If you are a foreigner in Korea who needs to take standardized English proficiency test, then you can consider trying the TOEIC. The other common test in the country are TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International Language Testing System). Many locals consider taking TOEIC in Korea as relatively easier and cheaper than those two. I recently took TOEIC ® and I am sharing my experience here so you can also have an idea.
The first step is to register online. The website is in Korean therefore, if you can’t understand Korean, you might have difficulties in navigating the site. Though you can use website translator on your laptop or mobile phones. To guide you on test registration, read more about it here.
Once you are already done with the online registration and have received an email confirmation, you will just have to wait for your examination day. On the day of your test, make sure to arrive on time as there will be a briefing before the exam.
The first thing that you should do upon arriving in your test site is to look for your room number or 고사실. Ususally, they post it outside the building of the testing site. You can find your name with the last 4-digit of your mobile number and your room assignment.
Taking TOEIC in Korea amid a global pandemic means there are strict health protocols that you must follow. First, make sure to weark a mask as it is not only required in taking the test but in going out ot taking any public vehicle like bus, taxi and subway. Before entering the building, the school staff will take your body temperature. If you have a body temperature of 37.5 degree or above, or any respiratory symptoms, then you will not be allowed to enter. In addition, you will also be asked to wear coverings for your shoes as well as use the hand sanitizer.
Next is finding your assigned room. Do not be afraid to get lost as they usually put signs on where to find your room. Then take your designated seat. Honestly, I didn’t know that there is a designated seat so I just sat in the corner. But I was told by the facilitator to take a certain seat.
Before the actual test starts, there will be a briefing but it is in Korean. Basically, it will just tell you few reminders like the time limit, the no usage of pen and mobile phones, etc. But don’t worry if you can’t understand Korean as the facilitators will gladly assist you if you will ask for assistance.
After the briefing, you will have to show your ARC (Alien Registration Certificate) or passport for identity verification. You must place it on the upper right corner of your table.
The nest thing that you will have to do is to fill our the answer sheet with your details such as Student Code (6-digit number found on the email confirmation), Birthdate, Name, Test site, among others. For your name, the answer sheet only has the section designed for Korean names, so the facilitator might ask you to just skip it. Anyway, there is a separate section for your signature where you can just write your complete name and then sign.
After filling our the asnwer sheet with your details, you will have to surrender your mobile phone. They usually provide a sticker that you must put on your phone and then write your name on it. The mobile phones will be temporarily stored in a cloth-like material with divided storage based on your seats. As for your bags, you can just place it under your chair.
The actual test lasts for a total of 2 hours – 45 minutes for listening and 75 minutes for reading. Each section has 100 questions. For listening, note that the conversations or questions will only played once so you have to listen very carefully. There is no break in between so as soon as you finish your listening, you can immediately proceed to the reading section.
The TOEIC result is usally released 2 weeks after your test date. You can log in on the same website and go to “Grade Check” or 성적확인 to see your score. The TOEIC® Listening and Reading test is not a pass-or-fail test and the test results indicate your proficiency levels in listening and reading in the English language. The scores are determined by the number of correct answers, which is converted to a scaled score. The total scaled score is derived from adding the two scaled scores together which is 495 for Listening and 495 in Reading.
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