TOPIK I Results Are In!
As some of you might recall I took TOPIK I in November. I wrote about it in the past already. Yesterday my results were in and I couldn’t be happier as they truly were better than I had anticipated. I actually thought I did a bit worse so it was a pleasant surprise. So let’s take a look shall we?
TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) or 한국어능력시험 is a test open to all non-Korean nationals to check their proficiency in Korean. It is a wonderful tool to check where you are in your Korean studies when you are learning the language on your own such as myself. November this year I took TOPIK I in London, England. It was quite the experience.
A month later the results of the exam would be announced to those who took it. I have to say I was quite nervous because I felt I didn’t do so well, but my worries were completely unfounded I discovered. I passed TOPIK I with marks I really didn’t expect. You see I’m the type of person that always manages to underperform during exams.
However, I could never have gotten the result that I got, were it not for the support of my Korean friend and his family. I want to especially thank his mother. She has been supporting me in ways I cannot begin to thank her for. The Korean textbooks and explanations on Korean grammar she has given, have undoubtedly led me to achieve what I have achieved.
Anyway without further ado, let’s dive into results. However to understand TOPIK scoring you need to know how it works. The proficiency test is divided into 2 exams: TOPIK I and II. I took TOPIK I. The exam is marked on a total of 200. You will need to get a score of over 80 to pass level 1 and you need a score of over 140 to pass level 2. The exam is divided into two segments listening (듣기) and reading (읽기) and each section is on 100 marks.
I got 178 out of 200 meaning that I passed TOPIK I level 2 with room to spare. I am so happy with that result as it has proven that all my work has paid of. Let’s go over the individual sections.
Honestly, listening (듣기) was the section I was terrified of the most. I feel my speaking and listening skills in Korean are my weakest language skills. However, once the listening section began at the beginning of the exam, I found out that my worries were unneeded. The speed of speech was far slower than I had anticipated and it was easy for me to follow the conversations. So it won’t surprise you that I scored quite well in this section. I got 93 out of 100 points in this section.
Reading (읽기) on the other hand was the section I was most certain about. However, I struggled quite a bit with the final questions. Those were some tough texts to plough through. However, the first questions I didn’t struggle with at all so I think that balanced everything out. I scored 85 out of 100 points in the reading sections.
Tips & Tricks
After my experience with TOPIK I I want to share a few things I have come to realize. There are a few things you have to accept and look out for.
TIP 1: Download a TOPIK exam and make sure you understand the questions they will ask. If you don’t understand the question, you can’t properly answer it. The questions are in Korean only and the proctor won’t explain the questions either.
TIP 2: Don’t focus on 100% understanding the texts and dialogues at the end. They are purposely a bit more difficult to make sure people at that level struggle a bit with understanding them. The goal is to see that regardless you understand the main idea of the text and dialogue even when you don’t know the exact translation of what is being said.
TIP 3: Work fast during the listening section. This gives you time to go over the next question. Those questions will give you clues what to listen for specifically in the dialogue. This is of utmost importance for the last, more difficult dialogues.
TIP 4: Time is scarce so if you can’t answer a question, don’t panic. Skip and forget. If you dawdle, you might lose out on time for other questions.
TIP 5: The reading section has a lot of grammar questions. A good understanding on the proper use of the basic grammar patterns will earn you a lot of easy points.
These are my 5 tips to you. Do you have other tips? Let us know in the comments!