TOPIK Test 2024 – An Ultimate Guide

Do you speak Korean? Check your level by taking the 2024 TOPIK test, the most popular Korean proficiency exam.

TOPIK test

Do you speak Korean? 한국어 할 줄 아세요? How good is your Korean? Find out your exact level by taking the TOPIK test, the most popular Korean language proficiency exam.

Today, more and more people are learning Korean because of the ever-growing popularity of Hallyu, i.e., K-Pop, K-Drama, K-Movies, and other vivid cultural aspects.

It is a unique opportunity to connect 75 million people worldwide. The career outlook is another fascinating reason many aspire to dive deep into an enthralling world of everything Korean. It is a unique opportunity to connect 75 million people worldwide.

Are you serious about studying Korean or already know to some extent but doubtful of your current strength?

Taking the Korean TOPIK test could be an outstanding idea to gauge your current competency level.

And by doing this, you will also earn the official certification accepted and recognized across the planet.

You’ll find authentic information about various TOPIK exams in this article.

You will also know the 2024 registration process, understand the test structure, question format, marking system, preparation, and details about examination centers, fees, and dates.

What is TOPIK?

Test of Proficiency in Korean (한국어능력시험), i.e., TOPIK is the world’s most famous Korean language ability test for non-native Korean.

Established in 1997 by the Korea Research Foundation, the TOPIK is a standardized, internationally acknowledged qualification to measure Korean. It certifies the degree of competence and mastery of the Korean language of non-native speakers across the globe.

When the first TOPIK examination took place in 1997, only 2,274 candidates appeared for the test. By 2019, the number rose to a staggering 300,068. That is almost an increase of 132 times in just over two decades!

Korean proficiency Test

Who conducts the Korean TOPIK test?

The National Institute for International Education (NIIED, 국립국제교육원) has conducted the TOPIK exam worldwide since 2011.

It is an organization under the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Republic of Korea. (국립국제교육원.)

Acceptance & Recognition

TOPIK test is the most extensively used Korean proficiency test.

Different variants of TOPIK are official certifications awarded by South Korea’s Government institutions. It is globally trusted and approved by companies, public and private educational establishments, and governments.

Benefits & Importance of TOPIK Tests

There are several obvious advantages. Here are some important ones.

1. Study or work in Korea

South Korea is primarily a monolingual country. For most jobs there, you need to have a strong command of the Korean language.

If you plan to study or work in South Korea, the TOPIK can add excellent value to your profile. It will be helpful while applying to various Korean universities or companies.

While the requirement varies, many colleges and businesses expect you to pass a certain level of TOPIK, ranging from level 3 to 6.

2. Immigration to South Korea

In the late 1990s, Korea opened its door to foreign workers, mainly labor-intensive and other business sectors. And then, elementary Korean skills became a prerequisite for those seeking jobs.

TOPIK levels

Suppose you intend to apply for a permanent residency or an opportunity to participate in the “Korea Immigration and Integration Program” (KIIP) by the Ministry of Justice or any other South Korea visa.

In all these situations, the different versions of the TOPIK score can play an indispensable role.

3. It helps you get scholarships

South Korea offers scholarships like GKS (previously known as KGSP Korean Government Scholarship Program) to deserving international students.

Several top-ranked universities such as Seoul National University (SNU), Yonsei, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), POSTECH, EWU, Sogang, Kyung Hee, Hankuk, KAIST, Hanyang, Korea University (KU) offer individual grants and scholarships for a variety of programs.

A Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) participant or any such program might not require a Korean-level test score. However, it can boost your chances of gaining these scholarships.

4. It opens many career opportunities worldwide

Besides the positive reasons to learn a language, there are many notable benefits of studying to communicate in Korean.

For example, it opens a world of career possibilities requiring languages.

Suppose you’re seeking jobs in Korean companies or organizations that deal with South Korea anywhere globally. In that case, the ability to speak Korean makes your CV stand out in the crowd.

