In December 2013,the National Institute for International Education has just uploaded the official announcement of the changes in Topik format on the official Topik page( http://www.topik.go.kr)
(The original news is in Korean, so I just translate it into English)
According to the website, the 33th Topik(January 19, 2014) and the 34th Topik (April 20, 2014) still use the current format of Topik. However, the new format of the Topik will be applied since the 35th Topik ( July 20, 2014)
Update on June 13, 2014: the topik website uploaded the grading criteria for the passing score. For more information, please click this link
In general, I am quite pleased because in the new format of Topik, they eliminate the system “If any of your skills does not exceed the passing scores, you will fail.” In the previous topik exam, no matter how high the average score you have, you still fail if one of your skills do not exceed the passing score. For example, your average score of 4 skills is 51 which is qualified to pass Topik 1, but the score of your writing skill is 30, so you will fail. However, in the new Topik, you won’t have to worry about them any more.
However, I’m very worried when they eliminate the Vocabulary/Grammar section which is my favorite parts that always help me to get high scores. Now if I take the topik II(Intermediate-Advanced), I can only take the reading, listening and writing parts.
I have just looked through the sample of the new topik part. In the new Topik I (Beginner), they eliminate the writing part. In the new Topik II (Intermediate-Advanced), they even eliminate the multiple choice in the writing part which is also my favorite to help me get high scores. You will have to fill in the blanks with your own words which are the most difficult parts.
Then you will have to write 2 ESSAYS and the topics are very difficult. In the previous intermediate topik exam, you only need to write a narrative or descriptive essay such as describing your dream house, your future job, your vacation. However in the new Topik exam, you have to write argumentative essays about some topics. In the sample, you have to write a 200~300- character essay about the strength and weakness of Internet as well as how to use the Internet well. I’m quite shocked because the length of the essay they require is too short.
Then you have to write a 600~700-character essay about the environmental pollution.
You can click on these links for more information