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What to Expect at the KIIP Level Test


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):

  1. Your printed test ticket (from the website – pictured below)
  2. Your Alien Registration Card (외국인등록증)
21. test-ticket
KIIP Printed Test Ticket

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

  1. Go to your assigned location on the assigned date for your level test.
  2. Prepare these things: Test Ticket, ARC, Writing tools *(If you don’t have your ARC, you won’t be permitted to test.)
  3. Enter the testing room 30 minutes before the test.
  4. If unauthorized to take the test, you’ll have to retake it.
  5. You can check your test scores on the KIIP homepage ( “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:

  1. 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:

  1. Notice outside lots of foreigners, especially women with families (husbands and kids).
  2. 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.)
  3. Walk upstairs to the appropriate floor and head toward my testing room.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. We never filled in the Type of evaluation (사전평가)
  2. Nor the Question Type (A형, B형)
  3. 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:

  1. They’ll gather the test materials
  2. You’ll put your Test number lanyard around your neck
  3. 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:

  1. Numbers 1-50
  2. Numbers 51-100
  3. 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:

  1. Sit down.
  2. Turn over the paper on the desk.
  3. Beginning with the first person (numerically), read the short Korean paragraph aloud.
  4. Answer 1-2 questions about the reading (they ask easier questions or clarifying questions if you don’t understand at first).
  5. 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?”)
  6. Continue in this manner down the line.
  7. Returning to the first reader, answer another, unrelated question. (Our second question was about national holidays 공휴일 in Korea and our home countries.)
  8. Finish the test.

Upon completion

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.

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23 thoughts

  1. The best explanation of what you are gonna expect on the test day! This is exactly what I experienced on that day, except the order for the speaking test. You said the order was according to how early you have applied, but in our case it was according to the date of birth: the older you are, the earlier you go into the speaking test. And I remember the text fully till now.

    1. Interesting that your group went by date of birth. Where did you take the test? Any idea how many people took it?

      In Jeollabuk-do at Woosuk University, about 150 people took it.

      1. I took the test at Mokwon University, in Daejeon. There were about 200 people. I was the oldest in our group, so I was the first person to leave the room for the speaking test.

  2. Thank you very much for the comprehensive content. I already registered for the pre-test. I followed everything told in the slide. Everything was completely done; however, when I checked the “detail of my test ticket”, I noticed something which is different from the picture in the slide, i.e. 평가장소: 미정 instead of showing the test location. Is there anything wrong with my registration? Do I have to contact the immigration office for this?

    1. 미정 means “To Be Determined” so I assume that means that they haven’t yet assigned a testing room for you. I’d continue checking the KIIP homepage to see if/when that changes, and/or contact the local Immigration Office to ask about it.

      Do you know the University and/or city in which you signed up for the test? It does seem a little strange to see 미정 but it’s possible that they are just finalizing the exact testing location.

      Please continue to check the website, or contact immigration, and then Comment here again to let us all know what happened with that.

      1. You are right! The test location was not decided yet. It is because of the registration period. I checked 마이페이지 again after the registration period was over, and I saw the test location had been determined. I did the test the day before yesterday (August 09, 2014) at 숭실대. The test were conducted in a very strict arrangement and I believed they sorted the candidates in Date-of-Birth order. Above all, it was exciting and I am waiting for the test result this Thursday (August 14, 2014).

        Thanks 🙂

        1. Great! How did you do? When I took the test, I got immediately into level 4 (but failed to pass the TOPIK Level 3 when I recently took it…ㅠㅠ). Now, I’m waiting for my level test on August 30 to see if I can get into Level 5. If I fail, I’ll retake the level 4 class, then get automatically “bumped” to level 5.

          1. I got Level 3 class. I think it is the right class for me.

            Here is another experience to share. At first, there were only weekday classes for registration. I was so upset to see that since I am working on weekday. But after a week or two, new classes started to emerge, among those weekend-only classes were created. So, I could register for it now. For those who plan to take KIIP class after their level test, don’t panic but keep checking the webpage as often as possible because class will fill up so quickly. Also, I would encourage posting any problems or questions to the Q&A section of the webpage; Nobody replies there but I believe the organizer reads every question posted. 🙂

            Aaron, wish you get into Level 5 after your level test. 🙂

  3. Thanks for your commitment to keeping everyone in the know and motivated! I’m taking the level test in the next few weeks, and was wondering how long you’d estimate the whole test takes, assuming a decent wait for the speaking portion. I want to take a train out of town once it finishes and am trying to decide when to book it for. 2 hours? Three, or four?

    many thanks Aaron.

    1. Yes, I’d say two hours is PROBABLY long enough, though to be safe you might want to estimate three. The first portion is really straightforward – just a 50-minute written portion. The second, speaking part is different. Actually, it seems like the numbers we were assigned were based on how early we registered for the test online. I went into the test center with a friend of mine at the same time (he registered later when I helped him), and his speaking test was 20 minutes or so after mine. They take about 5 people into the speaking room at a time, so that portion is probably 5-10 minutes per group.

      Anyway, whatever you estimate for the time to test, I’d probably add at least 30 additional minutes to it just to be safe. No one ever misses out by booking later tickets and arriving earlier, but you’ll give yourself a headache if you book tickets too early and struggle to make it on time.

  4. Hi. I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to Korean. Most of the advice I’ve online are from people that have scored pretty high on the test, levels 3-6. What advice do you haves for absolute novices? I can read Hangul, but other than that, I’m sure I’ll be at a lost. I plan on registering , but will level 1 be too difficult for me? Is there a level 0 ? Thanks

    1. There’s a Level 0, but it’s like a weekend crash course in Hangul and then they jump you into Level 1. Definitely Level 1 won’t be too hard if you can read Hangul.

      Best advice: do SOMETHING every day. Little by little. I’d say work on your vocabulary FIRST to build up a solid word bank so you can recognize and pick up on more things on a daily/regular basis. Here’s a good post to help: Learn 3600 words in 4 months practicing only 30 minutes per day!

      1. Thank you for your response. I have a second question:I filled out and selected the day and time for my test,however, on my evaluation ticket, the location is listed as , “Majang” . Will this be an issue? I live south of Jinju, so I chose Jinju National University of Education as my desired location, but it isn’t showing up on my ticket. Do I have to wait until the date gets closer? I followed all of the steps thrice or more . If you have any advice, please let me know. Thank you

        1. Any questions regarding the KIIP program can be asked to your local Immigration Office as they are the ones who handle this program. I don’t know specifics, but they will. Ask a Korean to help you out.

  5. Thank you so much for your guides. I am taking the test tomorrow. I don’t think I would have been able to figure out that website on my own without your guides!

  6. I have heard there is a possibility to use topik test results instead of the pre-test (I will probably not be in Korea during the pretest period). Do you know anything about this? Also, do you have any idea when next year’s schedule will be announced?

    1. You’d need to contact the local Immigration office (who handles these classes) to see about using TOPIK results. As for the next year’s schedule, that usually comes out on the website bulletin board in December.

  7. Hi .. i’am level 5 now..
    And its all done my classes for 70 hours. My problem is how to register examination test for level 5.. i dont know where im going in socinet.i have account already there i dont know how to register my own examination and print it?can help anyone please here

    1. You should be able to do so from the “My Page” section. If you aren’t seeing any classes open right now, it’s because the registration period is over. You’ll have to wait for a new section of classes to open.

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