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Apologies for the lack of replies to the comments ^^ I’ve been reading them! ^^ Will get down to the replies soon. Keep the comments coming in :D I love receiving comments.

Came across this book in the school library today. Decided to borrow it to do a review! ^^ It’s difficult to review a book which I have not/not going to use, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible. There are 3 books in this series: beginner, intermediate, advanced. My school library only has the beginner book, so I’ll base my review on it. Since I’m past the beginner stage now, it’s hard to judge whether the book is suitable or helpful for beginners who wish to take the TOPIK test, but I’ll try my best! (being long winded >,<)

Usually, I shy away from books that claim to be ‘topik guides’ since all they do is to provide past year papers which I can download for free on the official site. However, this book is different and is genuinely a guide book.

Structure:


Part 1: Introduction of main type of questions
One example question per type of question is given. Further explanatory notes are provided for each question and basically it explains what the question is asking for.

Part 2: Practice Questions
For each question type, a few practice questions are given, followed by explanatory notes. The explanatory notes are really detailed and it sounds like the kind of explanations teachers will provide in the classroom.

Part 3: Mock tests 1/2
After the preparations, it’s time for attempting the real paper!

The book comes with 2 CDs for the listening practice and the listening scripts are provided in the appendix. What is more awesome is that the scripts are given in both \� and English side by side!!

Overall comments
This preparatory guide is extremely suitable for people who are thinking of doing the TOPIK but find it hard to navigate through the Korean official site. In the preface, the book starts with an explanation of the TOPIK exam, up to the minor details of the countries offering it and the address of TOPIK centres in Korea. The one very cool thing about the book is that it is essentially both in Korean and English. Although I would question the usefulness of including Korean explanations in the beginner book, it is an awesome idea for the intermediate and advanced level (i suppose they want to make it more consistent). You can see the effort put into organizing the book and it’s well structured and easy to navigate through.

I’m rather conflicted whether I’ll recommend buying this book or not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent guide book but personally, I’ll not shell out the money for the basic guide. Instead the intermediate/advanced book may be more worth it. It’s a matter of perspective. If you are looking for a basic guide book, this is THE ONE. (:

I’m actually very curious about how the advanced book will be like! It’s a pity our school library does not carry it. ):

Good points

  • written both in korean and english (explanations)
  • provides an english translation for the listening script
  • clear explanatory notes at the bottom of the pages
  • well organised and easy to work through
  • detailed introduction of the TOPIK exam in the preface

To be improved

  • more practice questions will be welcomed
  • notes/tips on the writing section will be a plus (after all, this is the ‘killer’ section for most)

Details:
Complete Guide to the TOPIK (BASIC)
KRW 16,000
ISBN 987-89-5995-810-8

p.s. apologies for the bad writing. >.< My head is a mess of thoughts now.

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