Passing the 34th Legislative Examination
Shin Hong-cheol (Department of Public Administration, 4th year)
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There are many backbreaking exams that are difficult to pass in Korea, and one of the most notorious and competitive ones is the Legislative Examination (입법고시). Recording a passing rate of 352 to 1 in 2016, the exam seems challenging, if not impossible. On August 2, 2018, News H met with Shin Hong-cheol (Department of Public Administration, 4th year) who passed the 34th Legislative Examination.
There are three different paths available for the legislative examination: general administrative official, law official, and finance and economy official. “I chose to try out for the general administrative official because I was always interested in the rights of minorities in society. A policy can be made only when basic human rights have a legal basis. I became interested in the legislative examination when I decided I wanted to support creating that legal basis of the fundamental rights,” Shin said.
The first exam consists of the Public Service Aptitude Test (PSAT) and an English test which can be replaced by scores of official English tests. The biggest help that Shin received was from a study group formed in Hanyang University. The group was formed a month before the examination, meeting every single day from morning until night.
The second part of the exam was a written essay test of five subjects. At school, the schedule is based on that of private educational institutes. In private institutes, it takes three months to have one rotation of studying the five subjects. They perform about three to four rotations in general. However, Shin thought that economics and administrative law were the two most important subjects, so he prepared for them every single day. He chose what he wanted to study later on, after the two crucial subjects were covered. “The rotation method that the private institutions and the school use is inefficient in my opinion, because they finish one subject after the other. You get tested for all five subjects. It is important that you don’t forget the previous subject that you studied,” said Shin.
The final part of the legislative examination was the interview. One advantage at this point is that there are not many people competing, as most did not make it through the two prior tests. In addition, the interview groups are announced beforehand, which makes it easier to focus on practice interviews.
The hardest part for Shin when preparing for the exam was his uncertainty about the future. There is only one chance a year open to participants, which makes it different from the regular path of finding employment. To overcome this uncertainty, Shin, who lived in the school dormitory, depended on his roommates. They cheered each other up by always preparing a nice, fulfilling meal together.
Kim Hyun-soo firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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