Last Sunday night, I tried taking the old Intermediate TOPIK for the first time. First five questions. I was like, ‘This may be easy…’ but then comes my nonstop WTFs and OMGs, and no matter how much I try to think, or not even try. No matter how much I think, I would not be able to answer the questions.
Sadly, I was not able to finish my Intermediate 1 classes last year, but I’m very open to re-take it late next year. As far as I know, and as obvious as it is, I would have to take Intermediate 2 classes as well (but our local Korean Cultural Center is not yet offering courses higher than I1) since it would complete about half of the knowledge that I will be needing to be able to understand at least the gists or to familiarize myself with the ever confusing grammar patterns. As far as I can remember, we learned about 150 words during our first three days in Intermediate 1 and that was just too much.
While answering, I would occasionally ask my Korean friend through Kakao, to explain what the questions mean. He would explain it in Korean (obviously), and I’ll try hard to understand it. He can really explain well, and though we really didn’t talk about it, he really spares from using very complex words but just stick with simple words. That’s not very given since we’re just the same age so I was surprised that he was very conscious about his choice of words. Normally, in my experience, older people tend to be more conscious and understanding. I used to have very little interactions with almost same-aged Koreans I met online, and they chat in pure Korean, without being very considerate that I can’t actually understand everything they were saying. As for my Korean friend right now, we can actually talk for hours with only minimal ‘무슨 말인지 잘 모르겠어’. And whenever we arrive to that point, we can both explain what we mean, in Korean.
By twenty something questions, I stopped taking the exam and accepted the fact that I’m not yet suited for that level. By Monday, I deconstructed the exam, checking the words and grammar patterns one by one, checking it through the dictionary and trying to stitch everything again and see if it will make sense. Fortunately, they do, but I had difficulties memorizing them. In a single page (you know how hugely spaced TOPIK exams are), there were too much notes on the side, and it’s just overwhelming. Right now, I only have my 재미있는 한국어 3 and Korean Grammar In Use: Intermediate, for references, so I’m still coming up with ideas on how to study efficiently and practically, disregarding the TOPIK itself, and just using it for reference. It’s really hard to self-study when you started studying with a Korean teacher. 헐~
Earlier, I took the 36th TOPIK I and I got a lower score than my previous attempt in the 35th. I’m so discouraged, HAHA.