Monday, November 29, 2010

Life, through my eyes.. Dedicated to my children and students.

Everyone writes stuff everyday that is meaningful, and I guess it's time to jump on the bandwagon. This is for Besra & Lanner.. and all my 'external' children who weren't sired in my womb, but have a room in my heart nonetheless.

Here's 10 lil gems from me. Read it. Do it. Feel it. Don't let this life slip you by. Now.

1. At the top of the list is: Do Good. Anywhere, everywhere, all the time. But don't expect anything in return. As simple as opening the door for someone, paying the car park fee for the car behind you, never killing, stealing or sleeping with someone else's partner. Do Good, not Evil.

2. Air Asia.. Now Everyone Can Fly. See the world.. it is so affordable these days that you should pack your bags and go.. even if it is just for a weekend. And even if you go alone. Guys no prob.. girls, read everything you can before you go; check out maps, book hostels/hotels, plan your holiday so that you look purposeful, and no one will dare to cheat you. Or go with close friends, they will show you a different spin on the things you see. Friendships are priceless.

3. On the same note, here are some places you MUST visit and experience. The canals of Venice are gorgeous. Stonehenge is magnificent and so is the Colosseum in Rome. The Eiffel tower and the river Sien beckons the romantic in all of us. The fields of golden sunflowers in Italy are simply breathtaking. The pastel coloured buildings in Florence and the rest of that country is spellbinding. Walking down the streets of La Ramblas in Spain was amazing.. and so was Athens.. where orange trees permeated the sweetest scent perfuming the air. Travel to Inverness in Scotland to see the elusive Loch Ness monster and go stay a night in the hostel on the Isle of Skye. I haven't done much of Asia yet.. except for Singapore and Thailand.. even if you're not Buddhist, visit a temple in Bangkok and feel the peace, calm and contentment awash you. The beauty of travel... it makes you realise that life is so short, we must grab joy with both hands lest it slips from our fingers and disappears into the transient nothingness. Promise yourself - One Country Every Year. I myself will get back to that promise once the kids are older.

4. Spend time with the people you love. Your mother loves you. And your father does too, sometimes quietly. They and your siblings wouldn't mind hearing the words 'I love you' once in a while. Declaring your love doesn't make you weak but stronger. This world needs more love to make it spin on its tilted axis. Anger, greed, envy, hatred... we should never gravitate towards the forces of evil. We could all do with less of these negative emotions and more of love, care, giving, generosity, helpfulness, tolerance and bliss.

5. On that note: call your mother now! Or write your friend a real letter with a real stamp. Drive or take the bus and visit an old aunty today.. To sum it up: Nothing; nothing beats your personal touch. One day you might be able to afford a personal assistant to buy presents and send cards or flowers for you.. but it wont mean as much as if you yourself put in the time and effort to show someone you love them.

6. Get a job you really love. There is no point waking up every day dreading the day ahead. Even if you don't earn much money (like being a teacher).. think of how satisfied you are when you do a job well. Think of all the lives you have touched by committing to your profession and giving it your best. If you hate your job.. get up and get out! Dare to make that change in you by trying something new.

7. Children need time - quality time and quantity time if you can spare it. When you have kids and you hear them laugh out loud for the first time, you'll know what a gorgeous lil piece of creation you helped to make. Read to them. Sing nursery rhymes with them. Play lego or dolls with them. Sit them on your lap and make them feel like your time is their time, your love is all theirs and hold them tight like you'll never let them go. Children feel it if you love them and want to spend time with them, listening to their never ending questions. Children know if you don't care. So please, find the time for them no matter what you're doing. PRIORITIZE!

8. Take picture. Make memories. Life if not just work, work and more work. I try to make sure I never bring my work home with me. Finish it all at the office. And when you come home, plan something simple but nice or extravagant but meaningful. Take a picnic basket and enjoy the beach, river, mountaintop etc. Plan family holidays. Have a bbq or potluck with friends. Nothing beats enriching our lives with soul-feeding experiences. Don't retreat into your own world, thinking nothing is worth the effort. Life is worth the effort, don't let it go down the drain and dissipate into oblivion.

9. Read. I love romance novels. Erotic and moving love stories with a happily ever after. But read everything and anything. Roadsigns, articles, newspapers... I love John Grisham (laywer stories), Jeffrey Archer (incredible storyteller) and Dan Brown (you don't know intelligent until you read him.. then you wikipedia it and and be goggle-eyed by the sheer amazement of the true things he writes about). I really respect people who buy books. Books will live long after you have left this mortal world. They are the footprints of all the loud heroes and quiet victors... And maybe one day, if I am so blessed, I will write a book and seal my footprints in the sands of time.

10. Be good to yourself. If you don't love and appreciate yourself, no one will. Whatever you look like now, I'm pretty certain you are the best person you can be cos everyone gets old and then the bones start creaking and the skin starts becoming friends with gravity and a spare tyre is the norm. By that time, you'll be wishing you were 10, 20, 30 years younger. So no regrets, love yourself now before it is too late. Change your dressing style once in a while. Colour your hair. Wear torn jeans. Learn something new. Pick up a new hobby or try something different. Don't keep ordering the same menu when you get to the same restaurant. Be adventurous. Really enjoy the things that you do for yourself. Even if you do it all by yourself. If you're still single, enjoy the freedom of having no one to answer to but yourself. Sooner or later someone will pop into your life. And if they don't, there is no crime in not getting married or having children. If you do tie the knot, make the best of it. Be good to your spouse, be considerate, loving, compassionate and verbal about how much your life has changed for the better just by being together.

