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Current status of each field in the Korean publishing market

⑩ Publication of Exam and College Books

 

2020.11.02

 

 

 

College students mainly seek exam and college books. As those books are for taking classes and getting a job, their demand is relatively stable. This is why there are several publishers that mainly publish books in these areas. According to the publications statistics announced by the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) in 2019, about 6.1% of the entire Korean publishers (16th among a total of 30 areas) produce exam books (for jobs, licenses, national exams, etc.), and 13.6% produced college books (4th among a total of 30 areas).
Unlike the college book market which is in a downward trend, exam books for tests and company applications are witnessing a rise in both sales and the number of copies sold for the past 3 years. According to the sales statistics announced by Kyobo Bookstore - one of the representative on - and offline bookstores in Korea – in 2019, the number of copies sold in the field of exam books increased by 12.1% in 2017, 17.6% in 2018, and 18.1% in 2019, year on year. Reflecting the rise, their sales share among all others drew an upward curve with 5.5% in 2017, 5.9% in 2018, and 6.4% in 2019. Also, the number of titles published in the field of exam books for jobs, tests, and licenses has been steadily rising, with 7,619 titles in 2015, 9,451 in 2017, and 11,983 in 2019 (source: Trend of the Publishing Industry in the Second Half of the Year 2019, Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA), August 2020).

 

The development of the exam book market is one of the characteristics of Korea’s publishing industry.

 

Such a booming market of exam books implies that more college students are having a hard time getting through the doors of companies, which have become as narrow as a needle. Preferred or wanted quality jobs in Korea, where the college entrance rate is high, are mainly conglomerates and public companies. Exam books related to applying to these companies seem to be on the rise as the wall students need to climb over to get a position gets higher.

 

NCS Mock Exam for KORAIL

Hackers Public Company NCS Basic Skill Test & Job Competence Test

Hackers GSAT Samsung Aptitude Test Mock Exam + Preparing for Online Test

NCS Mock Exam for KORAIL, Hackers Public Company NCS Basic Skill Test & Job Competence Test,
Hackers GSAT Samsung Aptitude Test Mock Exam + Preparing for Online Test

 

For example, the book topping the sales record in this area is NCS Mock Exam for KORAIL (Eduwill), which is a customized package of materials including the basic occupational ability test, and mock exam questions for business administration, general machinery, general electricity, and general civil engineering based on the keywords from the written test conducted by KORAIL in last June. It also includes three online mock exams, sessions explaining the answers, a note with frequently asked knowledge, an OMR answer sheet, and application guidelines, which all are required to prepare for admission. Another popular exam book is Hackers Public Company NCS Basic Skill Test & Job Competency Test (Hackers), which covers almost everything about applying to a public company, including strategic online classes for public companies, a discount coupon for online courses, a coupon for taking an online mock exam, and a test result analysis service. The aptitude test of the Samsung Group, where a majority of applicants apply for, is called GSAT (Global Samsung Aptitude Test). The test consists of four areas – language, mathematics, reasoning, and visual thinking (spatial perception). It evaluates how the applicant can cope with various situations rather than just testing how much knowledge he or she has. Hackers GSAT Samsung Aptitude Test Mock Exam + Preparing for Online Test provides 5 sets of mock exams, which all reflect the trend of the exam. Such development of the exam book market is one of the characteristics of the publishing industry in Korea. Those books are a tool for students of all tests to achieve their goals, such as getting into an enterprise or public company or even entering law school.

 

General Korean Grammar I

IFRS Millennium Accounting Principles (10th Edition)

Employment Contract in One Page: Labor Standards Act

General Korean Grammar I, IFRS Millennium Accounting Principles (10th Edition), Employment Contract in One Page: Labor Standards Act

 

Next is the data provided by Kyobo Bookstore about popular titles in the field of college books. First of all, for language and literature, Korean grammar and theories of Korean education take the biggest share. Major examples are General Korean Grammar I (Ku Bon-Kwan, Jipmoon), Education Theory for Understanding Korean (Kang Hyun-Hwa, Hyungseul), Education Theory for Reading English (Choi Yeon-Hee and others, Hankook Publishing House), Theory for Korean Grammar (Woo Hyung-Sik, Busan University of Foreign Studies), Standard Korean Grammar Theory (3rd Edition)(Ko Young-Keun, Jipmoon), Teaching Korean: Practice (Kwak Ji-Young, Yonsei University), Korean Linguistics (3rd Edition)(Lee Ik-Seop, Hakyeonsa), Korean Phonemics (Revised)(Lee Jin-Ho, Sciplus), Teaching Korean (Kim Jae-Wook, Hyungseul), Education Theory for Writing Korean (Kim Seon-Jung, Hyungseul), and Educational Theory Policy for Korean (Cho Hang-Rok, Hankook Publishing House).
Best-selling college books for business and economics are mainly traditional economic theories, and translated editions of US books take a greater portion than others. Examples are Macroeconomics (9th Edition)(N. Gregory Mankiw, Sigmapress), Economic Mathematics (2nd Edition)(Kim Seong-Hyun, Kyobo Bookstore), Management Information Systems (14th Edition)(Kenneth C. Laudon, Sigmapress), Modern Statistics (5th Edition)(Park Jung-Sik, Dasan Books), Foundations of Operations Management (Larry P.Ritzman and others, Sigmapress), Organization Theory & Design (12th Edition)(Richard L. Daft, Cengage Learning), Innovation of Bitcoin, Blockchain and Finance (Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Korea University), Econometrics (3rd Edition)(R. Carter Hill, Sigmapress), Principles of Economics (N.Gregory Mankiw, Hantee Media), and Macroeconomics (9th Edition)(N.Gregory Mankiw, Sigmapress).
Meanwhile, college books for law are mainly written by Koreans. Particulars about civil law, labor law, and administrative law written by famous legal experts top the sales list every year. Examples are Introduction to Civil Law (6th Edition, Yang Chang-Soo, Pakyoungsa), Code of Labor Laws (The Joong-Ang Economy News Editing Team, Joong-Ang Economy), Industrial Safety and Health Act (Nomunsa Editing Team, Nomunsa), Lecture on Civil Law (24th Edition)(Kim Joon-Ho, Bobmunsa), A Piece of Law: Criminal Law (Kim Haemaru, Lawstart), Lecture on Commercial Law (8th Edition)(Song Ok-Ryul, Hongmoonsa), Writing Contracts: Practice (Chae Jung-Won, YoungHwaJoseTongRam), Introduction to Administrative Law (12th Edition)(Jung Ha-Joong, Bobmoonsa), Criminal Procedure Act (Bae Jong-Dae, Hongmoonsa), 3-Day Labor Law (Lee Won-Hee, Joong-Ang Economy News), and Employment Contract in One Page: Labor Standards Act (Cho Young-Sik, Joong-Ang Economy News).

