Study Plan Updates:
Since there is only around one month until the TOPIK and I have a lot of life stuff going on keeping that is keeping me very busy, I took the time today to plan out how I need to study for the next weeks to achieve my goals by the date of the test. Todays update will be a long post about how I did that and how I’ll spend the next weeks studying.
How I Started Planning
I created myself a visual representation of the days remaining in the form of a calendar and blocked out days where I already know I have obligations that will limit my focused study time towards goal milestones.
A photo of my handmade calendar for the curious
I created this within my study notebook and will use it to continue tracking and visualizing my progress to ensure I’m keeping pace (yes, I couldn’t find a ruler when drawing this up but it has handmade charm! )
After doing this exercise, I came up with the rough calculation that around five weeks remain until the test and I have seven known blackout days, leaving me essentially with four weeks or 28 days worth of progress opportunities.
I then divided my outstanding goal values by four to determine how many of each goal I should accomplish each week:
TOPIK 합격 레시피 textbook: 9 sections remaining/4 weeks = 3 units per week to allow for buffer
News articles: 19 remaining/4 weeks = 5 articles per week with a smaller buffer as these are easy to knock out
Practice essays: 21 remaining/4 weeks = 5 per week + 1 this weekend
There is no buffer at all for this as I think 6 essays per week would be unrealistic for me and I will be satisfied with less than 100% completion of this goal.
Risks?! What if…
There are certainly some risks or unknowns that could pop up that will throw everything completely off, such as me getting sick again, burning out or unexpected obligations popping up (like, what if my friends ask me to hang out! Oh god!) but I’m going to give it my best shot and see how things go! 가자!!
It’s going to take determination and diligence to pull it off but I’m looking forward to the upcoming month, which will probably be my last ever month of heavy textbook studies for Korean before switching to almost complete immersion. Lets go~!
I’m glad you enjoyed reading all that! For me creating a study plan is half the fun when it comes to tackling specific goals. I always love to see how close I can get or if my scheduling is too fast or slow - if it’s too much I’ll start burning out but if it’s too slow I won’t get to where I want! It’s also cool to adjust and refine how I approach planning every time based on the new experience I gain. Plan nerd alert
Watched 1 episode of 나의 아저씨 S1 | L30 (the episode I watched had me crying… sniff sniff )
~ 1 hours of listening
It was a very busy weekend but I managed to get in some immersion by reading a page here or there or 20 minutes of drama at a time when I had a moment. 차근차근히~
Looking forward to a new week with new progress!
Wrote another essay today! Writing practice is not the most enjoyable thing for me at all for many reasons. Firstly, I’m content just consuming content and don’t really care about outputting in Korean at all. Secondly, it still feels like my “unconscious knowledge bank” of Korean is not big enough to write something that is expressive and natural. Furthermore, It tests more than just my language skills, and challenges me to to structure the info in not only a grammatically correct but also logical way (which is its own skill ).
Anyways getting out of my comfort zone is good experience and I could recommend doing a writing challenge to any other input and passive learning lovers! Compared to just a few months ago, I’m also having a way easier time outputting naturally and feel like my active vocabulary is greatly expanded so I’m happy about that!
(Will I stop practicing writing as soon as I can…? Maybe😆)
I had expected to not be able to accomplish much today but I ended up getting a lot done during the morning! I’ll take it!
I’m 70% into 마당이 있는 집 now and there are so many unresolved questions! I have no idea how the story is going to wrap up! I’m hoping to finish it over the weekend and I will also try and write a review since I think it’s a solid choice for an advanced-ish learner. If only my reading speed in Korean wasn’t so dismally slow - that’s the only thing that would make the reading experience of this book better.
I absolutely killed it today in terms of progress if I do say so myself! Ever since I mapped out my remaining time and goals and created a new study plan over the weekend, I feel very focused about what I need to get done everyday and it’s working out well so far (we are only 3 days in but let’s celebrate all the small victories too😂)!
Discovery of the Day
While listening to 라디도 북글럽, I discovered that fall in Korea can be called ‘독서의 계절‘, the season of reading!
This was a fun discovery for me because Japanese also considers fall the season of reading (読書の秋) and I’ve also been enjoying that “tradition” myself for the past few years. I have a fall birthday and usually gift myself (lol) a stack of books that I end up reading while the weather cools down, so I associate crisp, fall days with cozy reading times and 読書の秋. Now I can enjoy Korean books and 가을의 독서 this year too!
Just a quick update today as I head into a busy few upcoming days!
I did all of the 3급 practice topik section from 합격 토픽 레시피 today and got 20/20 questions for the reading portion correct. Tomorrow I’m going to do the listening portion, and I hope for a similar score! There were still a few reading passages with words I didn’t know (가로수 - roadside trees, 암나무 - female tree, 수나무 - male tree to be fair, I didn’t even know that there are male and female trees or I could’ve figured that out since I know 암/수 as prefixes already ) but I focused on using reading strategies for understanding via context.
I’ll be traveling this weekend and won’t be taking any of my study stuff with me at all, so if I do any Korean it’s just going to be immersion. Let’s see! I will have to speak my poor neglected third language German all weekend which, despite having C1 in, makes me very tired since I never spend time interacting with or reading in it. So, my brain may just be completely fried.
I had an appointment this evening so I didn’t get to do any sit down studies but I managed to keep things moving along still and do listening & reading.
I’m enjoying reading 책벌레의 하극상 in Korean a lot and considering starting volume 4 (where I left off with the Japanese version) after I finish 마당이 있는 집, but I’m not sure yet.
Discovery of the Day
I was amused to discover while reading today that hammer = 망치, relating to the verb 망치다, to mess up or ruin. That’s certainly what a hammer does! I love that way of understanding the concept of the word hammer.
I had initially broken my remaining goals up into weekly targets, planning to do 3-5 units of each every week, but I’m starting to feel a bit bored with that since it means I’m spending pretty much everyday doing dry hardcore TOPIK prep activities. I know boredom not only makes me feel burned out but also makes me feel out of touch with why I want to learn Korean (to enjoy fun content, of course!), so I want to try and shift my approach to pre-empt any either of those things happening.
Now, instead of dispersing the news articles I wanted to read throughout the next weeks, I’m planning to buckle down and finish them off in the next few days instead. The goal is to free up time towards the latter half of the month for fun stuff like reading or watching dramas.
Why am I reading news articles in general? Besides the fact that they’re good practice for the TOPIK reading, I find huge benefit in the vocabulary exposure I get from them — a lot of the advanced vocabulary I learned from my vocabulary book are words you pretty much ONLY come across in the news (think stuff like “financial administration” ) so it’s a great way to get exposure to and commit them to my long term memory. Plus it’s very interesting to see what’s going on in Korea everyday. Even after the test when I plan to immerse in native content way more, I still want to keep news as part of my rotation.