And so we return to the essence of my ramblings. Be good. To others. Even your enemies. Kill hatred with love. And most of all, be good to yourself because the rest will follow.

With all my love,


30 Nov 201

Sunday, November 14, 2010

END 2010 MUET Reading 800/3

Here are my answers.. MPM's may vary but only slightly, I think.

2.A changed to B or C, but definitely not A
23.A changed to C
25.A changed to C

Phew.. I've got to say that the MUET exam is getting harder every year. Each question raises doubts.. I can tell the difference but i'm sure many of you out there can't. Ah well.. as long as you all tried your best. So how many did you get right?

I've ammended a few answers thanks to Scott and Naomi. Keep up the good work guys.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grammar Test Answers

Hi.. if you've taken the grammar test in a previous post, here are the answers. if you haven't tried it, attempt them first before u check the answers. :) don't cheat yourself!


If you want to know how to improve your grammar.. read, understand and apply the rules. I've written abt grammar rules 3 blog entries ago. pls check.

again... good luck everyone, two days and counting!


Don't forget to check out the archives for samples of essays for the writing question. This blogger program won't let me copy and paste from Microsoft Word.. so I can't be bothered to retype more sample essays. Good Luck for Saturday!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010




The Various Types of Cooking Oil Used in the Kitchen

The stimuli present a line graph on 'Global production of cooking oil (2000-2006)', a bar graph on 'Fat content in commonly-used cooking oils' and an article excerpt on the healthiness of oils. In general, palm oil is the most produced oil while the least produced but healthiest option is sunflower oil.

According to the line graph, the highest world oil production is palm oil increasing steadily from 25 million tonnes in 2000/01 to 35.5 million in 2005/06, beating soya oil by a small margin. Among the 5 types of oil, sunflower has the lowest production stabilising at just under 10 million tonnes from 2000 to 2006. Based on the bar graph, the healthiest oil is sunflower because it contains the second lowest fat (12%) content and the highest healthy polyunsaturated fat (71%). This is followed by other healthy oils with lower fat like canola (7%), olive (15%) and soya (16%). The unhealthy oils are very high in fat and very low in polyunsaturated fat such as palm oil (51%) and coconut oil (91%). The article states that we cannot be sure about how healthy the oils we eat are because it may contain too much trans fats leading to heart diseases and cancer.

In conclusion, coconut and palm oil should be avoided because fo the high fat content while the healthiest oils are sunflower, canola, olive and soya.


Crimes Involving Foreign Workers in Malaysia

The stimuli show a line graph on 'Number of crime cases involving foreign workers (2006-2008)', a bar graph on 'Types of crime committed by foreign workers (2006-2008)' and a newspaper headline on 'Overworked and Underpaid foreign workers'. In general, the number of crimes are increasing steadily from 2006 to 2008 especially petty crimes like robbery and snatch theft by underpaid foreign workers.

According the the line graph, every year the number of crimes increases by about 200 cases which is 1535 in 2006, 1780 in 2007 to 1926 in 2008). These crimes can be divided into petty crimes including robbery and snatch thef and hardcore crimes like rape and murder. Based on the bar graph, the highest incidence of crime is robbery that rose from 65 in 2006 to 75 cases in 2008. This is followed by snatch thefts from 15 in 2006 to 18 cases in 2008. Conversely, rape and murder cases have reduced drastically by 50% or more from 2006 to 2008. The reasons given for the increase of crimes in the headline are that foreign workers are unhappy with their meagre incomes which result in them being overworked and underpaid.

In c onclusion, foreign workers are committing more petty crimes like robbery and snatch theft because they are overworked and underpaid.

Good luck 13th Nov! LOL

ok it's been a while since i updated and i'm sure everyone is itching to know more tips.

I've developed some basic rules. If you can follow it, i'm sure your writing will improve by leaps and bounds.

Firstly, you must learn (memorise) all the words in the table of tenses. There are 4 columns, all starting with 'P'.

P1 - Present tense (+s or -s) [for now, facts or habits]
P2 - Process (+ing) [takes time to complete]
P3 - Past (+ed or spelling change) [for stories that are over]
P4 - Participle (=ed, spelling change or +n) [for perfect tense and passive sentences]

Here are the common words in English according to the table of tenses.
P1 - P2 - P3 - P4
has/have - having - had - had
goes/go - going - went - gone
gives/give - giving - gave - given
chooses/choose - choosing - chose - chosen
buys/buy - buying - bought - bought
flies/fly - flying - flew - flown
sings/sing - singing - sang - sung
cuts/cut - cutting - cut - cut
puts/put - putting - put - put
becomes/become - becoming - became - become
*smiles/smile - smiling - smiled - smiled
*explains/explain - explaining - explained - explained

* if you notice P3 and P4 looks the same in smiled and explained but they are completely different meanings.
the 4 columns in Malay actually means:
p1 - sekarang
p2 - sedang (imbuhan me-)
p3 - telah
p4 - imbuhan di-
so for 'kick'
kicks/kick - kicking - kicked - kicked
is actually in Malay
tendang - menendang - telah tendang - ditendang.
Get it?

