Koreans ranked second in Asia last year in terms of TOEIC scores, with only Filipinos doing better than them in the English capability test.
According to the Korea TOEIC Committee, Koreans scored on average 683 points ― on a scale of 10 to 990 ― in last year's TOEIC, which is five points higher than the previous year. TOEIC, or Test of English for International Communication, gauges the English proficiency of non-native speakers of the language.
Koreans ranked 12th among the 32 countries analyzed. Germans ranked first, scoring 826 points on average, followed in ranking by Filipinos at 773, Tunisians at 750, Costa Ricans at 749 and Chileans at 745.
Korea ranked the second highest in Asia, trailing the Philippines where English is included as one of the official languages.
"The report tells where Korean test-takers are globally in terms of TOEIC scores. It also shows the average test scores by group, such as age, industry, or what they are majoring in at school," an official at the Korea TOEIC Committee said.
According to the analysis on TOEIC takers worldwide, those aged from 21 to 25 accounted for 43.1 percent of all test takers, while those under 21 accounted for 20.7 percent and those aged from 26 to 30 accounted for 16.8 percent.
When asked why they are taking the test, 29.3 percent said for employment, while 26.1 percent said they wanted to set guidelines for their studies and 23.7 percent needed the test scores for graduation. Those taking the exam for jobs got the highest average score, according to the analysis.
The test, which is offered by the U.S.-based Educational Testing Service (ETS), was introduced to Korea in 1982. It has become one of the most widely taken tests in the country as businesses started demanding job seekers to submit TOEIC scores. English tests in civil service exams are also being substituted by tests like TOEIC offered by third party testing organizations.
The test application fee is 48,000 won following a recent 7.8 percent hike.
By Yoon Ja-young