Instead of asking, “Do you know Korean, the most likely question in the interview would be, “What TOPIK level did you succeed in?”

It is an outcome of your Korean language test document in your resume.

Generally, you must accomplish at least TOPIK level 5 to work as a Korean language specialist. Jobs include teacher, translator, interpreter, and content writer, to name a few.

5. To know your exact level & motivates you

If you’ve been learning Korean for quite some time, you reasonably want to confirm your expertise. In that scenario, the TOPIK score gives you a precise competency level.

By taking the exam, you will know your current knowledge and focus on the parts you need to improve further and fill the gap. It will assist you in planning for the next exam in a better way.

It will also encourage you to continue to achieve more learning goals in the Korean language. It is, undoubtedly, a big confidence booster right when you pass.

Types of TOPIK exam

There are three kinds of Tests of Proficiency in Korean: S-TOPIK, B-TOPIK, and EPS-TOPIK.

While all these exams are internationally recognized, the selection depends on your personal or professional aspirations.

You need to pick the most appropriate one according to your needs and better regarding the availability of testing centers and associated privileges.

1. Test of Proficiency in Korean (Standard TOPIK)

The standard TOPIK is the most sought-after Korean fluency test for non-native and overseas Koreans.

What are the eligibility criteria?

There is no special requirement. Any overseas Korean or foreigner who does not speak Korean as a mother tongue can take the TOPIK test to check out their knowledge of Korean.

A Breakdown of the TOPIK Test structure

The TOPIK tests the candidate’s Korean reading, listening comprehension, and writing skills during the 100 to 180-minute examination.

Test of proficiency in Korean

TOPIK – I duration is 100 minutes and comprises a reading and listening section. The TOPIK – II consists of a 3-hour exam, including a break, and contains reading, listening, and writing parts.

The TOPIK comprises primarily multiple-choice questions. However, the TOPIK II level writing test also entails a short answer.

What are the passing marks for TOPIK?

The passing marks differ depending on the level. For instance, for TOPIK level 1, one needs 80/200. It compares to a minimum of 230/300 for TOPIK level 6.

Check the below image for the level and the corresponding scores required to pass.

TOPIK pass marks

Test Centers around the world in 2024

As of January 2024, there are 54 testing venues in South Korea and 50 overseas centers in the rest of the world. Overall, there are 314 TOPIK examination locations in 87 countries.

There are 5 test centers in India — Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Manipur, and Ranchi.

What is the validity of the TOPIK score?

Most popular exams like DELF & DALF, CILS & CELI, ZD & TestDaF diplomas never expire and are valid for life. However, the TOPIK score is valid for only two (2) years from the announcement of the examination results.

You can access your result online at the official TOPIK website and print it within the valid period. Once it expires, you need to retake it to count officially.

What are the TOPIK levels?

It has three broad categories — Beginner (초급), Intermediate (중급), and Advanced (고급), and is further subdivided into six distinct levels.

TOPIK I is the Korean test for beginners and comprises two sublevels (1 and 2).

TOPIK II combines intermediate and advanced groups with four sublevels (3, 4, 5, and 6).

2024 TOPIK Test Dates

NIIED organizes TOPIK 6 times a year. The January test is only held in Korea. In contrast, April, May, July, October, and November are conducted in Korea and overseas.

In India, they organize TOPIK twice a year, in April and October.

Usually, they conduct two sublevels of TOPIK-I in the morning. In contrast, they administer levels 3 to 6 of TOPIK-II in the afternoon, including a break.

Check the 2024 TOPIK test dates below.