Now for the rules:

1. P1: present
1 +s, >1 -s (except for sentences that start with 'You' or 'I')

1 +s
He likes to eat. (Correct)
He like to eat. (Wrong)
>1 -s
They like to eat. (Correct)
They likes to eat. (Wrong)

1 +s
She is a prefect now. (Correct)
She was a prefect last year too. (Correct)
She are a prefect now. (Wrong)
She were a prefect last year too. (Wrong)

>1 -s
They are prefects now. (Correct)
They were prefects last year too. (Correct)
They is prefects now. (Wrong)
They was prefects last year. (Wrong)

Sometimes the verb is quite far away but the rules still apply.

1 +s
The student reading the biology book is the top student.

>1 -s
The students reading the biology book are the top students.

2. P2: Process (+ing) (imbuhan me-)
If you want to use 'ing' it cannot stand alone
It needs one of the Be5 (am/is/are/was/were)
The 5 versions of Be5 are very important words that are always lost when translating directly from Malay or Chinese as it doesn't exist in these languages.

The baby is sleeping soundly. (Correct)
The baby sleeping soundly. (Wrong)
The babies are sleeping soundly. (Correct)
The babies sleeping soundly. (Wrong)

*notice you need a combination of 2 words to make the process sentences correct!

3. P3: Past (+ed/spelling change)
There is no rule. You have to just memorise all the words in this column.

4. P4: Participle (+ed/spelling change/+n)
This is the trickiest part of English grammar.

There are 2 uses: perfect tenses and passives.

a) Perfect tenses: 3H + P4
if you see the words Has/Have/Had, it MUST be followed by P4.

3H + P4
He has eaten the cake. (Correct)
They have eaten the cake. (Correct)
The boys had eaten the cake yesterday. (Correct)
He has eat the cake. (Wrong)
They have eating the cake. (Wrong)
The boys had ate the cake yesterday. (Wrong)

b) Passive sentences: Be5 + P4 (Imbuhan di-) [kek dimakan, bukannya dia dimakan]
The cake was eaten by him. (Correct)
The cakes were eaten by them. (Correct)
The cake eaten by him. (Wrong)
The cakes eating by them. (Wrong)

Be5 + P4 (don't confuse kicked with P3)
The ball is kicked by him. (Correct)
The balls were kicked by him. (Correct)
The ball kicked by him. (Wrong)
The balls kicking by him. (Wrong)

* Passive sentences are a combination of 2 WORDS: Be5 +P4, not P3. But sometimes if the spelling it +ed, it looks like P3, but the function is actually P4.

5. Other rules:

a) to + ori
to give (correct)
to gives, to giving, to gave, to given (wrong)

b) to + be + P4
to be taken (correct)
to be take, to be takes, to be taking, to be took (wrong)

c) modals: can/cannot/may/must/mustn't/should/shouldn't/will/would etc
modals + ori
can swim (correct)
can swims, can swimming, can swam, can swum (wrong)

d) modals + be + P4
must be discussed (correct)
must be discuss, must be discusses, must be discussing (wrong)

e) by + ing
by taking the bus (correct)
by takes, by take, by took, by taken (wrong)

f) for + ing
for demonstrating (correct)
for demonstrate, for demonstrates, for demonstrated (wrong)

3H + been + P2
has been taking (correct)
has been take, has been takes, has been took (wrong)
3H + been + P4
has been taken (correct)

* P2 is used if the process takes a long time,
P4 is used if it is a passive sentence.



Tuesday, September 28, 2010


As requested here is the marking scheme for the writing paper.


Task Fulfilment
(critical thinking skills, answered the requirements of the question, clear introduction and overview linked stimulus, synthesise info, many accurate key features, good conclusion etc)
B6 : 18 -20
B5 : 17 - 15
B4 : 14 - 11
B3 : 10 - 7
B2 : 6 - 4
B1 : 3 - 0
Total: x/20

Language & Organisation
(Grammatical accuracy, vocabulary, relavant phrases, arrangement of report (intro, key features and conclusion), word count does not exceed 200 words (ignore 201 onwards) etc.)
B6 : 18 - 20
B5 : 17 -- 15
B4 : 14 - 11
B3 : 10 - 7
B2 : 6 - 4
B1 : 3 - 0
Total: y/20

So for question 1, x + y = a/40

Same as above, Task Fulfillment (x/30) + Language & Organisation (y/30) = b/60
B6 : 30 - 26
B5 : 25 - 21
B4 : 20 - 16
B3 : 15 - 11
B2 : 10 - 6
B1 : 5 - 0

TOTAL FOR WRITING PAPER Q1 (a) + Q2 (b) = z/100

CONVERT TO 30% weightage
90/300 = z x 0.9

example: 50 x 0.9 = 45 marks from maximum 90 for the writing component.

Does anyone have any issues about how to calculate the marks for muet?

It's a bit tricky but here are the breakdowns.

