MUET vs TOEFL vs IELTS

February 02, 2024

EasyUni Staff

If you’re studying in a public university in Malaysia, taking MUET is a good choice. However, if you wish to study abroad at native English-speaking countries like the US, Australia or UK, you’d definitely need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.

While most English-speaking universities generally accept both TOEFL and IELTS, it is crucial for you to check the admission requirements for your preferred university. 

In this article, we’ll break down the three most commonly-required English certifications used not only in Malaysia but around the world.

What is MUET, TOEFL and IELTS? 

MUET, TOEFL, and IELTS are internationally recognized language proficiency tests designed to assess the English language skills of non-native speakers. 

MUET (Malaysian University English Test), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are important for academic and professional contexts. 

They are used to measure language competency and proficiency for individuals seeking educational and career opportunities worldwide. Let's find out more information about these test as followed: 

1. Malaysian University English Test (MUET)

A common English language test in Malaysia, MUET is on-demand among local university students. To be eligible for this English language proficiency test, you must be a Malaysian student who wish to pursue degree programmes in a local university. You can register at www.mpm.edy.my.

You are required to complete the test in 2 separate days. MUET test result is accepted in Malaysia and Singapore.

MUET 2024

 

Image source: www.mpm.edu.my

MUET result validity: 5 years

Cost: RM100 (+RM1 for PIN number purchase)

Test components

Paper Code Paper Duration Weighting
800/1 Listening 50 minutes 25%
800/2 Speaking 30 minutes 25%
800/3 Reading 75 minutes 25%
800/4 Writing 75 minutes 25%

Grading

Aggregated Score MUET Band User
331 - 360 5+ Proficient
294 - 330 5.0
258 - 293 4.5 Independent
211 - 257 4.0
164 - 210 3.5
123 - 163 3.0
82 - 122 2.5 Basic
36 - 81 2.0
1 - 35 1.0

Exam dates:

  • Speaking test: April, May, July, August and December 2024 (3 sessions)
  • Reading, Writing and Listening tests: April, August, and December 2024 (3 sessions)

2. Test of English as a Foreign Language (Internet-based Test) / TOEFL (iBT)

This test is for students who plan to study abroad at a native English-speaking country and university, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, and the United Kingdom and Europe.The TOEFL score is slightly different than MUET and IELTS.

You can register and complete the test online at www.ets.org/toefl. The date and time can be set via the website. You must complete the test in 4 and a half hours.

TOEFL website.

TOEFL iBT result validity: 2 years

Cost: About RM921 (USD 195) 

Tested section (Score scales):

  • Listening: 0 - 30
  • Speaking: 0 - 30
  • Reading: 0 - 30
  • Writing: 0 - 30
  • Total score: 0 - 120

TOEFL band score:

Test skill Level
Reading

Advanced (24-30)

High - intermediate (18 - 23)

Low - intermediate (4 - 17)

Below low - intermediate (0 - 3) 

Listening

Advanced (22 - 30)

High - intermediate (17 - 21)

Low - intermediate (9 - 16) 

Below low - intermediate (0 - 8) 

Speaking

Advanced (25 - 30)

High - intermediate (20 - 24)

Low - intermediate (16 - 19) 

Basic (10 - 15)

Below basic (0 - 9) 

Writing

Advanced (24 - 30)

High - intermediate (17 - 23)

Low - intermediate (13 - 16) 

Basic (7 - 12)

Below basic (0 - 6) 

International English Language Testing System (Academic) / IELTS (Academic)

IELTS (Academic) is for students who wish to study at native English-speaking countries (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK). The test is seperated to 2 days: 1 for speaking, and the other for the remaining tests, which must be completed within 7 days before or after the speaking test.

Book a test at www.ielts.org.

IELTS website.

Image source: IELTS website

IELTS (Academic) result validity: 2 years

Cost: RM 795

Tested section (Score scales):

  • Listening: Band 0 - 9
  • Speaking: Band 0 - 9
  • Reading: Band 0 - 9
  • Writing: Band 0 - 9
  • Band score: Band 0 - 9​​​​​​​

Grading:

Band score Skill level
9 Expert 
8 Very good
7 Good
6 Competent
5 Modest
4 Limited
3 Extremely limited
2 Intermittent
1 Non-user
0 Did not attempt the test

Exam dates (depends on preference and availability):

  • Held all year long
  • You can check the full schedule on the IELTS website

 

It’s never too early to start planning on brushing up your English to acceptable university-entrance levels. Remember, if your score doesn’t quite make it first time around, you can always take these English exams more than once till you are satisfied with your results. Good luck!

Also read: Types of English Language Proficiency Tests in Malaysia

 

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