How many TOPIK levels are there?

Date uploaded March 1, 2024
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The TOPIK exam helps open many doors by evaluating Korean language skills. For universities and jobs, it provides a clear gauge of ability. But its deeper purpose is bringing diverse voices together in Korea.

The test has 6 levels to track progress over time. Scores simply mark the starting point – true growth comes from richer connections through shared language.

But with its different levels and scoring system, navigating the TOPIK can initially feel confusing. This blog aims to answer the question of “How many TOPIK levels are there?” and provide a clear overview of the test’s structure and benefits.


While the old format of TOPIK categorized proficiency into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, the current system, implemented in 2014, simplifies it into two main levels:

  • TOPIK I: This level focuses beginners on fundamentals – basic words, grammar, and comprehension. These are the building blocks for starting conversations and encompasses sublevels 1 and 2.
  • TOPIK II: This level supports growing talents. It measures sublevels 3 through 6 with material that tests a broader vocabulary and more complex grammar structures. This allows intermediate and advanced students to demonstrate comprehension of literature and lectures.

Rather than rigid stages, TOPIK placement now depends on holistically evaluating each test-taker’s total scores. This fresher system aims to appreciate their unique progress precisely, honoring the varied paces individuals blossom at towards language mastery through compassionate discernment.

TOPIK Levels, Passing Score and Language Skills Required

A more thorough breakdown of the minimum points required to pass, and language skills required for each level are given below.

Examination Level Level Passing Score Language Sk

ills Required

TOPIK I (max 200 points) 1 80+ points Capable of engaging in simple interactions covering essential daily tasks like introducing oneself, shopping, and ordering food. 

Capable of forming uncomplicated sentences using around 800 fundamental words and demonstrating comprehension of elementary grammar.

2 140+ points Capable of engaging in basic discussions about everyday activities like making phone calls and requesting favors, as well as utilizing public amenities. (Able to employ around 1,500 to 2,000 words and comprehend familiar topics presented in a specific structure, such as paragraphs.) 

Skilled at employing both formal and informal language based on the context.

TOPIK II (max 300 points) 3 120+ points Capable of carrying out fundamental language tasks needed to utilize different public amenities and uphold social connections, without encountering notable challenges in everyday life. 

Capable of articulating or grasping familiar social topics, as well as specific subjects related to the paragraph’s context. 

Proficient in comprehending and utilizing written and spoken language with respect to their unique foundational features.

4 150+ points Capable of executing linguistic tasks needed to utilize different public amenities and uphold social connections, as well as effectively manage these tasks to a certain extent vital for carrying out everyday responsibilities. 

Capable of utilizing diverse public amenities, engaging in social interactions, and performing some level of typical work. 

Can comprehend simple segments in news broadcasts and newspapers, understand and employ phrases connected to social and abstract topics relatively accurately and fluently. 

Can grasp societal and cultural subjects through an understanding of Korean culture along with frequently utilized idiomatic expressions.

5 190+ points Capable of carrying out language-related tasks essential for research and professional activities. 

Capable of comprehending and employing terminology related to unfamiliar areas such as politics, economics, society, and culture in appropriate ways based on the formality and context.

6 230+ points Capable of carrying out linguistic tasks required for research and professional duties with accuracy and ease.

Can comprehend and utilize vocabulary related to topics in politics, economics, society, and culture even when unfamiliar.

No challenges in performing tasks or conveying information, although the proficiency is not on par with that of a native speaker who has received university education.

Test Structure

The TOPIK test is divided into 3 sections. In order to pass the exam, a candidate must be proficient in all aspects. TOPIK I tests Listening and Reading whereas TOPIK II tests all sections i.e., Listening, Writing, and Reading. The question types for each section can be better understood by the table below:

Questions Time allotted Question Types
Listening TOPIK I 30 questions 40 minutes Listen to the conversation and select the correct topic

Listen to the dialogue and choose what the speaker will say next

Listen to the dialogue and choose the right image

TOPIK II 50 questions 60 minutes Listen to the conversation and select the correct image

Listen to the conversation and choose the suitable graph/chart

Listen to the dialogue and select what the speaker will say next 

Listen to the discussion and pick out a relevant topic

Listen to the dialogue and respond to inquiries

Listen to the presentation and answer questions

Writing TOPIK I N/A N/A N/A
TOPIK II 4 questions 50 minutes Please fill in the missing information by reading the passage

Describe a chart 

Write an essay on given topics

Reading TOPIK I 40 questions 60 minutes Review the sentences and select the topic

Read the sentences and complete the blank space

Match the appropriate description with the pictures

Study the passage and respond to the questions

TOPIK II 50 questions 70 minutes Vocabulary

Examine the images/graphs and select the suitable explanation

Rearrange the sentences in the right sequence

Review the passages and pick the accurate response

Analyze the newspaper headline and choose an interpretation 

Interpret the literary piece and respond to inquiries

Advantages of the TOPIK Test

So after knowing about the actual test, you might be wondering why sitting for the test is a good idea? Taking the TOPIK offers a host of advantages:

  • The TOPIK certificate holds significant importance in various aspects related to Korean residency, education, and employment.
  • It is not only a requirement for obtaining a residency visa but also serves as an essential credential when pursuing academic or professional opportunities in Korea.
  • Additionally, major Korean companies operating in Vietnam consider TOPIK certification as a prerequisite when recruiting personnel.
  • Moreover, universities in Vietnam have integrated the results of the TOPIK test into their admissions process and employ it as an exit requirement for students majoring in Korean language studies.
  • After taking the TOPIK test, you can identify your current skill level and improve on areas you are weak in. It can also serve as a motivational tool and set your future goals.


If you’re new to learning Korean or an experienced student aiming to showcase your skills, the TOPIK exam provides a great chance to prove yourself and access academic and career opportunities.

Familiarizing yourself with the various proficiency levels will help you start your TOPIK journey with confidence and attain your language objectives.

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