How good is your Korean language? You can get an exact level by taking the 2021 TOPIK test, the most famous Korean language proficiency exam worldwide.
The unmatched popularity of K-pop, K-drama, and other cultural aspects of Korea inspire a global increase in learning the Korean language.
If you are one of the Korean language learners, you may desire to find your current capability. The TOPIK test can be a fabulous choice for a variety of reasons.
Here in this article, you can also find out about fees, dates, centers, understanding the test structure, question format, marking system, preparation, and much more.
- 1. What is TOPIK?
All About Test of Proficiency in Korean
- 2.1. Eligibility criteria & who can take it?
- 2.2. What are the various levels?
- 2.3. Syllabus for different levels
- 2.4. TOPIK test structure
- 2.5. Question formats
- 2.6. Passing marks for TOPIK
- 2.7. How to register for the TOPIK exam?
- 2.8. What is the validity of TOPIK?
- 2.9. 2021 TOPIK exam dates
- 2.10. TOPIK test centers in 2021
- 2.11. What is the fee?
- 2.12. Test result announcements
- 2.13. Contact details
- 3. How to prepare for the TOPIK test?
What is TOPIK?
The Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK exam) is a standardized examination that evaluates Korean language skills.
The Korea Research Foundation started in 1997 to verify the strength of the candidates’ Korean language fluency.
This exam is only for non-native populations.
The types of TOPIK test
There are three. The standard TOPIK (S-TOPIK) is the most popular one. However, the candidates have two more alternatives — B-TOPIK (Business TOPIK) and EPS-TOPIK (Employment Permit System).
In addition to this, there is another one — the KLAT test, which I’ll cover in the next article.
These two examinations serve specific purposes, like to work in South Korea as a professional or migrant laborer. I’ll cover more on these later.
Who conducts the exam?
The National Institute for International Education (NIIED — 국립국제교육원) administers the TOPIK globally since 2011.
NIIED, part of the government, with the support of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology of the Republic of Korea, manages different aspects of the test.
Recognition of TOPIK worldwide
TOPIK (한국어능력시험), i.e., Test of Proficiency in Korean, is the most popular Korean ability exam across the globe.
From a comfortable stay in South Korea to jobs requiring the Korean language, TOPIK is an excellent value-add to your profile.
Nearly all the organizations, public and private universities, and government bodies accept and trust TOPIK certification.
Should you take the TOPIK Test?
There are several advantages associated with the TOPIK. This is an international exam designed to help non-natives to certify their talents.
It is useful for foreigners who want to work or study in South Korea but do not speak Korean as their mother tongue.
The Korean knowledge alone might not show your language skills to your potential employers.
Most companies expect documentary evidence before the interview. In that scenario, TOPIK credentials can help you cross the initial hurdles of short-listing.
This boosts scholarship opportunities, getting visas, and permanent residency in South Korea.
Plus, this confirms your current understanding and motivates you to improve more. That raises your confidence.
All About Test of Proficiency in Korean
The TOPIK (한국어능력시험) is the most sought-after Korean ability test for non-native Koreans speakers and Korean diasporas.
Let’s find everything about it.
Eligibility criteria & who can take it?
There are no special prerequisite qualifications and guidelines.
Any foreigner who does not speak Korean as a native language or overseas Korean can appear for the TOPIK to check the current competency level.
There is no minimum age limit either.
What are the various levels?
It has two broad categories — levels 1 and 2, and further subdivided into six distinct groups.
TOPIK I is the Korean test for beginners and comprises two sublevels (levels 1 and 2).
TOPIK II includes intermediate and advanced levels and has four sublevels (level 3, 4, 5, and 6).
Syllabus for different levels
Level 1 covers elementary Korean, like basic linguistic terminology, simple sentence formations, and roughly 800 vocabularies.
Conversely, level 6, i.e., the most difficult one, is for those who have achieved a near-native level of fluency.
The below-mentioned are linguistic competence for individual levels you need to prepare.
You can also check the last few years’ question papers and sample materials to get an overall idea.
TOPIK test structure
TOPIK test covers the Korean language in listening, reading, and writing skills on different levels: beginner, intermediate or advanced.
The TOPIK-I duration is 100 minutes and contains a reading (60 minutes) and listening comprehension part (40 minutes).
The TOPIK–II comprises a 3-hour examing a break. It has 3 sections — writing (70 minutes), reading, and listening (110 minutes combined).
TOPIK test has no speaking section, but from 2023, they will introduce the speaking part.
The format is primarily an MCQ (multiple-choice questions). However, the written test that requires brief answers is there at the TOPIK II level.
