I took my TOPIK II exam last November 15 and in this blog, I will write my first TOPIK II experience and some tips on how to pass the test if you don’t have enough time to review or study. But before we proceed let’s check out what TOPIK is all about.
What is TOPIK?
TOPIK or Test of Proficiency in Korean is a proficiency test that is taken 6 times a year in Korea and other countries. This test is for those who want to study at a Korean university and for those who want to get a job in Korea. In the Philippines, those who want to land a job in Korea, take the EPS-TOPIK test under the supervision of POEA. There’s no direct hiring employment here that’s why you need to study Korean and take the exam. Aside from that, those who are married to Koreans and want to get an immigrant visa also need to pass the TOPIK test. In my case, we had a child so I got exempted from studying.
TOPIK Levels and Passing Marks
TOPIK is consist of two examination levels, TOPIK I, a basic level test, and II a combination of intermediate/advanced levels. Each level has a designated score which is evaluated based on the number of points you have earned. The table above is the score requirements from levels 1 to 6. So if you will look at the scores, this test is actually not a joke. You really need to put the time to study to pass each level.
Structure of the Questions
The structure of questions is both multiple-choice but TOPIK I consists of listening (40 minutes long/30 questions) and reading (60 minutes long/40 questions). Both listening and reading score 100 each and have a total of 200 points. The TOPIK II is divided into two parts: the first part is listening (60 minutes long/50 questions) and writing (50 minutes long /4 short-answer questions). The second part is reading which is 70 minutes long with 50 questions. Listening, writing, and reading have 100 points each with a total of 300 points.
Importance of TOPIK
Some might say it’s not important but the truth is, it is very important especially if you want to be studied at a Korean university, and get your immigrant visa (if you don’t have kids or your husband doesn’t speak English). It is also important if you want to apply for Korean Language Teaching Qualification test.
In Korea, for foreigners who want to work in the government, or big companies, or have a decent job, a TOPIK certificate is very important. One example is working in the Multicultural Family Center, they actually require TOPIK II Level 3 to 4 for teaching jobs like Multicultural Education, and for translators they require TOPIK II Level 4 to 6 passers. If you want to be a regular employee, passing Level 6 is the best.
I work as a part-time Multicultural Educator that’s why I took the TOPIK II test last November 15 and here’s my first TOPIK II experience.
My First TOPIK II Experience
There’s a story behind my TOPIK II test, my co-workers were registering for the 73rd TOPIK II examination. They encourage me to create an account and told me “let’s take the test all together”. I don’t have any idea about the exam. I was hesitating too because I am not that fluent in Korean. TOPIK is very different from the Korean Language and Culture classes that I have taken.
I was planning to register for TOPIK I but they said it is better for me to take TOPIK II. I created an account and registered for the TOPIK II test. But it doesn’t end there, I was working part-time, taking care of my son when I get home. I also do the household chores and basically, I don’t have much time to study. Aside from that, I am a woodcock who is sleepy all the time.
So, I have only like two months to study and I don’t have much time to read books and other stuff. So what I did was, watched TOPIK II videos on youtube. The exact thing that I have done was watch the tips on how to answer each question. Then, I took some online mock tests to evaluate my Korean proficiency.
There are so many test-takers and I got a slot at Kyungmin College (경민대학교). It is located in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggido which is 30 minutes from Seoul by train. We left at 10 in the morning and arrived at Uijeongbu station at around 10:40 am. Had a long time waiting for a bus so we arrived at the venue around 11:15 am. We drop off at Kyungmin College and took a walk going inside but they said if we enter the venue at that time, we can’t go out anymore. So we decided to have lunch first but we can’t find any restaurant so we ended up eating at the convenience store.
Before we enter the building, we need to show an examination ticket to check if we are legitimate test takers. Aside from that, we need to pass the normal temperature test so we can go inside. Thankfully, no one got positive for corona during the 2 weeks after the examination day.
The examination time comes and the first part was listening and writing and the second part was reading. The first few questions are easy but while turning the pages of the questionnaire it is getting harder and harder. I don’t understand some of the questions but I tried my best to concentrate. I also applied the tips that I have learned from youtube. The reading part was a bit hard for me. I didn’t have much time to read the atleast 10 questions so I just looked for keywords and tried to answer them.
Yesterday, December 24, the result came out and I didn’t expect to pass level 3 and get a score of 134 points. It’s not bad for a first-timer like me and someone who has never studied. Now, I told myself to manage my time and give time to study to pass the next level next year. I have 10 months to prepare and I know that I can do it.
To achieve our dreams, we must set our goals and they must be clear and well-defined. If we fail, we must learn not to give up because God will always be there for us. He will give us the things we want at a perfect time.
Tips on How to Pass TOPIK
- Study and prepare well for the exam
- Watch TOPIK video guides on youtube.
- Listen to the old TOPIK listening test to enhance your hearing skills.
- Practice reading, the longer the better.
- Note the words you don’t understand, translate, and read them 10 times.
- Take a mock test to evaluate Korean proficiency.
- Practice writing to enhance your writing skills in Korean. What do you think of my first TOPIK II experience? Is it worth it or not?
Did you like this post? Pin it.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar