Firstly I would like to apologize for not writing any posts for the last few weeks. I’ve been extremely busy with TOPIK exams and offline classes (YES!!! You read that right. After 9 months in Korea I started offline classes- I will write a separate blog post about that)
Most of my year has been taken up studying for the TOPIK Exam. TOPIK stands for ‘test of proficiency in Korean’. This is basically the IELTS or TOEFL of Korea. The exam has a range of 6 levels. Levels 1 and 2 falls under TOPIK 1 and levels 3-6 fall under TOPIK 2.
TOPIK 2 consists of 300 points. 100 points from Listening, 100 points from Reading comprehension and 100 points from the writing part. The listening and reading comprehension sections have 50 multiple choice questions each question weighing two points. The writing section is structured a little bit differently. The first 2 questions are fill in the blank questions. The first question is looking for your ability to use the very formal polite Korean. The second question looks for your ability to read and understand a paragraph and fill in the blanks using formal report style written Korean. The third question requires you to write a short report on a graph and survey. It searches for your ability to report and state facts based on the data given ( this is usually the easiest questions and this is where beginner- intermediate level students gain most of their points). The Final questions is an essay question that assesses your ability to write about social issues. It will generally ask you to state the advantages and disadvantages of a certain scenario and either ask for recommendations or opinions on how to best solve the issue. However, each question is different and you never really know what to expect. The social issues can range from communication (의사 소통), declining population (인간 감소) or City development (도시 개발), etc.
As a GKS scholar, I am required to reach level 3 before the end of my 12 months of intensive Korean language learning. There are two approaches one can take to reach this level 3. The first approach is to not go out much in your first semester and study like crazy to reach level 3 so that you don’t have to worry about it for the second semester. The second approach which is the one that I chose; you try to balance your study life with the adventurous travel life. This means that you’ll probably reach level 3 at a slower rate but you would have collected lots of experiences along the way. In the last month, I’ve sat two TOPIK exams and I’m hoping to have reached level 3 from at least one of them. I won’t know until near the end of December. I will also be sitting another one in January just in case I need more points.
Anyway, that is what I’ve been busy doing or the last few weeks when I was too busy to write my blog. Our teachers are pushing us and motivating us to study hard so we can all reach our goals. Although it is difficult at times to grasp the different grammars and new vocabulary I really enjoy it. Since the next test is all the way in January hopefully I will have some free time to write more blogs. I have some exciting plans that I’ve been working on for the last few months that I would like to share with you all soon !!
Also, a lot of people I know have just finished or about to finish uni for the year. I’d just like to let you know that our Language centre’s semester layout is a bit different so I won’t finish until late January. Which means I will be studying through Christmas and New year 😦 . 힘들지만 재미있어요! (It’s hard but fun). This is an example that regularly pops up in textbooks and it suits this situation. I just thought I would let you know what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks before I go back into my usual posts.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. Stay tuned as I write more about my life as an international student here in Korea.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on fun places around Busan that I need to visit during my one year of language study. I’ve made a list of cool places to go and visit which include cafes, lookout spots and tourist attractions. Stay tuned to any updates by subscribing to my blog so you don’t miss out on any new posts! forget to like and subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on any new posts.