I tried to register to take the TOPIK last December, and it was an epic failure. I went to a PC방 on the second evening that registration was open, only to find that all of the seats at all of the locations near me were totally booked for the TOPIK II.
Taking the TOPIK in America wasn’t competitive at all, and for some reason I had assumed that it would be just as easy to register in Korea. Clearly, the TOPIK is in much higher demand in Korea.
Determined not to make the same mistakes again, Christa and I decided to meet at a PC방 right before registration opened, which was 9 a.m., January 31st. It was a strange experience on many levels.
First, we were the only people in the PC방 at that time, which was an eery feeling. I guess most gamers aren’t awake yet that early in the morning, or they’re all at school or their day jobs.
Second, the TOPIK website itself was PACKED with people. Practically every time we clicked on a button on the website, we were presented with a loading bar that basically said “Please wait. There are 8,678 users in front of you.” (Literally over 8,000. Almost every single time.) That number would eventually tick down to 0 over the course of a few minutes, and then the page would finally load. It made me really nervous that even though we were literally registering as soon as we possibly could, that we might not get seats. It was crazy.
Thankfully, despite the craziness, we eventually managed to get seats at the university closest to us. Success!
Of course, that all happened in January.
That was before COVID-19 hit Daegu and the virus exploded in Korea.
When Christa and I left Korea February 24, we had no idea when we would be re-entering the country (and in Christa’s case, if she would be re-entering at all), much less if we would be able to take the test on April 12, the date of the test. Heck, as the situation escalated, I began to wonder if the whole TOPIK might end up getting canceled.
It wasn’t canceled, but it has been postponed. The 69th TOPIK will now take place on May 24 instead of April 12, which is a full 6 week delay. I’ll probably be returning to my job in Korea in April if things continue to improve at the current rate, so I’ll likely be able to take the test on that date. Christa officially won’t be returning to Korea, so I’ll be taking the test solo this time around.
If the COVID-19 situation doesn’t improve fast enough, I’m wondering if they might postpone the test even further. I don’t really mind… it’ll give me more time to prepare, I suppose. 😛
We’ll see when I end up taking the test. Hopefully I can make the most of my free time in America and study a decent amount. I left most of my study materials in Korea, since I thought I would just be gone a few weeks, so I’ll have to improvise my studying routine. Only time will tell how much longer I’ll be in the US and if/how much the TOPIK will be further postponed. Until then, I’ll study the best I can.