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MUET 2015 Calendar

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MUET 800/4/J Question 1

Study the chart and table below. Using only the information provided, analyse the sales of three fast food outlets in the first quarter of 2012. In your answer, you are to link the information presented in both visuals. You should write a report within 150-200 words. [40 marks]

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Format for Question 1:
Source: muetmyway.blogspot.com

A) Title
B) Introduction sentence
C) Overview/Trend
D) Key Features
E) Conclusion sentence

My attempt:-image

Sales of Three Fast Food Outlets in the First Quarter of 2012

     The stimuli show the sales and promotional activities of three fast food outlets in the first quarter of 2012. It is evident that sales were positively influenced by the promotional activities that were carried out.

     Among the three outlets, Ray’s Fish and Chips was the least popular, with monthly sales below RM500. Mario Pizza started off moderately well at RM1000 in January. Sales rose steadily to around RM 1500 in February and March when the “50% discount on next item” and “buy 1 free 1” promotions were carried out. However, Mario Pizza failed to sustain the momentum and suffered a marked decline in sales to RM1000 in April when there were no promotions.

     Ken Burger was the most popular outlet by far. In January, it offered free drinks to customers and thus recorded the highest sales among the three outlets (RM2500). In February and March, there were no promotional activities and this was reflected in the slight drop in sales to around RM2000. When Ken Burger gave away gift vouchers in April, sales soared to RM3000 and continued to show a rising trend.

     In conclusion, attractive promotional activities have a positive impact on the sales of fast food outlets;  sales improved when there were promotional activities and vice versa.

[203 words]

MUET 800/2 Speaking – My Experience

I sat for my Speaking Test on Monday and I’d have to say that I rather enjoyed it. Like Mdm Audrey Wiles (owner and author of the blog http://muetmyway.blogspot.com/), I’m one of those who “thrive on exams and tests.”

I arrived at the test centre at 7.15am and headed straight for the Quarantine Room after a short trip to the washroom. A few other candidates were already waiting in the room. At 7.30am, our attendance was taken and we were assigned to sit in our respective groups (according to our index numbers). We were informed that once the exam commenced, we would not be allowed to leave the room, not even to go to the washroom. Aargh… no!!! So I went to the washroom AGAIN, just in case.

Shortly before 8am, the chief examiner came to the Quarantine Room and briefed us on the exam procedures. We were also instructed to surrender our mobile phones. At 8am on the dot, the first group was called into the exam room.

Each group was assessed for 30 minutes and then the examiners took roughly another 10-15 minutes to discuss and finalize the marks. I was Candidate D of the fifth group (i.e. the last group for this session). So in total, I was “quarantined” for almost 3 hours.

My group was made up of an interesting mix of people:

Candidate A: 20-year-old UiTM student, studying food services
Candidate B: 47-year-old Malay language teacher, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree at USM
Candidate C: 24-year-old undergrad at UMK, doing a degree in Logistics
Candidate D: yours truly, a 30-year-old SAHM and part-time tutor

My group members and I spent those 3 hours getting to know one another and chit-chatting about random stuff (in English, of course). Soon we warmed up to one another and we even exchanged cooking/baking recipes!

Finally, it was our turn. After a quick, silent prayer, I entered the exam room together with my group members. We were told to leave all our belongings on a table at one side of the room. We were seated as follows:

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The examiners proceeded to check our Identification Cards and MUET/D slips. We were provided with 2B pencils, erasers and A4 papers for us to jot down notes and to prepare our responses. We were given ONE minute to read the question silently (Task A and Task B). After the one minute was up, we were given the opportunity to ask for clarification if there were any words or phrases from the situation given that we did not understand. The situation for my group was as follows:

Task A:
Children should show their appreciation towards their parents. What is the best way for them to do so?
Candidate A: Send them on holidays
Candidate B: Help them to do household chores
Candidate C: Buy them valuable gifts
Candidate D: Spend quality time with them

Task B:
 
Discuss which of the following is the best way for children to show appreciation towards their parents.

We had TWO minutes to prepare our responses for Task A (individual presentation). Candidate A presented first, followed by Candidate B and so on.  We were given TWO minutes to deliver our points.

After each candidate had presented, we were given another TWO minutes to prepare for Task B (a 10-minute group discussion). Thanks to the 3 hours of pre-exam warming up session, we had a lively and engaging discussion in which all members contributed actively.

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience for me. I gained 3 new friends, 2 recipes (moist chocolate cake and “rendang”) and 1 Raya open-house invitation.

So you’ve registered to sit for MUET, what’s next?

After you register for the exam, you will receive a registration slip (MUET/PP) with all your details and also your choice of test centre.

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Please note that the stated test centre is subject to change. If your requested centre is full, you may be assigned to another nearby centre. You can check your registration status, assigned test centre and exam dates via SMS by typing…

MUET<space>INFO<space>Identity Card Number

and send to 15888. Nearer to the exam date, you need to log on to MEC’s portal to print out your MUET Registration Slip (MUET/D). 

