All posts filed under: JLPT Journal

Taking the JLPT N1 for the first time!

I have taken the JLPT N1 on July 7th (2019) for the first time, and I was not very surprised by my performance… I think that I might pass, but I also feel that I need the remaining months until December to increase my vocabulary and progress in listening. Report on the July test Vocabulary/Grammar I found that the vocabulary part was not as hard as the drills I have been doing recently. I think that the Korean textbooks and drills that I use tend to be very demanding so that students are well prepared. During the real test on Sunday, I was surprised to see that the vocabulary part was not that hard. I don’t mean that I answered everything right, of course, there were a lot of words that I didn’t know, and I picked several answers randomly. But I also felt that a little more work on vocabulary will be sufficient to ensure a good mark in that section. The most surprising part of the whole test was the grammar section. I felt …

JLPT Journal: Grammar done, starting drills!

I can’t believe that the test of July is in a little more than one month. My real goal is to pass in December, and I am taking the test of July as an exercise. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feeling excited (stressed) for July, and I am focusing on making vocabulary and grammar drills. So-matome Grammar: DONE! I have finally finished the So-matome textbook for grammar. I had planned to finish it in May, so I am very glad to say that everything went according to plan. I am aware that the So-matome textbook is not enough, this is why I will also study with a Korean textbook: This Korean textbook is very thorough. It has a lot of example sentences, and it has a strategical approach, showing you the grammar in the context of JLPT questions: I still don’t know if I will buy the Shin Kanzen for grammar or not… I remember that the Shin Kanzen was a little overwhelming for me when I took N2. More than once, I felt discouraged when …

JLPT N1: Practice test!

I took my second practice test for N1 this weekend! This time, I bought a Korean collection of 5 practice tests. The book is called JLPT 일본어 능력시험 실전모의고사 and is published by 동양북스. Choosing practice tests I was very tempted to buy the collection of practice tests published by So-matome. I know that there are two volumes, each containing two tests. I saw on Amazon a comment in English saying that this book was too easy. From what I read from other test takers and Japanese learners, the actual test tends to be harder than the practice questions found on the official JLPT website. It looks like the test has become harder over the years (especially the listening section) so a book published in 2010 might be too easy. As a consequence, I decided to ignore the So-matome practice book and bought this Korean book instead. It was published in 2018 and contains new tests designed by the authors (not former real JLPT tests) so I hoped that they would be difficult enough. My …

JLPT Journal #7: Reading!

In February, I took a practice test (the one that is available for free of the JLPT website), and I found the reading part to be very difficult. I took the JLPT N2 twice in 2017 and got 60 and 59 points in the reading part. I remember that I didn’t find the texts to be challenging, and I even found some of them interesting. In 2018, I spent the whole year reading Japanese genre fiction, and I naturally thought that my reading level had improved. As a consequence, it was a shock to discover that I could not understand some of the N1 texts. At least, not in a limited time. I read them, more or less understood all the words, but still could not understand what the author meant. I think that there is a huge gap between N2 and N1 when it comes to reading. The N1 texts are much more difficult than any mystery novel I read. To be honest, this practice test discouraged me a little. It was more than …

JLPT Journal #6: lack of motivation

It is normal to go through phases of lack of motivation, and if you are studying Japanese for some time, you know that your motivation will come back eventually, even if you don’t actively try to restore it. This is what happened to me this last two weeks. I was not as motivated to study for the JLPT, but I knew that it would not last, that I would be on track again in no time. The real problem is not the lack of motivation The problem is not the motivation in itself, but the fact that I will not review or study during this phase. When the motivation comes back, I have to face another problem: reviews left undone, huge Anki, flashcards that I cannot even remembered having written myself. All my study material looks unfamiliar and far away. Every time I set my eyes on them, I think: It’s been a while since I’ve opened this book. I’ve certainly forgotten half of it if not more. What a shame, I was doing well, …