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How to Study for TOPIK I: A Beginner's Guide and Resources for Passing

passing topik i

Navigating the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) I can be your first step towards mastering the Korean language. Unlike TOPIK II, which is tailored for advanced learners, TOPIK I assesses basic language skills crucial for everyday communication in Korean.

Successfully passing TOPIK I not only provides a solid foundation in Korean but also instills confidence to tackle TOPIK II, offering a glimpse into the structure of language tests in Korea.

I. TOPIK I Scoring

TOPIK I is designed to evaluate your proficiency in levels 1 and 2, testing foundational listening and reading skills that form the bedrock of the Korean language. The exam aims to measure your ability to understand and use basic expressions and sentences in daily life.

Exam Structure and Scoring for TOPIK I






Total Points

1st Period


40 mins

Multiple choice



2nd Period


60 mins

Multiple choice



Overall TOPIK I Score: Up to 200 points

II. Passing Scores and Proficiency Levels

  • TOPIK Level 1: Requires a score of 80 out of 200 points or higher. Demonstrates the ability to use basic Korean expressions and sentences.

  • TOPIK Level 2: Requires a score of 140 out of 200 points or higher. Indicates the capacity to handle simple conversations in Korean and understand routine phrases.

III. Recommended Textbooks for TOPIK I

Korean Grammar in Use - Beginning

Beginner: Essential for laying the groundwork for TOPIK I, this book covers all of the foundational grammar and vocabulary needed to pass TOPIK I and use Korean with confidence. If you only buy one book for your Korean studies, choose this one.

Korean Grammar in Use - Beginning

Hot TOPIK I (Reading)

A straightforward guide on test-taking strategies for the TOPIK I exam.

Hot TOPIK I (Reading)

쏙쏙 TOPIK 한국어 어휘 초급 (Vocabulary)

A beginner-level vocabulary resource perfect for those preparing for TOPIK I.

쏙쏙 TOPIK 한국어 어휘 초급

IV. Online Lectures and Courses for TOPIK I

A comprehensive online course that supports both TOPIK I and II aspirants. With lectures in multiple languages, mock exams, AI speaking practice, and study progress tracking, it's an all-encompassing resource for serious learners.

master topik

Known for its practical approach to learning Korean, TTMIK offers lecture videos, dialogues, and comprehension quizzes. It's perfect for applying your knowledge in everyday situations.

talk to me in Korean topik i

V. Recommended Apps for TOPIK I


A spaced-repetition flashcard app for memorizing patterns and vocabulary effectively.

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Sejong Korean Grammar - Basic (and the Sejong Korean series)

This free, ad-free app series is an excellent resource for learners at all levels, offering structured lessons that align with your study goals.

Sejong Korean grammar

Successfully passing TOPIK I not only provides a solid foundation in Korean, but also instills confidence to tackle TOPIK II. Happy studying and see you at Level 6!

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