KLAT is one of the most important Korean language certificates for those studying this language or those planning to study or work in Korea.
So, do you know clearly what KLAT is? Purpose of the KLAT exam? What are the levels of this certificate? Advantages and disadvantages of KLAT? Or what is the difference between KLAT and TOPIK?
1- What is the KLAT certificate?
The KLAT certificate is one of the Korean language proficiency certifications for foreign students. In particular, KLAT stands for Korean Language Ability Test. This certificate is organized and awarded by the Korean Educational Testing Service.
The first KLAT Korean language certification exam was held in 2013. Until now (2023), this exam is held in February, April, July, October, December in Vietnam and 3 times a year in Korea in April, July and October.
Exam dates may vary from year to year. Therefore, you should make sure to check the annual exam schedule to organize your study and exam preparation plan accordingly.
KLAT is currently converted by companies and organizations according to the European reference framework – CEFR. Therefore, it is very suitable for those who plan to study abroad or work in Korean companies and organizations.
Another point to note is that KLAT is valid for 2 years and is only recognized in Korean territory. This requires you to carefully consider your recruitment and training requirements as well as your personal goals before choosing to take the exam.
2- What is the point of taking the KLAT certification exam?
What is the purpose of taking the KLAT certificate exam or why it is necessary to take the KLAT certificate exam is definitely something that makes many Korean learners wonder.
It can be seen that the main objective of this certificate is to assess the learner’s ability to use Korean. By taking the certification exam, you can demonstrate your ability to use the language in real-world situations.
KLAT shows whether you can use Korean in life or not? Or can you study, do professional work, or participate in social activities in an environment entirely using Korean?
In addition, KLAT also helps you understand Korean culture in depth and provides you with the most correct method to learn this language. In other words, you can take the KLAT exam as a standard for learning Korean as accurately as possible.
3- KLAT certification levels
The KLAT Korean language certificate is currently divided into two types: B-KLAT and KLAT. Each of these types is divided into different levels. Specifically:
B-KLAT is a certificate for people who have studied Korean for 150 to 200 hours. It includes two levels, Preview 1 and Preview 2.
KLAT is a certificate consisting of 6 levels from 1 to 6. Each level will demonstrate the learner’s Korean language proficiency at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The details of the 6 levels of KLAT are as follows:
Elementary 1 and 2
Learners at this level generally have a study time of no more than 400 hours. With elementary level 1, they can understand and use simple and basic sentences, words and expressions. Meanwhile, at Elementary Level 2, they understood and mastered common life phrases and expressions.
Intermediate levels 3 and 4
This is the level reserved for students with less than 800 hours of study in Korean. At intermediate level 3, they can use more complex sentences and words fluently on common topics or in everyday situations. At Intermediate Level 4, they master complex sentences and words on many different topics and can communicate with native speakers.
Bonuses 5 and 6
This is the level where learners must spend 800 hours or more studying Korean. At Advanced Level 5, they speak Korean fluently in many communication situations and can conduct complex conversations. At Advanced Level 6, they speak Korean fluently like native speakers and have the ability to read and understand political and academic documents well.
4- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the KLAT certificate?
The reason why KLAT is one of the most important Korean language certificates for people learning the language is due to the extremely practical benefits it can provide. Specifically:
– The time taken to get the KLAT exam results is much faster than other exams (like Topik).
– Normally, the KLAT exam will be held several times a year, at different times. This creates very favorable conditions for those who wish to obtain a certificate for their studies and work.
– KLAT is held in many locations (40 locations in 11 different countries). Through this, candidates can choose to take the exam anywhere that suits their conditions and needs.
– You can get a scholarship to study abroad in Korea if you have a KLAT diploma.
– KLAT offers candidates 4 different exam categories to choose from. You can optionally choose 1 of 4 categories to compete.
Apart from its advantages, the KLAT certificate also has certain disadvantages. Some typical disadvantages may include:
– The KLAT exam mainly focuses on assessing the reading and listening skills of candidates. Therefore, this certificate cannot reflect the communication ability of Korean language learners.
– The purpose of the KLAT exam is to meet the needs of many people who want to study and work in Korea. However, it is not suitable for those who want to learn this language for traveling or communicating with natives.
