Are you looking for a job in South Korea’s ever-growing labor market? The EPS (employment permit system) is one such option.
For that, you need to learn Korean and take the EPS TOPIK test.
You want to know more about test centers and eligibility to how you can apply and prepare? Well, this article will cover everything about it.
- 1. What is EPS (Employment Permit System)?
- 2. What is EPS TOPIK?
- 3. Overview of the EPS TOPIK
What is EPS (Employment Permit System)?
There was a time when the Republic of Korea used to be a net exporter of immigrants.
Today, the high growth of the economy and the rapid development made it an attractive destination for employees worldwide.
The young and educated South Koreans in the ’20s and ’30s prefer to work in big firms like Samsung, LG, Hyundai, POSCO, and Kia motors.
Because of all these, there was always a shortage of enough workforce across industries.
The government started the EPS to help SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) solve their shortfalls. These private sector businesses make 99.9% of the total Korean companies.
The EPS is a bilateral cooperation between two governments to ease the labor migration process.
They implemented excellent global practices to hire low-skilled foreign workers for jobs in Korea.
In 2014, when they were founded, the Korean government had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with only 6 nations. Today, in 2021, it has increased to 16 countries.
What is EPS TOPIK?
EPS-TOPIK, i.e., Employment Permit System – Test of Proficiency in Korean, is a specialized Korean ability test.
The KLAT or TOPIK are general tests useful for various purposes. In contrast, this is a special test for a particular purpose, i.e., to get foreign workers for the Korean labor market.
Who conducts the test?
The Human Resources Development Service of South Korea administers the test.
The HRD Korea operates under South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor.
They also have a collaboration with different governments that help them organize the test.
What is the purpose?
They designed it to measure the Korean skill of migrant workers.
This is to make sure they can work in an environment where everyone speaks Korean and follows a distinct culture.
Do you want to work in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and the heavy and light industry in Korea?
In that case, the EPS TOPIK score can be a real benefit.
As per your performance, you will qualify to apply for jobs in South Korea.
First, submit your job application through the designated agency allowed by the government.
Most of these EPS jobs have a valid term of 1 year from the day of approval. If all goes fine, you get the working visa (E-9).
Eligibility criteria for the applicants
Here are a few requirements:
- The age should be between 19 and 39 (Male or Female).
- There should not be any criminal history in the home country. Plus, there must not be any restriction on immigration either.
- The applicant must not have any records of illegal stay or deportation from South Korea.
- The person needs to be from one of the eligible nations and meet the acceptability specifications decided by both countries.
- There should be proper physical and mental fitness to work in Korea.
- If earlier worked in Korea, the candidate must have completed the required period before going back to Korea.
Overview of the EPS TOPIK
Let’s find out everything about the test.
This is a single-level exam. There are two sections:
- Listening: 20 questions — 100 points, 25 minutes.
- Reading: 20 questions — 100 points, 25 minutes
The total number of questions is 40, whereas the entire duration is 50 minutes. There is no break between these two modules.
Candidates can choose between two methods:
- PBT (Paper-Based Test), and
- CBT (Computer-Based Test).
All questions are MCQ (Multiple-Choice Questions), and you have to pick one correct answer out of 4 choices.
The examination curriculum
This tests your basic understanding of Korean society, business culture, and industry-specific information.
You also need beginner communication skills in the Korean language to perform daily activities.
The reading segment has elementary vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, and practical day-to-day duties.
The listening contains basic conversation, pronunciation, visual data for regular work.
How to pass EPS-TOPIK?
To pass, candidates need at least 80 out of 200 marks. They also maintain a list that has the highest score from the top.
The final selection, though, depends on the other eligibility criteria and the total number of applicants. HRD Korea decides this.
How to apply?
There are two ways to register for the test — offline and online.
You can visit the approved place. Fill the form, choose the dates and test center, and submit the registration fee.
You can register online on the government website when dates are available. This is the simplest way.
Fill the form with personal details and things related to this test. Attach the scanned copy of your passport and photo. Finally, complete the form and pay the cost.
The validity of EPS TOPIK
The score is valid for only two years from the date of test result announcements.
Once the actual term expires, one has to retake to apply for EPS jobs in Korea.
Testing centers across the world
As of March 2021, there are 26 EPS-TOPIK centers in 16 countries. All these locations are in East, Central, and South Asia.
The testing centers depend on the MoU between the two countries.
If your country is not on the list, it means there is no arrangement, and you’re not eligible to appear for the test.
EPS TOPIK 2021 Dates
They conduct the test once a year. The EPS TOPIK dates and timing vary depending on the test centers. They often declare the result within 2-4 weeks.
You can get in touch with the respective center for more details.
Because of COVID-19, they might postpone or cancel the upcoming test. So, contact or visit their official website for the latest updates.
The examination fee
The exam fee differs depending on the country, but it can range between $20 to $40.
How to prepare?
The HRD Korea has published a book, “the standard Korean textbook.” This is mainly to study for EPS TOPIK.
This covers the syllabus ranging from basic Korean language skills to Korean work-related content.
You can download the entire lesson from the site. — LINK.
There are tons of reading and listening study material and sample papers to help you prepare. You can also find several e-books for country-specific language and translated content.