Studying with TOPIK?

As you probably know by now, I have been working a lot on my TOPIK skills lately and I do seem to be making progress, however I still feel slightly uncomfortable with TOPIK 2. It’s not so much the thought of maybe probably failing, but more the general writing part. Having practiced TOPIK 1 so many times I have naturally become very comfortable with the different questions, but as soon as I start working on my TOPIK 2 skills, I sort of just panic when I reach the 쓰기 part. Even when I understand the assignment description (which doesn’t happen very often I might note) and I know what I want to write as my answer, it’s like my mind just goes blank for a few seconds before restarting and letting me continue my test. It’s not really a problem now, but it’ll become a problem at the real TOPIK, when I have to spend my time wisely. Sigh.

I think everything will become easier if I become comfortable with TOPIK 2, in the same way I did with TOPIK 1, but since I don’t have that much time I have been trying out different things to speed the process up a notch, and as a result I now study everyday with a TOPIK 2 test. I don’t use it as a mock test though. I simply grab my grammar books and my phone (I prefer looking up words from my naver dictionary app.) and then I choose a TOPIK 2 test (usually one I have already tried and failed at) and then I go through it word by word.
It takes FOREVER to get through all three parts of the test, but I really feel it’s worth it.
Also I do not write anything down, except my answers. By doing it this way I am forcing my self to read and spell the same words over and over again whenever I forget it’s meaning and I do the very same thing with grammar. The good thing about working through a TOPIK 2 test in this manner, is that it uses grammar from both Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, so I will not only be learning new grammar but also be reviewing all the grammar the I already worked with previously but either have forgotten or is still unsure about.
Also, since the TOPIK questions aren’t related (unless stated otherwise in the specific question) to each other, you don’t really have to worry about your possible lack of time. You can easily work though one question and then go back to living your life, without worrying about loosing some of the meaning.
I currently have that problem when reading 작은 아씨들 – the chapters are between 20-40 pages long and when I have to spend a long time on looking up words, then it’s rarely possible for me to just read 40 pages without putting away the book at some point during the chapter. Every time I return to my book and I am in the middle of some sort of situation or conversation, I easily loose the idea of what was going on and therefore have to work through the first part even slower than usual. Did that make sense? I hope so.. ㅎㅎ Anyway that was a short detour! This way of studying/reviewing can easily be adjusted to your personal situation.

Of course everybody has different preferences but I will definitely recommend that you give this method a try at some point – It just might work for you too!

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