2024 TOPIK PBT (Paper-based test)
ExamRegistration PeriodTest DatesResult DatesLocations
92ndDec 05, 2023 – Dec 11, 2023January 21, 2024February 23Korea
93rdFeb 13, 2024 – Feb 19, 2024April 13-14, 2024May 30Korea/ Overseas
94thMarch 12, 2024 – March 18, 2024May 12, 2024June 27Korea
95th May 21, 2024 – May 27, 2024July 13-14, 2024August 22Korea/ Overseas
96thAug 06, 2024 – Aug 12, 2024October 12-13, 2024November 28Korea/ Overseas
97th Sept 03, 2024 – Sept 09, 2024November 10, 2024December 19Korea
2024 TOPIK Speaking test dates
ExamRegistration Period Test Dates Result DatesLocation
4th TOPIK Speaking Jan 16, 2024 – Feb 02, 2024March 23, 2024April 18, 2024Korea only
5th TOPIK Speaking April 09, 2024 – April 26, 2024June 08, 2024July 04, 2024Korea only
6th TOPIK Speaking July 23, 2024 – Aug 09, 2024Sept 28, 2024Oct 24, 2024Korea only
2024 TOPIK IBT (Internet-Based Test)
ExamRegistration Period Test Dates Result DatesLocation
2nd TOPIK IBT Jan 16, 2024 – Feb 02, 2024March 22-23, 2024April 16, 2024Globally
3rd TOPIK IBT April 09, 2024 – April 26, 2024June 07-08, 2024July 02, 2024Globally
4th TOPIK IBT July 23, 2024 – Aug 09, 2024Sept 27-28, 2024Oct 22, 2024Globally

What is the examination fee?

The exam fees will depend on the TOPIK level you sign up for and the country you select to do it.

The price is nominal compared to other popular language tests like SIELE, HSK, TCF, and TEF Canada.

For example, the cost is $20 to $30 in the USA. It varies between ₹ 800 to 1000 and 250,000 to 350,000 VND in India and Vietnam, respectively.

How can I register for the TOPIK Test?

In most countries, the embassy of the Republic of Korea administers the TOPIK examinations. The Korean Cultural Center or King Sejong Institute also facilitates and accepts applications.

You can get in touch with the nearest centers. You can carry two passport-sized photographs, the registration fee, and a photo identity card like a driver’s license or passport. Finally, fill out the complete application form.

How to prepare for TOPIK?

Self-study, perseverance, interest, and consistent practice are the keys to success in TOPIK.

TOPIK exam

You can take the help of language apps, books, and online sources. But don’t expect eloquence or assistance to clear a higher level of TOPIK. A vast majority of these resources are geared more towards novice learners.

You can surely learn Hangul in only a few days. Korean is a challenging language, requiring several years of effort and commitment to achieve meaningful fluency.

Enrolling in Korean courses near you or finding an experienced teacher will be more beneficial. There are plenty of Korean learning centers in different parts of the world, thanks to a surge in demand.

2. B-TOPIK (Business TOPIK)

In addition to S-TOPIK (standard one), there is another, i.e., B-TOPIK (the Business TOPIK). It is precisely for candidates who aim to work in South Korea.

Composition of Test sections for B-TOPIK

There are four compulsory sections — writing, reading, listening, and vocabulary & grammar. There are two 90-minute sessions. Each segment provides a maximum of 100 marks; all questions are MCQs.

It is a fail-proof exam, and you will score between 0 and 400, resulting from the sum of your points from each of the four tests.

So, without passing, failing, or getting any specific grade, you only find your total number.

3. EPS-TOPIK

The EPS-TOPIK evaluates the Korean language skills of migrant workers seeking employment in Korean manufacturing, agriculture, or labor-related industries.

The Employment Permit System, i.e., EPS-TOPIK, covers the applicant’s Korean language through reading and listening sections. It also involves a fundamental understanding of Korean culture, occupational safety, and health-related topics.

Eligibility, exam format, and validity

The age acceptability is between 18 and 39. The validity of EPS-TOPIK is two years from the release date of the test result. Once the actual term expires, you have to give the EPS-TOPIK again.

The test paper comprises 20 questions each in listening and reading comprehension. All questions are MCQs, and the total time is 70 minutes.

EPS TOPIK test structure

You need to earn 80 out of 200 maximum marks to pass. They also list a curated one with the highest score from the top.

You can check the free e-book and questions for EPS-TOPIK → Download.

