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TOPIK #29 Test Results Are Out
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:16 pm    Post subject: TOPIK #29 Test Results Are Out Reply with quote

Anyone else take it this time around?
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, but I wanted to. How did you do? I heard the 중급 and 고급 is hard!
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I scored level 4, quite comfortable in everything except the writing section, which brought my average down to 80%. I really wish they would give back our graded essays. Everything else we can just look up later, but it would be nice to know exactly what was imperfect in my writing.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, man, level 4 is quite respectable! You must have studied really hard. (Any good tips for how to get better at Korean?) Will you be taking the advanced level test next? (I want to do it someday, but that is years down the road. Even passing the intermediate level test for me seems like a pipe dream.)
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not studied hard, just worked my way through the Integrated Korean line of textbooks in a casual fashion (while skipping all the exercises - too boring), with Anki to help retain vocabulary. I did study Hanja in a determined fashion for a while (learned about 1800 characters), and that helps with reading. Certainly trying advanced next year, or maybe even late this year.

You only need a fifty percent average to pass 중급 with a level 3. I think a lot of foreigners would be pleasantly surprised if they tried it.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, Fox, that is impressive! I have never met a Westerner who knows 1800 한자. That is quite a feat. As for the Korean language overall, you studied just casually, but were able to reach high intermediate? Again, I am shocked. (Maybe you are 천재.) How long have you been in Korea? (Even if it's been a really long time, what you've done is something to be super proud of. Most expats never achieve your level, even if they have been here 20+ years.) You inspired me. Now I'm going to dust off the ol' Integrated Korean series and get to work.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Traveler wrote:
How long have you been in Korea?


A bit over four and a half years, so I've been studying Korean for about four years total.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that no one else here evidently took the test: I saw a few people of European descent here and there, and one African, but it was overwhelmingly people from China or Southeast Asia.
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World Traveler



Joined: 29 May 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had friends who took the TOPIK who said they were the only white person there (in a room of roughly 200 test takers). @.@ Mostly foreign spouses (regardless of test level).
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've had friends who took the TOPIK who said they were the only white person there (in a room of roughly 200 test takers). @.@ Mostly foreign spouses (regardless of test level).


Doesn't surprise me much. I don't think there are that many Westerners who want to work here in jobs where they need a TOPIK score. Most are in education, military or international companies.
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sweetkaiser



Joined: 18 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
I have not studied hard, just worked my way through the Integrated Korean line of textbooks in a casual fashion (while skipping all the exercises - too boring), with Anki to help retain vocabulary. I did study Hanja in a determined fashion for a while (learned about 1800 characters), and that helps with reading. Certainly trying advanced next year, or maybe even late this year.

You only need a fifty percent average to pass 중급 with a level 3. I think a lot of foreigners would be pleasantly surprised if they tried it.


Thank you for posting! This is very encouraging....you have no idea!

I'm working my way up to a level 5 (I'm sitting somewhere near 3, but I have to take the test in April to see if that's accurate!) and have plans to be a translator/interpreter from Korean to English. Hearing that people can study casually for a few years and make it to level 4 gives me hope. I've only been studying seriously (as in, self-study with a textbook) for 1 year, and I get feelings of hopelessless at times.

May I ask how you studied hanja? Is there a book you could recommend?
And writing is my weak point right now--what methods do you use for practicing your writing, other than just answing questions and getting your friends/co-workers to check it? I'm sorry for bombarding you with questions. Congrats on passing the test btw.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweetkaiser wrote:

May I ask how you studied hanja? Is there a book you could recommend?


Well, my first 500 came from Korean Reader for Chinese Characters, which is written in old mixed script. After that, I just worked my way up to 4급 on the 한자능력시험 before stopping my Hanja study and focusing fully on Chinese instead with regards to characters.

sweetkaiser wrote:
And writing is my weak point right now--what methods do you use for practicing your writing ...


I don't really practice writing, which is probably why writing pulled down my test results. I've written a few brief essays for fun and had Koreans check them over, but nothing systematic.
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spaceman82



Joined: 01 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox, I also took the test this time around. Did well for the most part, but like you, didn't do as well on the writing section and my average suffered for it. I think I just didn't use enough advanced grammar/vocabulary (looking at past tests' scoring criteria, that seems to be a requirement), but it would be nice to have the graded essay back to know for sure.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe that was my problem as well. I tried to keep it reasonably simple for fear of using complex formations erroneously, but perhaps that's exactly what came back to bite me. What counts as "advanced" grammar and vocabulary here though?

It also wouldn't hurt if the questions were a little less lame.
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spaceman82



Joined: 01 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have some arbitrary guidelines that you can glean somewhat from the scoring guides/sample responses to past writing sections. I remember seeing in one place that a respondent would get a certain number of points for using -는 데(에) in response to a certain question while other structures (I forget what they were, but, just to provide an example, -는 것 or -기) would receive fewer points because they were "less advanced." I think this was on a sentence building task, but my sense is that the criteria are similar.

With that said, I was like you in that I thought it'd be better to make fewer mistakes than to try to use a bunch of advanced grammar and then have my response sound unnatural. Maybe that was the wrong approach though... And yeah, having something a little more stimulating to write about than a time in the past I would want to go back to would help.
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aq8knyus



Joined: 28 Jul 2010
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that as English speaking foreigners in Korea we dont really need TOPIK. That might explain why there arent many ESL types taking the test. I got admission onto a masters programme in Korean studies with a full scholarship without a TOPIK score.

Although if you want to do TOPIK you guys should try the TOPIK master book by Darakwon.

It has 10 past papers along with detailed explanations and translations. They have one for 초급/중급/고급.

I can also recommend the Yonsei U 'Korean Grammar Practice for Foreigners' (외국인을 위한 한국어 문법 연습).

It is broken up according to levels and although it is essentially a grammar list they explain things neatly and the translations are good for the most part. It covers all the grammar you need to know at least.

Also in regards to Fox, have you tried Yonsei U's 'Academic Koreran Writing' (대학 강의 수강을 위한 한국어 쓰기)? I know its intended to prepare you for Uni but it shows you how to organise your thoughts in the Korean style. It also bolds very very very useful phrases/endings that help you to combine sentences more naturally.
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