Listening : students' mark x 45 / 20 = i
Speaking : students' mark x 45 / 54 = ii
Reading : students' mark x 120 / 45 = iii
Writing : students' mark x 90 /100 = ix
TOTAL MUET MARKS : i + ii + iii + iv = Z/300

B6 : 260 - 300
B5 : 220 - 259
B4 : 180 - 219
B3 : 140 - 179
B2 : 100 - 139
B1 : 0 -99

Ok.. i know what you're dying to know now. haha.. how do we calculate the speaking marks right. This is even more complicated at the real exam level. Here goes.

Task A
a) Task fulfilment (relevant answers) maximum 18 marks
b) Language max 18 marks
c) Communicative ability (gestures, eye contact, convincing style, confidence, fluency etc) max 18

B6 : 16 - 18
B5 : 13 - 15
B4 : 10 - 12
B3 : 7 - 9
B2 : 4 - 6
B1 : 0 - 3

So task A, a + b + c = x/54

Task B is exactly the same breakdown of marks.. max 18 each category
a) Task fulfilment (understands topic, relevant response)
b) Language
c) Communicative ability (fuency, interact confidently, manage a discussion, displays initative etc.)

So task B, a + b + c = x/54


In the actual exam, it gets extremely complicated cos after every group the two examiners must have a discussion about the performance of each candidate and standardised their marks. so there will be adjustment of marks on the spot according to performance and discussion of examiners, and they will double check if they agree with the marks by ranking the four candidates. when they are satisfied with the marks awarded, then the examiners will call in the next group. quite a tedious process if you ask me, but very necessary.

for school exams. I use an 18 point system for Task A & B, then I average the marks and convert to 54 by multiplying by 3. Youc can use this system if you like or simply ignore it if you find it is not accurate enough.

low - mid - high
18 - 17 -16 = B6
13 - 14 - 15 = B5
10 - 11 - 12 = B4
7 - 8 - 9 = B3
4 - 5 - 6 = B2
1 - 2 - 3 = B1

I find this to be the best method cos it's not as complicated and as an examiner you always have to consider if the candidate is low, mid or high band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.

CONGRATULATIONS if you have understood everything I have written thus far. Any questions? Please feel free to ask.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Latest on MUET marking scheme

Well, well, well.. we never cease to learn.. today I was conducting a course for district level trainers in KK for MUET.. and I learnt so many new things... so just a short note here to clear the air...

Apparently, for report writing (question 1 in the writing paper), they don't use the terms 'overview' and 'controlling idea' anymore.. the concept and content is the same but now overview is called introduction and controlling idea is the overview. confusing but i suppose this is slightly easier to understand rather than the term controlling idea. :)

Also, I found out that contrary to what they told us the last time I went for a course, it would seem that you CAN'T write MORE THAN 200 words for Q1. Examiners have been given strict instructions to ignore every word written after that... Yikes! Now I have to review and modify all my samples for Q1 in order to conform to this new ruling. Ah well, at least I know now. Thanks Suzie for the juicy info.

I've also gotten confirmation that every single error in grammar, spelling, vocabulary and what not is deducted in the listening paper.. and examiners don't even award half marks, therefore it's either 1 mark or 0.

Anyway, tomorrow is the second part to this 2 day course. I'll upload some pics later. Have a nice week everyone!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The week that was.. SMK Inanam & UiTM MUET Seminars

Was a really hectic week thus far. I started it off with a MUET seminar in SMK Inanam, thanks to Mainie and Suzana for inviting me. If you didn't know, I first started working at this school and you can imagine what fun it was to see and chat with all my ex-colleagues. :) Was a great time and I hope the students enjoyed my talk.
Then I rushed over to present the Reading Component workshop at UiTM from 10am to 1pm at the KK campus and the crowd was extremely good and cooperative. The reading workshop with sample questions from past year exams were a hit going by the responses from the students. If you're a UiTMn student reading this now, I'm happy to have helped you and I hope you'll explore the archives of my blog to read up about MUET. Good luck to everyone!
Thanks to Suzie and team for inviting me for my third seminar here.. may we have a long lasting professional and personal relationship.

Some really enthusiastic uni girls.. try your best ok!

Some smart looking and hopefully smart thinkin agricultural boys... Well done!

Workshop style for teaching reading comprehension. I've received some feedback pertaining teaching reading by other MUET teachers. I'll detail how to do this best in the next blog entry. At the end of the day, the onus is on the teacher to be creative, adopt or adapt, and the students to read, read and read some more!
Happy teaching and learning everyone! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Busy bee!

My bunch of crazies! hehe.. but I love them all!
Notice the plaster ceiling, downlights and chandelier in my school's meeting room.. haha.. not even in KK but million times more posh! Hidup Majakir! Here you can see the kids enjoying the karaoke session 'I believe I can fly' at the end of my seminar. :)

Here the teachers from all over Sabah have come to 'THINK' for our tank. ;-) English Teachers Unite!

Sabah Think Tank Exco Members .. thanks Pn Hjh Nuri & Pn Jenifah from SPA for empowering me to empower others.

Guest lecturing in SMK Putatan, KK.

