Looking at old TOPIK papers

I’ve finally started looking at old TOPIK papers. I suppose it’s a bit late considering that the test is only 4 months away, but I haven’t even been studying Korean for a year so it’s only now that I see a point in doing them… Honestly, it’s only now that I have a chance of understanding enough questions to not get too embarrassed with myself…
I have previously been looking at my Complete Guide to the TOPIK books from time to time, but without sitting down and going through the questions one by one. It was more like “how much can I understand when I look at this random page?… What grammar pattern is that?!”

Even though I am planning to sit level 3 I am still only looking at beginner papers. Studying the intermediate papers is simply too difficult at the moment so I still have a loooong way to go… At the moment my fear is that I will not get a sufficient number of points simply because my vocabulary is insufficient even if I get through all of the grammar.

I’m not planning to go through individual TOPIK questions here on the blog, but I am planning to upload my “stats” here every week so you guys can see how I progress and hopefully you will share some of your wisdom about how I can improve my weaknesses.

Ideally I should go through one or two sections every day. For instance, yesterday I went through the 어휘 / 문법 section from the 24th B test as well as that same section in a mock test in the Complete TOPIK Guide, and today I went through the 읽기 section in the 24th test. Based only on those two days, I thought the 읽기 was more difficult than the 어휘 / 문법, but surprisingly I got a better score in 읽기… Hmm…
As for 쓰기 which many consider the most difficult section, I consider my preparation for the meetings with my language partner 쓰기-practice since I write about our topic before we meet. Yes, I do use a dictionary for that at the moment…
I haven’t done any 듣기 practice yet. Only the dictations and dialogues in the Sogang Books.

At the moment I am not timing myself when doing mock tests, but I do try to have a sence of urgency. If I cannot answer immediately, I don’t sit and ponder, I move on to the next one and then I go back to the missing ones at the end.
The good thing about TOPIK is that you can jump questions and come back to them later! It’s not like the GMAT where you cannot move on before you’ve decided what to answer, a little clock is counting down in the corner of your computer screen, and some quirky algorithm will adjust the difficulty of the following questions based on whether you answer correctly or not.

At least I am not going to sit the TOPIK in order to enter graduate school like I did with the GMAT so only my ego is going to be at stake when I sit the TOPIK 🙂


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