ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MOTIVATION AND MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITY ENGLISH TEST (MUET) STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES
This paper draws on findings of a university research project and aims to report on an investigation into association between motivation and standardized test scores in higher learning institution. The study’s objective was to investigate student test-taking motivation in the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) context. Malaysian tertiary students formed the study sample and the focus was on the four skills of English. Test-taking motivation was measured using questionnaire items and reported level of test-taking motivation was regressed on test score. The questionnaire study showed that the Malaysian students in general reported that they were well motivated to do their best in MUET. According to regression analysis, test-taking motivation was positive and significant though rather weakly related to English achievement. Many students further reported competitive, comparative, or social responsibility reasons as motivating, while other students seemed more intrinsically motivated to do their best. Findings from quantitative as well as qualitative analyses suggest that the MUET result is unlikely to be negatively affected by a lack of student motivation. However, nothing is known about student test-taking motivation in other higher learning institutions participating in MUET, and further research exploring this issue in a broader context is warranted.