Thanks for having me, Pn. Haribala & Pn Balvinder... for inviting. ;-)

As you can see, I've been super busy and the cog is still spinning as we speak. :) So far, I've presented a MUET Seminar in SMK Putatan last week, and created the module for the Sabah Think Tank English Language Task Force which I presented at a full day seminar in KK Highschool for English language teachers all over Sabah, some as far as Nabawan.

You can see from the uploaded video clips below the MUET seminar I did yesterday at my own school. It's very rewarding when students come up to me and thank me for teaching them. My eyes actually watered when I read a post in facebook where my student said: "I love MUET". This came from a student who at the start of this year was completely freaked out about the whole subject. Hehe..

Next week I'll be presenting in SMK Inanam and UiTM on the same day. It's a lot of hard work and travelling but I have to admit that I do it because of the joy it brings me. Not the glamour mind you, but the reaching out to help those who need my help most. :)

Anyway, Lydia (thanks, dear!) has kindly agreed to share the essay she has written which I have reviewed using Microsoft Word (the review application is soooooo cooool!!! I can't believe I just found it!!!!) Anyone who would like to read it please email me at If anyone knows how I can upload documents onto this blog.. pls let me know.. I'm savvy but apparently not that savvy. Hehe.. cheers ya'all!

SMK Majakir MUET Strategies 2010 Seminar

MUET Speaking Task B

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Powerpoint Presentations in the MUET Classroom

As you can see from the video clips below, I've been using multimedia in the classroom.. but instead of me preparing and presenting, I've empowered my students to work in groups to gather materials and develop their own presentations. I believe that when you give students the room to grow, indeed they will. Of course the presentations are far from perfect, but as the old saying goes: it is not the destination that counts, but the journey itself.

Therefore, I'm sure my students will agree with me when I say they have learnt a lot from researching the topics using traditional referencing in the library.. and internet access where they collected most of the materials. What is more important is the process of reading and synthesising for a purpose.

For teachers, the basic instructions I gave were:
1. Divide each group into 3-4 students and provide a social ills topic (eg smoking, vandalism, gangsterism, drug abuse, free sex etc.)
2. Each person develops 5 - 7 slides using only POINT FORM (to avoid reading) and PICTURES/GRAPHS etc.. with NOT MORE THAN 20 WORDS per slide (to avoid over-congestion).
3. Students divided the content according to definition, examples, causes, effects and solution or recommendation.
4. Take lots of pics and record sections to be uploaded into Youtube, Facebook & Blogs.

So MUET students out there reading this, would you have liked doing this activity in your own class? Would it increase your motivation to present if you knew you would be published online?

Would be interesting to get your feedback on this as I will be explaining in my next blog the Action Research related to motivation that I'm conducting right now. :)

6A2 Majakir MUET 2010

6A2 Majakir MUET 2010 Vandalism

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grammar Test

Curious to know your grammar proficiency percentage by just completing a simple quiz? I've designed 10 multiple choice questions for my Grammar Formulas workshop... have a go here.. and email me your answers to and i'll tell you your overall proficiency. hehe.. if you're lucky i'll even share my grammar secret formulas in the next blog! let's see if i get over 50 replies... :)

1. A) The child is talking to a boys.
B) The child are talking to boys.
C) The children is talking to a boy.
D) The children are talking to a boy.

2. A) She take him to school every day.
B) She takes him to school every day.
C) She taking him to school every day.
D) She taken him to school every day.

3. A) The instructions is give by the teacher.
B) The instructions is given by the teacher.
C) The instructions are given by the teacher.
D) The instructions are giving by the teacher.

4. A) The lady has sing a sad song.
B) The lady has sung a sad song.
C) The lady had singing a sad song.
D) The lady have singing a sad song.

5. A) His results have improved by take extra tuition.
B) His results have improved by takes extra tuition.
C) His results have improved by taken extra tuition.
D) His results have improved by taking extra tuition.

6. A) These ingredients are for make some cupcakes.
B) These ingredients are for made some cupcakes.
C) These ingredients are for makes some cupcakes.
D) These ingredients are for making some cupcakes.

7. A) You should dress neatly.
B) You should dresses neatly.
C) You should dressed neatly.
D) You should dressing neatly.

8. A) The victim must be take to the hospital immediately.
B) The victim must be takes to the hospital immediately.
C) The victim must be taken to the hospital immediately.
D) The victim must be taking to the hospital immediately.

9. A) I like to shop.
B) I like to shops.
C) I like to shopped.
D) I like to shopping.

10. A) The books has been return to the shelves.
B) The books has been returned to the shelves.
C) The books have been return to the shelves.
D) The books have been returned to the shelves.

Well.... do you think you can score 10/10 = 100% :P

email your answers asap.. hehe... good luck!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Results are out!

Why have I only heard from a few about their results? hmmmm... this is not a good sign. I'd like to know how you guys did.. do email me at if you'd like a more private discussion.

Personally I love exams.. the flow of adrenaline, the excitement of competing against others and more importantly, raising your own standards. So my opinion of abolishing UPSR and PMR? Well, I am sure you can guess that I am dead against it. We need some form of benchmarking and sense of rivalry, stress is good, it challenges us to rise above ourselves. ;-) In the same breath, I've come to know that OUM has made a pass in MUET NON-COMPULSORY. Sighs... this is really disheartening as I can imagine that the real reason behind this is that it has a whole lot to do with monetary gains, or more to the point, profit loss due to the huge number of failures amongst OUM students. again, huge sigh.