TOPIK I (Level 1-2) has 70 MCQs, including 30 in listening and 40 in reading. The total mark is 200, and the test duration is 100 Minutes.
TOPIK II (Level 3-6) has 104 questions that include 50 MCQ in listening, 50 MCQ in reading, and 4 essay-type short-answer. The total mark is 300, and the test time is 180 Minutes.
Passing marks for TOPIK
The passing score varies as per the level.
For levels 1 and 2, you need 80 and 140 out of 200. In contrast, it ranges between 120 and 230 for levels 3 to 6.
You can check the table below for the score you need to earn for your target levels.
|TOPIK Levels||Passing Points (Range)|
|Level 1||80 – 139|
|Level 2||140 – 200|
|Level 3||120 – 149|
|Level 4||150 – 189|
|Level 5||190 – 229|
|Level 6||230 – 300|
How to register for the TOPIK exam?
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea operates the TOPIK test in most countries.
The King Sejong Institute, Korean cultural center, and some other collaborated institutions also facilitate and take the applications.
In Korea, you can register online on the official website TOPIK.go.kr. Visit the site, choose the level and test center, and last, make the payment.
The documents required for application may differ.
So you can get in touch with the nearby center. In most cases, you need two passport-sized photos, an identity card, and the registration fee.
What is the validity of TOPIK?
TOPIK is valid for 2 years only from the date of test result notifications.
Once this expires, you require retaking it to count officially.
2021 TOPIK exam dates
They hold the examination six times a year, mainly on Sunday, with no scheduled date changes.
January, May, and November are only for Korea, whereas April, July, and October are for all countries, including South Korea.
|Exam||Test Dates||Registration Period||Result Dates||Locations|
|74th TOPIK||January 10, 2021||12.08.2020 – 14.12.2020||February 3||Korea|
|75th TOPIK||April 10-11, 2021||29.01.2021 – 04.02.2021||May 20||Korea/Overseas|
|76th TOPIK||May 16, 2021||09.03.2021 – 15.03.2021||June 30||Korea|
|77th TOPIK||July 11, 2021||21.05.2021 – 27.05.2021||August 19||Korea/Overseas|
|78th TOPIK||October 16-17, 2021||03.08.2021 – 09.08.2021||November 25||Korea/Overseas|
|79th TOPIK||November 14, 2021||07.09.2021 – 13.09.2021||December 23||Korea|
The dates vary depending on the country. Check with your local testing centers.
They conduct two sublevels of TOPIK-I in the morning and four of TOPIK-II in the morning and afternoon. Thus, this enables you to take both on the same day if you wish.
TOPIK test centers in 2021
As of February 2021, there are 314 testing centers, with 54 in South Korea and the remaining exam centers in 87 different nations.
What is the fee?
The cost depends on the level you sign up for and the country you choose to do it.
The registration price is KRW 35,000 for TOPIK I (level 1-2) and KRW 40,000 for TOPIK II (level 3-6) in South Korea.
In the USA, the fee is $20 to $30. In comparison, it ranges between ₹ 800 to 1000 in India.
Test result announcements
You can check your test result at the TOPIK website. They also send the score reports to all candidates, irrespective of success and failure. You can also print the scores within a 2-year valid period.
You need to input the test number, application number, and birth date to know your precise scores.
The report also comprises the total, average, and individual scores and whether you pass or fail.
If you have more questions about TOPIK, you can call 02-3668-1331 (Korea), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their site.
How to prepare for the TOPIK test?
Many consider Korean as one of the most challenging languages to learn. The USA’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has likewise added it in category IV (Super-hard languages).
The good news is that there are ways to make is more straightforward.
There is an abundance of books, teachers, audio and video tutoring, language apps, websites, and online lessons. The list goes on.
The bad news is that you still have to dedicate time to study.
There are no magic wands that will quickly make all those vocabularies, connectors, pronunciation, varying verb ending forms, and honorifics appear in your brain.
First, make a proper study plan and find a teacher or enroll in any language school as an experienced tutor will enhance your progress more efficiently.
Don’t get stuck. Be consistent with your learning approaches. You can also watch some dramas and movies to learn Korean.
To check your current abilities, you can try some practice tests readily available on the internet.
You can also attempt plenty of previous year’s question papers and samples to help you out in the goal.
Of course, it requires lots of hard work and perseverance, but that’s the route it is with most worthwhile studies.
The TOPIK test certification can add meaningful value to your C.V. and assist you with immense success in all of your personal and professional endeavors!
Are you planning to take the exam? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.