After ditching many TOPIK exams in the past, I finally took the Intermediate TOPIK last Sunday, all thanks to our persistent 선생님 who wouldn’t take no for an answer (and to Kim Sun Ah who decided to stay in Korea). It was both difficult and easy. Difficult for my level still. Sitting on the exam with my stored knowledge alone is not enough for me to pass it. But for someone who’ve prepared a lot the exam will be easy. Because of our review sessions, I was able to go through all sections of TOPIK 18th, 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th and have read all the essay questions from the 10th. And the vocabularies and grammars from those papers were basically the same ones that appeared on the 28th. That made me regret not preparing well. Because I’m positive I can get a level 3 if I only found time to review all my notes on all the papers I’ve tried.
The first question on the first part (vocabs and grammar) was such a downer though! I understood the sentence, but only understood 2 out of the 4 choices and I’m sure the answer is between the two that I do not know. I had to just guess (and luckily I guessed correctly). What kind of first question it was? The first question’s supposed to be a give away, right? Hahaha! The rest were okay, but, just like on the first question, I’m often torn between 2 answers.
Listening was okay. The first few questions, as expected, were fairly easy. But from the middle onwards, I was sometimes too slow and the next sound clip is already being played before I can even answer the previous question/s.
Writing was a bit frustrating. There was a question that I was so happy I understood everything except for the last sentence. But the question was based on THAT last sentence! The essay too almost caught me off guard. I’m glad I browsed through old essay questions thus I learned 단점. What if I didn’t? I would have nothing to say on that essay. 장점 was also a new word for me. In fact, at first, I just guessed its meaning from context. Though eventually I remember an expression of Kim Sun Ah from City Hall “사소한 말도 귀담아 들으시는구나. 되게 장점이다” and a vocab question from the 18th TOPIK that confirmed my understanding of the word. The thing is, it falls under the ‘personality’ category. The category I wasn’t able to practice at all. I prepared some possible answers about weakness and how to improve/change it but I haven’t wrote an essay about it. But I still attempted to write something and it was so much fun because I ended up writing lines from song lyrics and dramas here and there! I was even humming a song trying my best to remember the words from it. Does plagiarism apply in answering TOPIK essay?
Reading was a suicide! The text were so long and difficult. There were lots of words that I do not know. If one concentrates, even with new words, one can somehow make intelligent guesses. But I didn’t. I just read the paragraph once. Then guess. Read the next. Then guess. Until the time ran out.
It was loads of fun. Especially having to take it with lots of friends. Usually the intermediate exam room was dominated by kyopos. But this time we dominated them! Mwahaha! And no one ditched a TOPIK exam this time.
And even if I wasn’t able to really study and prepare well for the exam. I did learn a lot and it makes my heart flutter whenever I watch a drama or read stuff from Korean blogs or fan cafes and I can understand most of them now, all thanks to the things I’ve learned from reviewing for TOPIK. 🙂
I’m now more excited to take the next one (30th) on April. I’m not sure how heavy my load will be next semester, but I want to start studying for the next one right away and be consistent with it. We have 172 days before the next one! 화이팅!