How is everyone doin? Keep the faith, ok!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

MUET Speaking topics for mid year 2010

Just for your info, I'm having a black month... haha.. that means that i'm super annoyed with my other half for literally destroying my laptop and all the info that's in it. Some of you have asked for my power points from my previous lectures but I'm not sure if i still hv them. Will look around and check when I get my hands on a new laptop hopefully soon.

Anyway, i've been asked about the listening and speaking questions that came out in the recent MUET exams. I don't hv access to the listening transcript or the questions so I can't help there... but if you do remember the speaking topic given to you, write it in the comment here and i'll devise the best 3 points that befits a Band 6 answer. ;-)

As for when the results will be out, i'm not sure exactly but the results should be announced in the first two weeks of July if i'm not mistaken. Fingers crossed for all you guys out there. ;-) Remember to let me know your results by leaving a comment here ok.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MUET Speaking 800/2

The speaking test is divided into two sections: Task A & Task B, groups of 4 usually. Here is the timeframe breakdown:

Sit down clockwise, A to D. There will be two examiners for each exam. Once seated, they will check your exam slips and ICs. Handphones, notes, stationery etc not allowed as a pencil, a piece of paper and the question will be placed on the table for each student.

1st minute
- just read the question and make a mental note of the words you would like to ask the examiner about. (you should ask the examiner EVEN IF YOU UNDERSTAND the terms to get the right pronunciation and 'borrow' ideas from the examiners. most examiners are very helpful and will give you some ideas if you ask nicely) (say: Excuse me but what is the meaning of ... DO NOT SAY: What means of...? which is horrendous grammar!)
2nd minute - examiners ask all candidates (A-D) one by one if they understand the question or not. (again, make sure you ask about any word/phrases during this time)
2 minutes to write your notes on the blank A4 paper given (tip: divide the paper into 4 sections, label A, B, C and D, then write only in your section. think of three points and for every point give reasons and examples, make sure it's in note form only to avoid reading)
2 minutes for each candidate to present Task A - MUST AGREE WITH POINT GIVEN (advantage for candidate D cos will hv 8 mins to prepare but the point is generally harder to elaborate than candidate A's point, so there are always pros and cons. MAKE SURE YOU SPEAK FOR THE FULL 2 MINS, and it is ok to just elaborate 1 or 2 points well instead of 3 points but not well explained.)
Speak according to this format:
1. Greetings (Good morning to the examinerS and my fellow candidateS, etc.)
2. Repeat situation (Today we are talking about...etc.)
3. Main Point (The point I would like to discuss is... etc.)
4. 1st point (Firstly,.. , This is because,.., Moreover,..., For example,.. , Therefore,... )
5. 2nd point (Secondly,... , This means that,... , Furthermore,... , For instance,... , Thus,...)
6. 3rd point (Finally,... , This is due to the fact that... , In addition, Take for example..., Hence,... )
7. Conclusion (In a nutshell, etc.)

2 minutes to prepare notes for Task B (now you can write notes for all candidate's points, have a ranking system 1,2,3 and 4, 1 is for best choice and 4 for the least favourite, this will help you with your discussion)
10 minutes to discuss. In the quarantine room, pre-decide who will do the introduction, and someone to do the conclusion (this person MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIME, as some examiners will NOT ALLOW you to do a conclusion if you go beyond the 10 min timeframe.)


Make sure you train your brain to think of 3 points with supporting reasons and examples. Always write in point form, not full sentences as 2 mins goes by way too fast!

Use your hands to gesture and explain your points. Marks will be awarded for 3 categories:
1. Task fulfillment - Did you understand the question and give a relevant and mature response?
2. Communicative ability - Did you have good eye-contact, body posture, gestures, cooperation?
3. Language - Do you have good command of the language with extended vocabulary?
Marks are given for Task A and Task B then added and divided to find the average.



1. Good morning to everyone.

2. Good morning I bid to one and all.

3. Good morning to the examiners and all my

fellow candidates.

4. A very good morning I wish to all examiners

and fellow candidates.

5. Today we are talking about…

6. The situation I have been given is…

7. According to the situation…

8. Based on the situation given

9. I have 3 reasons to justify my point.

10. First and foremost,…

11. Firstly,…

12. Secondly,…

13. My second point is…

14. Another reason is…

15. Finally,…

16. Lastly,…

17. Last but not least,…

18. Moreover,…

19. In addition,…

20. Furthermore,…

21. Therefore,…

22. Hence,…

23. Thus,…

24. However,…

25. Other than that,…

26. On the other hand,…

27. Conversely,…

28. Consequently,…

29. Subsequently,…

30. In contrast,…

31. For example,…

32. For instance,…

33. Take for example,…

34. … and so on.

35. … and many more.

36. … and others.