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Please note that MUET 800/2 speaking test is normally carried out 2-3 weeks before the rest of the papers, i.e. if you register for MUET November session, your speaking test will be in mid-October.

On the day of the exam, you need to bring along your MUET/D slip and your Identification Card. If you’re a school student, you are expected to wear your school uniform. For private candidates, you are advised to wear formal attire.

MUET November Session – Open for Registration

MUET calendar
If you’re planning to sit for MUET in November 2014, please take note that the closing date for registration is 25th July 2014. For information on how to register, you can click here.

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Encyclopedia of Women’s Shoes

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Learning English

As an English language teacher, one of the questions that I get asked the most often is – “How can I improve my English?” The standard text book answer for this question would be to use the language more oftenLISTEN, SPEAK, READ and WRITE in English. Practice makes perfect, right? Right. Although there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this simplistic answer, it’s too vague to be of help to language learners. They wouldn’t know where to start.

So this post is especially dedicated to all of you out there who have asked me this question before. I’d draw from my personal experience learning English as a second language and share with you what worked for me.

Learning English – My Story

I grew up speaking Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) at home. In kindergarten, at the age of 5, I was exposed to Mandarin Chinese, Malay and English. When I was 7, my parents enrolled me in a national primary school where the medium of instruction was Malay language, except during English lessons. In our multi-racial class, we communicated in Malay most of the time. However, among the Chinese students, we tended to use Hokkien.

When I was in Standard 3, I started attending English tuition classes at Living Spring, an English language centre. Unlike the communicative approach in school, I received more structured lessons on grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation at the language centre. Besides, we also wrote compositions in class and had spelling and dictation tests regularly. All these provided me with a good foundation in English. The lessons were far from boring and tedious though as I had amazing teachers who made learning English fun. We played language games, listened to stories, sang songs and danced, went on field trips, “cooked” in class…. (p/s Special thanks to Mdm Jennifer and Mrs Lee.) In addition, we were encouraged to borrow books from the class library to read at home. That was how I picked up the habit of reading and soon became an avid reader. I attended Living Spring for eight years and from there I gained confidence and competence in using English.

However, in all those years that I studied English (at school and at the language centre), I merely regarded it as another school subject. I did my English homework, wrote essays, studied for tests blah blah blah… but I hardly, if ever, used English as a tool for communication other than with my English language teachers. Not surprisingly, therefore, I could read and write well in English but I was not fluent in spoken English. In fact, my English pronunciation was horrible. And I spoke with a Chinese accent.

I only began using English as a tool for communication at the age of sixteen, which was when I started attending English Sunday Service at church. I listened to sermons (which were in English, obviously) and conversed in English with other church members. Most of them were from English-speaking families. It took me a while to get used to speaking English and I made lots of blunders along the way.

After I completed high school, I was offered a scholarship to pursue a degree in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). While at teacher training college, the medium of instruction was English and all trainees were encouraged (or rather, compelled) to use English at all time. As it was an Overseas Link programme with University of Auckland, I had the opportunity to spend two years in New Zealand, during which I also travelled to Australia for a short break. In those two years, I used English extensively in my daily communication with both native and non-native speakers of English. Soon, speaking English became second nature to me.

After I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in TESL, I was assigned to teach in a secondary school in Sibu, Sarawak where the population was predominantly Chinese. Outside the classroom, I rarely had the chance or need to use English. Furthermore, I got so caught up with work that I ceased to read for leisure and for professional development. Consequently, my language proficiency suffered. I regret letting it slide and I have only myself to blame for that. *sigh*

In order to turn the tide, I’m taking steps to regain lost ground…. *I’ll share about that in future posts. =)

What conclusions can be drawn from my experience?

  1. Do not expect to master the language overnight. It takes time and lots of practice to develop proficiency.
  2. If you need English tuition, look for a language centre/teacher that…
    a. makes learning English fun and engaging.
    b. deals with the basics – grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation – so that you can have a solid foundation.
  3. Read, read and read – online news, blogs, magazines, novels – anything and everything, as long as it is written in English and the content interests you.
  4. Make new friends who speak English (only) so that you’ll be “forced” to communicate in English.
  5. Be more “thick-skinned” – persevere even when your friends make fun of you. Do not be afraid of making mistakes.
  6. Make English your language of choice… for example, when you call help lines, post FB updates, tweet, sms, chat online, etc. Tune in to an English radio station, watch English movies, read the news in English…. you get the idea?’’

Ops.. that’s a really long and wordy post! If you’re reading this line, give yourself a pat on the back. It proves that you’re really serious about improving your English language proficiency and with that determination, I’m sure YOU CAN DO IT! I’d love to hear your story. If you have any questions regarding English language, feel free to comment or email me. I’d try my best to help.

Cheers,
Cheryl