Cheating on the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) has more than doubled from 2017 to 2018, government data showed, Tuesday.
|Foreign applicants check their test site information before taking the Test of Proficiency in Korean at Konkuk University in Seoul in this file photo. Korea Times file|
The number has steadily increased, but skyrocketed between 2017 and 2018 from 177 to 401. During the same period, the total number of applicants also grew to 329,224 in 2018 from 290,638 in 2017.
This year, 283 test takers were caught cheating as of July.
TOPIK is a written test designed to measure non-native speakers' ability to express and understand the Korean language. The test is taken by foreign nationals who want to enroll at a local university or graduate program, receive government-sponsored scholarships or land a job in Korea. The test is available in 76 countries.
Cheating methods include sneaking in electronic devices banned at test venues, having another person take the test or colluding with other test-takers.
By country, 741 of the 1,250 cases took place in Korea, where the largest number of people take the exam, followed by 276 in China, 79 in Vietnam and 74 in Uzbekistan.
The education authorities divide the cheating into two categories ― pre-planned and spontaneous.
Of the cases since 2014, 45.6 percent were pre-planned, such as having another person take the test or sharing answers among test-takers. China saw the highest preplanned case at 93.1 percent.
"As many colleges, graduate schools and businesses require a TOPIK score to evaluate a foreigner's Korean language capabilities, the supervision of the tests and crackdowns on irregularities should be tougher," Rep. Park said in a statement.