Failed TOPIK Attempt

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.

My 32nd TOPIK Experience | 내 제32회 한국어능력시험 체험

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 🙂

32nd Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) | 제32회 한국어 능력 시험

This is it. I didn’t review.

It’s been a bit long since I last posted since I was busy from work school work school routine. Well it seems like I’m not gonna be needing any reviews of any sorts, since it’s already Saturday and the exam would be tomorrow. The studying that I will do would probably be more about my yet uncollated words and grammars from Intermediate 1. I should actually have posted a book review last week but time hasn’t been super cooperative with me.

Or if I still have time, I might practice a bit on writing. Last Friday, our 선생님 finally taught us how to use 원고지, or the paper thingy with boxes where you put the Korean characters, 한 자 한 자. I never knew about putting that ‘V’-esque symbol whenever you need a space and it reaches the end of the paper, lol. My other classmates who previously passed TOPIK didn’t knew about those either, but I think checkers weren’t so much particular with it since it might just be a technicality that doesn’t really measure someone’s proficiency.

I am the kind of person who wouldn’t prepare. I wouldn’t say overprepare, but when there were times that I actually prepared, 50% of the time, I did extremely good, and the remaining 50% missed the line. That’s why I don’t bother disturbing my brain anymore when I have to do something like exams or reports, etc. When there’s something I’m already confident with, I don’t like bothering it anymore, so for this TOPIK, I might not just review anymore. I might do good in TOPIK mocks but when tomorrow comes, I just might go blank instantly. Trust me, sometimes it happens.

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Last Tuesday, I borrowed the second book from ‘재미있는 한국어’ series. Currently, we’re using the third book at school but like this matter, I don’t like studying things from different sources since I may tend to miss a lot of grammar and words that didn’t come out from the previous book I used, in this case, ‘가나다 Korean’. Upon checking, I have about 10+ major grammar patterns to study. Frustrating right, so maybe, instead of reviewing for TOPIK, I should just focus on this one, and the words that I wrote on my notebook, and maybe practice a bit through Quizlet, and just bid myself good luck tomorrow morning.

To everyone who will be taking the TOPIK exam, I hope we all do good, especially for the Intermediate and Advanced takers. It’s so sad that I’m only gonna be taking the Beginner TOPIK but it’s okay, I shall go for Level 2!!!

화이팅~!

I Took the 29th TOPIK (Beginner) | 제29회 한국어능력시험을 봤다 (초급)

Woooooh! I got 89.5 점~

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Thank goodness, it’s better than my last attempt to mock-exam myself. I also did the writing part but since no one would check it, I just assumed it to be at 20 points at least… but I think it lacks more words, lol. How is it counted again? By words, or by characters and spaces?

I only had 2 errors for the 문법, 쓰기 part so I think it’s good. I was just regretful about the 6-point question that I got wrong. The correct answer should be ‘앉는 것을’ but I answered ‘앉기가’. >.< I haven’t checked the questionnaire yet again, so I have to check more of it. And another thing, I still have a lot of words I didn’t knew >.<. Thankfully though, those words were just easy and you can easily understand it through context. 그리고 there are some grammar patterns that appeared that I haven’t studied at school yet (but know basically through context and self-check/study and TTMIK), like -(으)ㄹ래요, -(으)ㄴ가요 / 나요, and some others I can’t remember.

What I love about my score is that, for another time again, I didn’t review before taking it. I feel like even if I get mistakes during the real exam, I think I’ll be able to pass Level 2 easily, but I just don’t like to claim it yet since that’s very boastful of me, lol. Or should I? Just so I can attract positive vibes, and do real good on the exam date 😀

My score breakdown, for the ‘어휘 및 문법’, I got 96 points. For the ‘쓰기’, I got 84 (+20 *essay) points. As for ‘듣기’, I got 91 points, and finally for the ‘읽기’, I got 87.

96 + 84 + 91 + 87 = 358 points out of 400. = 89.5%

Assuming I didn’t pass the essay part, 358 – 20 = 338 points out of 400. = 84.5%

…which is still considered passed for Level 2 ^^.

I don’t wanna answer too much old TOPIK exam papers because I don’t want to spoil the moment. But since the exam date is approaching, I should probably take more mock exams (since after taking Beginner TOPIK, I’m not gonna take that exam again), and focus mainly on the essay part, and have it checked by someone Korean. I’m not very confident with that, but as far as common sense goes, I just have to be consistent with my endings. I shall never use 반말, and most importantly, to use the -(스)ㅂ니다 form just so it can take much more space, lol.

But what exactly is my take on TOPIK? I shall discuss it in the future.