The change of downloading previous Topik papers

The topik webpage (topik.go.kr) is one of my great sources for learning Korean because they uploaded all of the previous Topik papers online. I often do the previous Topik papers so that I can get used to the format of Topik tests. Normally after we take the Topik exam, the papers, listening files and answers keys will be posted online so that we can estimate our results. However, the Topik web has just released the new announcement that they will stop uploading the Topik papers online.

 topik 2015(FILEminimizer)

In the announcement, it is said that since the 38th Topik exam in 2015, due to the structure of the question bank, they will not post the Topik papers online. However, for the sake of the candidates, they will consider choosing one of the six Topik papers random to post online. We can still download the previous papers which are already uploaded before the 38th Topik. I feel very shocked and disappointed at this announcement. They increase the number of Topik exams in a year (6 exams in Korea and 4 exams overseas), but then they no longer upload the Topik papers online any more. Even when we take the Topik exam, we cannot bring the papers home, so the only way to get used to the new format of Topik is to take the exams directly or to buy Topik preparation books for the mock tests. I feel so bewildered!!

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15 thoughts on “The change of downloading previous Topik papers

  1. That is VERY surprising. For me looking at the old exams were never about “let’s learn all of this by heart in case the exact same question comes up at the next exam” but rather about getting used to the format as well as looking at topics for the essays. I used the essay questions to figure out where my vocabulary and grammar were lacking because which words you know obviously depends on the topics you are exposed to. They just help you structure your studies to cover a wider range of topics because you think “oh, I need to know something about XYZ as well”! Especially for someone who doesn’t take classes.
    Is there even an *official* book on the market about the new format?

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    1. Hello Koreanlearner, thank you for your comment. This announcement comes as a surprise to me. I love the previous Topik papers because I can practice my skills and learn a lot from the tests. But in 2015, there are too many Topik exams, so I guess they will recycle some questions.
      There are a lot of books about the new format, but it doesn’t follow the new format strictly. For example, the Topik preparation books allow us to listen twice but in the reality, we are only allowed to listen ONCE.

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  2. Aaaaahhhhhh nooooooo! DX I was hoping to be able to take a peek at the test when they upload the new exam but it seems that they won’t do that. There aren’t too many books on the market for this new format either. EBS has a couple though and many students in Korea use them for studying for college so hopefully they have a lot of good stuff in there.

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    1. Hello Darkfire382, it is a regret that they will not post the Topik papers online. However, the 35th, 36th and 37th Topik exam follows the new topik format and you can still download them on the topik website.

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  3. Urgh, why do they have to keep changing things? ._.
    First a whole new format and now this. I really would like to know what they want to gain from doing all this – less people taking the exam? more qualified people taking the exam?
    I really don’t understand what their goal is. By they I mean the people who make the TOPIK exams (the Korean government?)

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    1. I feel the same way. Now TOPIK I is very easy but TOPIK II is a treasure chest of what the heck. I thought the previous format and method was great. I wish they’d release an article explaining why everything changed like this. I wanted to take TOPIK once I hit intermediate but now I’ll need to be around advanced before even thinking about looking at the exam. We have to start looking for new resources too. The only ones I know of are EBS books.

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      1. The old format was very intuitive compared to this one due to the very clear stages. The new leaves so many questions to be answered! I’m still not sure how the scoring works for instance… I should probably look into that

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  4. I saw that announcement when I downloaded TOPIK 37. I got the impression that they haven’t set a fixed standard, because the latest test seems easier than the one before. Or is it just me? Anyway, I’m still not ready.

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    1. One of my teachers said that it’s pretty standard for the TOPIK to vary in difficulty. They certainly have standards about what kinds of grammar or vocab should appear in each part, but there will still be some variation in how difficult people find it. In general she said that it tends to go back and forth, so if one exam was on the difficult side the next will be a little easier. The 35th was comparatively easy, the 36th difficult, 37th a little bit easier… So 38th might be a little harder? It’s not perfect of course… They could have 2 hard or 2 easy ones in a row… Either way this variation isn’t particularly new to the new test… it’s always been like that. And really it’s like that for any test like this. That’s why the Japanese proficiency test moved to a scoring system that doesn’t give a set number of points for each question, but rather awards more points for questions that many people get wrong, and fewer for questions many people get right.

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      1. Hello fromrisingsuntomorningcalm, thank you for your comment . I self-study Korean these days, so I have no teachers or guides to help me figure out the Topik format. Thank you for sharing your opinion about the Topik. I guess I have to study harder.

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