28th TOPIK experience

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!

By the way the 28th TOPIK papers and answer keys are now up on TOPIK’s official homepage and at Topik Guide.


19 thoughts on “28th TOPIK experience

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I downloaded the 28th TOPIK. I suppose you will take advanced level next time? Me, too!

    • Nah! I don’t think I’ll pass. It’ll be impossible for me to get a level 4 and it’ll be a real miracle if I’ll get a Level 3. So I’ll still take the intermediate one and aim for Level 4 on April. 🙂

      • is there an exam for level 1 and 2?i’m just beginning my journey kasi in learning korean. I’m glad to find your blog since i’m a filipino too. I considering creating a blog of my own so that i can track my progress. Thanks for answering my query.

      • Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck to your learning journey. Let me know once you start with your blog 🙂
        Yes there is an exam for beginner (level 1 & 2). Usually beginner and advanced are held in the morning and the intermediate in the afternoon (same day, same place). I heard, since starting the next exam, TOPIK will be administered by the Korean Cultural Center, the exam will be held at KCC too in Taguig.

    • Nope. It’s 4 times a year. Pero twice lang outside Korea. I took the 28th last Oct 28. The 29th will be held in Korea on Jan 20. 30th will be overseas (including the Philippines) on April 20~21 (I think 21 tayo. and that’s what I’m planning to take again). 31st will be in Korea on July 21st. 32nd will be overseas Oct19~20. You can check https://sites.google.com/site/topikrevision/ and http://www.topikguide.com/ for more info about TOPIK. 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment if you have more questions. 🙂

  2. I’m signing up to take the TOPIK in January. I can’t quite bring myself to share your enthusiasm. It’s just not that fun for me. Good luck with your results! I hope you pass!

    • It was not fun for me either at the beginning because it’s difficult. But eventually, when I started hearing the new words and grammar I picked up from the papers to the dramas I’m watching I get more and more enthusiastic. Also it’s more fun because I took it with friends from our university. So we eventually came up with little ‘inside jokes’ about items appearing on the exam.

      Thanks! Good luck to you too on January! 🙂

  3. Oh, so you were also there~ I took the 28th TOPIK last year, only the Beginner though. I might have seen you there.. Hmmm.. I saw your friend Ms. Wena & other KCC peeps there and heard a number of UP students gathered.. ㅋㅋ Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience! It was a fun read. 😀

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