The day before the exam, I slept super late because I had to do some stuff. I wasn’t reviewing though, actually for the whole week before or two, I didn’t actually review for the TOPIK, because I’m confident enough that my knowledge alone would suffice for me to pass the exam.
First thing in the morning, I had to wake up super early. It was hard to wake up but it was a mixture of excitement and the thought of going back to bed, and few nervous moments, all mixed into one. I wouldn’t know what to bring. Should I have my notes with me, or Korean Grammar in Use for some light reading? But then I just stuffed my pencil case in my bag, some stuff I need like keys, cards, iPod and some wires, and continued with the rest of the morning.
As always, my mom prepared fried rice and something fried for my breakfast. Since I had less sleep, it was hard for me to intake the food happily, but I did anyway because it’s not very easy to think properly when you suddenly get hungry.
I thought of asking my dad to escort me to school by car so I can rest a bit without thinking about coins and changes, MRT cards, and transfers, etc., but I did the usual mornings anyway. Rode a pedicab to the train station, took the morning train up to EDSA, and rode the MRT to Ayala and from there, a bus to school. It was a long commute but since it was morning, the sun was super energizing.
The moment I arrived there, there were familiar KCC students, some KCC staffs I know, and some others I have no idea who they were, and some Korean people who would probably take the exam too. I said my ‘Hi’s and ‘Hello’s to my close friends and together, entered the room with them and find our seat numbers. It was exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. I was like ‘Finally! It’s the exam day!’ and I was like ‘I’m confident about this exam, but what if I read wrong directions or misunderstood the essay part out of nervousness’. But then I just sat and stopped myself from overthinking.
After some minutes, the proctor came, asked us to put our bags and other stuff away, and had only the required items on top of our desks. This is it! I was thinking about the exam the whole time. My classmate who would always drop me off somewhere nearby whenever our class is over was sitting behind me. It gives me the sense of familiarity and security, that even if I don’t know everyone in the room, there were several of us in there taking the exams together.
And then the proctor distributed the exam materials, and off we proceed.
As I expected it, me answering the exam was just swift, without too much double-checking and hovering on a single question. The vocabulary and grammar part was easy peasy. Then comes the writing part. It was something like, where do you want to go something something, so I thought, aha! Bingo, this is easy! I had to write down quickly through scrap and then transfer it to my provided 원고지 after properly examining my essay if it would fit or if it would exceed. Since I had too much to talk about, I had to delete some of the sentences. It was actually my worry. What if I lose time revising and revising my essay? But I finished it anyway.
The listening part was as usual, super slow and super easy, so all in all, I found the exam, quite challenging, but easy at the same time. After the exam, all of us friends asked each other about questions and stuff. Some of them had no difficulties with the vocabs and grammar, but they had difficulties with reading. We also had usual student-type questions like, “What was your answer in this question again?”, etc. And then the inevitable, “Ahhhhh!!! I answered that too!”.
Then afterwards, we had to eat somewhere nearby, and spazz about TOPIK and other stuff, since we’re already separated. Some retook Elementary 2 and some of us already at Intermediate 1. But before leaving, we had to give good lucks to some of our classmates who would be taking the afternoon Intermediate exam.
I was too tired so I had to get home quickly…
The exam started at 8:30 AM, and that same day, 11:30 AM, I finally woke up, and told myself that…
The above TOPIK experience never really happened. If I just had my slip, the exact same story above would have happened.
The night before, which I was stupid enough not to have thought about it earlier, I prepared my TOPIK things and found out that my examination slip was lost. I had to find every corners of my books and every possible place where I might have put it, but to no avail. I just thought, maybe God had better plans, and the exam’s just not yet for me. Well it was easy for me to accept. I was just trying hard to find the paper up till 2 AM. Not because I’m dead hungry about taking the exam, but just because it’s a waste if I can’t take it. I paid for it, so still, I’m worth taking it. But then circumstances happen. All my previous Korean-related papers from last year, Elementary 1, random lyrics and still ugly Korean Handwriting, every paper I found all of them. Even the 32nd TOPIK guidelines, but that slip… It just slipped away 😐
Anyway, I’m planning to take the TOPIK next year, and I’m praying for it not to change yet, or if it will really change starting next year, I would be happy that I would be included in the first batch to experience the new TOPIK.
There’s always a reason for everything 🙂