Like IELTS and TOEIC for English learners, Topik is a Korean proficiency test which is organized annually by Korea’s National Institute for International Education for people speaking Korean as a second language. Topik has 6 levels of progressive difficulty.
Level 1: Topik 1
To pass Topik 1, learner has to finish Elementary 1 and possess a vocabulary of 800 words and basic grammar structures. At this beginner level, learner can communicate with simple everyday conversations about weather, food, introduction, hobbies, etc.
For those who need a certificate to study in Korea in D4-1 status, Topik 1 is accepted by quite many universities.
Level 2: Topik 2
Topik 2 is higher than Topik 1. And to reach Topik 2, learner has to finish Elementary 2 and employ a vocabulary of 1500-2000 words and more complex sentence structures. At this level, learner can communicate confidently in public places such as post office or bank.
Topik 2 is accepted for studying in Korea in D4-1 and D4-6 statuses.
Level 3: Topik 3
Topik 3 is an intermediate level for Korean learners. At this level, daily communication with Korean people is no difficulty and writing paragraphs and expressing appropriate emotions in the right context are easy.
Reaching Topik 3 means learner can apply for scholarship for a college major in D2 status.
Level 4: Topik 4
At this level, learner can read and understand non-technical articles and documents in Korean and easily communicate in daily life and work. In addition, learner can learn more about culture and people of the land of kimchi, which helps develop network, broaden knowledge and master Korean.
With Topik 4, studying a university major in Korea in D2 status is within reach.
Level 5: Topik 5
This second highest level is for those who has high fluency in using Korean in conversation and professional research or work on a specific area including culture, society, economics, and politics. Learner with Topik 5 can correctly distinguish formal and informal, written and spoken, by context.
Level 6: Topik 6
This highest Topik level means learner can use the Korean language like mother tongue correctly. Learner can also do professional research or work on even unfamiliar areas such as technical, construction, health, etc. without problem.
How to achieve high levels of Topik
1. Identify the target
Identifying the target to reach is the very first step in the conquest of Topik. You need to know the purpose of your learning Korean language. To study abroad, to work abroad or to better perform at work in your country? If you want to study abroad, you need to know which university you are applying for scholarship so that you can be well-prepared. Working abroad may not require a high level of Topik but acceptable communication ability to be able to work in Korea.
2. Plan preparation for Topik
You should create a clear schedule, calculate how long it takes to prepare for Topik and allocate appropriate amounts of time to different sections. Some may need 6 months to achieve Topik 2, others only 3 months, depending on personal capability. So preparation for Topik should be carefully made and subject to your ability.
3. Get to know preparation materials and training center
Learning materials are “weapon” for warriors to conquer Topik. In previous articles, Tomato introduces to you useful materials for learning Korean. Apart from these materials, you should have Topik preparation books for better support. Previous Topik test papers are also very useful. If you want to take up a preparation course, you should find a reputable and reliable training center for guarantee of your result.
4. Register for Topik test
Registration should be done 2 to 3 months before the test. Moreover, there is a limited number of candidates to take exam so you should be quick to get a “slot” at the examination council.
5. Start studying for the test
To start this journey, you should be well-prepared with skills, vocabulary, grammar, listening and writing skills. Different Topik levels require different listening or writing skills. Higher level means bigger difficulty. Hard work, concentration and good understanding of lessons learned will make you confident in this challenging journey.
6. Take a mock test
Taking a mock test is important if you do not know where you are. Assessing your current ability allows you to make suitable changes to your target in the conquest of Topik. At present, a lot of reliable training centers organize Topik mock tests similar to actual ones, which is very useful to you.
Hopefully, this article provides you with more useful information about Korean language and helps you plan your conquest of Topik more correctly and effectively. Additionally, if you have any Korean translation needs, contact Tomato Media for 24/7 quote and support.
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