The readers of TOPIK GUIDE have frequently been writing to me for some guidance on the Essay part of TOPIK Writing (쓰기) section. So Here I am putting this detailed article about this.
Most of the questions in TOPIK are multiple choice and objective type where there is, clearly, only one correct answer. You don’t even need a human being to check if the answers are right or wrong. Mostly OMR recognition softwares do the job. The problem is with the subjective type questions. In these questions there is no ‘one correct answer’. Different persons can give different answers and they all may be correct. Sometimes it is difficult to even say whether the answer is right or wrong because it may be partially right and partially wrong.
This type of questions generally appear in the Writing section of TOPIK. And believe me, these are not difficult only for you. Evaluating this type of questions is the most difficult task for Examiners. As these questions are evaluated by real human beings and not the machines, there are high chances of variation in evaluation process depending upon the personality and psychological status of the examiner. And that”s why it confuses the test takers on what and how to write the answer of such questions so that it looks correct to the evaluator. Particularly, the TOPIK Essay writing part is the most difficult of these subjective questions.
Most of you must have been confused at some point of time about what and how exactly they expect you to write in the essay. Do they want to check your grammar vocabulary, spelling etc? or Do they want to test your writing skills, like how beautifully and logically you put your thought, how great your thoughts are? or Do they want to see how beautiful your handwriting is? Will using difficult words and complex sentences get you more marks? There are many such questions that confuse the mind of test takes, specially when they appear for the first time. Many people find themselves in a very difficult situation when the topic of the essay is related to Korea. I know many people who thought writing anything wrong about Korea or Koreans will fetch them poor marks. 😉 In fact, at some point, I also used to think so.
OK.. So let’s come to the point.. Some time ago NIIED issued a ‘model guideline‘ for the evaluation and marking of the essay section of TOPIK. In this model they have taken the essay question of 25th TOPIK (Q. No. 46) as an example and explained the evaluation system by giving detailed marking pattern of three model answer essays. They have guidelines for all three levels- Begginer, Intermediate and Advanced. Here on TOPIK GUIDE I will try to elaborate all of them in great detail.
I will start with the Beginner Level. Here is the Essay Question of 25th TOPIK:-
And below is the model guideline that all the evaluators have to follow, according to NIIED:-
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Example Essay 1