TOPIK criteria

S-TOPIK (based on criteria outlined on the TOPIK and KICE websites):


Required skills

   1 Basic command of Korean for survival, e.g. greeting and self-introduction, purchasing goods, ordering food, etc.  Express and understand simple everyday conversation (e.g. related to self story, family, hobbies, weather, etc.) and make simple sentences using useful expressions.  Vocabulary ~ 800 words.
   2 Perform necessary daily tasks, such as telephoning, asking for favours, posting and banking.  Discuss familiar and personal topics.  Distinguish formal and informal situations and use correct form.  Vocabulary ~ 1500-2000 words.
   3 Perform fundamental language tasks necessary for daily life.  Interact with people in public facilities and have necessary proficiency for social relationships.  Understand and express by paragraph units regarding intimate social topics.  Understand the use of written and spoken and distinguish their fundamental charcteristics.
   4 Understand news and articles, general social and abstract topics with accuracy and fluency.  Comprehend Korean social and cultural content on the basis of useful idomatic expressions and representative Korean culture.
   5 Approaching fluency.  Be able to use language in professional research fields.  Understand and discuss unfamiliar topics in politics, economics, society, culture, etc.  Use appropriate language for distinguishing formal and informal, written and spoken context.

Perform native-like ability to convey message.  Be able to use language in professional research fields with relative accuracy and fluency.  Understand and express without any problems, but not as fluently as natives.


0-111 Fail to communicate in basic conversation
112-151 Perform minimum level of communication using a limited vocabulary
152-215 Equal to 1st grade in S-TOPIK.  Able to deliver fundamental communication needed in everyday life.  Able to communicate with minimum linguistic skill in business sector using frequently used vocabulary from daily life.
216-279 Equal to 2nd grade in S-TOPIK.   Perform fundamental language functions necessary for daily life.   Able to communicate with basic linguistic skill in business sector using vocabulary from daily life.  
280-339 Equal to 3rd grade in S-TOPIK.  Perform language functions necessary for daily life and social functions without much difficulty.  Able to conduct standard operations in practical business sector
340-400 Equal to 4th grade in S-TOPIK.  Perform language functions necessary for daily life and social affairs with accuracy and fluency.  Perform overall range of general operations but lack ability to manage professional affairs.

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Internal links:

TOPIK introduction

TOPIK tips

Question translations

Beginner vocabulary

Business TOPIK

TOPIK news