There are a number of Korean proficiency tests that can be taken, each with a different objective than others.
Topik (한국어능력시험, Test of Proficiency in Korean), 11 years old, is a Korean language test for foreigners and overseas Koreans (gyopos). It's goal is to assess the student's level of Korean in order to be used for study and finding employment. There are two tests, the S-TOPIK, with the emphasis on academic proficiency in Korean and Korean culture, and the B-TOPIK, with the emphasis on everyday fluency and business-specific proficiency. The name of the organization running the test is the 한국교육과정평가원 (Korea Institute of Curriculum & Evaluation). It is divided into six levels: 1-2 are basic, 3-4 are intermediate, and 5-6 are advanced; however, when you register for the test you choose from just basic (초급), intermediate (중급), and advanced (고급).
The standard test is marked as follows:
|test type||level||passing mark||failing mark|
|beginner||1||50 and above||40 and below|
|2||70 and above||50 and below|
|intermediate||3||50 and above||40 and below|
|4||70 and above||50 and below|
|advanced||5||70 and above||40 and below|
|6||70 and above||50 and below|
The business test is marked as follows:
|0 ~ 111||failure|
|112 ~ 151|
|152 ~ 215|
|216 ~ 279|
|280 ~ 339|
|340 ~ 400|
What this means is that out of the five parts of the test (vocabulary, grammar, writing, listening, and reading) if one of these drops below the failing mark one fails the test, but even if certain areas are not up to the passing mark (for example a 45% in one area for level one) as long as none are below the failure mark and the average score is above the passing mark, one will pass the test. If you pass, your score determines whether you are given a certificate for level 1 or 2, if you took the beginner level, 3 or 4 for intermediate test takers, and 5 or 6 for advanced.
The registration fee for TOPIK is 35,000 won and can be paid by bank transfer. Test takers must print out a registration slip from their account on the website and attach a photo to it, and bring it with them to the test along with photo ID. Marking pens will be provided.
Preparation books with complete past tests are available at major bookstores and are also sold on test day.
Also known as just KLPT (also called 한국어능력시험) this test is considerably easier than the TOPIK, and is offered in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. It can be taken on demand at certain computer test centers, such as those which offer TOEFL.