According to the Wikipedia article on TOPIK, the TOPIK level 1 to 6 is equivalent for CEFR A1 to C2, respectively. However, I'm quite doubtful of its comparison, especially because many Japanese passed TOPIK 6 but never even close to the C2 standard, I think.

HSK score comparison on Mandarin Chinese is often criticized and it is considered that the HSK 6 (highest level) is equivalent for B2 (which I agree).

JLPT is also considered not to the level as on the Wikipedia by some, and the N1 is on the B2 level in my opinion.

But the TOPIK score seems to be on par with CEFR from 1-6 to A1-C2, and I have never seen any argument on it. But I still think, the C2 is too high for TOPIK 6 holders. Also, given the number of participants of TOPIK 6 and the standard of CEFR C2, it is strange that TOPIK adapts even to such a high level of language learners.

So my question is, is the level 1 to 6 of TOPIK considered on par with CEFR A1 to C2, or is there any argument in Korea that opposes to it, which I might not get to in English?

  • I just tried the TOPIK 1 reading test, and it seems to be quite a bit above A1 level, maybe A2? So they are not exactly aligned
    – iopq
    Jan 30 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


Well, it does not seem that the TOPIK level criteria were set based on the CEFR levels. You can find several differences reading Yunhee Won's publication (the reference 8 of the Wikipedia article). I guess that is the only relevant publication pointing out both the similarity and difference between those levels. Won mentions the following:

In order to understand the language proficiency, speaking, listening, reading and writing in all parts should be evaluated; however, there is no speaking test in TOPIK, and it is unfortunate that there is no writing test in the beginner-level test.

Without the speaking test, I don't think the TOPIK levels correspond closely to the CEFR levels. Although they are going to evaluate speaking skills from 2023 onwards, it still won't make the two criteria the same.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.