April 24, 2021•1,490 words
This test was one that, compared to the last ones, I definitely did not study much for.1 But maybe it could be that my previous method of studying that was inefficient. That is, aside from the usual Anki review.
That involved looking through the textbook grammar points, is what I didn't schedule this round due to work. I also only scheduled Quizlet for the second week before the test (usually I start 2 weeks before the test since that's when I'm made aware a test is coming up), not all the way to the week leading up to the test.
This was really so much easier, to the point that I couldn't believe the first 2 questions were just to select the right picture.
The other sections were more similar to the past listening tests, but I didn't have any trouble with the contents.
I have been using the Real-Life Korean Conversation For Beginners podcast by TalkToMeInKorean (and after I bought the book, the actual book as well). I also bought the Intermediate level book and boy, that one, the speed is much faster. But the listening test speed I found it manageable, and in fact a bit... slow, though the Beginners book is actually around there (or even slower).
Started with reading 5 sentences. I don't recall anything... hard about them, which made me really... wary.
Then the rest of it was responding to the question that the teacher asked. The caveat was that there are the various grammar from Chapters 1 to 4, and you had to use those to answer. It's quite straightforward, going down the list.
One grammar for one question.
- The first one was to introduce yourself ((이)라고 하다)3, and say why you were learning Korean (-(으)려고).
- The second one was what do you do in your free time (-거나).
- The third one was about your hobby (-는 것)
- The next question more of a check, asking if you have been to Korea. Then the actual question was about what you did there (-아/어 보다).
- I think then it was the last question, using -지 않다
In order to use -(으)려고 which requires intention in the first question, I basically could not really say what I'd said in class that many lessons ago, which was closer to the actual truth: I did it because my friend asked me to (친구가 부탁해서 한국어를 배워요). So I gave a canned response.
For the second question, I said I watch television or read a book. I deliberately said it in the order because while revising I was second guessing how to pronounce 읽거나. By flipping it around I avoid the problem, since I've no problems with 보거나's pronunciation.
For the second last question, I was thinking a bit too hard. See, I had just finally finished the writing for Chapter 3 last night.4 The topic I wrote was about places I went to in Korea, and so there were actually things in my mind. I recall things like 남이섬 and 제주도 floating in my head, but in the end I said 놀이공원 (without naming either Everland or Lotte World). I can't recall if the question came after, but you also had to say what you did that. And then I forgot how to say rides (놀이기구). In my mind it was... was it 기구? 구기? And the teacher helped to supply the word which... I think threw me off? Because it felt like I had help and that was bad.
With that frame of mind, I messed up the last question, first because I wasn't actually... sure what the teacher had asked. Unlike for the rest.
I think the question was about some exercise that you don't do (I definitely heard 운동), or don't know how to do. The first thought was "yoga" but then I thought, eh, never mind, let's go with riding a bicycle (why on earth, I have no clue).
Then I panicked and said the wrong thing, saying "car" (차동차) instead of "bicycle" (차전거). So I said something like... 차동차를 타지 않아요. Which is like... rubbish. The teacher then asked me if I knew how to drive (using (으)ㄹ 줄 모르다) so I said that I knew how to. In fact, I only realised I said the wrong word (car instead of bicycle) much later. I remember when the teacher first asked me something like 운전할 줄 알아요? I was thinking... why on earth is she asking me about driving? 😓
And at the end, I totally forgot I had to manually leave the breakout room.
No problems here. My head didn't really hurt from reading the various texts, no idea why, because it's not as though I've been doing a lot of reading practice.
In fact, the longest (and last) passage was one that was directly lifted from one of the reading activities in the book. It was the one from Chapter 3.
I'd just looked at it yesterday because I was still struggling to finish the Chapter 3 writing assignment, and in the textbook, the writing assignment comes after reading.
I've checked the textbook, and in fact the the questions are the same. The only difference is that there's 4 options in the test, while the textbook had 3. However, the correct answers are the same.
The last distractor option for the second question, though, used 올해 ("this year") and I forgot what it meant. But I was saved by Writing (1) on the next page. because the last question asked for your wish this year. Anyway, I would still have stuck with the original (correct) answer if I'd not puzzled it out, but it was disconcerting to not know the meaning of a word.
This is the non-essay part.
This has levelled up a bit, in that the answers are free response. You have to pick the right grammar to use, but you have to give your own answers to the questions. It's not just rearranging or combining some given sentences.
The essay topics were ok. There were 2 (like in the Beginner 3 test). First one was about your hobby. The second was to write about a country you have visited.
There were some sub-questions, plus the grammar you had to use.
These were topics I definitely could have prepared for, but I didn't.
My weakness is my inability to write fast, simply because I'm not that familiar with using the grammar. If I have a lot of time, I can slowly write and make adjustments, or think of alternative ways to write things.
But when it's a test and I have limited time, my sentences revert to sad, simple sentences. (Same problem I had before with French and German... German less so since I only took A1 in university, and private lessons after that had no tests.)
With more practice (hah) and familiarity, it won't be a problem. I definitely take too long to do my homework writing assignments.
I think next lesson is rightfully Intermediate 2, even though this is still labelled as Intermediate 1B, Lesson 3.
The next lesson is in 2 weeks. It's kind of... nice to get a break from Korean but I'm kind of sad since I'd decided to take leave from work for the next 2 weeks.
Since this week was a test week, there isn't any homework. Next week is Labour Day, so there's no class either. I'll actually be planning how to make use of the TTMIK books I'd bought not too long ago to practise. On a normal working day I couldn't really squeeze in that study time using all the books I'd bought.
I think I may have studied more for the Beginner 3 test than the Beginner 4. ↩
Which, until today, I've not actually seen the detailed test report for. The score was much lower than the other tests, and looking at the listening score, I didn't really... look at much else. I clearly have issues, since I don't even like opening my homework to check for mistakes because then I'm greeted by my own stupidity. Except when it's the day of a test like today and I reluctantly open the file, and realise I don't have time to digest all the more serious mistakes. Recently at work I was basically told that I'm a perfectionist, which isn't wrong, but the example that the person brought up was in my mind not an instance of my perfectionist tendencies manifesting itself, so I was bothered by that. But, I digress. ↩
Yes, I distinctly recall that all the grammar constructs were written without the N/V/A in front, I guess to make it a bit harder? ↩
Yes, it's about a month overdue. ↩