 

Teaching Exceptional Children in Inclusive Settings (3rd Edition)

Understanding Nursing Theory (3rd Edition)

Introduction to Fisheries (2nd Edition)

Teaching Exceptional Children in Inclusive Settings (3rd Edition), Understanding Nursing Theory (3rd Edition), Introduction to Fisheries (2nd Edition)

 

Many publishers are specializing in exam and college books due to their stable demand.

 

In terms of college books for other social and science areas, books related to psychology or social research are steady-sellers. Examples are The Practice of Social Research (13th Edition)(Earl Babbie, CENGAGE LEARNING), Teaching Exceptional Children in Inclusive Settings (3rd Edition)(Lee So-Hyun, Hakjisa), Theory and Practice of Counseling Psychology (3rd Edition)(Chun Sung-Moon, Hakjisa), Labor Law (16th Edition)(Lim Jong-Ryul, Pakyoungsa), Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy (4th Edition)(Linda Seligman, Sigmapress), Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process (Nancy McWilliams, Hakjisa), Educational Psychology (3rd Edition)(Shin Myung-Hee, Hakjisa), Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design (3rd Revised Edition)(John W.Creswell, Hakjisa), Psychology of Human Relationships (3rd Edition)(Kwon Seok-Man, Hakjisa), Social Welfare Policy (7th Edition, Won Seok-Jo, Knowledge Community), Theory and Practice of Counseling Psychology (Noh Ahn-Young, Hakjisa), and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (J. H. WRIGHT, Hakjisa).
Meanwhile, a significant portion of students majoring in engineering and medicine study with English editions (original books), where nursing and counseling psychology account for a big share among those translated or written by Koreans. Top popular college books in these fields are Introduction to Child Health Nursing (Kim Mi-Ye, Soomoonsa), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mential Disorders: DSM-5)(5th Edition)(APA, Hakjisa), Digital Logic Circuit (3rd Revised Edition)(Lim Seok-Gu, Hanbit), Introduction to Nursing Research (2nd Edition)(Ko Myung-Sook, Soomoonsa), Nursing Research and Statistical Analysis (Lee Eun-Ok, Soomoonsa), Human Anatomy & Physiology (Lee Han-Ki, Soomoonsa), Classification of Diseases (Hong Joon-Hyun, Soomoonsa), Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics (7th Edition)(J.M.SMITH, Hanti Media), Basic Electricity Experiment with PSpice (Revised)(Hong Soon-Kwan, Hanbit), Health Assessment in Nursing (JANET R. WEBER, Soomoonsa), Understanding Nursing Theory (3rd Edition)(Lee So-Woo, Soomoonsa), and Basic Principles and Calculations in Chemical Engineering (8th Edition)(Himmelblau, PEARSON EDUCATION KOREA).
Regarding college books for agriculture and stockbreeding, introductions and theory books of each field are frequently used in classes such as Samgo Principles of Crop Production (Park Soon-Jik, Hyangmunsa), Hydroponics (Nutrient Culture)(The Rural Development Administration, Human Culture Arirang), Practical Book for Colony Management of Indigenous Bees (The Rural Development Administration, Human Culture Arirang), Samgo Crop Physiology (Byun Jong-Young, Hyangmunsa), Korean Cows 100 Questions & Answers (Lim Kyung-Soon, SJ Printing), Crop Protection Theory (Baek Soo-Bong and others, SJ Printing), Soil Science (Kim Gye-Hoon and others, Hyangmunsa), Harvesting Garlic (The Rural Development Administration, Human Culture Arirang), Basic Veterinary Science for Trimmers (Takeuchi Kazuyoshi, Morris), Introduction to Fisheries (2nd Edition)(Chang Ho-Young, BioScience Publishing), Manual for Managing Resource-Cyling Farm for Cows in Korea (3rd Edition)(Kim Kwang-Hyun, Chonnam National University), and Introduction to Animal Science (Revised Edition)(Bumin Natural Science Team, Bumin).

 

 


Written by Won-Keun Baek (Books & Society Research Institute, President)

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Won-Keun Baek (Books & Society Research Institute, President)

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