The MUET writing test requires students to transfer information from a non-linear source to a linear text, as well as to write an essay of at least 350 words on a given topic.
Exam paper code: 800/4
Exam duration: 90 minutes
Total weightage: 25%
The MUET writing test is to access candidates on their ability to:
1. Transfer information
2. Write with good grammar
3. Analyze graphic information. It may come in one of these five forms:
- Line graph
- Bar graph
- Pie chart
- Diagram illustrating process
4. Voice their opinions through words/written form
5. Think critically
Below is an exercise for you to start practicing. The following question has been taken from the MUET Tuition blog, where you can find more sample tests and more relevant information.
Task 1 – Report Writing (40 marks)
· You are given 40 minutes to complete this task
· Study and analyze the graphic information
· Describe the information or the process in a report format
· Write between 150 – 200 words
The chart shows how students on all courses at a Malaysian university viewed different subjects on a scale of easy to difficult. You should write 150 to 200 words.
How Students on All Courses at a Malaysian University View Different Subjects According to Different Levels of Difficulty
The bar chart shows how students who are studying in a Malaysian university rate different subjects according to its difficulty – easy, moderately difficult or difficult.
The subject which was most commonly rated as difficult was math, by 70% of the total students. While only 20% of students saw it as easy. Physics was also largely judged to be a difficult or moderately difficult subject. Only 25% of students viewed it as easy. By contrast, chemistry was regarded as easy by a massive 70% of students.
As far as language subjects are concerned, languages in general were seen as easy by 40% of students. This percentage dropped to 20% for oriental languages. African languages, however, were viewed as easy by 60% of students. Next, Art was rated to be an easy subject by only 30% of students and like Physics, 50% rated it as difficult.
In conclusion, there seems to be no clear correspondence between the type of subject and whether it was generally rated as easy or difficult. (168 words)
Tips for Task 1:
· A title MUST be written
· Title MUST be underlined
· Write a minimum of 3 paragraphs (Introduction, body and conclusion). Students can also write 2 paragraphs for body.)
Task 2 – Extended Writing (60 marks)
· Write an essay NOT LESS THAN 350 words based on the given topic
· You are given 50 minutes to complete this task
· Your essay may be written in these styles:
Past Year Exam Questions:
Year End 2008
"People are becoming more materialistic. They are concerned with making more money and what money can buy." What is your opinion on being materialistic? You should write at least 350 words.
Information and communications technology (ICT) is the cause of today's many social ills. What is your opinion? Support your answers with examples. You should write at least 350 words.
Year End 2009
People commit crime for selfish reasons. Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.
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 words.
Year End 2010
In an arranged marriage, the choice of a husband or wife is made by parents or elders. What do you think of this practice in today's society? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.
The most valuable thing in life is friendship. Do you agree? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words.
· Don’t write statements that are too general. Back up your statements with facts. If you’re aiming at scoring Band 5 or Band 6, you are expected to have a high level of critical thinking.
· Have at least 5 paragraphs
- State the current situation
- State if you agree or disagree with the statement/topic, and why.
2. First point
- Key point
3. Second point
- Key point
4. Third point
- Key point
- State why you agree/disagree once more
- What can the government/individual/society do?
· Use these tools to help with your critical thinking:
1. The short term, midterm, and long term effect
- Example: Smoking
- Short term = Bad breath/yellow teeth
- Midterm = Affordability/waste of money
- Long term = Health problems such as lung cancer
2. Individual, society, and government
- Example: Recycling
- Individual = Practice the 3R’s (Reduce, reuse, recycle)
- Society = Community collection/fund raising
- Government = Hold recycling campaigns
Don't forget to check out other useful tips for MUET:
Teaching technologies: non-linear narrative and ESL/EFL 1
By Graeme Reid
Level: Starter/beginner, Elementary, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Reference material
An article discussing non-linear narrative and EFL/ESL and suggestions for creative writing projects.
We are living in a society where we are surrounded by many types of media: film, newspapers, the World Wide Web... These days millions of people regularly log on to the Internet, and as a result, they are being exposed to a non-linear way of working and thinking.
Graeme Reid explains, and outlines an online project called Hotel Hamlet for EFL learners, which capitalizes on this:
What is non-linear narrative?
A traditional narrative is a story or plot with a beginning, middle and end. We proceed through the text in a linear, pre-determined manner moving from page to page, chapter to chapter, towards an end where the plot is finally resolved. But put a story on the Internet, and there can be various portals or pages where you can start reading. Readers then navigate their own path around the story, experiencing the action in a unique order.
Hotel Hamlet and Mosaic media
It has been suggested that we are living in an age of 'mosaic' communications media. Our broadsheet newspapers have a variety of headlines and articles strategically placed together on their front pages. Films are packed full of what seem like unconnected shots building up to a scene that we intuitively know will end up being connected. Consider how we use the remote control of the television set, 'zapping' from channel to channel endlessly. The internet finds itself at the forefront of 21st-century thinking as it 'presents us with the spatial mosaic of the newspaper, the temporal mosaic of film and the participatory mosaic of the remote control'.*
As we will see in Hotel Hamlet (www.streamadelica.com/narratives/hotelhamlet/), a non-linear narrative project can help to create an environment where students can learn from each other and take more control of their learning by choosing their own content. By following the walkthrough below you should be able to produce something similar to Hotel Hamlet with your students.
