Struggles of Preparing for the TOPIK: Senior Student Edition

The struggles of preparing for the TOPIK are real. As a student who is about to graduate the pressure is on and the stakes are high. A single test score will determine my ability to remain in Korea and thus, the future of my career.


As a prospective graduate student, I have 3 months left to figure out what I want to do after graduation. Master’s degree? Find a job? Stay in Korea? Go back home, or go somewhere else? People said I should graduate, get an internship, and get a job. But how? I feel more lost than ever before. It’s already difficult to get your first job. Then, you factor in being a foreigner in Korea, and it’s much more difficult.

But, no matter what, if you decide to stay in Korea, TOPIK 4 is the key. Most typical jobs and graduate schools in Korea require a TOPIK 4. Plus, I feel like if I can’t get a decent TOPIK score, my 4 years here will be a waste somehow. So, it’s time to start studying

No Time, No Energy

Right now, I need to prepare a good resume and cover letter. Plus, I need to complete my final project at school. Besides that, I have community activities in Daejeon to take part in and an upcoming full-time remote internship. Even though it sounds like a perfect ending for senior year, it also means that I am overwhelmed. I have so much to do, it’s overwhelming.

It is not like I don’t have time to study for exams, it is more like I don’t have the energy to focus on TOPIK. I heard somewhere that “If you really want to, you make time”. It is true. If I want to, I can spend that 1-hour of rest I have every day studying for the TOPIK. But can I, physically and mentally? I am not so sure.

Sometimes I wonder if there are any foreign students here in my situation. But rest assured, you are not alone. It happens to everyone.


Not making time for the TOPIK is honestly a mental problem. Despite all of the efforts I am making, everything will come down to this one test score. And, I’m afraid I won’t pass so I avoid it.

I have severe procrastination syndrome if I get too comfortable in my bed or in my comfort zone. Sometimes I just don’t feel like opening the TOPIK book and getting into it. Even though I know, things will get easier if I take the first step and open the book. Sometimes I still can’t take the first step of studying for the Topik exam.

And unfortunately, when I don’t study for TOPIK, I get anxious and nervous. And later on, I have negative feelings. It is a loop, you get lazy and you will regret it later. On top of that, I receive stress from different channels of my life: work, at school, fear of failing, and peer pressure (why do some people my age already have TOPIK 6 and a corporate job?)


I have found a solution that works for me and my hectic schedule. I registered for 2 Korean classes at school and combine the Korean homework with school homework. It gives more motivation to finish tasks when grades and participation are counted. Luckily, in my school, the advanced level normally is for TOPIK exam prep. Moreover, since it is counted as class time, It won’t be overlapped with anything else.

I also registered for the Daejeon International Center’s free Topik class. Studying with classmates that have the same goal as me is very motivating and it pushes me to study harder. This is my story, if there are senior students like me who are struggling with balancing life and exam, I hope this article will help you.

Check this website for many free classes in Daejeon if you are interested in learning Korean.

🇻🇳 Wendy

I am not old but for some reasons, i feel old. Twenty two but hard-working :)