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JLPT N1 round 2: Start!

Since January 2019, I am studying to pass the JLPT N1. My goal is to pass the test in December, but I also took the test of July to gain some practice. It was helpful, but it also gave me a sense of achievement, and it is hard to get back to the JLPT preparation now!

After the test of July, I went on holiday, but it has been several days since I came back, and I still haven’t done anything for the JLPT or my blog. This post is long due!

I have tried to identify what makes it difficult for me to go back to studying for the JLPT when I usually don’t have to struggle to study Japanese.

  • First of all, waiting for the results (of the JLPT of July) is frustrating. It is hard to get back to the preparation of the JLPT without knowing where I should put my efforts. On the other hand, the results won’t come out before the end of August, so waiting would mean losing a precious month.
  • In January, when I started my preparation for the JLPT N1, everything was new, particularly the textbooks. I just had to start with the first lesson. Now things are a little more complicated. I have started several textbooks, and I don’t always remember where I had stopped before I went on holiday 😅 It is less motivating to go back to an old textbook than to start a new one. I also feel that 1- I don’t know where I should pick up, and that 2- it does not matter anyway because I have forgotten everything I had learned before.
  • Speaking of which, I have to go back to Anki and my grammar flashcards, and it feels like I haven’t touched them for years and have forgotten everything.

I find the second point very frustrating. I am obviously the same person now and before the test of July, but it feels like it was a complete stranger who prepared so feverishly for the JLPT back then.

Just one month ago, I knew exactly which lessons I had studied, which ones remained to be done, what I should learn next, how I should do it, and so on.

And now, after three weeks away from the JLPT, I feel like a newcomer who has been handed over a pile of files belonging to someone else and has been told to just continue whatever it was that this person was doing.

It is annoying, but… getting started is the most difficult step. After that, I am sure that everything will go smoothly again.

New study plan?

I don’t really have a study plan for the next four months.

Back in January, I had planned on studying with the Shin Kanzen series during the second half of the year, but I have bought several Korean textbooks since then, so I don’t think that I need the Shin Kanzen too. I am also wondering whether I need to study with a textbook for listening and reading, but I think that it is best to read and listen a lot to native material. I will wait until the results (of the July test) and decide then.

Focusing on native resources instead of textbooks is more interesting and motivating, but it is hard to measure one’s progress. If I spend one hour watching an anime on Netflix, have I studied for the JLPT? It will be hard to gain a sense of achievement and feel that I have actually studied.

I still don’t know how I will concretely study until December. I know that I need to increase my vocabulary, review the grammar, listen to more Japanese and read more non-fiction, but I lack a concrete study plan. I will try to put together a strategy, and in any case, I am back to studying Japanese now! Round 2 of this JLPT year has started! 🤜

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