If you are a foreigner in Korea who wants to study or work, then consider taking TOPIK or the Test of Proficiency in Korean. It is intended for non-native speakers of Korean, such as Korean language learners, international students who want to study in Korea as well as individuals who would like to work in Korean companies and public institutions. I recently took the 75th TOPIK 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 have finished the online registration and got an email confirmation, you will just have to review while waiting 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. Also, there is a policy that late comers can no longer enter the test site. Usually, TOPIK I takers will have the exam in the morning while TOPIK II takers will have it right after lunch time.
Step 1: Print Your TOPIK Proof of Registration.
Even before your exam day, you must print your TOPIK Proof of Registraiton. You can easily download it from your account on TOPIK website. They usually announce the period where you can print it from the website.
Step 2: Look for your assigned testing room number.
The first thing that you should do upon arriving in your test site is to look for your assigned room number using your testing room or 시험실 번호 or registration number which written on your Proof of Registration. Ususally, they post it outside the building of the testing site.
Step 3: Follow health protocols.
Taking TOPIK 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 mandatory 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 cannot enter the testing site. In my experience, they even provide us with a free mask upon entering the building. There are also available hand sanitizers that you can use. While lining up, there were staff who checked our ARC and TOPIK Proof of Registration before allowing us to enter the buidling.
Step 4: Find your assigned room.
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. A list of designated seats is posted in the board of your assigned room so make sure to check it so you can easily find your seat.
Step 5: Test Briefing and Surrendering your mobile phone.
For the TOPIK II, we started the brief orientation at 12:20 PM and we were asked to surrender our mobile phones. The mobile phones will be temporarily stored in a divided storage and you can only claim them after the test. As for your bags, you can just place it under your chair.
Then you will have to show your ARC (Alien Registration Certificate) or passport for identity verification. You must place it on top of your table.
Step 6: Taking the actual test
The actual test for TOPIK II lasts for a total of 3 hours – 110 minutes for listening and writing and 70 minutes for reading. Listening and Reading has 50 multiple choice questions each while there are 4 questions (short essay and long essay) for writing. There is a short 30-minute break in between listening/writing and reading. Note also that they will provide you with a pen that you will have to use in the exam. Therefore, it is advisable to bring a correction tape or fluid in case you will need it.
Checking Your Score
The TOPIK result is usally released 5 to 6 weeks after your exam date. You can easily check your score from your account on TOPIK website.
For a complete guide in taking TOEIC (Test of English as a Foreign Language) in Korea for foreigners, read the following articles:
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Hi, do you know if we can use a non-Korean passport as identification or if we have to have either an ARC or Korean passport only?
Yes, you can use a non-Korean passport. You can use an ARC or a passport (any nationality). Other forms of ID are not accepted.