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.
The key: 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.
- 500 Basic Korean Verbs Cheat Sheet
- 500 Basic Korean Adjectives Cheat Sheet
- 500 Verbs + 500 Adjectives Cheat Sheet Bundle