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What is TOPIK?

Exam Structure

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The Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) is a Korean language test for foreigners in Korea or people studying Korean in other countries. Administered by the NIIED (National Institute for International Education), TOPIK is for non-natives whose first language is not Korean, overseas Koreans who are learning Korean, those wishing to study at a Korean university, and for those who want to be employed at Korean companies in and outside of Korea.

There are two level tests – TOPIK I & TOPIK II.

  • TOPIK I (basic level) has sub levels 1 and 2 that contain only two sections – Reading and Listening.
  • TOPIK II (Intermediate and advanced level) has 4 sub levels from 3 to 6 that cover Reading, Listening and Writing.

Purpose of TOPIK

  • To propagate and set direction for learning Korean for non-native Korean speakers and overseas Koreans
  • To measure and evaluate their Korean language skills and utilize the results for in-Korea colleges and job-seeking

TOPIK certification grants the following:

  • University admission and academic management of foreign Korean Government Scholars.
  • Local university admission for foreigners and overseas Koreans who have completed 12 years of education abroad.
  • Obtaining working visa for those who want to be employed at Korean companies, and serving as a standard for selecting and managing the employees.
  • Recognizing domestic practitioner license for foreigners with medical doctor qualification.
  • Application for Korean Language Teaching Qualification test (level 2 and 3) and acquisition of certificate.
  • Acquisition of permanent residency right.
  • Application for the issuance of marriage-based immigrant visa.

Exam Structure

There are 2 levels of TOPIK you can opt for when taking the TOPIK test. The first level, TOPIK I, is the basic level with two obtainable grades. The second level, TOPIK II, consists of both intermediate and advanced level with four obtainable grades. The two levels have different exam structures and grading systems that we will explain here.

    TOPIK I – [ Beginner ]

    Exam Structure

    TOPIK I is made up of a 100-minute session. The session is split into “Listening” and “Reading” sections, with the allocated time of 40 minutes and 60 minutes respectively. Each section is allocated 100 marks totalling the maximum score to be 200.


    Test Levels

    Test Level: TOPIK I, TOPIK II

    Grading: 6 Levels (Level 1-6)

    GradingGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6
    Determination of Grade> 80 points> 140 points> 120 points> 150 points> 190 points> 230 points


    Quuestion Structure and Test Timings

    • Questions for Listening and Reading are all in multiple choice. Chooise 1 from 3 provided answers
    LevelSessionArea (Duration)No. of questionsScoreTotal ScoreSeated TimeStart TimeEnd Time
    TOPIK I Grade 1-2One onlyListening (40mins)10020008:15-08:4009:1010:50
    Reading (60mins)40100
    TOPIK II Grade 3-6Session 1Listening (60mins)5010030011:25-115012:2014:10
    Writing (50mins)4100
    Session 2Reading (70mins)5010014:3014:4015:50


    Evaluation on Writing (TOPIK II)

    • 2 parts for Writing – sentences and essays
    • 2 questions of complete sentences; 2 Essays (200-300 words required for Grade 3 or 4, 600-700 words required for Grade 5 or 6).
    Grade 3Evaluate whether the description or appreciation sentences of familiar social material can be constructed relatively accurately and appropriately in paragraphs and assess whether the practical sentences of personal material related to everyday context can be used in a formal way.
    Grade 4Evaluate whether the narrative or commentary of general or familiar social material related to the social context can be constructed accurately and appropriately in paragraph units.
    Grade 5Evaluate whether it is possible to construct comparatively accurate and appropriate essays related to social, abstract material or work or specialty.
    Grade 6Evaluate whether it is possible to accurately and appropriately construct essays related to social, abstract material or work or specialty.

    – Avoided test questions that are not advantageous to any certain language/ linguistic group


