TOPIK test : Complete & Ultimate 2023 Guide

You must be familiar with TOPIK, if you are an avid Korean language learner. Studying the Korean language for TOPIK has become more and more popular as people look to study and work in Korea.

If you’re one of them who wishes to study or work in Korea, you must have the necessary information. Let’s start with the most important query. What is TOPIK?

In this article, I have provided a thorough overview and guide to TOPIK , answering all the questions and providing all the background knowledge you need to apply for TOPIK.


What is TOPIK ?

Test of Proficiency in Korean, or TOPIK, is a standardized test created to evaluate the Korean language proficiency of non-native speakers and overseas Koreans. 

The TOPIK certificate is acknowledged by organizations and educational institutions all over the world as a recognized indicator of Korean language competency.

1. Purpose of the Exam

The TOPIK test serves multiple important purposes. Achieving a good TOPIK score holds immense value, as it is widely recognized as the go-to tool for measuring Korean language proficiency.

Moreover, it can open doors to various opportunities, including admission to Korean universities and employment in prestigious companies.

For academic and professional purposes, such as applications to Korean colleges, prospects for scholarships, and employment in South Korea, TOPIK results are extremely valuable.

2. Eligibility for TOPIK

There are no prerequisites for taking the TOPIK; anyone who is learning Korean qualifies for the test.

Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced Korean speaker, you are eligible to take the TOPIK exam. There is no age restriction for taking the test. 

When filling out the essential information to register at the exam facility in your nation, you must meet all standards. 

As long as you fulfill the registration conditions, it is no problem to take the test in your country or in Korea.

3. Administration of the TOPIK Test

National Institute for International Education (NIIED) plays an important part of the TOPIK test’s overall administration.

The NIIED, which falls under the Ministry of Education, is in charge of regulating how the exam is administered both domestically and abroad.

It monitors the designated institutions which runs the exam sessions and makes sure that specified procedures are followed.

Its goal is to keep TOPIK test registration and results legitimate and trustworthy.


Everything about TOPIK

Now that you are aware of TOPIK and your qualifications to take the test. 

Let’s get started with the more comprehensive section of the TOPIK, which includes information about test locations, difficulty levels, passing scores, and costs. 

You should start making plans to take the TOPIK after considering these key factors.

1. Test Dates and Locations

The TOPIK test is conducted six times a year, with three sessions held only in Korea (January, May, and November) and three sessions conducted both in Korea and overseas (April, July, and October).

The availability of test dates and locations may vary depending on the region.

To stay up to date with the latest information, it is essential to check the official TOPIK website or contact authorized institutions regarding test schedules and locations.

2. TOPIK Levels and Structure

The TOPIK test is divided into two levels: TOPIK-I and TOPIK-II, each with sub-levels that cater to different proficiency levels.

TOPIK-I consists of Level 1 and Level 2, which assess basic understanding and communication skills.

TOPIK-II includes Level 3, Level 4, Level 5, and Level 6, progressively evaluating higher levels of proficiency, including comprehension, analysis, and expression of ideas in various contexts.

Each level of the TOPIK test assesses different aspects of language proficiency, including vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing skills.

The total score obtained in the test determines the level of proficiency on a scale of 1 to 6.

3. Test Format 

TOPIK-I (Level 1-2) consists of reading and listening, assessing vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension.

The test duration is approximately 100 minutes.

TOPIK-II (Level 3-6) includes reading, listening, and writing, evaluating vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing skills.

The test duration is approximately 180 minutes.

Level SectionsTime No of questions Allotted points Total score 
TOPIK I (Level 1&2)Listening 40 mins30100200
Reading 60 mins40100
TOPIK II (Level 3,4,5,6)Listening 60 mins50100300
Writing 50 mins 4100
Reading 70 mins50100

The TOPIK test format underwent revisions after the 35th TOPIK test, with the aim of providing a more comprehensive evaluation of proficiency levels.

4. Passing marks

There is a set passing score for each level of TOPIK that you must reach. Failure to do so will prevent you from receiving the level’s certificate.

