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As the MUET Reading paper is the one which carries the highest weightage of 40%, we have approached a
MUET expert, Madam Audrey Wiles, to share with you her invaluable tips for your MUET Reading paper
1. Read (There is a reason why it’s called a MUET Reading paper)
 Read everything but with a notepad in hand

 Copy down words which you don’t understand AND more important, phrases that you would like to use in
your MUET written essay.
2. Read quality materials
 Read articles that are published by reliable sources such as: Reader’s Digest, TIME Magazine…etc.

 Articles used in the exams are usually from these types of source
 Keep yourself updated on current issues by reading newspapers (Example: The STAR, New
3. Use your time wisely!
 You only have 1.5 hours to answer 45 exam questions

 If you do the math, that would mean that you only have 2 minutes per question
 ALWAYS read the question first, and underline the keywords
 Make sure you don’t just skim through the text but scan for specific information
4. Know your vocabulary
 There will be 6 texts altogether in the exam paper, and the first one always has a non-linear stimuli (Example:
graph, chart or diagram)
 You will need the relevant vocabulary knowledge to describe the trend(s) shown in the given diagram(s)
 This is also a useful practice for report writing as it deals with the same language functions
 For some questions, you will be asked to ‘infer’ or make intelligent assumptions based on the given evidences
in the texts
 For ‘True/False/Not Stated’ questions, NEVER use your own opinions to answer because what is logical to you
may not be academically correct
 My tip to you is that you should underline the evidence(s) in the texts
 For ‘True’, you must be able to identify proof that shows that the statement is correct
 You should also underline evidences that prove a statement to be wrong in order to choose ‘False’ as your
 For ‘Not Stated’, you will find that it is almost impossible to underline any evidence at all. Hence, these are the
fundamental differences between the answer selections ‘True/False/Not Stated’

6. Train your brain

 Guessing the meaning of a vocabulary can be quite tricky especially when you don’t have the access to a
dictionary or the internet (Google.com) during your exam. Hence, you need to train your brain to assess the
root word
 Focus on the prefix/suffix in order to identify the meaning
 If you think the word is a positive, negative or neutral one – reconfirm again by looking at the context of the
texts for clues to support your assumption
 Review the answers and options given by eliminating the answer that is most unlikely to be correct before
making a calculated guess
 For example, in the phrase: “the degradation of water quality”, the word ‘degradation’ comes from the root
word ‘grade’ which means level or standard. The ‘de’ suffix has a negative connotation where it means the
removal of something, while ‘tion’ is a noun that explains the process of something
 Thus, the phrase means “the drop of standard/quality of water”
7. Assess the writer’s intentions
The MUET level comprehension questions do not focus on content alone
Instead, the questions given require candidates to assess the writer’s:
 (A) Purpose
Example: to inform, discuss, argue, compare, persuade…etc.
 (B) Style of writing

Example: describing, comparing and contrasting, giving examples, explaining causes and effects, sequencing
 (C) Tone

Example: supportive, opposing, indifferent, neutral, biased…etc.

8. Assess the articles as a whole
 Sometimes you may be asked to give a suitable title to an article

 Or to summarize a specific paragraph

 Or to come up with a suitable conclusion based on the options given. This clearly requires critical thinking
skills or HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) from you.
9. Keep practicing!
 Essentially, nothing beats practice and more practice

 Buy good quality reference books such as Longman or Oxford model tests/actual exam workbooks and try
doing each reading paper 3 times
 First attempt: do it as if you’re sitting for the real exam. Do not refer to any workbooks or dictionaries
 Second attempt: allow yourself to refer to books, and discuss with your friends if you need to (and if you are
doing it as a group) before marking both attempts
 Note: Your 2nd attempt should score better than your first.
 Third attempt: Try doing the same set of exam paper again after 2-3 months to see if you are able to retain the
knowledge of vocabulary and concepts which you have learned before.
10. Grade yourself
 Here’sa useful guide for you to follow when you attempt the exam questions so that you can know where you
You will need to score:
(A) 21/45 – Band 3
(B) 27/45 – Band 4
(C) 33/45 – Band 5
(D) 39/45 – Band 6
 Reading is the MOST important MUET paper as it carries 40% or 120/300 marks


Below is a model answer essay that scored an impressive Band 5. We’ll give feedback on each paragraph.
Let’s get started!

