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Hey everyone,


I was wondering if anyone is taking the Intermediate exam next month? If so, how are you preparing for it? I found that I passed the beginner stage fairly easily (surprisingly so in fact) but the step up to intermediate is huge and the sheer amount of vocab and grammar is making it very difficult for me.


Anyone passed this? Any tips?


Thanks for any help. ^^

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 I hope you will make a great mark even though I'm not taking it by the way. But, I'd like to help anyone who has got a question or want to know more about Korean language.

If you have any questions, just fire away. I will try to answer to the question as possible as I can.

I took the intermediate TOPIK this past April and got a 276 overall, with something like a 59 in writing, a 58 in reading, a 76 in grammar/vocab, and an 83 in listening. I definitely prepared a lot for the grammar section by going through old TOPIK's I found on the internet, and I practiced along with some of the old listening tests. But If anything, those only prepared me for what to expect on the test, and how to take it, not necessarily give me more knowledge that would provide me the correct answer. I think it was a good snapshot of my skill at the time, and if I took it again today, I would expect to do much better on the reading, having taken a Business Korean class that focused almost solely on intensive reading and comprehension. I've never practiced much formal writing, so getting a 59 wasn't surprising. I was happy to see a 76 and 83 for grammar and listening - I've definitely put in a lot of time working on listening and understanding how to form sentences with correct, natural grammar.


Anyways, find old tests online and work through a part of a section everyday. And build up your concentration endurance! When you take the test you concentrate for an hour at a time on each section, and you only have maybe a 20 minute break halfway through the entire thing. I'm pretty sure a certain percent of my wrong answers were not because I didn't understand or know the right answer, but because I was mentally drained and exhausted during the second and fourth hours.

I can't offer any advice so all I can do is wish you the best of luck on your exam Sam! ^^

Is TOPIK just a test to see if you're eligible to work and live in Korea?


What are some of the other purposes for taking the test?

Thanks so much for the support guys. ^^


Brett - That's what I've been planning on doing but it depresses me whenever I look at the exam papers. I got a 91% average on the beginner exam but I struggle to answer most of the questions on the intermediate paper it seems! It's such a huge leap up. I'll follow your advice and just review the old papers and see what I can learn. I found a couple of helpful books too but I think there's little chance of me passing this time around - but I should try my best regardless!


Brett, do you by chance have any idea of a vocab list for the intermediate exam? I bought the "The Complete Guide to the TOPIK book" but it isn't so useful as the beginner one for some reason.


Trunks - There's no requirements of any TOPIK (or Korean skill) to get a job and live here but naturally some employers would want it if you were looking for a job outside of teaching English here. It's also a requirement (level 3) to get a scholarship at a university here. Also, it can help you get towards perm residence visa in Korea. Personally, I am just doing it for enjoyment - it's nice to have a target to work towards and something to compare my process against.

It's hard to say what vocabulary will be on the test. If you're having trouble with the vocab on the old tests, then you know the level of vocabulary the intermediate level generally throws at you. If you have a month left, I would honestly not worry about vocabulary and focus on four things - figuring out the template of the listening portion (there's usually a news radio broadcast, an informercial, etc), and identifying key words used in those (보도하다, 밝히다, 주의하다). The second thing is to practice as much of the grammar as you can - just keep running through the grammar portions of tests, don't worry about the vocab so much. Third, I would try to practice the reading portions of old tests, trying to get down basic comprehension and pay attention to 이/가, 을/를, 은/는, 으로, 에/에서, etc. Being able to master who/what is doing what and to whom with what from where to where etc - this is the skeleton of the language, and you can't bulk up your muscle (vocab) without a strong skeleton. Lasty, I would practice writing a page on various topics, collecting a list of phrases that you feel comfortable using (안심시키다, 마음이 편하다). 


But in order to work on vocabulary over the long run, you need to read extensively. Find books that you can read with about 98% of the vocab known - and just read. The more relaxed you, and the better you can comprehend, the faster your vocabulary will grow. This should be paired with intensive reading, which is looking up all unknown words on a more difficult text, and really 'studying'.

Sorry for reviving a somewhat old topic. With it being 추석 and all I was away.


I just mostly wanted to thank you for your help, Brett. You've given me a wonderful place to start and I'll follow what you said. I think you're right - the vocab isn't that much of the exam, the grammar is far more important.. but as those questions tend to come at the start of the test it just annoys me when I am running through exams and can't answer them well, haha.


I tend to read a lot. There's a fairytale series that writes both in Korean and English here and gives the translations for words and whatnot. Whilst I tend not to rely on it they feel comfortable for me. However, knowing 98% of the vocab is a little difficult! Children's books especially have some insane words that is just kiddy language or weird 형영사 I find. Any suggestions on other books that might be useful?


Have you studied the advanced TOPIK exam?


Thanks again for all your help. It's wonderful to have people your level, and so kind, in the community. ^^



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