Personally, I don’t buy “reading” textbooks for languages because I’ll rather read novels / non-fiction in the language and I find that more helpful than doing countless MCQ questions.
Besides, for TOPIK, you can just go to the official site and download the past papers.
That being said, I do see the value of such TOPIK reading prep books.
First, I don’t have to go through the hassle of printing the TOPIK papers. Although I must say that remains as a nostalgic memory and I might still have some of the papers at home when I first prepped for TOPIK intermediate (the old style) back in 2009.
Also, if I buy prep books, I must be able to see some form of value-add. So not just a book of questions and answers.
I haven’t used many TOPIK reading prep books, so I can’t tell you if this is one of the best, but it’s a pretty decent one.
At around 300 pages, this was much thicker than expected, due to the fact that they included a detailed explanation (in Korean) for each of the questions at the back. (Although I don’t think I’ll read them unless I got a particular one wrong)
The book is divided into 3 main parts: (1) Introducing various question types in TOPIK reading + ample sample exercises; (2) 3 mock papers and finally (3) answers and explanations.
Grouping question types is helpful to get a better sense of the questions and get more practice at one go (compared to doing mock papers).
I like how at the end of each chapter, they list down a number of grammar points with short explanations. Good as a refresher.
At the end of the chapter, there’s also a vocabulary table which you are supposed to fill in. Good for those who are not in the habit of making notes. Forcing you to look up the words and writing down the meaning and an example sentence helps to reinforce learning. I found the column on synonyms and antonyms interesting, good to incorporate them in notes too. (:
Overall I would say this is a decent book if you are looking to buy a TOPIK reading prep book.
What I like:
- ample exercises
- have some form of value-add
What can be improved:
You can buy the book at Twochois!