English Language Proficiency Tests and Academic Achievement: A Study on the Malaysian University English Test as a Predictor of Technical Programme Undergraduates Academic Achievement

Nurhazlini Rahmat, Lau Sing Min, Nur Atiqah Md. Sungif, Farah Nabillah Mior Yusup

Abstract


In the Malaysian education system, English has always played an important role. In acknowledging its importance, Malaysian University English Test (MUET) has been introduced to enable continued emphasis on this role.  MUET has been made compulsory for those who wish to pursue a first degree programme in local universities. This study aims to examine the relationship between English language proficiency test (as measured by MUET bands) to predict the undergraduates academic achievement (as measured by Cumulative Grade Point Average score). It also aims to determine the recommended MUET band as an entry requirement for prospective technical programme undergraduates in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The study was carried out among 225 final year undergraduates of five different faculties in UPM, namely Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Forestry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.  The data used were obtained by administering a brief questionnaire and were quantitatively analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 19.  The study revealed that there is a medium positive correlation between English language proficiency and academic achievement where students who have scored higher bands for MUET are the ones who obtained higher CGPA in their study. Based on the findings, it is recommended that UPM and other local universities make changes towards the minimum MUET entry requirement to help prospective undergraduates excel in their academic study.

Keywords: English language proficiency, academic achievement, technical programme, MUET, CGPA


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