TOPIK: Test of Proficiency in Korean
Test of Proficiency in Korean, or TOPIK, managed and supervised by the National Institute for International Education-NIIED, is a written test intended to assess the Korean language proficiency of the non-native speakers. The NIIED works under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The TOPIK tests the ability of non-native speakers for expression and comprehension of the Korean language and is conducted in domestic as well as overseas locations.
The TOPIK test has 3 different levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced and is offered 5 times in a year, in the months of January, April, July, October, and Nov to international students in Korea and 2 times a year in the months of April and October to students studying Korean in other nations. TOPIK result is valid for a period of 2 years.
TOPIK Test: Types
Types: Standard TOPIK, S-TOPIK
TOPIK Test: Levels
Levels 1 and 2 – Beginner Level
Levels 3 and 4 – Intermediate Level
Levels 5 and 6 – Advanced Level
Usage of TOPIK
The TOPIK test is used by the Educational Institutions in South Korea for their admission procedure. It is one of the components for admittance to Universities and Colleges in South Korea. With this test, the institutions get to know the Korean language proficiency of the applicants. Besides, it is also used for job-seeking purposes, immigrant visa application, and government college scholarships and other academic activities.
Following students are eligible to appear for the tests-
- International Students and Overseas Korean students whose native language is not Korean
- Job Seekers in Korea and overseas
Dates and Deadlines
TOPIK test takes place 5 times annually within Korea in January, April, July, October, and November and 2 times annually abroad in April and October.
The beginner and advanced level TOPIK tests in most of the countries are conducted in the morning while the intermediate level exam is conducted in the afternoon. The test generally takes place on Sundays and in a few countries, it is held on Saturdays as well. To know about the exact dates and deadlines, click here
TOPIK Test Structure
TOPIK test has 2 levels-
TOPIK-I: It is the beginners level and is sub-divided into 2 levels- 1 and 2
TOPIK-II: It is the intermediate level and advanced level and is sub-divided into 4 sublevels – 3, 4, 5 & 6.
TOPIK-I (Level 1-2)
This is the Beginners level and is a 100 minutes test. This test is held in the morning and comprises of 2 parts- Reading and Listening. The total marks allotted to this paper are 200 marks.
The Reading part of TOPIK I consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and the duration of this part is 60 minutes
The Listening part consists of 30 multiple-choice and the duration of this part os 40 minutes.
TOPIK II (Level 3-6)
This is the intermediate and advanced level and is 3-hour tests. This test takes place in the afternoon and comprises of 3 parts- Reading, Listening, and Writing. This test is taken in 2 sessions- the 1st session exam (110 minutes) comprises of 2 parts: Listening and Writing and lasts for 110 minutes, while the 2nd session has 1 part- Reading and lasts for 70 minutes. The total mark allotted to this level is 300 marks and the total duration is 180 minutes. The level 3-6 consists of total 104 questions.
The Reading part consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and the duration is 70 minutes.
The Listening part consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and duration is 60 minutes
The Writing Part comprises of 4 questions that includes 2 short answer questions and 2 essay-type questions.
In the short answer questions, the applicant is required to write a phrase or complete a sentence. There are no multiple-choice questions. In the essay section, there will be 2 topics. One would be related to the daily life and other on some specific issue/subject. The applicant is required to write a descriptive text of about 200-300 words in the first essay, while the second essay must be include 600-700 characters and you’re required to state your viewpoints on some issue.
- No. of questions: 4
- Duration: 50 minutes
- Type of questions: Subjective
- Total Points: 100
TOPIK Language Skills Required
Following are language skills required of each level-
Level 1-2: Beginner level
At level 1, the applicant’s basic understanding and knowledge of the Korean language is tested, that whether he/she can understand the Korean language and use it for day-to-day activities, like introducing oneself, buying or ordering products and so on. A lexicon of 800 basic words is needed.
At level 2, a minimum lexicon of 1500-2000 words is required. At this level, the applicant is required to differentiate between the formal and informal condition.
Level 3-4: Intermediate level
At level 3, the applicant’s ability to communicate and understand the correct use of words and speech in Korean language is tested. This level confirms the applicant’s communicative competency in educational and social-cultural settings.
At level 4, the applicant is required to understand the news columns, general social and academic topics, important expressions and phrases ad Korean culture. This level confirms the applicant’s ability to communicate spontaneously and fluently in Korean language.
Level 5-6: Advanced Level
At level 5, the applicant’s ability to communicate in Korean language fluently is assessed. It confirms that the applicant possess a high fluency and proficiency in educational and professional areas.
Level 6: This level certifies that the applicant can communicate and express oneself fluently and spontaneously in Korean language in professional and educational areas, as well as in unfamiliar topics, such as society, politics, culture and economics.
Registration and Fees
You can register for the TOPIK test in Korea as well as Overseas.
You can register for the test online. Click here
to register. The registration fee varies and can be paid through debit or credit card, online banking or direct bank transfer. Once you have registered for the test successfully, you’ll receive an email confirmation.
In abroad, the Korean Embassies manages and supervises the TOPIK tests. The applicant needs to register for the test at the Korean Embassy. You must visit the Korean embassy and carry with you 2 passport size photographs and a registration fee which varies depending on the country.
TOPIK takes place 5 times annually at 13 places in Korea. To know about the tests sites in Korea and Overseas, click here
Each part of the test is marked out of 100 points with a total of 200 points for the Beginner and 300 points for Intermediate-Advanced level.
You can check the result by visiting the official website. Individual score reports are being sent to all the applicants irrespective of their result status-pass or fail. The report includes section-wise score, total score, average score and status-pass or fail. If you have appeared for the test abroad, in that case, your scores are sent to the affiliated institution of that country and that institution will send you your score reports.
to check the TOPIK score. Enter you test number, application number and date of birth to access the results.
A certificate will be issued to the applicants indicating the grade achieved. There are 6 possible grades-
- Level 1: Low beginner
- Level 2: high beginner
- Level 3: low intermediate
- Level 4: high intermediate
- Level 5: low advanced
- Level 6: high advanced