Korean class

As a KGSP student, you will have to take korean classes for 1 year. Every university as its own mangement but globally the pattern is the same.


1/ Test

Before class start we had a korean test to create classes. They told us that we had to do our best during this test because we won’t be able to change class later. The test was made of TOPIK questions (different level) and ended with a “personal introduction”. I found it easy but while we were doing that test, the beginners (who were not even able to read korean so no answer for them) kept talking, it was disturbing.

I think we did the test on friday and classes started on monday. We received the assignation late sunday. So there were 3 KGSP class: 2 class for beginners (one for those who can already read korean and one for 100% beginners) and one for advanced people.

2/ Class

Each class has 2 teachers, 2 hours per teacher a day (break every hour). One teaches grammar/listening and the other one teaches reading/writing. All the teachers I had were very nice. But some of them have special way to teach that may not fit to everyone. For instance, a teacher used to give a lot of homeworks (that I found useless). As I was used to study on my own, all these homeworks took hours to do and then no more time/motivation for personnal study… i gave up very quickly and stopped doing homeworks. This is not the best to do but no matter what, you have to find your efficient way to study! You know better than the teacher your study style^^

As for books, we used Ehwa books. I really like them except that chapter’s topic are very annoying…. half of them are about human relationship >//< Each book comes with a workbook and you will study a book in approximatively one month. Each TOPIK level is supposed to correspond to Ehwa books: once you studied 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 3-1 and 3-2 you are supposed to be able to get TOPIK 3. You can buy all books very easily in the book store of the library. If you want to save money and you are ok about studying with already used books, contact me I have a lot of them!

Sometimes we had extra class in the afternoon or during the week-end.


3/ Exam

We have an exam a month. 1 hour for each: writing, listening, grammar and reading. I really hate this kind of exam >//< it’s really stupid, no need to feel pressure about it, all the questions/texts/audio come from the book you studied. So basically if you are attentive in class you will do fine easily. Many students were stressed with exams coming so please keep in mind that the only important exam is TOPIK and that if you were able to follow in class you won’t have problems. Just reading the audio files and workbook before exam was enough for me.

4/ My personal experience

Because I have been learning for several years they put me in the advanced class…. it was horrible!!!! I mainly learned by myself so I was not used to talk korean and almost everyone was already fluent in this class. Maybe I could have make it on this class but from the beginning there was like a competition between everyone to show off how good they were so I felt that I would not receive enough help to make it. So starting the first day I complained to change class. Teachers kept refusing. After one week of complains they finally accepted to let me change. They did not want to let me change because they did not know where to put me as no class was on my level.

So in the end, I went to a non-KGSP class full of vietnamese people. It was definitely the best choice to do! Neither my classmate or teacher spoke english so I definitely improved korean a lot! And the study atmosphere was totally different, there was no competition so I felt really confortable with talking and I was not scared to do mistakes, no one was judging. So even if they tell you no class change will be accepted, keep asking and don’t loose hope! The only bad side is that I was not with any KGSP-students, at this moment, people started being friends with their classmastes… but I was alone, it was a bit difficult to keep in touch with them.

After a while I had to change class. They put me in a beginner class but offered to go back to the advanced level ahahaha. No way I would go back there! So in the beginner class I spent maybe 3 months studying stuff I already studied. It was very very boring but I enjoyed this time to focus my personnal study on TOPIK so in the end it was a good move^^


NIIED pay 2 TOPIK exam (i think it was january and may). So free to you to pay for others (april and july). I advise you to take every TOPIK exam you can because on the writing exam, luck is very important, if you can not write anything because you don’t understand the topic you will lose many points. If you are a beginner don’t have any expectations for january, it’s way to early for you!! Maybe 3 beginners get TOPIK 3 on january. Focus on april/may one! My advice for you is to learn words!! Don’t lose much time on grammar points, just learn the basic ones so that you can write sentences and then focus on learning words everyday!!!! And what helped me a lot is to hold a synonyms/antonyms book, you will meet a lot of them, it was realy useful to organize everything to remember them easily because on TOPIK exam, you will notice that they like to play with these words. Using synonyms in the text and in the answer.

6/ Advice

First of all, don’t feel pressured by school exam, there won’t be any consequence so relax. Then more than everything, please keep in mind that you study for yourself! Even if no one wants to be last, you are not competing with each other. You are fighting against your own brain to get TOPIK 3. In the beginner class, people were really concerned about grades and other people’s success…. in the end it created a bad atmosphere where everyone was competing. It’s useless stress. Don’t compare to others because everyone is different, some won’t be real beginners, some are asians so they have learning facilities….. Creating a competition or humiliating the one who ask question or who fail an exam is childlish and won’t bring anything good!

Also, some universities accept KGSP students even without TOPIK 3 so don’t be stressed too much and try to enjoy learning!


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