in Korean Language

KIIP results

It turns out that when they mean the results come out on May 11th, they come out as soon as the clock hits midnight and the date changes to May 11th. I found out a few minutes after midnight, when someone from the KIIP test sent me a message asking about how I did.


Prior to taking the test, I have had zero – ZERO – formal Korean-language classes. I entered Korea in 2014 knowing four words in Korean: hello, kimchi, scandalous, and giraffe. Everything else, has been self-taught via Talk To Me In Korean, Seoul National University’s Korean-language textbooks, and eavesdropping/imitating people around me. It’s a miracle I haven’t been arrested for creepiness yet. I would “inconspiciously” linger next to a street food stall instead of walking straight by, to listen to how someone worded their order. (It helps that I look vaguely Korean.)

I tested into Level 2 aka Beginner 2, scoring 36 points out of 100 on the written test – four points (1 question = 2 points) short of testing into Level 3. I don’t know the results of the oral test – no results anywhere.

I did the written test the “correct” way – not answering questions that I couldn’t make head or tail of, in order to get placed into the right level for me. In retrospect, perhaps I should have filled out the entire answer sheet with guesses, in order to place in the highest level possible. With four choices for each question, I had a 25% chance of being correct, right? I’m not sure if this was the right decision, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I do feel that I have no business being in Level 3 – Intermediate, though.

I met two Filipino ladies there, and chatted to them in English. One is a housewife, and the other is a night-shift factory worker who described her work as “remote control buttons, all kinds of remote control buttons”. They both tested into Level 3, and I am envious. Maybe I should have randomly circled the questions I couldn’t answer…



Annoyingly, Level 2 doesn’t have ANY classes near me. I can either take a 60-minute bus ride north, or a 90-minute subway+bus combination south to Ansan, aka Asian Foreignerville. This lack of nearby classes is a surprise. It’s not like I live in the middle of nowhere, either. Five minutes away from me is the main city center, and there should be classes available there. Just not Level 2, I guess.

There WAS a 40-student class at Inha University, but that filled up before I even saw it. It looks like there will be a class in the next town over, but I’ve decided to suck it up and deal with the 60-minute bus ride north.

The 60-minute bus ride means going full-speed-ahead, by taking the only accelerated class. I start on May 15, and the last meeting (and level exam) is on July 03. Other classes start around or after May 15, but end in mid-August. I’ll be going to class on Saturdays and Sundays, for around 8 hours each day.

I can’t take online classes either, because – surprise surprise – I work the 9-5 shift, and the classes also take place during 9 am-5 pm. Ha!

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