Taking the TOEIC Exam in Korea

If you are applying for university or jobs in Korea, there may come a time when you need to quantify your English skills. There are a few different tests you can take to do this, but none are as widely accepted as the TOEIC exam. And so, if you need to prove your skills, here is everything you need to know about taking the TOEIC exam in Korea.

Intro to the TOEIC exam

In Europe and other parts of the world, IELTS and TOEFL are considered the standard English proficiency tests. However, in many Asian countries, including South Korea, TOEIC is the most English examination.

Many Korean universities and companies require TOEIC certificates during interviews and the document screening process. According to the latest statistics, most of TOEIC test-takers in Korea are students aged 21-25 years old. And so, if you are preparing for a job interview or university admission in Korea, and you are planning on taking the TOEIC exam, this article is for you.

TOEIC stands for Test of English for International Communication. The test was specifically designed for non-native English speakers. The test aims to measure the English communication and comprehension skills of people working and studying overseas. If you are interested to learn more about the test and how to register for it while in Korea, Click Here.

Registration fee in Korea: 48,000 – 50,000 won

Types of TOEIC tests

The standard TOEIC is comprised of two parts, the Reading test, and the Listening test. It takes about 2h to finish both sections. For the first part of the exam(Listening), you are given 100 questions on various topics. The duration of this section is 45 minutes. Next, is the reading section. Test-takers have to read and solve another 100 questions. The duration of this section is 75 minutes.

Then, there is also a speaking examination. The test includes 11 questions and it takes about 20 minutes to complete. The questions measure your ability to express your opinion on topics like education, money management, relationships, environmental issues, etc. They also verify your ability to give directions in certain situations or to describe certain events.

First of all, you will have to read a text aloud, using the right intonation and pronunciation. Secondly, you will have to describe a picture giving as many details as you can. The next part focuses on answering short questions using the appropriate grammar and vocabulary. The last part may be the most difficult one for some test-takers because you will have to express an opinion on a certain topic. You will be given 30 sec to prepare and then 60 sec to speak. 

Tips for TOEIC Writing

  1. When you prepare for the test, make sure you read texts on various topics. If possible, study together with a friend who can help you improve your reading skills.
  2. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but try your best when comes to studying grammar. Make sure you understand the difference between an adjective and an adverb and present simple and present perfect tenses.
  3. Study basic grammar rules and practice multiple times a week. Create your own sentences and ask a teacher or native speaker to correct them.
  4. Try to memorize keywords and expressions. This way it will be extremely easy to understand almost every new text.
  5. Usually, you will find answers in the first or last sentences of a paragraph(Reading part). 
  6. Don’t panic during the exam. Stay calm and try to remember what you learned.

In Depth Writing Tips

Read the question(s) carefully, and write down some keywords and main ideas. Then, take a moment to plan your time efficiently. The essay must have at least 300 words. When writing an opinion essay remember to support your ideas using strong examples or evidence. For more information in English related to the TOEIC Writing exam, don’t forget to get some official tips by Clicking Here. My advice is to talk to someone who has already taken the TOEIC exam if possible.

Tips for TOEIC Listening and Speaking

  1. Practice describing photographs you see on social media. Focus on details. Use appropriate words and grammar structures.  
  2. While preparing for the exam, write down keywords and make sure you use them when speaking. Once you remember the keyword, the rest will come naturally. 
  3. In order to get more points when expressing an opinion, use connectors like “First of all”, “I consider that”, “In my opinion”, “On the other hand”, etc.
  4. Listen to conversations about daily life online, or speak with friends in English.
  5. Study more intermediate and advanced vocabulary. Use plenty of synonyms.
  6. Be confident. You can do even better than you think!

Have you ever tried to take the TOEIC test in Korea? Was it difficult to register and apply for the test? Do you have any tips for the ones planning to take the test in Korea? We are curious to hear about your experience. For more content related to life in Korea, don’t forget to subscribe to the Koreabyme website. Thank you for your support.

🇷🇴 Emilia Bucsan

Teacher. Writer. Explorer. A.R.M.Y. Enchanted by the beauty of Korea.