You are in South Korea.
Working Day and Night and earning 5 digits salary, sometimes 6 digits if you are hard working enough.
You experience 4 seasons in one year.
You have free board and lodging.
You eat kimchi everyday and other Korean food.
You can now buy the gadgets that you want, the shoes, the bags and the outfits for your pormang pang breezy.
You are now officially the breadwinner of the family and you provide them with all their needs and their wants because you can afford it now.
But wait, just wait. I am sorry, I hate to burst your bubble but it’s not that easy. I know you dream to work in South Korea to earn a decent salary, but you need to pass that Korean Language Test first before you can have your working visa.
KLT or Korean Language Test is held in Asian countries including Philippines if the Human Resource Department of Korea sees the need to hire foreign people to work in the manufacturing industry of Korea. Learning foreign language is always a bit of a challenge. So I understand if you feel the anxiety and the stress and the pressure for the upcoming 13th Korean Language Test in the Philippines because believe me, I’ve been there and I’ve done that!
What’s the secret in learning Korean Language and to pass the exam?
Actually, NO. There’s no secret, only practical tips. If you are street smart enough, you sure can pass the test, I can’t promise you pass it with flying colors, but you can definitely ace it if you know the drill. Here’s my unsolicited advice (based on experience) for all of you aspiring to work in South Korea.
1. Familiarize the Korean numbers for the listening test
How important is this?
Very important, because I personally surveyed my friends who failed the exam last time and most of them told me that they failed because of the listening test. Most of them were not able to answer the questions correctly, or if they answered it correctly, they put the answer in the wrong item number. For example, the question is for number 20, they answer in number 18. Even if the answer is correct, that would still be wrong. If you are familiar with numbers in Korean, this will not happen.
In listening test, you will be given an answer sheet with numbers from 1 to 25, each number has 4 choices which are 1, 2, 3 and 4. Just imagine how NUMBERS play a vital role in the listening test. You will hear a lot of “bun” word in the listening, so it is really important you know the numbers in Korean. If the speaker said “ship ko bun”, you know you have to answer on number 19.
2. Get the context word for reading test
If you can’t understand a Korean sentence in the question, don’t worry, that’s normal. You are not expected to learn it all in a short period of time. If it’s too long and you can’t understand what it’s saying, get the context words of the sentence. Or rather, take out all the words that you can understand and try to make sense out of that known words. Refer also to the choices and see if you can make any connections to the question.
This tip will only be very effective if you know a lot of vocabularies. It is also important to memorize as many words as you can.
3. Ignore the particles
Because this is a written test, particles are inevitable to set the sentence in a formal mode. Don’t get confused with these particles, you can just ignore them and get the root words. The particles that I am talking about are 이/가, 를/을, 은/는.
For example, the word 사람, in a formal sentence, sometimes they write it as 사람이. You have to make a mental note that사람 =사람이. It’s not a different word, there’s just a particle at the end of the word. If you want to know more about these particles, you can do so in your advance study. But for time being, just ignore it, get the root word and never mind about it for now.
4. Use some mnemonic device
I always find mnemonic device an effective way to memorize. I used it once and will never fail to use it more in the future in case I need to memorize something. In this case, you can make your own code to easily memorize vocabularies. Sometimes, I find this strategy funny and stupid, but since it’s effective, the hell should I care! Here are some mnemonics I used and until now I can still remember:
The Korean word 그저께which means a day before yesterday. It is pronounced as geujeokke that sounds like “videoke”. So if I need to remember how to use that word, I just think of videoke.
The word어머니 or eomoni, which means mother. It sounds like “money”, and mothers always ask money especially during salary day. If I need to say mother in Korean, I just remember money and voila, I can recall it easily.
These are just my example, you can make your own to aid you in the memorization of the words.
5. Limit your study resources (If possible, just use the reviewer)
Studying Korean language is effective if you have a lot of books and online resources. But if you have limited time, then you must just use the reviewer provided by your training center or by the POEA to study so you can concentrate on what’s important in the test. Other resources may give you lessons, some are even advance, that are not useful for the exam. The reviewer are still the best resource to study, so as much as possible, concentrate on that.
6. Listen to Korean music and watch Korean Dramas in your spare time
It’s not just all about studying. You need to relax also so that your brain can breathe and rest. In this spare time, you can still actually learn passively by listening to Korean music or watch Korean drama. Challenge yourself if you can understand by picking up the words you know and make sense out of the context. This is one way to practice your strategy to effectively implement the tip number 2.
I know you can do it! Just trust yourself and believe in the power of prayer. Do your best not only to study hard but also to study smart. You have few days left before the exam, all I can say is…..
May the force be with you!