TOPIK Examination Tips

I heard that the registration for the 32nd TOPIK exam is ongoing so I thought that posting tips here can help some of the next examinees. After all, when it was my turn, I also sought the help of various bloggers for their tips. It's giving back time! 

I took my TOPIK exam (28th TOPIK test) last year. My Korean language knowledge is still limited so I took the 초급 or the exam for beginners. When you know a foreign language, it's a good step to pass a skill exam and get a certificate. Having a proof that you know something can help you in the future (e.g employment purposes etc.) BUT after a year, I still haven't got my TOPIK Examination certificate and I only have a screenshot of my grade as a proof that I passed.

The TOPIK examination has three categories namely: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Each of these has two sub-levels: The beginner has level 1 or low beginner and level 2 or high beginner. I passed the level 2 bracket. Huhuhu. Where can I get my formal certificate? It has been a year.

Looking at my grade above, my scores decreased per section. When I was still starting to learn, I already knew that my skill in reading and understanding Korean in paragraph form is that aspect which needed more attention. I can reply to basic questions but when you'd show me even a short paragraph of Hangul characters, expect me to get confused faster. Knowing this, I still failed to work on it prior to taking the test. HAHAHA. -_-

TIP # 1: Expand your vocabulary and know your beginner grammar points. You can find compilation of words in other websites; I've seen a lot when I was still reviewing for mine. (Just look at my grade and I can say that I did pretty well on the 문법/grammar part. I only had 9 mistakes!)

TIP # 2: Knowing the words isn't enough, you'd have to practice your spelling and sentence compositions too. (Got 15 mistakes on the writing part.) Be sure to use 존댓말 when you're writing your essay and never ever use 반말. Practice your -입니다, -입니까, -에요, -이에요. Also, don't use -입니다 and shift to -이에요 on your next sentences. Be consistent with your verbs.

TIP # 3: (16 mistakes on the listening part.) Listening to natives is the best way to practice for this. The Talk to Me in Korean website is great help for those self-studying since they have podcasts and they use Seoul intonations. Click here to go to their website. And if their MP3's aren't enough for you, why not try listening to some Korean songs and watching Korean dramas? Just be aware that on some dramas that I've watched, there are characters who use other dialects like 부산말. During the TOPIK exams, 서울말 is used. 

TIP # 4: (23 mistakes on the reading part
)  Practice your reading comprehension skills. I am not sure if this was that part which had signages and stuffs but obviously yet not surprisingly, this was the hardest part for me.

TIP # 5: DOWNLOAD previous TOPIK exams and answer them on your own. By doing this, you get to know your weak points and work on them beforehand. You can find previous examination test papers with solutions here: link.

Answering mock exams for your level is the best preparation you can do. Knowing your grammar points can be good but knowing your way through the exam is better. 

제 이름은 크리스티나 입니다. 저는 한국 문화원에서 한국어를 공부했습니다. 한국어는 얼엽지만 아주 재미 있습니다.

능력시험을 보면 더 열심히 공부하십시요. 

P.S. I won't deny the fact I'm already happy with how far my language skills have gone since I started learning February last year. As of this writing, I have no desire to take the Intermediate level exam yet because I've stopped attending classes nor am I doing Korean language self-study after taking my TOPIK exam. I'm definitely not closing my doors for more improvement, I just don't know when especially now that all Kdrama streaming websites I know have shut down. *sigh* I hone my language skills by watching dramas. *more sigh*

 I want to learn and immerse myself more in their culture and I can feel that I'll be able to go to Korea in the future to experience everything firsthand. So help me, God. For the meantime, I'm still pursuing my learning experience through my Korean food trips. hahaha! Click here to view my posts about Hansik.

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