What’s the Difference Between MUET and IELTS?

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In Malaysia, you must demonstrate your English language skills before enrolling at a university. Some individuals will suggest you to take the MUET, while others would counsel you to take the IELTS.

But what distinguishes the two? Isn’t it true that they’re both English proficiency tests? Is it important which one you choose?


#1. They are provided by various organizations.

While both MUET and IELTS use a series of standardised examinations to assess your English language competence, they are offered by different organizations.

The Malaysian Examination Council administers the MUET, or Malaysian University English Test, which is an English competency test (MEC).

The British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English, on the other hand, jointly own IELTS, which stands for International English Language Testing System.

Depending on which test you take, the relevant agency will issue you a certificate.


#2. There are several levels of acknowledgment.

As its name suggests, MUET is primarily known among the local community. In general, MUET can help you get into Malaysian and Singaporean colleges. In fact, most Malaysian public universities recommend that you take MUET before applying for a degree.

IELTS is significantly more preferred internationally because it is an international examination system. Over 9,000 organizations throughout the world accept the IELTS qualification. This makes it a far better test for those who want to travel abroad.

It’s vital to realize that the varied levels of acknowledgment given to the two examinations have nothing to do with their quality. It just serves a variety of objectives. If you wish to apply to local universities, you should take the MUET exam, while IELTS is also acceptable. Meanwhile, those planning to study abroad may want to take the IELTS exam instead.


#3. One of them can be utilized for other things besides studying.

While both MUET and IELTS can be used to gain admission to local and international universities, one of them has applications that go beyond schooling.

MUET is typically utilized when applying for degrees in Malaysian universities. IELTS, on the other hand, is a different matter.

IELTS is used as an English proficiency test for emigrating to English-speaking nations, in addition to being a requirement for university admission. This is because, in order to ensure that you assimilate successfully, you will need to demonstrate that you are fluent in English. The best and most efficient way to do this is to take IELTS, which is a standardised international English proficiency test.


#4. The tests take place at different times.

The frequency with which these tests are given varies as well. You might wish to keep this in mind while deciding when to take the exam.

The MUET exam is usually held three times a year, in March, July, and November. If you want to start university in September, you must register for either the March or July test. Make a note of the results deadline to ensure that you receive your results before the university application deadline.

MUET is provided less frequently than IELTS, which is one of the most popular English proficiency examinations in the world. In fact, the test is frequently given several times every month. As a result, you don’t have to be concerned about having to wait a long time for the next test. On the British Council’s website, you can look for the next available date.
Reminder: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exam dates may alter somewhat, so make sure to check official sources to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.


#5. One is significantly less expensive than the other.

The cost of the examination fees is another significant distinction between the two tests.

MUET is reasonably priced, costing only RM100 for citizens with an additional RM1 for the MEC pin. It’s possible that this is due to the fact that it’s a local proficiency test administered by a local examination body.

IELTS is substantially more expensive because it is an international English proficiency test. Regular IELTS costs around RM795 whereas IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration costs around RM895. Study materials, practice tests, and other items are included in the exam fees.

If you plan to study or work in the United Kingdom, you may not have a choice because the IELTS is required before you can study or work there. However, knowing how much the test will cost will allow you to budget ahead of time. If you plan to stay in Malaysia, though, you can always go for the cheaper alternative.


#6. They have a different method of grading.

Another difference between MUET and IELTS is the grading mechanism.

Those who take the MUET are graded on a six-band scale, with band 1 representing the lowest competency and band 6 being the most. A band 6 is the highest possible score.

IELTS is a larger scale test. A 9-band method is used to grade test takers. The lowest level of proficiency is 1 and the greatest level is 9. You will be given a band 0 if you do not answer the question.

Varying institutions and organizations have different minimum MUET and IELTS criteria, so don’t be dismayed if you didn’t do as well as you had intended.


#7. They have various expiration dates.

The MUET and IELTS certificates are not indefinitely valid.

Your MUET results are only good for 5 years after the date on the results slip. This means you’ll have to apply for a degree within the next five years. Your scores will no longer be valid after that time period has passed, and you will need to repeat the test before applying for a degree program.

Wait until you hear about IELTS if you think that’s short. The IELTS Test Report Form has a two-year expiration date. Results older than two years are rarely accepted by most institutions and organizations.

Take the validity duration into consideration while applying to college (or, in the case of IELTS, work). Because these examinations are not free, make sure you prepare ahead to prevent wasting money.

That’s all there is to it. We hope that this post has clarified any misunderstandings you may have had concerning these two English proficiency assessments.



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