*Murray, J. 1997. Hamlet on the Holodeck. p156
PROJECT - Hotel Hamlet
Aim: students write and build a collaborative story using the language they know and learn in each class. Students work in groups of two or three, practising vocabulary and grammar, and drawing on their own experiences and imagination
Tools: this project is intended as a Web site made of a collection of interlinking student Web pages. If you do not have the technical abilities to produce Web pages, it is possible to link the stories on a wall, connecting the various parts using pieces of string or pencil lines.
(See Teaching technologies: how to create your own web pages for guidence)
Level: this activity works better with students at Pre-intermediate level and above, but I have had elementary students who managed to start by describing the appearance of their characters and their physical surroundings and slowly add to their stories as they progressed through the term
Time frame: the project takes place over a number of weeks; the minimum is five weeks, but it can easily be spread out over a term
Discuss with your class where people can stay, focusing on different types of hotels and the different kinds of people who stay in them, from businessmen to travellers (the advantage of starting your story in a hotel is that whether your students are from Thailand or Mozambique, their characters will not seem out of place in a hotel)
If you have access to the Internet, get your students to go to the Hotel Hamlet home page at www.streamadelica.com/narratives/hotelhamlet/ . Let them browse around the hotel, meeting the guests and answering the questions below. This will introduce them to the non-linear narrative concept and help them prepare for producing a similar project of their own:
- Who is the managing director of a small company?
- Who is sitting in an armchair?
- Which one of the guests is Portuguese?
- Where is James going and why?
- Who is wearing black sunglasses?
Week by week stages of the project
Week one - Describing people and place
In this first stage of the project, learners create a character who is staying in the hotel. You can do this part on paper or using a word processor
- They will need to describe a character's appearance and personality, and provide some background information. Tell your learners the following:
- Your character is in a hotel room planning to go on a trip somewhere. Picture where your character is, where he or she is going, and why.
- Close your eyes and listen to the soundscape from the Hotel Hamlet Web site (or any instrumental piece of music). This will help to stimulate the imaginations of your learners.
- Decide on the following for your character: name and job; nationality; age; face and body; height and build; eyes; hair; clothes; personality; intellectual ability; attitude towards life; habits.
- Possible language areas: prepositions of place, cities, countries, describing places and people.
Week two - Developing your story
Learners read the character descriptions they all created in week one, and see if they can associate their own character with any of the other characters in the hotel. Working individually, they then choose another learner's character and develop it further. This can include more about their personality and appearance and background as well as more on where they are going and why.
Possible language areas: past tenses, future plans, describing people, modes of transport.
Week three - Using and building link
The first task for learners this week is to re-visit the newly-created hotel and find out about the characters created and developed by other members of the group (you may want to prepare a task for them such as a 'Find someone who...' or something similar).
Learners then try to bring together a few of the characters using hyperlinks (or, in the low-tech option, by connecting the different characters on a wall).
At the same time, tell them that the characters' time at the hotel is coming to an end and that all the characters are going to check out. Learners must think of a reason to bring their character's time at the hotel to a logical close.
Possible language areas: expressions of time, conjunctions, past tenses, future plans.
Week four - Retracing footstep
Again, give your learners time to catch up with what has been happening at the hotel by reading about the progress of the other characters.
Tell them that this week there is a slight twist in the tale. The characters must go back to Hotel Hamlet! Each learner chooses a character and decides their reason for going back (perhaps something they forgot, perhaps something more sinister such as a 'skeleton in the cupboard' scenario). They must then create a new page describing why the character is returning, their means of transport, the journey, and so on.
Week five - To close or not to close
Again, give your class a chance to read about the latest developments with the characters in the hotel.
Tell them that this week they have a big decision to make. The guests have now arrived back to the hotel and they must choose whether to bring the stories to an end or to leave them open forever. The choice is theirs; it is possible to leave some of them open and close some of them, but they must decide.
Non-linear narrative offers students a new and fresh opportunity for creative expression and an excellent way to put the language they learn in class into practice. Students draw on their own language and from the classroom to write and build a story collaboratively with their classmates. Weaker students can be paired with stronger members of the group to produce meaningful material that all the students feel a part of, with students of different levels writing only what they feel comfortable with producing (and, indeed, are able to produce).
There is no pressure to end a story, as non-linear narratives are not fixed and continue to grow in much the same way as a soap opera continues from day to day. In these narratives the product is not always the most exciting literary piece. However, the learning processes that the students go through are generally more important than the product.
253 - Geoff Ryman: The first non-linear online novel by writer Geoff Ryman
Hotel Hamlet: An interactive non-linear narrative created by EFL students in the UK
Indian Moon: Another similar writing project done in India in 200
Graeme Reid has been teaching ELT for ten years and has conducted teacher training courses around Eastern Europe, Spain, Kazahkstan and India. He now works for Net Languages and International House in Barcelona, making educational and teacher training videos. He also conducts workshops on integrating technology into the classroom and runs streamadelica.com, who specialize in non-linear interactive narrative and Web video.