Introduction to TOPIK

Are you learning Korean?  Are you interested in attending a Korean university, working for a Korean company or simply checking your Korean proficiency?  If the answers are yes, then why not try the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK)?


WHAT IS TOPIK (한국어능력시험)?

TOPIK  is designed for non-native speakers of Korean (including Koreans who have grown up overseas) who want to check their Korean proficiency.  TOPIK takes place in 32 countries around the world in April and/or September and is administered by the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation. 


There are two forms of the exam: standard (S)-TOPIK and business(B)-TOPIK:

    • S-TOPIK evaluates general Korean proficiency, which may be required for academic situations such as understanding Korean culture and studying in Korea.
    • B-TOPIK measures practical communication ability required for everyday life and employment in Korean companies.

You can obtain past papers of both exams via the TOPIK website.  Just click on 'data room' on the left hand side of the page.



TOPIK is a 3-hour exam, which is split into two 90-minute papers. 

  • Paper 1 examines vocabulary and grammar and writing
  • Paper 2 tests listening and reading comprehension. 

All questions are multiple choice except for the writing section in S-TOPIK (which has some short answer questions and an essay).



There are three different S-TOPIK levels: beginner (초급), intermediate (중급) and advanced (고급).  It is possible to achieve:

  • Grades 1 or 2 in the beginner paper
  • Grades 3 or 4 in the intermediate paper
  • Grades 5 or 6 in the advanced paper

In order to score grades 1, 3 or 5 you need to get an average score over 50%  and not less than 40% in any one section.  To achieve grades 2,4 or 6 you need to get an average score over 70% and not less than 50% in any one section. 

In most countries, the beginner and advanced level TOPIK papers are in the morning and the intermediate and B-TOPIK papers are in the afternoon.



The most recent (13th) TOPIK exam cost W40000 in Korea, £20 in England and $10-$20 in the US.


TOPIK tips

TOPIK criteria

Question translations

Beginner vocabulary

Beginner essays

Business TOPIK

TOPIK news



Sponsored links:

About me:

My name's Dan.  I'm a British postgraduate student and I have a Korean wife. I've been studying Korean for 3 years and am hoping to get level 3 in next year's TOPIK exam.  Enjoy the site!