The world today is turning more to electronic communications such as the e-mail, Facebook and Short
Message System (SMS). What is your opinion of this growing trend? Discuss. You should write at least 350

As time goes by, the world is changing rapidly; so are its people and the technology itself. Technology brings
about a lot of amendments in people’s life. It is getting more advanced from day to day especially when it
comes to Information Technology or in this case; electronic communications. Back then, mailing was
seemingly to be one of the most vital ways of communication especially for the world communication. In
contrast, nowadays people are more prone to communicate the easier ways; by staring on their electronic
accounts on their computers or through their iPods and sending short messages from their iPhones or
Blackberries. Why is it so? In my slight opinion, this growing trend gives a lot of dominances in today’s life,
which are helping people to save their time and money, create borderless communication and make it easy for
people to gain prominent information.

The student introduces technology as a whole, looking at its history, from how it has grown from a simple
form of communication through letters to today’s extensive choice of communication through electronic
gadgets. This is a great way to start your introduction. Based on the question, explain what the issue is and
give a brief background of its past and present. State your opinion as to why such situation arises.

First and foremost, the world today is turning more to electronic communications like e-mail, Facebook and
Short Message System (SMS) and other electronic communications is because they will prevent people from
wasting their time and money. How do these work? As we all know, sending a letter to someone will take a lot
of processes and will eventually take a long time and waste a lot of money. On the contrary, electronic
communications entail only the tip of our fingers so as an electronic device to work with. Then, what is left for
us to do is just, typing! Has that not taken a much lesser time and money? For instance, an e-mail only requires
us to turn on our laptops, open our accounts on the website and then, you can start write your letter and send
them through e-mails. In short, with the very unstable economy nowadays, having these kinds of
communications will ease everyone’s burden especially on their daily expenses and also their valuable time
will not be wasted.

State, Explain and then Illustrate. Remember SEI. First, state the topic that’s been mentioned. In this case,
it’s the rise of electronic communications. Then explain. Explain what electronic communications entail.
Next, illustrate. This means give examples based on your explanation. The student illustrates by giving a
scenario of the use of emails.

Secondly, the growing trend of electronic communications is making it possible for a borderless
communication which is vital these days. Why is it vital? A lot of things require borderless communication; in
education field, businesses and even daily activities, especially when foreigners involved. For example, when
trading with foreigners, in order to communicate with each other, they need Skype or Yahoo Messenger as
mediums to interact and be able to do the trade at a faster rate as compared to by using ‘snail mails’ or regular
letters. Skype is the perfect example of an electronic communication which will cut the boundary that has
separated each country and make communication between two different countries from around the world
possible. In conclusion, it is crucial to have these electronic communications in today’s age of globalization as
they make it easier for people around the world to connect with each other.

Structure your subsequent paragraphs like the first one. Add a new point in the second paragraph and
repeat the SEI format. It’s important to have a mind map of your points before you start writing.
Last but not least, the dominance of these electronic communications is people could gain prominent
information more efficiently than before. As there are lesser borders between countries, the efficiency of
getting much more relevant and prominent information is higher. People will have the ability to provide and
gain information effectively through Facebook or Twitter accounts. For example, international artists who have
planned to do a world concert can inform their fans about it through their Facebook account. Likewise, the fans
also can ask just about anything to their favourite artists regarding the concert. Hence, this explains why people
make these electronic communications as a huge trend these days and in order to keep the trend ongoing, each
person has the responsibility to adapt with the technology itself.
In a nutshell, the growing trend of using electronic communications is inevitably vital in people’s lives as it
gives out a lot of benefits as stated in above paragraphs. So, to avoid ourselves from not getting the chance of
keeping up with the changing trends, we have to try our best to adapt ourselves with the rapid changes. I
believe that the electronic communication trend is a trend which is very important to be followed as the world
is getting more advanced day to day.

To indicate that your essay is coming to an end, use words like ‘in conclusion, in a nutshell, in short or to
wrap up. Summarise your opinion based on all your previous paragraphs and emphasise your point
through words like ‘I believe’.