You need 80 and 140 points out of 200 respectively for levels 1 and 2.

For levels 3 and 6, however, you require between 120 and 230.

DivisionsPassing marks
TOPIK I (Total 200 marks )Level 180 or more
Level 2140 or more
TOPIK II (Total 300 Marks)Level 3120 or more
Level 4150 or more
Level 5190 or more
Level 6230 or more

5. Required language fluency

The required language skills vary for each level, progressing from basic survival phrases and simple sentences in lower levels to high fluency in professional contexts in higher levels.


6. TOPIK Test centers

A list of test sites is made public, months before registration starts.

For the most recent list of institutions and their contact details, see the official TOPIK website notice section. 

You can download the spreadsheet of the current test.

7. TOPIK fees

The registration fee is generally around 40,000 KRW or  $40 for TOPIK-I, 55,000 KRW or  $55 for TOPIK-II and 80,000 KRW or  $80  for the TOPIK speaking test.

You don’t need to pay for each level separately.

Usually, the conducting institutions informs about the fees for the TOPIK exam.

However, you can also refer to the Excel sheet available on the official TOPIK website for detailed information on the examination fees.

How to Register for the TOPIK Test?

Registering for the TOPIK test is a straightforward process. Whether you choose to appear for the test in Korea or overseas, the registration typically requires filling out an online application form, selecting the desired test level, and paying the registration fee.

I have provided a detailed article on Registration process in Korea and in your country

How to check TOPIK test result?

TOPIK results are announced one month after the test date. The official TOPIK website makes it easy to find the test results.

The procedures for downloading or printing the TOPIK results are quite straightforward, but if you run into any difficulties. I’ve laid down a step-by-step procedure for examining your TOPIK results.

Validity of TOPIK result

The certificate remains valid for a period of two years.

If you want to utilize the TOPIK certificate to apply for a job or study in Korea after the expiration date, you must retake the exam. 

There’s no limit as to how many times you take the test.

Should you take the TOPIK test?

Yes, if you are an avid Korean language learner and want to assess your Korean proficiency, you should consider taking the TOPIK test at least once in your life.
It will give you the opportunity to evaluate your language skills and potentially open doors to new opportunities, whether it be for studying abroad or working in multinational companies, as the test helps determine your Korean language proficiency.

What is the easiest TOPIK Level?

The easiest TOPIK level is TOPIK I level 1. To pass level 1, you need to memorize approximately 2000 words.

Can you take the TOPIK test online? 

No, you cannot take the TOPIK test online. NIIED (National Institute for International Education) designates specific exam centers across the country where you have to register and physically attend the exam.

TOPIK Study Guide

I’ve given you the tools you need to start getting ready for TOPIK.

To become familiar with the question papers first, I advise checking out the sample paper and the test format.

Go over the resources I have prepared for you on my recommended list.

Once you’ve gathered all the resources, can go through some valuable suggestions on enhancing your study approach to excel in the TOPIK test.

1. Sample Papers

Going  through previous years and sample test papers is the most valuable resource when preparing for TOPIK. 

You can get access to the old test papers in the official TOPIK website. You can download the test papers, familiarize yourself with the structure and gain confidence in answering different question types.

It also helps you to evaluate your current level for the TOPIK test and areas of improvement.

2. Complete Reliable TOPIK Resources

To achieve high scores in the TOPIK test, it is essential for you to utilize reliable study resources.

You should consider using textbooks specifically designed for TOPIK preparation, enrolling in online courses, and making use of language learning apps.

Additionally, find appropriate vocabulary and grammar guides to enhance your skills. Authentic Korean materials like books, newspapers, and podcasts will also be beneficial.

Remember to choose resources that align with your proficiency level and cater to your learning style.

3. Tips for TOPIK preparation

You can design your study plan and concentrate on areas that need improvement.

Making a study schedule, practicing regularly, and getting feedback from native speakers or language instructors can significantly improve your TOPIK preparation.

By combining self-study, knowledge of the TOPIK format, effective study tips, and a diverse array of resources.

You can optimize your TOPIK preparation and increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome on the test.

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