SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- The state-run Korean language proficiency test for foreign students and expatriates is set to be administered in over 70 countries worldwide next year, Seoul's education ministry said Thursday.

According to the National Institute for International Education, the test's administrator, the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) will be hosted at 252 locations in 73 countries.

After the 51st TOPIK on March 19, the 52nd, 54th and 55th tests are slated to take place at home and in other Asian countries on April 16, Oct. 22 and Nov. 19, respectively. In the Americas, Europe, Africa and Oceania, the examinations will be administered on March 18, April 15, Oct. 21 and Nov. 18, local time.

Meanwhile, the 53rd TOPIK will be hosted only in Korea, China and Japan on July 16.

The registration can be done online via the TOPIK website at Submissions will be open two months prior to the exam for ten days.

The language proficiency test has two levels -- TOPIK I and TOPIK II. TOPIK I measures the applicants' reading and listening ability while the latter also tests writing proficiency.

The results for the 51st exam will be available on the website at 3 p.m. on April 20, and then at the same time on May 24, Aug. 17, Nov. 30 and Dec. 21 for the following exams.

Launched in 1997, TOPIK is offered to those preparing to apply for Korean citizenship or permanent residency, seek jobs or study here, or work at overseas branches and plants of South Korean firms.