– The aim of KLAT is to assess learners’ standard skills in Korean without mentioning the diversity of this language. This may prevent KLAT test takers from understanding the unique characteristics of Korean in different localities or in some specific communication situations.
– KLAT is a Korean language certificate recognized only in Korea. This means that it is not valid worldwide and you must obtain another certificate to be able to find work or pursue other personal goals in countries outside of Korea.
– For those who are not good at Korean, registering for the KLAT exam will be quite difficult. To facilitate the exam registration process, you should find out about the registration requirements and instructions before doing so.
– The cost of obtaining a KLAT certificate is quite high. Compared to TOPIK, this cost is much higher.
5- Difference between KLAT and TOPIK
KLAT and SUBJECT are two important Korean language certificates that people who study this language should have. However, the question of whether to obtain a KLAT or TOPIK certificate makes many people hesitate and think.
According to Uptalent, to clearly know whether you need to take the KLAT or TOPIK certificate, you must clearly distinguish the differences between these two types of certificates. Next, you will need to consider your own study or work needs and goals to make the most accurate choice.
The similarity between KLAT and TOPIK is that they both aim to assess learners’ Korean language skills. Both are valid for 2 years and can meet the study, work or other needs of learners.
Regarding the differences, you can clearly distinguish KLAT and TOPIK through the following criteria:
– Management organization
KLAT is under the supervision and management of the Ministry of Justice. This is the agency responsible for managing immigration activities in Korea.
TOPIK is under the direction of the Ministry of Education.
– Examination Organization Unit
The KLAT can be held by units in Vietnam provided that those units have registered to hold the exam.
TOPIK is organized by the country of Korea. Other countries can only register to participate.
– Contest participants
KLAT is aimed at those who use Korean as a second language, those who wish to study or work in Korea, and those who wish to assess their ability to use Korean.
TOPIK is aimed at foreigners and Koreans living abroad who use Korean as a foreign language, people who major in Korean, or people who seek employment in Korean in domestic and foreign companies.
KLAT includes two types of certificates: B-KLAT and KLAT. Each certificate type is divided into smaller levels. B-KLAT with 2 levels 1 and 2. KLAT with 6 levels including elementary 1, 2; intermediate 3, 4 and advanced 5, 6.
TOPIK includes TOPIK I and II. TOPIK I has 2 levels: level 1 and 2. TOPIK II has 4 levels: 3, 4, 5 and 6.
– Testing skills
KLAT focuses on assessing listening, reading, vocabulary and grammar skills. Meanwhile, TOPIK focuses on listening, reading and writing skills.
– Number of annual examinations
KLAT is generally held 5 times a year or more depending on the requirements of the candidates.
TOPIK usually takes place 6 times/year in Korea and 4 times/year overseas.
*Note: The number of exams for each certificate type may change from year to year.
– Exam fees
The exam fee for the primary and intermediate KLAT is 550,000 VND and for the advanced KLAT is 750,000 VND.
Meanwhile, TOPIK I exam fee is 300,000 VND and TOPIK II is 400,000 VND.
– Exam content
KLAT focuses on testing candidates’ Korean knowledge in real-life situations, in study, work, business and Korean culture.
TOPIK is more about testing vocabulary, grammar and other highly academic content.
6- Where to register for the KLAT certification exam?
With a Korean KLAT certificate, you can register to take the exam in Vietnam and Korea. In Vietnam, you can take the KLAT test in 2 locations in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
6.1- KLAT test location in Ho Chi Minh City
Municipal College of Economics. HCM.
Address: 33 Vinh Vien, Ward 2, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City.
6.2- KLAT testing location in Hanoi
ICT training center building.
Address: No. 1, Hoang Dao Thuy, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi.
6.3- How to register for the exam
Registration for the exam will be done online. You will need to download the exam registration form, fill in all the information with a photo attached, and then send this form and the CCCD photo by email: [email protected].
Then you need to pay the exam fee to the required account. The account information is as follows:
– Account name: HUR KANG.
– Account number: 700 008 340 879.
– Bank Shinhan Vietnam.
After completing the above steps, you just need to print the exam application form to participate in the exam.
I hope this article by Ms. Uptalent helped you understand what KLAT is, its benefits as well as see the differences between KLAT and TOPIK. From there, you will easily decide which certification to take and can score high on the exam. Good luck!
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