Thursday, April 3, 2014

The New changed TOPIK test format from 2014

  • The New Changed TOPIK Format will be implemented from the 35th TOPIK, to be held in July, 2014. 
  • Changes to TOPIK Level Structure: In the old format, we had 3 levels – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced and every level had 2 sub-levels ranging from 1 to 6. Now in the new format, we still have 6 levels but there is a slight change in the structure. Now, instead of 3 tests we have only 2 which they call TOPIK I(Level 1-2) [한국어능력시험Ⅰ(1~2급)] &TOPIK II (Level 3-6) [한국어능력시험 Ⅱ(3~6급)]. Intermediate and Advanced Test is combined now.
TOPIK level
  • Changes to Sections of TOPIK test: As we know, in the old format the test had 4 sections – Grammar & Vocabulary, Writing, Listening and Reading. Now they have removed Grammar & Vocabulary, Writing from Level 1 & 2 (i.e. TOPIK I). Now the beginner levels 1 and 2 have just two sections – Reading and Listening. In TOPIK II (Level 3-6), which is the new combined Intermediate-Advanced test, they have kept 3 sections – Reading, Listening and Writing and removed Grammar & Vocabulary. So overall, we can say that the new format is more simplified and easier. Good news for all!
  • Changes to Question Composition, Time and Marks: In the old format we used to have 30 Multiple Choice Questions in Grammar-Vocab, Listening and Reading sections and writing sections had 10  Multiple Choice Questions and 4-6 Short-answer/essay questions. In the new TOPIK structure, TOPIK I (Level 1-2) has a total of 70 Multiple Choice Questions - Reading (40 Questions) and Listening (30 Questions). TOPIK I has a total of 200 marks and the Test Time is 100 Minutes. TOPIK II (Level 3-6) has a total of 104 Questions - Reading (50 Multiple Choice Questions) and Listening (50 Multiple Choice Questions) and Writing (4 Short-answer/Essay Questions). TOPIK II has a total of 300 marks and the Test Time is 180 Minutes.
TOPIK I (1-2) – 70 Questions- Reading(40), Listening(30)- 200 Marks – 100 Minutes
TOPIK II (3-6) – 104 Ques.- Reading(50), Listening(50),Writing (4)- 300 Marks – 180 Min. 
  • Changes to Pass-Fail Score Rules: Currently in the old TOPIK structure, you have to get a minimum score of 40 in all 4 sections to get levels 1, 3 or 5 and a minimum of 50 marks in all sections to get levels 2, 4 or 6. It means that if you get 70 percent marks overall but 39 in one section you get Fail. it’s really a good news that now they have abolished this rule. Now they just see your overall score and you get your level and pass/fail on the basis of total score and marks in individual sections have nothing to do with it.  
  • Change to frequency of TOPIK Test: Till 2013, TOPIK was held twice a year (April & October) overseas and 4 times a year (January, April, July & October)in Korea. Now they will hold the test 5 times in a year in Korea (January, April, July,  October & November). Overseas  there will be two tests in a year as before.
  • New Changed TOPIK Exam Structure and Test Timing:
SectionQuestionsTime (Minutes)Remarks
Beginner(1-2)Listening30401001st Sitting
Reading4060
Intermediate-Advanced(3-6)Listening50601101st Sitting
Writing450
Reading5070702nd Sitting
TOPIK Test timing
  • Changes to Writing section in Intermediate-Advanced Level: Now the writing section has just 4 questions – 2 short answer questions where you have to make a sentence and two essay questions. One essay will be related to everyday life topics and will be easier to write while the other essay will be a logical one where you will have t write your opinion on some issue or something like that.
  • How will the decide the levels? What will be the passing score for different Levels? That is a major change that they have introduced. Now there is no fixed passing score for particular levels (unlike in the old format where we had passing score criteria of 50 & 70 marks). Now they will disclose the cutoff marks on their website after the test is over and these cutoff marks for different levels will be different every time. I think they are planning to introduce the concept of relative evaluation to TOPIK test. They are very clear and specific about it yet but they have said that probably the minimum passing mark for TOPIK I will be 100 out of 200 and for TOPIK II it will be 120 out of 300. But actual passing cutoff will be disclosed only after the test is over.
  • Any Specific changes to question pattern? Will they get difficult? No.  The Question pattern will be very much the same. It will not get any more difficult.
  • Validity of TOPIK Certificate: 2 years.
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