Nearly after 3 years, I finally decided to try for TOPIK advanced this time. We had to reach there by 8.10 for the beginners / advanced paper. Upon alighting from the shuttle bus, we were greeted by the staff who gave us each a note of encouragement and a choco pie! Which was really thoughtful of them. (until I flipped the note and saw that it was promoting the Korean language courses in SKS lol ㅋㅋㅋㅋ) It appears that they have added Master 1 & 2 courses on top of their advanced courses. I wonder if the master courses are equivalent to a Yonsei Level 6 course or not. Any one who has taken it? ^^
The beginner test was held in a hall and the setting reminds me of school examinations. The advanced paper was held in a classroom and omg I love the classroom!! It was really comfortable and we were asked to put our bags in the next room (from inside the classroom) – which is like a meeting room of sorts and also nice sofas and a large bookcases. These books look interesting! The meeting room itself can also lead to another room – which looks like a staff office. Interesting layout.
The other examinees came streaming in and they were all speaking FLUENT KOREAN. And I realized that I’m going to take a Korean proficiency tests with a bunch of Koreans -.- I think there may be ‘true gyopos’ in the group but some looked like they are Koreans who perhaps come over in middle or high school…. -.- There were 16 of us and only two (including me) were Singaporeans. One of the Koreans was a lady who looked like one of the glamorous Korean ladies from the dramas. I like her style! Interesting group of examinees. xD[Okay I hope that none of them reads this entry…]
We started with the writing and vocabulary/grammar section. It’s unsettling to take TOPIK with Koreans. They were all flipping their pages so fast. I’m used to being one of the fastest (or at least keep up with the average speed) and the feeling that I’m very slow is unsettling. But I was too engrossed in the paper to care after awhile. While I was doing the paper, only one thought was in my mind. I was very unprepared.
The writing section was a disaster. The 3 short answer questions were terrible (I wrote rubbish) and I basically felt like a primary school kid writing an argumentative essay. Needless to say, it turned out really crappy.
During the break, the Korean guys were saying how this was one of the easiest paper ever. ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ They were saying how it can’t be compared to the 수능시험 standard and during their 국어 paper, they had to answer questions like what’s the difference between 기역 (ㄱ) and 니은 and when did King Sejong invented the 한글 etc etc. hahaha. Sorry I eavesdropped. ㅋㅋ I haven’t heard so much spoken Korean for a long long while~ happy to be surrounded by Korean students.
And something quite funny happened before the 2nd paper. We were marking our names and ID number on the OMR sheet and there was a part where it states 결시 and there was an option to mark it. Some of the Koreans marked it and then they asked if it should be marked or not. The invigilators were kinda surprised and they had to change the OMR sheet for the students. ㅎㅎ In case you didn’t get it, 결시 means 缺試 and it means that the person was absent for the test LOL. And one of the invigilators was like ‘아~ 결시는 그렇게 어려운 한자인 줄 몰랐어’ or something along that lines. I’m glad at least I knew what it means lol.
Listening was… mmm. Not too good. If you have been doing TOPIK practice papers, you would realize that the number of answers for each option is always around 7 to 8 in each section. Means that there will be around 7 to 8 As, Bs, Cs, Ds for each section. And looking at my OMR sheet, I have a suspiciously high number of As and Ds.
After the listening, we were left with about 45 mins or so to complete 30 questions of reading component. Speed reading is required. It started quite well (reading was always my strongest component) but towards the last few passages, my brain was simply seeing Korean as a bunch of gibberish. There was one particularly tough passage. Can’t wait for the paper to be released so that I can look at it again.
Most of the Koreans finished really quickly and they were all yawning and restless. LOL. Some of them left early. When the invigilators came over to collect the papers, they collected the OMR pen too. hahaha. I wanted to keep the pen so I pretended that I didn’t know they were collecting it. HAHAHA. Sorry, I love memory keepsakes.
The top one was from 2009!
We finished earlier than the beginners group, probably caused it was a lot easier to collect our papers. Decided not to wait for the shuttle bus and walked out. Enjoyed the walk. The school is in the midst of one of the most expensive landed property areas in Singapore and the houses there are HUGE. Mansions, villas.. whatever you call them. Some of the houses are ridiculously huge. I don’t ever think I’ll have a chance to visit one of them, much less live in one. But I really want to visit such a house and see how it’s like. During the shuttle bus ride into the school, we passed by this house that looked like it came straight out of a magazine. In terms of the exterior, interior design etc. The bedroom was minimalistic and it really looked like a photoshoot!! I mean, I understand that people have houses that look really awesome, but how can your bedroom be so.. minimal and perfectly neat. Doesn’t feel like it’s being lived in.. if you know what I mean. Not a single thing out of place. Strange.
Okay, I digressed. Not looking forward to blogging about my results. But I promise that I’ll be super honest and show you guys my scores – like what I did last time. hehe even if I ended up failing every component ^^
How was the paper for you?