Korean Language Placement and Exemption Exam

UCI students who speak and read Korean can take a placement exam or an exemption exam to satisfy Category VI and VIII General Education requirements.


The Korean exemption exam is the same as the Korean Placement Test. You must also attend the oral interview in order to satisfy the Category VI Language Other than English general education requirement. The highest proficiency level attainable at UCI by taking the Korean exam is 2C.

If you need further information on language breadth testing, please e-mail the Testing Center at testcenter@uci.edu or call our office at (949) 824-6207 or contact your academic counseling office.

Korean Placement Test

What is the purpose of the Korean Placement Test?

The purpose of the Korean Placement Test is to assess your preparation for course work in Korean at UCI. Students will be placed into one of the following courses: Korean 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, or 2C.

This test is the same test that is used to satisfy the Language Other Than English (Category VI) General Education requirement. Satisfaction of the General Education requirement may be attained with a sufficient score on this placement test and a satisfactory performance in the oral interview. The Korean Placement Test may not be repeated.

Who needs to take courses in Korean?

Successful completion through Korean 2C (or the equivalent) satisfies the foreign language requirement in the School of Humanities. Completion of Korean course work through the 1C level satisfies UCI’s Language Other Than English (Category VI) General Education requirement.

How can I enroll in a Korean course?

You must complete the following steps to enroll in a Korean course at UCI:

1. Take the Korean Placement Test. Register for this online exam here.

2. Complete a Student Language Background Survey (SLBS) and meet with a Korean faculty for an oral interview to receive your authorization code for the course. The Background Survey will be provided to you once you have completed the Korean Placement Test. Times and locations are indicated in the Schedule of Classes under Korean in the School of Humanities. Note: You will not be able to enroll in a Korean course without a course authorization. Check WebReg for interview times. Presentation of two forms of photo I.D. is required for your interview. 

Who is waived from taking the placement test?

You are waived from this test if you answer “NO” to all the following background questions below. However, you must either come into our office at 3040 Anteater Instruction Research Building, or email us at testcenter@uci.edu. You must also present two forms of valid photo I. D. at this time whether it’s in-person, or with file attachments through email. The oral interview is NOT required for authorization for students without background.

Background Questions:

1. Does anyone in your family speak any Korean?

2. Have you taken any Korean classes at schools or been tutored?

3. Have you lived in Korean more than one year?

4. Can you read or write Korean?

What should I study before the examination?

Each course series assumes that students know the content covered in previous levels, so you need to review the textbooks for previous levels. You should have an active vocabulary and some knowledge of grammar that enables you to perform the following tasks: exchange common greetings; tell time; talk about the weather, family and studies; talk about your likes, dislikes, and interests; inquire about a price; make choices; make a suggestion or give advice; make a comparison; inquire about locations and give directions; state your opinion and make comments; and handle reasonably complicated survival situations.

For this test you should know the following fundamentals of Korean grammar:

        • Two different speech styles: formal and informal
        • Three different forms of speeches: honorific, polite, impolite
        • Four sentence types: descriptive, interrogative, imperative, and propositive (positive and negative)
        • Tenses: present, past, and future
        • Conjuncts: clausal and sentential

How can I prepare for the examination?

Review Materials:

1. Korean 1, Language Education Institute, Seoul National University, Moonjin Media, 2005.

How long is the test?

You will have one hour to answer 60 multiple-choice questions.

Sample items: 
Click here for sample items.