[Book review]- 빈도별 토픽 (고급)

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I bought this book a few weeks ago on @nocturnalinseoul‘s recommendation. If you’re looking to get into and learn advanced grammar, this is a great book to pick up!

Layout

First, the arrangement of the book. The grammar points—there are 99 if I counted correctly, putting it at about 20 less than “토픽 필수 문법” and about 15 more than “Korean Grammar in Use (Advanced)”—are arranged in order of their importance to the TOPIK exam. That is, the points that will pretty much certainly pop up on the exam and that you definitely need to know are at the front, and the grammar you use if you just really wanna impress the graders are at the back. If you plan on taking the TOPIK II and feel a bit pressed trying to decide what you really should focus on, this arrangement could be helpful to you!

Grammar sections

As far as the actual sections on each grammar point go, I find them pretty good for both for learning new grammar and for reviewing things I already know. The descriptions are pretty detailed, including alternate forms of the grammar and/or other grammar that it could be swapped out with, plus extra information on little nuances as needed. Also, there are a ton of examples for each grammar point!

My main gripe is that sometimes, while a page for a grammar point might say that a certain combination is possible (for example, the grammar point used with a noun and 이다 conjugated to past tense), there will be no examples showing that usage (and no instances of it in the practice problems). This problem has come up more than once, so it’s a bit irritating. It seems that the examples tend to cover just the most common usages of the form, which I suppose isn’t too bad. Still, be aware that sometimes if you want to make sure you completely know how to use a grammar form, you’ll either need to have a Korean friend or teacher nearby to ask questions to, or you’ll need to do some (at times tedious) Googling and/or Navering to find what you’re looking for.

Lots of practice questions!

I appreciate that this book has a full page of practice questions for each grammar point! Also, at the end of certain sections, there are actual past TOPIK questions that are related to those grammar points.

After using this book pretty much daily since buying it, I can say I’m glad I grabbed a copy! If you want to beef up your advanced grammar, I would recommend this book for sure.

Happy studying~