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


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

Full Text:



Abd Samad, A. (2010). Essentials of Language Testing for Malaysian Teachers. Revised Edition. Kuala Lumpur, MA: Aslita Sdn. Bhd.

Abd Samad, A., Syed Abd Rahman, S.Z. & Yahya, S.N. (2008). Refining English language tests for university

entrance: A Malaysian example. Asian Journal of University Education. Vol 3(1), 57-71.

Aina, J. K. & Olanipekun, S. S. (2013). Effects on English language on academic performance in physics and computer science among college of education students. American International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, 114- 117.

Carter, E. & Gribble, I. (1994). Work-based Learning: A discussion paper. Office of the State Training Board, Melbourne, 5.

Foks, J. (1990). Technical and vocational education and training by distance. Report of an International Conference Convened by the Commonwealth of Learning. Part II: Keynote Papers. City Polytechnic, Hong Kong.

Juliana, O. & Abu Bakar, N. (2013). MUET as a predictor of academic achievement in ESL teacher education. GEMA Online™ Journal of Language Studies, Vol. 13(1), 99-111.

Kong, J., Powers, S., Starr, L. & Williams, N. (2012). Connecting English language learning and academic performance: A prediction study. American Educational Research Association, 1-22.

Moon, T. S. & Siew, H. O., (2004). A study on the factors that impact on the academic performance of the computer science and the information technology students in University of Malaya. CMU Journal, Vol. 3(2), 169.

Nopiah, M. Z., Nur Azilah, I., Nuraini, K., Shahrum, A. & Mohd Marzuki, M. (2011). MUET score and loading hour: An analysis on the relationship towards academic performance. Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences. Vol. 18, 103-109.

Rethinasamy, S. & Chuah, K. M. (2011). The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) and its use for placement purposes: A predictive validity study. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, Vol. 8(2), 234-254.

Stephen, D. F., Welman, J. C. & Jordaan, W. J. (2004). English language proficiency as an indicator of academic performance at a tertiary education. Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 2(3), 42-53.

Wilson, J. & Komba, S. C (2012). The link between English language proficiency and academic performance: A pedagogical perspective in Tanzania secondary schools. World Journal of English Language, Vol. 2(4), 1-10.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.