TOPIK IBT (Internet-Based Test) Test-Taking Experience Review

TOPIK IBT (Internet-Based Test) Test-taking Experience Review

TOPIK IBT (Internet-Based Test) is a new generation of TOPIK test which is conducted using computer rather than using paper.

Checking TOPIK Online Schedule here: TOPIK IBT Test Schedule

The TOPIK IBT II review is shared by a test-taker who took the first pilot TOPIK IBT in last June 2022. 

1) Entering the test room

-When entering the exam room, each table has a partition, which is made of cardboard. On each table, a galaxy tab is provided with a keyboard and a headphone.

-After settling down, you will be asked to log in. Here, you will enter your identification number and date of birth, and finally sign your signature. You will have to sign directly on the screen. (It is a bit inconvenient because of hand-writing).


2) Preparation before the test

- You listen to a pretty melodious piece of music to test the headphone and adjust the volume properly. (The music almost put me to sleep).

- You will also test the operation of the keyboard to check whether it works properly. You need to type in 2 lines given.

- Then come to the agreement to use personal information, just tick “agree” all until the last screen and wait for the exam.


3) TOPIK IBT Test Timetable

TOPIK IBT 1 starts at 10:00 and ends at 11:25 in the following order:

- Listening (35 min): 30 sentences

- Reading (50 min): 40 sentences

TOPIK IBT 2 starts at 13:30 and ends at 16:00 in the following order:

- Listening (40 min): 40 sentences

- Reading (60 min): 40 sentences

- Writing (50 min): 3 sentences


4) New format of the TOPIK Online

*About the listening and reading test:

- Basically, TOPIK Online test has the same format as the paper-based test. But, in each question type, 1 question will be removed.

- The questions about characters' feelings in the paper-best test are completely omitted in the reading test,

*About the writing test:

- No more question #52.

*** Pros of TOPIK Online ***

- In the LISTENING test: because of wearing headphones, it will reduce a lot of noise so you can hear the dialogue clearly. To select the answer, you just need to touch the screen 

- In the READING test: choosing the answer directly on the screen is also quite fast. You can save some time to not mark the answer by pen like in the paper-based test. And in the reading test, you can have an overview of 40 questions to see which questions you have answered. If you haven’t answered a question, you can choose that question to continue. In the part about the order of sentences, the good thing is that the first sentence is given, then you can move the remaining sentences into the empty table available below the first sentence.

- In the WRITING test: For question #53 and #54, there is no longer the checkered boxes but just an empty box, so just type in the content. This is so good. If the content is wrong, it can be deleted immediately and re-typed. Or if there is any content that you want to add, you can choose to go to that place and type it in. Unlike the paper-based test, if you want to add content, you must delete the whole writing. And moreover, there is a word counter below so you can monitor and control your word count.

- The general advantage is that the timer counts to second, so it is also quite convenient at controlling the time.


*** Cons of TOPIK Online ***

- In general, the exam is conducted using a galaxy tab, which is quite small, so typing is a bit difficult. And you have to look at the screen continuously for nearly 3 hours, so it is quite eye-strained and pressured.

- In the LISTENING test: when you finish a question, it is considered as complete without the part for review or wondering like the paper-based test. The answer also cannot be read in advance like the paper-based test, so it is quite passive. Everyone should practice speed reading skills to catch up with the answers. And you can't edit the answer once selecting it.

- In the READING test: the image of the chart or the content of the reading passage is quite small, it looks quite confusing, and it is easy to miss information. You can’t mark or underline like in the paper-based test. The question with 2 answers will not appear on the same page. After completing the first, you move on to the next one, which looks like a new question.

- In the WRITING test: because there are no checkered boxes and the screen is small, it looks quite tiring. The graph is also quite small, so I have to strain my eyes to see. And be careful if you type it wrong, it's hard to look back. Not to mention the keyboard is also not responsive. When I did the writing test, I typed too fast that it took a while to appear on the screen. The left and right navigation keys can't be used, so when I want to go back, I have to touch the screen where I need to fix it, but the screen is small, the text is also small, so when I click it, it jumps to the upper or lower line. And if you are not familiar with typing Korean, this can take a lot of time. So, better to practice typing Korean at some extent before taking the test.


*** General opinion***

- The difficulty in TOPIK IBT is slightly reduced compared to the regular paper-based test. But this model will save a lot of resources and effort. So I still vote for TOPIK IBT.

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