PUTRAJAYA: Making the effort to speak in English with friends and family, going through exam revision books and sample essays, and doing exercises were among the key preparations that clinched Geraldine Anne Nathan the best student title in the Malaysian University English Test 2017 July session.
The science stream student who did her Form 6 at Kolej Tingkatan Enam Sri Istana in Klang, Selangor, scored Band 6, which for her was a surprise.
"I always thought that I could get a Band 4 or 5 for MUET. I am delighted with my score of 270 over 300," she said.
MUET is test of English language proficiency, largely for university admissions. The test is set and run by the Malaysian Examinations Council. There are four components in MUET: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing - with a total aggregate score of 300.
The scores are then graded in six bands, with Band 6 being the highest while Band 1 the lowest.
"For me, the most challenging part of MUET is Section A which is Writing, where a graph is given to be analysed and elaborated on. When we did this section in class, I always had the tendency to give my own opinion in my own words rather than use the facts that are presented in the graph. So I had a little trouble with that bit. Before the exam, I went through my MUET books just for that section alone," she said.
Geraldine was one of three students awarded the Best Student for MUET 2017 at a ceremony announcing the results of the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) 2017 in Putrajaya today.
The other two recipients were top scorers Thillak Sekaran for MUET 2017 March session and Wayne Ho Xiun Liang for MUET 2017 November session - from Kolej Matrikulasi Melaka in Masjid Tanah Melaka and SMK Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Gapor in Kuching, Sarawak. Thillak and Ho were not able to attend the ceremony.
Each of the MUET top scorers received a certificate, plaque and RM1,000 cash from the Malaysian Examinations Council (MEC).
In his speech at the event, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid announced that MUET was being aligned to the the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) via a collaboration between MEC and Cambridge English Language Assessment, which is part of the University of Cambridge.
"May this effort enable MUET to be marketed at the international level.
"MUET has been in existence for 20 years and with this alignment, we hope that we will able to market it as a product to other countries," he said.