    Content of Evaluation Range

    Level & GradeContent
    TOPIK IGrade 1
    • Able to perform basic language functions such as introducing oneself, purchasing products, ordering food and expressing and understanding private as well familiar topics like family, hobby and weather.
    • Able to generate simple sentences using a 800-word basic vocabulary and beginner grammar.
    • Able to form and understand potential, everyday language.
    Grade 2
    • Able to express language functions such as phone calls, asking favors and using public facilities such as post offices and banks.
    • Able to use a 1500 to 2000-word vocabulary to understand and express paragraph involving private and friendly topics.
    • Know how to use language in separate situations – official and unofficial situations.
    TOPIK IIGrade 3
    • Having no difficulty in language functions needed in living an everyday life, using various public facilities and maintaining social relationships.
    • Able to understand and express familiar, specific social topics in units of paragraphs.
    • Able to understand and express basic characteristics of colloquial and written Korean.
    Grade 4
    • Able to perform functions needed in using public facilities, maintain social relationships and carry out normal functions.
    • Able to understand plain content in the news or newspaper columns.
    • Able to fluently understand and express social and abstract themes.
    • Able to understand and express social and cultural content based on an understanding of widely used idiomatic expressions and representative Korean Culture.
    Grade 5
    • Able to express language functions needed in research and work in fields of expertise to a certain extent.
    • Able to use language skills in unfamiliar themes such as politics, economics, society, and culture.
    • Adequately able to use language in official and unofficial context, and in colloquial and literary context.
    Grade 6
    • Able to fluently and perfectly express language functions needed in research and work in fields of expertise.
    • Able to use language skills in unfamiliar themes such as politics, economics, society, and culture.
    • Has no difficulty in language functions or language expressions to a near-native extent.



    Applicant Qualification

    Overseas Koreans and foreigners for whom Korean is a second language (no age limit)
    For those who:

    • Aim to learn the language and enter a Korean university for higher studies
    • Seek jobs in companies and public institutions in Korea and overseas
    • Reside overseas or are attending/graduated from a foreign school


    Validity period

    2 years from date of issue


    How to apply

    In Korea

    If you are in Korea, you can register for the test online on www.topik.go.kr. The registration fee is KRW 35,000 for TOPIK I (level 1-2) and KRW 40,000 for TOPIK II (level 3-6), which can be paid through debit/credit card, online banking or direct bank transfer.

    In Other Countries

    In most countries, the Korean Embassies and Korean Culture Centres (한국문화원) administer the TOPIK tests. Some affiliate institutes also accept the applications. You can get the list of the affiliate institutions in your country our Updates page. For registration, you have to visit the embassy or affiliate institution with 2 passport size photographs and the registration fee (which varies country to country).

    In Malaysia

    You can apply at National University of Malaysia (KL)
    Phone number: 603-8921-6556
    Address: School of Language Studies and Linguistics, FSSK, National University of Malaysia, UKM Bangi 43600, Selangor, Malaysia
    Fees: TOPIKI : Rm 90 TOPIKII : Rm 100
    For more information, please refer to the website: https://blog.naver.com/koreaukm

    In Singapore

    You can apply at Singapore Korean International school by website
    phone number: 65-6741-0778
    address: 71 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore289759
    Fees: TOPIKI : SGD 72 TOPIKII : SGD 80


    Schedule for 2020

    Application PeriodTesting Date(s)Result Announcement Date
    69th TOPIK

    Friday, January 31, 2020 (09:00) ~ Thursday, February 6, 2020 (18:00)

    Saturday, April 11, 2020 ~ Sunday, April 12, 2020Thursday, May 21, 2020
    70th TOPIKTuesday, March 10, 2020 (09:00) ~ Monday, March 16, 2020 (18:00)Saturday, May 23, 2020 ~ Sunday, May 24, 2020Tuesday, June 30, 2020
    71st TOPIKFriday, May 29, 2020 (09:00) ~ Thursday, June 4, 2020 (18:00)Sunday, July 12, 2020Thursday, August 20, 2020
    72nd TOPIKTuesday, August 4, 2020 (09:00) ~ Monday, August 10, 2020 (18:00)Saturday, October 17, 2020 ~ Sunday, October 18, 2020Thursday, November 26, 2020
    73rd TOPIKTuesday, September 8, 2020 (09:00) ~ Monday, September 14, 2020 (18:00)Saturday, November 14, 2020 ~ Sunday, November 15, 2020Thursday, December 24, 2020

    How to check the examination results

    Log on to the website(www.topik.go.kr) to check the results and status of sent score report.

    • Number of times of examination, candidate seat number, and date of birth are needed to check the examination results at the website.
    • Overseas candidates can check the examination results at the website(www.topik.go.kr).


    How to be issued the score report

    1) Issuance through the internet
    Score report can be issued online by using the score report issuance menu at TOPIK website (printable on the day of results announcement)

    2) Receipt by mail
    Receipt by mail The score report will be sent three(3) days after the examination results announcement for Korean candidates. The receipt is not guaranteed because the score report is sent via ordinary mail. Score report which is returned or has incorrect address will not be resent(receivable by visit within 3 months)