Saturday, I took the level test (사전평가) for the Korean Immigration and Integration Program (사회통합 프로그램). Here are some notes about the experience:
What to Prepare BEFORE the Test
Although the KIIP website says you need to prepare three items, you really only need two (black sign pens for the OMR answer cards will be provided):
- Your printed test ticket (from the website – pictured below)
- Your Alien Registration Card (외국인등록증)
You’ll need to input your name and national registration number on both the test paper and the OMR card exactly as they appear on your ARC.
Instructions on the bottom of your Test Ticket
- Go to your assigned location on the assigned date for your level test.
- Prepare these things: Test Ticket, ARC, Writing tools *(If you don’t have your ARC, you won’t be permitted to test.)
- Enter the testing room 30 minutes before the test.
- If unauthorized to take the test, you’ll have to retake it.
- You can check your test scores on the KIIP homepage (socinet.go.kr) “My Page” section 7 days after the test. No individual notification will be sent out.
Don’t forget to know where to go
Of course, there is one more thing you should probably be aware of:
- The location of your test (not just which university, but also which building it’s in)
Just like I would have no idea about a Culinary Arts seminar at our university if someone asked (because it’s in a different department and different building from where I work), so too, if you just show up on the testing campus and ask around, chances are no one (except those AT the immediate test site) will know anything about a Korean language test there.
Actually, the test is conducted by Korean Immigration officers – so the test is not directly related to the university at which it is held. The university is merely a host location for the local Immigration Center to send in representatives to conduct the test.
Arriving at the Test
On your printed test card, it says that you should arrive at the testing location 30 minutes early.
This is so that they can check your ARC, mark you off their list, and get you into the appropriate classroom for the test. This is the order of events when I arrived at the testing location:
- Notice outside lots of foreigners, especially women with families (husbands and kids).
- Walk up to the entrance of the building and notice a large poster with “사회통합프로그램” in large letters on it. Underneath, were Test ticket numbers divided into testing groups and assigned testing room numbers. (You can see from my ticket above, my number was CH201401100009. I was in testing room #2.)
- Walk upstairs to the appropriate floor and head toward my testing room.
- At the beginning of the hall leading to the testing rooms, there was a desk set up where they checked your ARC and marked you off the list.
- After being checked off, enter the testing room and go to your assigned seat (they will tell you your seat number + your desk will have a sticker on the upper-right corner with your name and Test Ticket number on it. You will also notice a lanyard with a “name card” that has your number on it – mine was 62. You’ll need that for the Speaking portion.)
The Written Test
The written test is:
- 50 questions (48 multiple-choice; 2 written) – as shown in the video below
- 50-minute time limit
The following video shows how to properly fill out the OMR card.
Here are two links to the video in case it doesn’t work above:
Actually, in our test, there were a few differences from the video:
- We never filled in the Type of evaluation (사전평가)
- Nor the Question Type (A형, B형)
- And they took away our red pens for marking
You’ll have to do your best to pay attention to what they say (all in Korean) at the start of the test and just follow your peers around you if you have trouble understanding.
Our test started 10 minutes late (at 1:10; possibly to wait for late-comers), and I specifically recall a few times they told us:
- Only mark the OMR card. Remember there are two written questions on the back.
- Don’t mark the test booklet aside from putting your name and ARC number on it.
- Don’t guess. Don’t just mark anything if you don’t know it. Leave it blank.
This is, after all, a level test. You’d hate to get stuck in a level that’s too high for you if you happened to have amazing guessing ability. Remember: this test isn’t for points; it’s for leveling.
At the conclusion of the test:
- They’ll gather the test materials
- You’ll put your Test number lanyard around your neck
- They’ll usher you into waiting rooms down the hall to wait for your turn at the Speaking test
The Speaking Test
They divided us into 3 rooms:
- Numbers 1-50
- Numbers 51-100
- Numbers 101-150
Beginning with Number 1, they went down the list (in order) and called us by fives to return down the hall and wait in a line of desks outside our designated testing rooms. So unfortunately, if you registered for the test late, you’ll wait longer. The Numbers are assigned based on when you register for the test.
In the testing room
When we entered the room, there were 2 Immigration Officers there to test us and a piece of paper turned over on the desk. Our test order followed this pattern:
- Sit down.
- Turn over the paper on the desk.
- Beginning with the first person (numerically), read the short Korean paragraph aloud.
- Answer 1-2 questions about the reading (they ask easier questions or clarifying questions if you don’t understand at first).
- Answer a follow-up personal question related to the reading. (Our reading was about seasons 계절, so the follow-up question was “What’s your favorite season?”)
- Continue in this manner down the line.
- Returning to the first reader, answer another, unrelated question. (Our second question was about national holidays 공휴일 in Korea and our home countries.)
- Finish the test.
After finishing the test, we went outside, and handed in our Numbered lanyards, then received a “Class locations” paper. It shows all the locations for classes in the province and includes the address and phone number for each. At the bottom of the paper is also the number for the office in Seoul that conducts the Online Courses (which is what I’m interested in).
I suppose now I’ll just wait and see what my test results are on “My Page” at the website. I’ll post another entry in this KIIP series after figuring out how to register for classes.