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Should I take Korean 2 instead of 1? What is 'TOPIK'?

안녕하세요? 옌 선생님이에요! Thank you for your overwhelming support for Korean classes at Verb Hive. I hope you enjoyed the class as much as I did. I was very pleased to answer your enthusiastic questions about the Korean language. One of the frequent questions I have received was about the Korean level check. So to further help you in deciding what class level you want to enroll to, feel free to read ahead!


A certain language “level” can be defined in many ways. It can be through a test, number of class hours, language skills etc. In fact, when I was writing my master’s thesis, it took me months to define the standards for a “Beginner level.” For Korean, we have a standard measurement called the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). For more information about TOPIK, you can visit their website here.


Anyone who has passed the Level 1 or 2 of TOPIK I is therefore considered to have a Korean level of 초급 or Beginner. According to the National Institute for International Education (NIIED), passing TOPIK Level 1 proves that the learner has a Korean proficiency that enables him/her to:

  • “Carry out basic conversations related to daily surviving skills such as self-introduction, purchasing, ordering food, etc., and understand the contents related to very personal and familiar subjects such as himself/herself, family, hobby, weather and the like;

  • “Create simple sentences based on a basic vocabulary of approximately 800 words and possess understanding of basic grammar; and

  • “Understand and compose simple and useful sentences related to everyday life."

My Korean 1 class at Verb Hive is not a TOPIK Preparation class but the class curriculum was constructed to include grammar, vocabulary and language skills you need to prepare for TOPIK Level 1. After the Korean 1 class with Verb Hive, you are expected to be able to read and write in Hangeul, introduce yourself, place a simple order at a restaurant, buy things, ask for contact details, set appointments, etc. all in Korean! Here is the full list of the Korean 1 learning outcomes:



So if you already have reached all the learning outcomes for Korean 1 or have attended formal classes in Korean which includes the same learning outcomes, you are very much welcome to step up to the next level—Korean 2! The Korean 2 class will focus more on upgraded grammar patterns and vocabulary which you can use in real-life situations.


If you are still not sure about your level, contact us to set an appointment for a diagnostic interview! See you in class! 수업에서 봐요! 안녕~


-Yen