The EPS-TOPIK scores help you gain the required qualification to be registered in the EPS Pool through the Job application. Still, it does not guarantee employment in Korea. You have to find one on your own.

Test Centers, Dates, and Fees for EPS-TOPIK

As per EPS TOPIK January 2024, the exam is conducted only once yearly at 27 centers in 16 countries, mainly in East and South Asia. There is no EPS TOPIK test center in India.

Most Common Frequently Asked Questions

Which Korean Proficiency Test Should I Take?

While all three have their pros and cons, the standard TOPIK test is most widely accepted, demanded, and suitable for academic and career goals.

Do you have any questions or perplexed about something? Let the comments flow like Korean calligraphy Seoye (서예).

23 thoughts on “TOPIK Test 2024 – An Ultimate Guide”

  1. Avatar

    Hello,
    I am considering writing TOPIK 2 in April 2022. Had a few questions regarding that:
    1. If I have not given TOPIK 1, can I give TOPIK 2 directly? (I have been formally learning for about a year now)
    2. If I am not happy with my TOPIK 2 score, can I write it again in October? If I can, then on what basis is the score considered?
    a) The more recent one (i.e October 2022)
    b) The best of the two?
    c) Or is it averaged out between the two attempts of April and October? (I noticed a few exams like the SAT’s tend to average out the scores across attempts).

    1. Vikash Gupta

      1. Yes 2. Yes. I guess you can use pick whatever you wish, though not sure. But it doesn’t matter much as TOPIK validity is only 2 years, and mostly only pass/fail is considered.

      1. Vikash Gupta

        When the registration process starts sometime at the end of January 2022. Also, check the testing center if it is possible to manage that.

  2. Avatar

    Can I take topik 2 without giving topik 1? I’m applying for k-arts university and the topik requirement is level 6 so is it possible to do it within 9 months? Any places in India which provide courses for level 6?

    1. Vikash Gupta

      Yes, you can directly take TOPIK-2 without appearing for TOPIK-1. 9 months is not enough to pass level 6. It will take much a few years, but it depends on your learning approach.

    2. Avatar

      I’m giving the topik exam form next year 2022 and I’ll be giving exams for each level until 2024. I’ll apply for college in Korea so at that time will my level 1 and level 2 exams given in 2022 be considered?

      1. Vikash Gupta

        Only if the validity of 2 years isn’t expired, and you don’t need to show level 1 or 2 if you already have higher levels from 3 to 6. The highest level is what matters!

  3. Avatar

    Hello, your helpful responses on this post urged me to reach out. I am currently pursuing an undergrad in chemical engineering and will be applying for a master’s in Korea for the august term starting in 2022. I wanted to ask, when is the optimal time for me to take the test and which level I should ideally take and aim for. And it would also be very helpful if you could suggest where I can take a legitimate Korean language course in preparation for the test.

    1. Vikash Gupta

      The TOPIK score may or may not be compulsory at the university. If required, then mostly level 3 or above. Check with the concerned university. Korean will surely make your stay more comfortable. The course will depend on your location.

    2. Avatar

      Hey, I am also pursuing be chemical engineering and thinking of applying for masters in south Korea. Can we please get in touch? I would like to discuss some things with you.

  4. Avatar

    Sir, is Korean classes for 2021 being conducted at Inko Korean culture centre Chennai? I’m unable to reach them. Are any good online courses available to prepare for and take up TOPIK exams?

    1. Vikash Gupta

      The last time I checked, they were conducting online classes. You can contact them if they are still offering it. I’m checking it, and I will write soon about various online options on JoyofKorean.

  5. Avatar

    Would you please suggest which type of test I should opt for? I’m just an enthusiastic learner, and I’m studying myself. Is there an age limit of all kind of tests, or is it for only who wants to work in Korea?

      1. Avatar

        I speak Korean but not fluently. I will go to Korea after my 12th graduation in college. So I don’t know how to give this exam. It’s online or offline. And what age students can give this exam?

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