21 days until Topik 34

Last night I finished all of the writing section’s “fill in the blank” portions and despite understanding the majority of the reading passages, still failed at it. I’m starting to think that part is just over my head. Not only will I be timed while taking the grammar/vocabulary and writing together, but I will have to also write a 400-600 character essays, so I’m coming to the conclusion that I just need to worry about that part a little less.

As of right now, I have all of the tests (17-33) finished and corrected in every section. I have all the words I don’t know underlined and all the grammar I’m unsure about marked. Now I just have to review it. This morning I was very slow to start despite having woke up at 8am with 5 hours left before I have anything to do. I spent about 3 hours procrastinating so far. I took my dog on a much longer walk than usual and then I rested my eyes in the bed for about 30 minutes and then I read around the internet for a couple hours or so. I’v managed to do anything besides review my tests.

About 20 minutes ago I decided to start reviewing the vocabulary in the reading section by reading the passages again as it is easier to remember words when they have context. Then it struck me: I really don’t feel like doing this. I really don’t feel like reviewing. I don’t feel like studying Korean. I don’t feel like doing anything.

As I mentioned before, I started studying for the Topik Intermediate in January of 2013. I studied for it all year. However, I had quite a few breaks in there. Out of the 12 months that made up 2013, I probably spent a combined 4 or so not doing anything related to Korean. I can study diligently for a couple of months (damn near daily) and then I hit a snag and need to take like a 2-3 week break. So far this year I haven’t taken one. For the past 3 months I’ve been studying Korean daily. Sure I had a couple “fuck this I’m catching up on my TV shows” days, but they were quite sparse compared to what I’m used to.

So now, I find my brain fried. It’s filled up completely and just tired of Korean. Studying for the Topik has taken a lot of joy out of learning Korean. Even though I’ve taken 17 practice tests, spend probably over a hundred hours studying for this test, I still don’t feel like I will do well. This isn’t me being pessimistic either. I look at the reading section and all of the words I don’t know. I look at all the questions I consistently got wrong and how most of my grades have been between 50% and 80% overall (in every section) and I find myself worrying. One would think that because I’ve prepared so much, I am sure to get at least an 80% overall on the exam, but I seriously don’t know. How can you truly prepare for a test when you don’t know exactly what will be on it?

What if I studied those thousands of words for nothing? What if there are thousands of new words I don’t know on the new Topik and I fail because of that? What if the style of this exam is (for some bizarre reason) different than all the ones I’ve studied?

It’s making my head spin. I have 21 days left. 21 days to get a handle on 17 tests worth of words and grammar. 21 days left to improve my listening to the point where I can understand it 100% clearly. 21 days left to study daily and not slack off. 21 days to see if my hard work has paid off.

21 fucking days…and that’s it.

And due to the Topik format changing drastically after the 34th exam, not getting a level 4 on this exam is not an option. I think I’d stop studying Korean if I knew I had to go from beginner’s grammar to intermediate/advanced all smashed into one. It just wouldn’t be worth it anymore.

I’m not excited to take the Topik, but nor am I dreading it. I find myself just wanting to get it over with. Wanting to open up the test booklet and skim the questions to see if I could even do well on the test. The Topik as become the equivalent of a shot. I don’t fear them but the anticipation of one makes you just want to get it over with so you can go on about your day. Regardless of the outcome of the exam, I just want it to be April 21st, 2014 so that I can be on the other side of the test.



By Charm

I am an American living in Korea, teaching English to Korean students, and Korean to myself. Topik here I come!

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