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June 16, 2015 | 04:09pm
Mood: frustrated

A rant... in English... for which I already hate myself.

I just found out my TOPIK scores (from the April TOPIK).

Writing - 42
Listening - 56
Reading - 62
Total - 160

My scores on the January TOPIK were 48/50/54/152/4급. I really fucked up on the writing section (didn't finish on time, didn't answer the question correctly), which negated from any obviously improvement on the test. Although, admittedly, my listening/reading scores are significantly higher.

Here's the thing though.

One year ago I first scored a 3급 (coincidentally it's been one year since I found out that I was officially a KGSP scholarship recipient). I've been studying Korean intensively for one year straight. My score has improved by one level. How much bullshit is that?

Furthermore, take my roommates for example. N started at level 1 in September and just got level 3 (133). D went from a 160ish on the January TOPIK to 186 on the April TOPIK.

I know it's just a score. I know that very well; and, in fact, I am the person who always says, "It's just a test." But how can I have seen so little (measurable) improvement in the last year? It doesn't make sense. I can watch TV shows, and read books, and write essays, far better than I was able to a year ago. I'm not fluent, and, to be quite honest, I don't think my skills warrant a 5급. I even took an example TOPIK test that I took in level 4 - I got a 25 in January and I got a 25 again now. I feel like I've hardly seen an improvement in the last 10 months or so. I've learned a lot and studied a shit ton. How could I have worked so hard for- this?

I know, I know, I'm well aware that my score does not represent my actual skill set/ability level. I was just expecting more from myself. Plus, a 5 on the TOPIK = 100,000원 more every month. I'd be down with that, if I ever manage to do well enough on that miserable exam to get it.

Anyways. It's entirely possible that I'll eke out a 5 on the next exam, if the amount of studying I'm doing for level 6 proves to be any indication. But I have 1 month. Like, literally, one month from now I'll be taking the next TOPIK. Sure, my skills have improved a bit since April, but can I manage a drastic 30 point improvement in the next 30 days? Probably not, to be honest with you. But... maybe, if I continue studying the way I keep telling myself I want to study (2 essays a week + corrections; read and listen to shit tons of stuff), it could be possible. Maybe. I suppose I could also start studying for the TOPIK and see what happens. But how could I do that? Maybe translate old questions and try to answer them? Maybe 2 a day? That's a possibility, I suppose.

Anyways (again). Rage depleted. Time to study.

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