TOPIK Leveling UP: Developmental Milestones along your path to Second Language Acquisition

levels-title So, you're considering taking the TOPIK test? Here's a breakdown of the evaluation policies and expectations posted on the StudyTOPIK website. Think of these as your developmental milestones along the road to Korean maturity. (Or unlockable achievements in the video game of 한국어배우기):

Level 1:

Beginner (초급 50%)

Can you:
  • Introduce yourself
  • Check prices and buy stuff
  • Order food
  • Make small talk (the weather, your hobbies, your family)
Do you know:
  • 800 words
  • Simple sentence structure (S + O + V)
Congratulations! You have achieved the rank of 3-year-old Korean child!  level-1 Possible Rewards at this level:

Level 2:

Beginner (초급 70%)

Can you:
  • Make and understand simple phone calls
  • Make and understand simple requests
  • Read simple paragraphs
  • Go to the bank or post office without a translator
Do you know:
  • 1,500-2,000 words
  • The difference between language used in private and public
  • More basic grammar structures
Congratulations! You've achieved the rank of 5-year-old Korean child! level-2 Possible Rewards at this level:

Level 3:

Intermediate (중급 50%)

Can you:
  • Maintain social relationships comfortably
  • Make new friends in Korean
  • Get around with relative ease
Do you know:
  • 3,000 words
  • All basic grammar structures, and many intermediate ones
  • The difference between written and spoken Korean
Congratulations! You've achieved the rank of Korean 1st-grader! level-3 Possible Rewards at this level:
  • 10 points toward your F-2-7 Visa!
  • University admission
  • Graduate school admission (*maybe - level 4 recommended)
  • Government invitation as a foreign student
  • Confidence in Korean!

Level 4:

Intermediate (중급 70%)

Can you:
  • Communicate comfortably
  • Do basic business work
  • Read a simple newspaper
  • Understand social and abstract topics fluently
Do you know:
  • 4,000-4,500 words
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Some hanja (Chinese letters)
  • Some idiomatic expressions
  • All intermediate grammar structures
Congratulations! You've achieved the rank of Korean 3rd-grader! level-4 Possible Rewards at this level:
  • 10 points toward your F-2-7 Visa!
  • University admission
  • Graduate school admission (*likely)
  • Government invitation as a foreign student
  • Possible work Visa in a Korean company
  • Competence in Korean!

Level 5:

Advanced (고급 50%)

Can you:
  • Do research
  • Perform tasks in professional sectors
  • Understand unfamiliar topics like politics, the economy, culture or society
  • Understand and break apart idioms
  • Read newspapers with little difficulty
Do you know: Congratulations! You've achieved the rank of Korean middle-schooler! level-5 Possible Rewards at this level:
  • 20 points toward your F-2-7 Visa!
  • University admission
  • Graduate school admission
  • Scholarship consideration
  • Domestic doctor's license
  • Korean teacher's license
  • Probable work Visa in a Korean company
  • Beginning translation work
  • A capable Korean speaker!

Level 6:

Advanced (고급 70%)

Can you:
  • Read newspapers fluently
  • Fluently understand research
  • Fluently perform tasks in the professional sector
  • Actively participate in conversations about unfamiliar topics like politics, the economy, culture or society
  • Communicate in a variety of situations with no difficulties
Do you know: Congratulations! You've achieved the rank of Korean high school graduate! level-6 Possible Rewards at this level:
  • 20 points toward your F-2-7 Visa!
  • University admission
  • Graduate school admission
  • Scholarship consideration
  • Domestic doctor's license
  • Korean teacher's license
  • Work Visa in a Korean company
  • Translation work
  • ANYTHING your heart desires!~ (within reason)
  • A courageous and champion Korean speaker!

Bonus Round

But, you're learning is not yet finished! In the bonus level that is Korean university, students are exposed to an additional 1,000 hanja, as well as more complicated research and vocabulary.

So, what's your current level of Korean? Are you smarter than a 1st-grader? Want to level up?

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