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Hangul 한국어능력시험
Hanja 韓國語能力試驗
Revised Romanization hangugeo neungnyeok siheom
McCune–Reischauer hangugŏ nŭngnyŏk sihŏm
For the Armenian food, see Topik.

TOPIK, or Test of Proficiency in Korean is a Korean language test offered five times annually (in Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct, Nov) to foreigners in Korea and twice annually (Apr, Oct) to people studying Korean in other countries. TOPIK is administered by the National Institute for International Education - NIIED. (Hangul: 국립국제교육원.)


The test was first administered in 1997 and taken by 2274 people. Initially the test was held only once a year.[1] In 2009, 180,000 people took the test.[2] The Korean government introduced a law in 2007 that required Chinese workers of Korean descent who have no relatives in Korea to take the test so they could be entered in a lottery for visas.[3][4]

In 2012, more than 150,000 candidates took the TOPIK, and the total number of people who have taken the test since its date of inception surpassed 1 million.[5]

Year Number of candidates Ref
1997 2,692 [5]
2006 34,028 [5]
2012 151,166 [5]


The test is divided into four parts: vocabulary & grammar, writing, listening, and reading. There is currently no oral section. Two versions of the test are offered: standard (S)-TOPIK and the business (B)-TOPIK. There are three different levels of S-TOPIK: beginner (초급), intermediate (중급), and advanced (고급). Depending on the average score and minimum marks in each section it is possible to obtain grades 1-2 in beginner, 3-4 in intermediate and 5-6 in advanced S-TOPIK. In B-TOPIK the scores in each section (out of 100) are added together to give a score out of 400.[6] A new format of the TOPIK test will take effect from the 35th TOPIK test to be held in July, 2014. Instead of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level tests, now there will be only two level tests- TOPIK I & TOPIK II. TOPIK I will have sub levels 1 and 2 while TOPIK II will have 4 levels from 3 to 6. Another Important change is that Now the TOPIK I will have only two sections - Reading and Listening, instead of 4 sections in the old format. TOPIK II will have 3 sections - Reading, Listening and Writing. [7]

Testing locations[edit]

In addition to Korea, TOPIK is available in the following countries: Bulgaria, Japan, Taiwan, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Paraguay, Argentina, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Egypt, Belarus, Russia, Brazil and Cambodia.[8] [9] [10] Examination times are divided into three time zones: China and marginal states (China including Hong Kong, Mongolia, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore and Brunei; which shares the same timezone of GMT+8h), Korea and Japan (which shares the same timezone of GMT+9h), and other countries (which follows local time of a specific country).

2014 TOPIK Test dates and countries[edit]

Bout Test date Countries
33rd January 19, 2014 South Korea
34th April 19, 2014 United States, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Paraguay,
France, Turkey, Czech Republic, Egypt, Italy,
Spain, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United Arab Emirates,
Kenya, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, South Africa
April 20, 2014 South Korea, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), United States (Guam and Saipan),
Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia,
Russia, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Bangladesh,
Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Turkmenistan, New Zealand
35th July 20, 2014 South Korea
36th October 11, 2014 United States, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, Paraguay,
Argentina, Italy, Armenia, Spain, Colombia,
Ukraine, Hungary, Mexico, Portugal, United Arab Emirates,
Kenya, Chile, Venezuela, Greece, Cameroon,
Peru, Costa Rica
October 12, 2014 South Korea, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Russia, Australia,
Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore,
Malaysia, Burma, India, Indonesia, Tajikistan,
Azerbaijan, Laos, Pakistan, Cambodia, Iran,
Brunei, New Zealand
37th November 23, 2014 South Korea


  1. ^ "Applications for Int'l Korean-Language Test Double". The Chosun Ilbo. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Kim Hong-jin (11 September 2009). "The Growing Popularity of the Korean Language". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Bae Ji-sook (12 April 2009). "Korean Proficiency Test Getting More Popularity". Korea Times. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  4. ^ "Test Standard Set for Korean-Chinese Workers". Korea Times. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Korean language test-takers pass 1 mil.". The Korea Times. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Examination Guide". KICE. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "Complete Guide to New Changed TOPIK Format". TOPIK GUIDE. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  8. ^ TOPIK
  9. ^ TOPIK testing site at Venice Ca' Foscari University, Italy
  10. ^ TOPIK in Madrid

External links[edit]