How I passed the Korean TOPIK 2 exam on my first try (with results reveal!)

TOPIK results day

Last week, the TOPIK Korean exam results came out. For some silly reason, they aren’t accessible via Macbook or any mobile device. I had to call my mom so she could screenshare from her Windows laptop and I had to guide her across the Korean webpage so she could click and open the results. 

Results reveal

For all of you who have been following my Korean language learning journey, I’m happy to share with you that I scored level 5. I originally aimed for between 4 and 5, of course hoping that I’d get a 5. I’m very satisfied because I know I did my best. Level 6 is very advanced and the vocabulary is quite specialised. Maybe one day, but for now, I attained my goal.

TL;DR? Watch my video summary:

3 ways I prepared for TOPIK 2

01. Know where I lack

Making sure I know where my weak spots are was very important so I could create a focused study plan. I realised pretty soon my vocabulary is lacking (by getting many questions wrong in the vocab section on the past paper) and made sure to consistently study vocab every day. I made flashcards, wrote example sentences, and tried to use my vocabulary in essays and daily conversation.

02. I used one textbook

I only used one textbook and didn’t get bogged down on many resources. I kept my resources simple. In fact, my book is actually called “TOPIK II – OK with one book”… or something along those lines, translated to English. It goes through writing, reading and listening questions with tons of past paper questions, model answers, and even useful grammar and vocabulary for levels 3 to 6. This book is one of my favorite Korean textbooks I’ve ever used.

More tips to pass the TOPIK

03. Knowing which level I'm aiming for

The exam is really not a test that measures your level accurately – a lot of your marks come from how well you answered a question – that is, your test taking ability. So don’t worry if you get a low score but feel like you can speak well. Perhaps you just need to hone in some essay writing skills. 

I planned my time and knew how many minutes I had for each section. I knew that near the end of the paper, the questions are aimed at level 6 students. That meant I had to do my best just up to a specific number, and thereafter, it was OK if it was too hard. I just did what I could, and that helped me stay positive.

04. Booked lessons with a tutor

Finally, I booked Korean lessons on italki. Without my tutoring sessions, I’d probably score a level 3 or 4. My tutor taught me how the exam gets marked, how I should formulate my answers, what to look out for, and where I can improve. These are things I couldn’t have done on my own. 

If you want to get $10 free credits on italki, sign up here and your account will be credited after you book your first language lesson 😀

Thank you for all the support and encouragement! Congratulations to everyone who took the exam this year amid these weird times we’re living in. Love you all!

How I studied vocabulary for TOPIK

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4 Responses

  1. Just FYI – This was my second time taking the TOPIK, and I, like you, used to be frustrated that it wasn’t available on Macs, but you actually can access it via Macs! Just ignore the prompt asking you to download the software, and it’ll let you access the site no problem. I only figured this out a couple of months ago — I always used to plan special trips to the PC방 or library to access a PC, but now it’s so much more convenient haha.

      1. I remember rolling my eyes when I found out that the software isn’t necessary. So much wasted energy on extra trips to the library (my whole family uses Macs).

        Also, I’m super jealous that your writing score is so on par with your reading/listening. My writing score is always wayyy behind my other scores. I mean, I also never practice writing, so it makes sense, but still.. you’re so nicely well-rounded haha.

        PS – Where did you find that chart with the average scores?? Was it on the TOPIK website?

  2. thats really good results , congratulations, simce hard work always pays off ,however, I wonder how long have you been learning korean and how long have you prepared for the TOPIC , thanks for answer

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