37. In conclusion,…

38. As a conclusion,…

39. In short,…

40. In a nutshell,…


1. Let’s kickstart this discussion by starting with..

2. Allow me to begin…

3. May I begin by saying…

4. I agree with you. (NOT:I’M agree)

5. That’s a great idea!

6. I see your point!

7. That’s an interesting perspective.

8. I like your suggestion.

9. Indeed!

10. I concur with your point of view.

11. I’m sorry but I disagree.

12. I’m afraid I have to disagree with your idea.

13. I don’t see eye to eye with you.

14. That’s not a good idea/suggestion.

15. I beg to differ.

16. I’m sorry for interrupting but…

17. Excuse me, may I interrupt please.

18. Pardon me for interrupting but..

19. I’d like to add something please.

20. May I say something?

21. Could you please hear me out?

22. So what do you think, Candidate X?

23. How about your point of view?

24. Candidate X, what is your opinion?

25. Does anyone agree with me?

26. Why don’t we consider the other points?

27. I don’t understand, can you please repeat?

28. I’m sorry I don’t understand, can you please elaborate again?

29. In conclusion, ALL OF US agree that…

30. To conclude, MOST OF US agree that…

31. In a nutshell, SOME OF US agree that… while the rest prefer…

32. As time is running out, it seems that ALL OF US can’t seem to agree on a single point so…

33. That’s the end of this discussion, thank you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Candidate A

Instructions to candidates:

Task A: Individual presentation

  • Study the stimulus or topic given.
  • You are given two minutes to prepare your responses.
  • You are given two minutes to present.
  • Listen to the others while they are making their presentations and take down notes for the group discussion in Task B.

Task B: Group discussion

  • You are given two minutes to prepare points to support or oppose the other candidates’ views.
  • After you have listened to everyone, try to come to a decision as to which of the four suggestions is the best.
  • Your group is given ten minutes for the discussion.

Task A and Task B will be carried out consecutively.


Your brother has been given the opportunity to study in England on a government scholarship. You and your family are very proud of him. Decide on a special gift for him to prepare for his trip abroad.

Task A: Suggest that they give him cash. Say why.

Task B: Discuss which of the following would be most useful.

i. cash

ii. a computer

iii. some suitable clothing

iv. some Malaysian foodstuff

Candidate A

Task A: Suggest that they give him cash. Say why.

Good morning to the examiners and my fellow friends. I’m very happy that my brother has just received a scholarship to study in England. My relatives and I would like to give him a special gift. We all think that the best gift is money because it will be very useful for him.

The first reason is with cash he can buy the things that he needs when he gets there. There will me a lot of things that he will need like new books, stationery, clothes and food. He will also need to pay for transportation like taking the bus or train to go to the university campus. As we know, it is very expensive in England so any money we give him will be very useful.

Secondly, my brother can use the money to buy a mobile phone when he gets to England. I think this is very important in case of emergencies so we can contact him easily. Furthermore, he can sms us and keep us updated with his progress in his studies there. Hence, if we really miss him we can just give him a call.

Finally, I also think giving him money is the best choice because it is light and doesn’t take up a lot of space. If we were to give him a computer, books or winter clothes it will be very heavy and bulky for him to bring to England. Therefore, I think that it is much easier to bring money and buy those things when he gets there.

In conclusion, these are some of the reasons why I think giving him cash is the best choice. To me, it is the most useful gift we can give him. Thank you.

Candidate B

Task A: You suggest that they give him a computer. Say why.

A very good morning I bid to one and all. My relatives and I are very proud of my brother. He has just received a scholarship to study in England and so we would like to give him a special gift. We believe that the best present for him is a laptop computer.

Firstly, as a university student, my brother will have to do many assignments. If he has a laptop computer he can bring it everywhere and consequently, do his work anytime and anywhere. Thus, he will not have to share the computers at the computer room with other students and he will be able to do his work more quickly and efficiently.

Another point is that when he boards the plane from KLIA to London, he will be able to bring the laptop with him easily because it is compact and light compared to a desktop computer. Hence, it will not be too much trouble to transport it to England.

Last but not least, if he has a laptop he will be able to connect to the internet. This has two main advantages as firstly, he can do a lot of research online. The world wide web is a fountain of information so it will be very useful for him to make full use of this technology. Furthermore, he can keep in touch with friends and family here in Malaysia by e-mail.

In short, a laptop computer will prove to be very useful to my brother. He can do his assignments, research for information and keep in touch with us using it therefore it will make the best gift. Thank you for listening.

Candidate C

Task A: You suggest that they give him some suitable clothing. Say why.

To the examiners and my fellow candidates, a wonderful morning I bid you. My brother was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to study overseas. We want to send him off with a nice gift so we have decided to buy him some suitable clothing.

The main purpose for buying him some suitable clothing is because the weather in England is very different from the weather in our country. There are four seasons there so he will need to have different clothes for different situations. For example, we can buy him some sweaters, cardigans, scarves, snowcaps, thick socks and gloves and many more. These will definitely keep him warm in winter.

The second reason is we think that he should have clothes that reflect our Malaysian identity. This is because he will be a young ambassador for our country so if he has a few sets of traditional clothing like the Baju Melayu or formal Batik shirts, I am sure he will not only look good but promote our culture overseas.

