Some readers mistake TOPIK with the EPS-TOPIK. The two are both Korean language tests but they are different in some ways.
Difference in name:
TOPIK stands for Test of Proficiency in Korean.
EPS-TOPIK is Employment Permit System – Test of Proficiency in Korean.
Difference in purpose:
TOPIK is a general test for those who want to study in Korea, work in Korea (not as EPS), test their Korean skills for immigration purpose.
EPS TOPIK is the test taken by those who want to work in Korea as EPS workers (for factory jobs).
Difference in schedule:
TOPIK is given six times a year (based on 2017 schedule).
EPS TOPIK is only given ONCE a year in 15 countries. This is formerly known as KLT so batches are referred to as KLT 1 to this year’s 14th.
Difference in structure:
TOPIK consists of 6 different levels.
EPS TOPIK consists of only the basic listening and reading tests.
Difference in content:
TOPIK includes test of linguistic functions necessary for daily living (from TOPIK 1) and to that level needed for research and profession.
EPS TOPIK includes topics for daily living and the language needed in performing tasks at work.
Which TOPIK to get?
If you want to study in Korea, some universities may require that a prospective student pass a suggested TOPIK level.
If you are a holder of the E9 (EPS visa) and want to “upgrade” your visa to E7, then you must pass TOPIK 3 level.
If you are married to a Korean, you will need to pass TOPIK 1 level.
If you want to work in Korea as a factory worker, then get EPS-TOPIK.
And what about the SPECIAL EPS-TOPIK?
This is only given to EPS workers who have voluntarily returned to their home country. New EPS applicants are not eligible for this test.
Find more information:
TOPIK Official website in English – http://www.topik.go.kr/usr/cmm/subLocation.do?menuSeq=2210101#none
EPS-TOPIK Official website in English – http://eps.hrdkorea.or.kr/epstopik/home/main/mainPage.do?lang=en