. 
2) Agree 1 vs Disagree 1:
At the forefront, it is clear that smoking is a health hazard to mankind even though there are cases where it is not a hazard and smokers have been known to live healthily well into their old age. 
3) Agree 2 vs Disagree 2: 
Another significant reason it should be banned is because it is a waste of a person’s money. Conversely, if you look at the bigger picture, it is not a waste of money but it in fact stimulates the economy and increases profit due to high sales. 
4) Agree 3 vs Disagree 3: 
Ultimately, smoking is an individual’s choice and he or she should be given the right to choose to smoke or not without the government interfering. On the contrary, the government should take action in banning it if it affects the health and quality of living of society as second hand smoke is dangerous to babies and pregnant mothers and smoking causes unnecessary pollution.  
6) Recommendation: 
The government through the Ministry of Health should  spearhead an effective blueprint to ban smoking in public places by fining smokers if they smoke in restaurants or shopping malls and conducting more  anti-smoking campaign to increase awareness. 

So which do you prefer and why? Could you do 4 outlines for a single question like I just did? It would sharpen your critical thinking skills if you are able to see both sides of the coin. Cheers and happy studying! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Nov 2016 suggested Reading 800/3 answers

Hi all... so was the exam fun? Adrenaline pumping, right.

My students did not take this exam so I have no access to the test paper. Someone says they will pass me a copy tmrw. Until I get it, pls do wait patiently as I will post suggested answers as soon as I can. Stay tuned!


9/11/16
Ok I got a copy. Here goes. Feel free to debate in a civil way in comments. I turned on anonymous comments but if ppl start getting rude I will not allow anonymous postings anymore. Be warned.

1. A
2. A
3. C
4. A
5. B
6. B
7. C
8. A/C
9. B
10. B
11. B
12. A
13. B
14. C
15. C
16. A
17. B
18. C
19. A
20. B
21. B
22. B
23. C
24. C
25. C
26. A
27. A
28. C
29. A
30. C
31. C
32. B
33. A
34. D
35. D
36. B
37. A
38. A
39. A
40. B
41. C
42. C
43. B
44. B
45. A

For reading, you need 21/45 for Band 3.. and 27/45 to reach Band 4. Gambateh!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Suggested MUET Reading 800/3 July Answers

Ok MUET July paper is over.. and so many have written in for the reading answers. I was away this weekend but am now at the office, staring at the questions. Do remember that these are my personal answers, as MPM will not be releasing the actual answers for some time.

1. B (2.7 times is equivalent to 270% which is higher, not lower that 230%)
2. A (169k increased steadily to 214k)
3. C (no data)
4. B/C (I prefer B as it is NOT the main reason as other reasons were cited before social acceptance. C is also a possibility as it was clearly not stated at the main reason)
5. B (Rafie stated that it is due to women becoming financially independent, not rising cost of living)
6. B (women end up with a lesser share)
7. A (working women means women in the labour force)
8. A (you can learn at any age)
9. A (mental acquity - /sharpness/alertness)
10. A
11. B
12. B
13. A
14. C
15. C
16. C
17. A (a great variety)
18. C
19. B
20. B
21. B
22. C
23. B
24. C
25. C
26. B
27. A
28. B (tricky. A and C both sound right too)
29. C
30. B
31. D
32. A
33. B
34. C
35. D
36. A (tricky)
37. A
38. C
39. A
40. D
41. B
42. D
43. A
44. D
45. B

Don't agree? Trash it out in the comment boxes below. Please maintain decorum. Rude comments will be deleted.

Monday, May 23, 2016

MUET Seminars & Workshops 2016

So this year has been extra exciting for me because more opportunities have come a-knocking at my humble door. I am not quite sure how I fell into this but over the years, with numerous opportunity to practice, I have managed to share what little I know with students and teachers from all over Malaysia either virtually thru this blog or in real time when kind people invite me to their institutions. I don't claim to know everything, for I am just a regular teacher, but I think there is no harm to share ideas and tips with kids so they have a better chance for the exam.

The year kicked off with a motivational session in my own school where I invited Mdm Naimah Derin to pep-talk them and then I did a Goal-Setting slot.

This was followed by a session in Politeknik, KK. I always feel welcomed here with the wonderful English Language Dept.


Then were various other schools including SMK Tandek, which took me a solid 3 hrs drive each way.

SMK Benoni nearby..


SMK Abdul Rahim, Kudat where I was invited by Mr. Amar Singh... This one took 4 hrs + each way.. a bit taxing... but worth it when the kids responded so enthusiastically.

Next up was 160 pax Kimanis Power hosted MUET talk for the whole of the Papar District. A great session as all 9the students were gathered in the hall all at once so no need for me to go from school to school.



Just recently I flew quite a distance and had the lovely opportunity to help Alor Star, Kedah students from 10 schools in the area hosted by SMK Hutan Kampung.. the hospitality from their MUET panel esp Mr. Aminudin, Mr Ku Abd Jalil and Mr Kamal and the rest was outstanding. Loved the food esp ikan keli sambal and pulut durian n mangga... ooolala.


Good luck to all candidates this year... July exam is around the corner, practice makes perfect so please work hard, study smart and try your very best! Make the 'impossible' into 'I'm Possible!'


Links to MUET Answers & Reports by MPM 2012 to 2014

Hi all...

If you are looking for the reports that I have mentioned previously (copies should have been sent to your respective schools), below is a compilation of links for the stats and some answers (esp the reading answers).

1. MUET Mac 2012
2. MUET July 2012
3. MUET Nov 2012
4. MUET Mac, July & Nov 2013
5. MUET Mac, July & Nov 2014

Teachers esp should take note on the report for the Writing 800/4 papers whereby the suggested points are sometimes listed in the report.

Note that 2015 and March 2016 reports are not available online at the time of writing this blog post.

Happy teaching!