Book Haul October-December 2016

I think December has been my most active month of the year LOL. I have always been a sparse kind of writer, but I feel like writing recently. I have been on a book-buying spree and even if I tell myself not to do that as it will just make everything harder once I move away, but I can’t seem to help myself hahaha.

I. Korean Language Learning Books:

I found about TOPIK VOCA Mind Map about two weeks before the TOPIK test, but I somehow managed to retain most of what I learned from it. I love it so far. I usually use it everyday on my way to work. It also includes some hanja at the end of each chapter so you can better link words together, and it works marvelously for me.

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Each chapter is for a day so there’s around 80 days and the following is the format of each chapter:

I bought 한국어 문장 쓰기의 모든 것 (All About Writing Korean Sentences) on a whim when I was in Kyobo after I got out of the TOPIK test. It is really comprehensive and sort of tiring as you practice writing a lot. Each chapter focuses on different aspects and it also has some TOPIK writing relevance (answering the short essay), but I think it will just improve your writing skills in general.

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I took pictures of some random pages and you will see some of my handwriting lol.

*Sorry some are kind of blurry.

II. Korean Books:

As some of you probably know, I have been reading 구르미 그린 달빛 novel for a while. I had to stop for a while to dedicate all my free time to study for TOPIK II. Now that I’m done with the test (sort of), I started reading it again. I’m already half-through the first book so I bought the second volume.

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I also bought the Korean hardcover version of Harry Potter (just the first two books) and 어쩌면 별들이 너의 슬픔을 가져갈지도 몰라 which is a collection of poems from different authors. I really liked how Gong Yoo read it, and I find myself re-reading it out loud as well  LOL. I decided to use the right side to annotate words I don’t know and translate it into English and Spanish (I’m a translator after all) to keep practicing.

 

That’s all for now! Until next time~

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49th TOPIK II Results

Hi!

I have never been one to hide my scores as I think it’s good to share.

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I’m really happy and excited despite just passing level 3. I’m also extremely surprised because of my writing score (I only wrote a paragraph for the long essay LOL). Honestly, I did not expect to score so high above the average (it was 31). However, I was slightly disappointed with my listening score (but that’s another story). I’m okay with the reading score though. It could have been better, but it was my fault for not timing myself correctly. I think achieving level 4 in January seems attainable as I was just 15 points short. Overall, I’m really happy since my expectations were kind of low.

I think I should focus more on listening and reading for the remaining 3 weeks. Perhaps I’ll be able to barely pass level 4.

Until next time!~

The Chronicles of TOPIK II

Hello! It’s been a while since I last posted anything. I was busy studying like crazy for TOPIK II. I have no idea whether I passed or not and I will not know until tomorrow after 3pm KST. Although I took the test about a month ago, I still feel drained LOL.

I chose to relax the day before the test because it’s not like it would improve anything even if I did some last minute review. I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them with a friend of mine. I realized during the movie I had forgotten my ARC so I had to go back to my apartment in Pyeongchang. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there and I had to make twice more ㅠㅠ. I’m usually very thorough with the things I really need so I was really stressed out about it, but thankfully I decided to go to Seoul on Saturday instead of just getting there Sunday morning.

Despite going to bed late, I still woke up early and went to eat a strong breakfast. After that, I checked out and went to my test site. I wanted to scout the area, buy some power snacks to eat during the break and find a coffee shop where I could wait. I tend to be paranoid so I like being around the place I’m supposed to be at early. I left the coffee shop around 11:00am so I could walk to the building  I was supposed to take the test. I took it at Konkuk University and like pretty much every other university in Korea, I had to walk uphill. It took a bit longer that I anticipated and I certainly did not like the trek. There were a lot of people handing different promotions and interviewing students.

Once inside the classroom, I realized -to my horror- I was the only western foreigner in the classroom. Curiously, there was a Korean high school student sitting next to me. To be honest, I’m still curious of why he took the test and apparently it was quite easy for him because he always finished early and he would take a nap. Surprisingly, I was not nervous at all, but I already wanted it to end hahaha.

I don’t know if the proctors were new to administering the test, but there were a lot hiccups during the preparation time. I also smeared ink on the sheet (I have no idea how) so they had to give a new sheet and the senior proctor was telling me I had to write my name in bigger letters and showed me the test sheet of another test taker. I was quite annoyed because my name is very long and I told him so; our names shouldn’t be outside the box. Then during break time, he told me he found my writing habits weird. I always turn slightly sideways (my paper too) so I can write because I’m left handed and I’m afraid of smudging my papers and I really hated the attention.

The proctors started playing the music of the listening section beforehand, and stopped it on the verge of starting the questions (not really questions, but you get it). That made it harder for me during the listening part, because I didn’t know the answers slightly beforehand, so I didn’t have any idea of what I should look out for. I had practiced beforehand, but here it was slightly faster and I barely had time write down the answers so I was really frustrated. We literally finished 5 minutes ahead of time and continued to the writing portion. I think it was slightly easier than I expected. I had finished the short essay, but still had like 30 minutes so I decided to attempt writing the long essay. I think I also miscalculated during the reading section because I was just halfway through the reading sections when there was like 20 minutes left so I had to read really fast (which is never a good idea for me) and answer more or less what I thought it could be.

Overall, the experience was quite interesting and I think I’ll be fine even if I don’t pass and that’s okay. I also decided that I won’t ever take a test at Konkuk University. I know for sure that I improved my writing a lot and my vocabulary increased too. How was your experience taking TOPIK II?

Until next time!~