Lastly, neat clothes make a good impression. For instance, if we buy him some everyday clothes like jeans and trousers with nice shirts and matching ties, this will give him a good feeling about himself so he will walk a bit straighter and talk a bit wiser. Moreover, people will look at him and have a good impression about Malaysian students.

To conclude, I think that the best present to give him is some suitable clothing because it will be very useful and will reflect positively on him. Thank you very much.

Candidate D

Task A: You suggest that they give him some Malaysian foodstuff. Say why.

I would like to wish everyone here a very good morning. As we all know, my brother has won a scholarship to study in England. Therefore, some relatives and I have decided to give him some Malaysian foodstuff as a going away present.

First and foremost, one of the main problems Malaysians face when studying overseas is that it is hard to find Halal food. We feel it is a good idea to give him some Malaysian foodstuff because it will take time for him to get used to the place and find out where to buy Halal food. Thus, in the meantime he can enjoy the Malaysian foodstuff that we have given to him.

The next reason is because some of the foodstuff we are used to having here in Malaysia is quite hard to find in UK. Most students studying overseas really enjoy eating Maggi Mee and sambal belacan. For instance, it is also hard to find the right spices for curry and rendang and so on so if we supply him with enough Malaysian foodstuff, he can eat it whenever he misses home.

The final point I have is that he can use the Malaysian foodstuff we give him and cook it for the Westerners there. Sometimes, universities organise events like Malaysian Night and so he and his friends can cook some Malaysian specialities for them to taste a bit of our way of life. Hence, the Malaysian foodstuff will be very useful to promote our culture.

In a nutshell, giving my brother Malaysian foodstuff to take with him to England is a good idea. This is because he will have some familiar food to eat when he misses home and he can also share it with his new friends. Thank you for listening to my opinion.

Task B: Discuss which of the following would be most useful.

i. Cash

ii. A computer

iii. Some suitable clothing

iv. Some Malaysian foodstuff

* Work together in your respective groups and complete the following discussion.

A: Good morning once again to everyone. We are here to focus on the issue at hand which is __________________________________________________________. I would like to invite anyone of you to kickstart this discussion by giving us your point of view.

B: Allow me to begin. First of all, I’m happy that our brother has won the scholarship to study in England. Therefore, we must decide what would be the most useful gift for him. In my opinion, I strongly believe that _______________ _________________________________________________________________. This is because I think he can _________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

For example, ______________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

C: I see your point but how about getting him ______________________________. In this way, he can use it to ___________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

D: I don’t quite agree with you because ____________________________________ _________________________________________________________________. I think it would be more useful if we bought _______________________ for him. Does anyone agree with me?

A: Yes, I agree with you. To add to your point, I feel that ______________________ _________________________________________________________________.

This is so he will ___________________________________________________.

C: I’m afraid I don’t see eye to eye with both of you. Buying that as a present for him is not the most useful gift because __________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

Moreover, ________________________________________________________.

Can you all understand what I’m trying to say?

B: Indeed, I do see your point of view but I still feel that the most useful gift is __________________ because it can ___________________________________. Another reason is ___________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________. For instance, _______________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

D: That’s an interesting perspective and I agree with you that ___________________ _________________________________________________________________. However, I think we should consider other points. We should also think about buying him _______________________________________________________.

If he gets this as a present, he can ______________________________________ and ____________________________________________. Wouldn’t you agree?

A: I’m not sure I understand what you are saying. Can you explain it again, please.

D: What I mean is we should buy him _____________________________________ because it will me more useful for him when he is studying in England. This is because ___________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

A: Aaah… I see. Yes, I think it would be a very useful gift too. This way, he can _________________________________________________________________.

C: That’s a good point, but don’t you think if we gave him _____________________ it will be the most useful for him as a student. I still believe that this is the most useful because _____________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

Remember, we need to think of the best and most useful choice.

B: I agree with you, Candidate C. In addition, he can use this gift to _____________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________. So candidates A & D, what do you guys think?

D: Now that you’ve explained it like that, I also agree that it will be the most useful. In fact, he could also use it to _________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

A: As for me, I feel that it is also the most useful. When he arrives at his university in England, he will be able to ____________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________.

C: That’s right. Well, after listening to all the points on the four choices we have, I think it is time to make a conclusion.

D: Yes, I think so too. Does everyone agree that we should give our brother _______________________________________ as a special going away present?

All: Yes, I agree.

B: In a nutshell, we all agree that _______________________________ is the best choice because firstly, he can _________________________________________, secondly, __________________________________________­­­­­­­______ and finally ____________________________________________________­­_____________.

Thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The End~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What to conclude if after 10 minutes of discussion….

A) Agree = 3, Disagree = 1

Conclusion: To conclude, MOST OF US agree that ______________________

is the best choice because ________________________________.

___________________________________________. Thank you.

B) Agree = 2, Disagree = 2

Conclusion: In conclusion, we were unable to make a solid decision because

SOME OF US stongly believe that the best choice is __________ because _______________________________________________ while THE REST OF US think that giving him _______________ is the most useful because _________________

___________________________________________. Thank you.

C) All Disagree

Conclusion: In a nutshell, we were unable to come to an agreement on which of the four options is the best choice. It seems ALL OF US strongly believe in our own points so as we have run out of time, we think that we should each buy him a gift individually. Thank you.