This is such a late post, but I’d still want to share my experience during the 32nd TOPIK last October 20, 2013.
As expected I wasn’t able to finish all my planned preparations for the exam so I was trying to cram whatever I can, especially for the writing part, on my way to the testing center.
I think I was able to prepare pretty okay for the listening part since it’s easy to just put on my earphones anytime anywhere and listen to previous listening exams. I wanted to prepare for the reading part more but I only managed to go through a couple of papers. I know I need to work hard on the writing part, but I ended up not practicing for it at all.
On my way to KCC I wondered what could be the question for the essay part. I was not in my best days that time and have been regretting some wrong decisions I’ve made and feeling bad and hating myself for losing grasps on my dreams and letting it disappear in front of me. Ha! What if fate would like to throw a joke on me and make the essay question something like… “What is that one thing you’ve wanted to do but wasn’t able to? Why weren’t you able to do it?”
Lo and behold THAT was the essay question! >.<
I’ve isolated myself from a lot of people then and was truly anxious entering the exam room because I know no one. I’ve heard some of my friends submitted an application but I’m not sure if they are coming. While looking for my seat, I saw Alli from Bluehanbok. I was so SO happy seeing her. As what she’ve mentioned, we haven’t seen each other for a long time. At least we’re able to catch up with each other even if it’s only the time in between the exam.
When the first part of the exam was given, I immediately checked the essay question before anything else so that I can think of what to write while going over the Vocabulary and the Writing part. I skipped items I was unsure of. Even if I was only torn between 2 answers, I skipped them. I said I’ll just go back later on and give my wildest guess if I still won’t be able to figure it out. I skipped one item after another. Then I started writing my essay. Apparently, I enjoyed writing the essay so much since it was something I was currently contemplating on. I was surprised with myself as well because as far as I can remember, it was a struggle for me composing my essay last time I took the exam but I was more comfortable writing this time. I wrote, wrote and wrote continously, sponteaneously. I finished writing my essay at the nick of time. I managed to finish the last sentence I wanted to write before the protors asked us to put our pens down.
I wasn’t able to go back to all the items I skipped earlier!
I knew right there and then, I won’t pass the exam.
Listening was pretty okay but as always I entrusted my answers to the good old eenie mynee moe for the last sets.
Reading was still a struggle. It was not as difficult as before but I still need time (loads of it) to be able to understand the longer paragraphs. And that’s something we didn’t have then – time. There’s was an interesting item though. Most of the items were either declaratives or narrations – news, stories, etc. But there was one item when it was more of conversational. It was a story but instead of being narrated, what the characters said were simply enclosed in quotation marks. And I was able to easily understand it. I realized then that my Korean is just still very conversational. Can carry conversations, yes. But reading long narratives and news, no.
The result – another 불합격!
But I was happy with my score even if my Writing score is quite embarrassing.
I’m happy with my Listening. I only got 41 last time and now it almost doubled. I’m also glad I got more than 50% for reading now. I could’ve gotten more than 50% for the Vocabulary section if I was only able to go back to all the items I skipped. For Writing, I don’t know. I know I suck in grammar usage still. I also really cannot answer the fill in the blanks part. It also seems like the Writing part was the most difficult for this exam. I have a number of friends who were really good but got a really low score as well for the Writing part.
Here’s my score during the 28th TOPIK held last 2012:I’ve registered for the upcoming 34th TOPIK exam this coming April 20th and I’m pretty excited! I believe it will be the last exam following the old format. I’m aiming to get a Level 4, but I’d already be really happy if I can get a Level 3. 🙂