3 reasons why you should take TOPIK and 4 attentions you should keep in mind

Articles in English

K-pop and Korean dramas have taken the lead, and people all over the world have come to pay attention to Korea. Thanks to that, the number of people who want to learn Korean has increased dramatically. I think the desire to understand the lines of famous actors and K-pop stars in Korean has spared Korean language learning.

Just like English tests such as TOEIC and TOEFL, there is a Korean language test called TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean). This time, I will introduce you to why you should take the TOPIK exam and some points to keep in mind.


3 reasons why you should take TOPIK


Be able to have more options for the future

TOPIK is a national examination recognized by the government. Therefore, TOPIK is more effective than TOEIC or TOEFL, even if it does not have the same level of recognition. By getting TOPIK, you will have more options for the future. Below is an example.


  1. Foreigners can enter any university in Korea if you have more than level 4 of TOPIK
  2. You will be able to choose a Korean teacher or a job in the translation industry

Personally, the biggest advantage of TOPIK is that if you are a foreigner, you can enter any university in Korea if you have more than level 4 of TOPIK. I’m sure a lot of people don’t know this fact. It’s incredibly easy to get into, but you will has no choice but to experience four years of intense study when entering a Korean university because of its hyper-competitive society. When you want to enter the school, think carefully and make up your mind before you enter the school.

Also, if you have a TOPIK qualification, you can choose a job as a Korean teacher or translator. I can’t say for sure because the standard for becoming a teacher is different from country to country, but I know how many people have actually become Korean language teachers only through TOPIK qualification. For example, a friend of mine from China succeeded in getting a job as a Korean teacher after getting TOPIK level 6.

In Japan, the standard for becoming a Korean teacher is high, but in countries like China, United States, and Europe, it seems easy to become a Korean teacher because of the difficulty of the language. Even if you can’t speak the language well in that country, the demand for Korean language teachers is surprisingly high, and there are more applicants than I thought. I know some of my friends who are learning the language of the country little by little and living as a Korean teacher. Therefore, I think it is not bad to start a career as a language teacher in English and Spanish-speaking countries.


TOPIK is useful because it can publicly prove its ability for the national examination

As I mentioned earlier, TOPIK is a national examination. You can assume that the country recognizes your Korean ability. You can officially prove your Korean ability and expand your future as described above. It can be advantageous to some extent to get a job.

After graduating from a Japanese university and taking with TOPIK level 6, my friend got a job at a transportation company that often does business with Korea, and now works as a transportation manager. He seems to have had a lot of interviews in other industries, but he seems to have decided to work in that company because he wanted to use Korean language.


Be able to motivate for Learning Korean

This is not limited to TOPIK, but personally,

  1. I wanted to go on to a Korean University.
  2. It was one of the entrance requirements for the university.
  3. I wanted to have conversations with Korean people and have a cultural interaction.
  4. I wanted to be able to understand dramas and music in Korean.

For the above four reasons, it led to motivation to keep studying Korean. The Korean language test itself is a good motivation, but I think I kept studying because I fully understood the purpose and benefits of the future, the usefulness of the certificate, and the desire to understand Korean culture through the Korean language.


For these reasons, there are many advantages to learning TOEFL. However, there are some points to be careful about.


4 attentions you should keep in mind


You can’t learn conversational expressions like Korean conversation.

TOPIK is just a national examination to estimate if you have an ability for Korean language as a foreigner, so you can’t learn realistic conversational expressions. Also, TOPIK does not have speaking. section. That’s why Korean speaking ability is hard to improve. Certainly, there is writing section that allows you to output Korean, but in TOPIK, slang and colloquial expressions used in Korean conversation are subject to be subtracted points because they ask for essays, statistics, and events.


If it is not TOPIK Grade 6, its effectiveness will be weakened

There is a difference in effectiveness between getting 5th grade and 6th grade in TOPIK. That’s because people who know TOPIK can judge the level of Korean by this level difference. Personally, I think the level difference between Grade 5 and Grade 6 is quite big. It is natural that there is a difference in Korean vocabulary and expression between Level 5 and Level 6, but Level 6 students can speak Korean fluently and write sentences as if they were written by Koreans. There are also differences in treatment when you enter a university or get a job.So, if you take TOPIK, I recommend you to study Korean until you get Level 6.


The qualification is valid for only two years.

It’s a national qualification, so it’s very effective, but TOPIK’s qualification is only valid for two years. Therefore, if you work for a company that requires TOPIK qualification, you have to take the exam every two years.


If the mother language is not Japanese, it takes a lot of time to prepare.

It has nothing to do with people who speak Japanese as their mother language, but it takes time for them to take measures. Learning Korean is overwhelmingly easier for native Japanese speakers because Japanese and Korean have so many similarities that they can be said to be brothers. The pronunciation, expression, and language arrangement are similar, so this is the reason why it is relatively easy for Japanese to learn Korean is because they memorized kanji.

Most Korean words are based on Chinese characters. Because the Chinese characters that Japanese people learn and the Korean characters have almost identical meanings, you only need to convert them from Japanese kanji to Korean, even if you don’t memorize many words. That’s why Japanese can learn Korean faster than people from other countries.


例 운동장 – 運動場 교사 – 教師 기분 – 気分 優柔不断 – 우유부단


Most people who speak English or Spanish don’t memorize the kanji, so it takes a lot of time to deal with it. It takes time and patience, and it is easy to be frustrated, so I recommend that you take TOPIK and decide what you want to do in the future before you take the exam.


In the end

TOPIK can learn not only Korean, but also various abilities and knowledge that will be required in the future.For example, you will be able to express your opinion, write a brief summary, or write a document.

TOPIK is difficult, but we can take measures, and we can get a lot from the process, so I would like you to try it!!! 

Next time, I will explain in detail how to study TOPIK by dividing it into 읽기(Reading), 듣기(Listening), 쓰기(Writing). It’s the way I actually did it before I took TOPIK. I will do my best to write it for your reference, so please take a look (^∇^)


TOPIK 270 + strategy by a multi-lingualist
Don't you have troubles what to use to study TOPIK? This article is based on advice from over 30 sites, YouTube and official TOPIK sites and on my experience as a multilingual in learning languages.


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