I'm currently building up some momentum and anticipation for the upcoming 41st TOPIK test. I've made it my goal to take the test EVERY July until I reach Level 6 fluency.
- In 2013, I aced the Beginner TOPIK with a 91 (100 in Vocab/Grammar) and got Level 2
- In 2014, I failed the NEW TOPIK II test miserably with an 88 (needed 120 to gain Level 3)
- In 2015, I will be cramming and studying almost non-stop for 30 consecutive days leading up to the test (and hopefully creating loads of 30-Day Challenge video content as well)
How I intend to study in 2015:
- By following the suggestions and tips of some of the world's leading polyglot and accelerated (meta-learning) bloggers like Benny Lewis, Tim Ferriss, and Gabriel Wyner
- By keeping a daily video diary (beginning June 22) to record my progress
- With Extensive Reading using Learning With Texts, Eko Korean (includes Writing components and is developed by a friend of mine), and paper books
- With focused Writing practice 3 times per week (twice a week revisions)
- Using the TOPIK One Practice Test app (Android | Apple) (also developed by someone I know)
- Using the 완벽대비 토픽II book that includes 3 books in one (TOPIK Tips, Practice Tests, and a "Score 100 in Writing" Practice book)
- Taking my wife's TOPIK II prep class
- Creating and using One-page Vocabulary Cheat Sheets
Then let's see what score I can come up with after this. Please note that I haven't
studied Korean at all (nor written on this blog much at all) since last July when I died on the TOPIK. So I'm going in with the expectation of an 88 or above - and I'm hoping to CRUSH my previous score.
Actually, the Cheat Sheets are why I set out to write this post in the first place. I was recently listening to Tim Ferriss' The Four-Hour Chef in which he talks about Meta-Learning (Accelerated Learning). He described how he was able to very quickly learn Japanese to such an extent as to beat his native Japanese-speaking friend in the Japanese SAT after only one year in Japan.
a single-page poster that contained ALL the Japanese Kanji that newspapers printed.
Essentially: Japanese on one-page.
Using this idea, I decided to start creating my own one-page Cheat Sheets to help me cram and study Korean. My greatest weakness on the TOPIK is limited vocabulary. If I can increase my vocabulary by 1000 words in 30 days, I'll have a much better shot at getting a higher score on the test.
So that's the goal: Learn 1000 words in 30 days.
That's actually only around 33 words per day. If I increased that number to 50 words per day (doable?), then I could add an additional 500 words to the original 1000 in time for the test.
1500 words in 30 days.
Can it be done?
Introducing the 500-Word Cheat Sheets
In an effort to help me quickly and efficiently acquire more vocab in a short time, I've created some vocabulary cheat sheets to help.
- Each sheet contains 500 words
- One sheet is specifically for VERBS (동사) and one for ADJECTIVES (형용사)
- Words are listed in alphabetical order and counted by letter at the bottom of the page
- Words are also color-coded by difficulty (green = beginner, black = intermediate, gray = advanced) and the numbers of each are counted below
One thing I noticed about the vocabulary as I was creating the papers:
- VERBS contain far more "intermediate" words and ADJECTIVES contain far more "advanced" words
And one major tip my wife gave me for the TOPIK Writing section is that:
- VOCABULARY matters more than GRAMMAR (her university professor, who is a writer on the official TOPIK tests, filled her in on that tip).
I intend to use these sheets to DAILY drill the vocab until I have it down. Plus, they provide handy one-page references once I learn all the vocab.
Want to get these Cheat Sheets yourself? Head on over to our product pages on Gumroad
to order the digital downloads (or join our offline TOPIK Prep classes
where the handouts will be free).
- 500 Basic Korean Verbs Cheat Sheet
- 500 Basic Korean Adjectives Cheat Sheet
- 500 Verbs + 500 Adjectives Cheat Sheet Bundle
How will you study for the TOPIK? Let me know in the Comments below.