In the comment section of my YKI tips, reader Harry pointed out that my number one textbook recommendation for YKI prep (Hyvin menee 2) doesn't include answers to the exercises, which makes it a bit tricky for self study. Thank you so much Harry, I hadn't thought of this pretty crucial aspect of self study!
The answers and lots of extra material for Hyvin menee 2 are available in a separate teacher's guide (Opettajan opas). Also, the audio has to be obtained separately as well, and listening comprehension is a pretty important part of YKI prep, so you need to get your hands on that as well. If you're in Finland, all of this is available for free via your local library, but if you want to buy it new, it'll cost something in the neighborhood of 150-200 euros altogether.
Another, much cheaper textbook option is Suomea paremmin by Susanna Hart, which includes the answers to the exercises and the audio for about 40 euros. I don't think that Suomea paremmin is nearly as good as Hyvin menee 2 for YKI prep (for one, the audio includes Finnish actors pretending to be learning Finnish as a second language, which... cringe!), but it has many advantages for self study. It's much more concise so it can be a lot clearer and less overwhelming to study with, but that can be a mixed blessing - a less overwhelming textbook may mean a much more overwhelming test experience, so it's super important that you supplement it with more demanding online materials.
I'm currently 7 months pregnant, finishing a textbook of my own, teaching my regular students and classes, running my small business and napping at least two hours a day, so it's been slow going when it comes to blogging (not to even mention my PhD thesis!). I haven't forgotten about the blog though and will get back to your excellent questions as soon as possible!
First snow! Sometimes, winter arrives in October. Hei hei syksy, tervetuloa talvi!
Picture by Raili Ahonen