The following discriptions of the requirements for each TOPIK level are taken from the book Complete Guide to the TOPIK (click on the link to get redirected to the book section):
Can perform basic language skills needed for survival such as introducing oneself, shopping, and ordering at a restaurant. Can comprehend and express basic, personal and familiar topics such as oneself, family, weather, etc. Can produce simple sentences using 800 basic vocabulary words and basic grammar. Additionally, can comprehend and produce simple sentences for daily life and practical writing.
Can perform basic language functions such as making a phone call, asking a favor, and making a suggestion and can perform functions necessary for the use of public facilities such as post offices, banks and hospitals.
Can understand and express familiar and personal topics such as daily schedules, hobbies and appointments by employing 1,500~2,000 words.
Can use the Korean language appropriately according to formal and informal situations.
Has little trouble leading ones daily life in Korean. Can perform language functions such as using public facilities like the immigration office, travel agencies, etc. and perform functions needed for maintaining social relationships like explaining, describing, rejecting, etc.
Can understand and express one’s opinion at the paragraph level on familiar social topics such as occupations, events, nations, cultures, etc. as well as familiar personal topics.
Can understand the basic differences between written and spoken texts and produce them accordingly.
Can perform most language functions needed for the use of public facilites and for the maintenance of socal relationships and also can perform to some extent language functions needed for general business such as drawing up brief documents and reports.
Can comprehend relatively easy news and newspaper articles. Can understand and express one’s opinions on familiar and abstract topics.
Based on the understanding of high-frequency idiomatic expressions and Korean culture, can understand and describe social and cultural matters.
Can perform to some extent language functions that are needed to carry out one’s specialised research and business such as summarising, arguing, inferencing, and discussing.
Can understand and express one’s opinions on unfamiliar topics such as policy, economy, and culture.
Can use the Korean language appropriately according to formal/informal and written/spoken contexts and can understand and construct argumentative texts, reports, literary works, interviews, and discussions.
Can perform language functions required to carry out one’s specialised research and business comparatively and fluently.
Can understand and express one’s opinions on unfamiliar topics concerning policy, economy, and culture.
Although imperfectly, can perform most language skills and does not have difficulties expressing oneself.