TOPIK: Korean Language Test

TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) is supervised by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED), Ministry of Education of South Korea. The objective of the test is to evaluate Korean Language Proficiency for those who don’t speak Korean as native tongue, promoting the usage of Korean Language. 
(Cover image source from / copyright 2014 NIEED)

TOPIK consists of two types:
TOPIKⅠis for novice level and TOPIKⅡ is for intermediate and advanced level. Score level(Level 1~6) is determined by the total scores achieved. The table below is the range of total scores for each level.

TOPIKⅠhas two sections- Listening comprehension and Reading comprehension. Each section is multiple-choice test type, with 30 and 40 questions. 100 for each section, makes the total score range 0 to 200. TOPIKⅡ consists of three sections which are Listening comprehension, Reading comprehension, and Writing. Listening and Reading sections are as same as TOPIKⅠ, but writing section has supply type test. The Listening and Reading sections are 50 questions for each, and the writing section has 4 questions. The total score range is 0~300.

Writing section in TOPIKⅡ has 2 types of questions: Sentence completion type and Essay type. Sentence completion type requires an answer with a short sentence. Essay type is divided into 2 types: For intermediate level, it is required to write a descriptive essay with 200-300 letters. For intermediate and advanced level of test applicants, they should write an argumentative essay with 600-700 letters.

TOPIK test is held 6 times a year worldwide, usually in January(only in Korea), March, April, July, October, and November. The specific schedule is notified on the official website( in the beginning of the year. There are test venues in 62 regions in South Korea, and overseas 250 regions in 86 nations. Especially with the COVID-19, the test schedule or venue could be changed all the time, so you should check out the Notice on the website in advance.

What can I get with the TOPIK test result?

The TOPIK test result is useful especially for a Visa holder. For example, the university asks you to send them a certificate of TOPIK as one of the requirements. So that they can review your application and step forward to the visa procedure. Each university has different requirements for TOPIK, but generally it is recommended TOPIK level 3 for admission, and level 4 or above for graduation.

Since the requirements are all different, you might as well check the application guideline on the website of the university. For example, Yonsei University requires you to submit the certification of TOPIK but you could send the certification of enrollment of the Institute of Korean Language in korean university as well. In case you don’t have any of these, you should take Korean Proficiency test on campus.

Like this, it is natural for the university to ask applicants to take the Korean proficiency test on campus or to get TOPIK level 3 or above level within a year. It is for students’ sake, to avoid any inconvenience and difficulties of their daily life in Korea. The good news is that a number of universities such as Korea University, Chungang University offer scholarships for international students who get the TOPIK level 4 and above level. Plus, PhD.GO is preparing for the service that helps you find the scholarship from universities. Stay tuned for further service! ?

How to prepare TOPIK in your home country

If you visit the official TOPIK website(, you will find the banner on the right side, saying ‘STUDY TOPIK’. By clicking the banner, you can download the previous TOPIK test papers. The website provides a short video lecture for free. These video clips are provided in Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, Russian, Mongolian, Khmer, and Myanmar.

2. Sejong Hakdang (세종학당)
The Sejong Hakdang, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is a website where users all over the world can learn Korean language and culture. Various learning materials such as Korean language e-book, cartoons, and videos are provided for free.

3. Youtube and other websites
Search TOPIK on Youtube or Google, you could find lots of videos and websites such as Master TOPIK, Talkingkorea, TOPIKguide. Some websites provide online courses and mock test.

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