The night before the TOPIK I slept really badly and kept waking up because I was afraid of being late. And yet that’s what almost happened!
At 5:30 I just got up, got ready, and went to my brother’s place for breakfast.
I left so that I would have a good half hour to wait at SOAS in case of transportation problems. That turned out to be a good idea, because somehow I confused the address (even though I have been there last year) and ended up on the wrong campus! Cue rushing to the right address in a taxi (on the verge of tears) while a concerned driver was telling me to just take it easy since he would make sure I got there on time, adding that I shouldn’t be too stressed out before an exam or I wouldn’t do well. I am so grateful to that man!
In any case, I made it there. On time! Though not looking or feeling as relaxed as I had hoped.
The exam wasn’t as difficult as I had feared. There were some questions that I was a bit unsure of, but all in all I had a good gut feeling. I tried to vary my essay by including different grammar points such as -는데, 네요, 위 해서, and -(으)ㄹ수록. Let’s see if the people scoring it will like it or if I just came across as seriously confused…
The essay question this year was different from the other years. Basically there were three questions, and they were much broader than they have been previously. First they asked what we work with, then what we like to do – which I connected to the work question – and lastly why we are learning Korean.
Listening… Before the exam I didn’t do a single TOPIK listening exercise because it just never fit into my schedule! I’ve listened to plenty of dictations, audio books, and so on over the past year, but I hadn’t tried the TOPIK listening test format. In hindsight that wasn’t too smart, but it was not as bad as I had feared – although I did have a brief moment of panic when we got to the questions based on a longer discussion and each discussion covers several questions.
I can only hope for the best, I cannot change it now anyway.
The reading section was not as bad as I had feared. From my experience going over the past tests, reading was a hit or miss section for me. Either I understood most or there would be many questions where I really struggled. In this year’s exam, there were a few questions that I was really in doubt of and many that did not seem too difficult. I had about 20 min at the end of the exam to go over those that were causing me trouble, which was nice. Of course that doesn’t compare to the guy who finished so early that he found time to take a nap for the rest of the exam 😀
Aside for almost running late, it was a good experience and I’m definitely determined to sit the following levels. I was in doubt of a few questions, but of course that is no guarantee that everything else is correct so I’m awaiting the scores before opening the champagne.
One thing I would do differently next time is to write the essay with -ㅂ니다 endings rather than -요, but in the exam I felt much more comfortable with the latter so I went with that to avoid making too many mistakes simply because of differences in conjugations. There were already enough opportunities to write something wrong as it was…
After the exam
I met Matt at the test and it turned out he has been following the blog – though mostly for the count-down function it seems hahaha 😀
We went out for lunch at a Korean cafe called Bibimbab Cafe where his half-Danish friend joined us for a talk about languages and other stuff. (I got two bottles of soju to go for only £10!)
After lunch we went shopping for Korean books in Foyles (click here to be directed to the website and here for the details in the book section on this blog). I bought an intermediate reader about Korean language and culture, which I will introduce more thoroughly in an upcoming review 🙂
After that we went out for cocktails and then went out to yet another Korean restaurant – Naru – before ending up in a pub in Covent Garden.
After that I thought it was time to call it a night while Matt and his friend continued.
Thank you so much for introducing me to the book shop and some places I had never been to before in London, Matt 😀
I’m crossing fingers and toes for everybody’s scores! 화이팅!
Did you sit the TOPIK? Which level did you take and how did you think it went?