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2015 JLPT N2-N1 Thread

#26
harahachibu Wrote:
Raulsen Wrote:Hey, by the way! For those of you who've made a grammar deck from the N1 新完全マスター book, do you think you could share that with me? That sounds like it'd help out a ton!
Here's the thread for you:

http://forum.koohii.com/showthread.php?tid=6318&page=1
I love this forum. So much.

Thanks a ton for linking me to that! Any idea how to download those tables into a format I can use with Anki? Or were the tables just meant to be a reference to look over?
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#27
I'd also recommend looking for the JUNK 爆笑問題 podcast as well for N1 listening practice:

http://www.tbsradio.jp/category/page/bakusho.html

It's going to be really hard to understand at first, but your persistence will be rewarded. Listening to a lot of news is helpful, but you also need to listen to non-news stuff that's more colloquial and much faster. This is that kind of stuff. (Or you could gradually speed up the replay speed of the news, I guess, but the news gets depressing after a while.)

Just don't use the words they make up every week. (That's part of the fun of the show-- they make up a new word every week, and listeners report in on what happens when they use the made-up word in a conversation, usually at work.) Don't turn it up too loud, though, or Ota will destroy your eardrums.
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#28
rich_f Wrote:I'd also recommend looking for the JUNK 爆笑問題 podcast as well for N1 listening practice:

http://www.tbsradio.jp/category/page/bakusho.html

It's going to be really hard to understand at first, but your persistence will be rewarded. Listening to a lot of news is helpful, but you also need to listen to non-news stuff that's more colloquial and much faster. This is that kind of stuff. (Or you could gradually speed up the replay speed of the news, I guess, but the news gets depressing after a while.)

Just don't use the words they make up every week. (That's part of the fun of the show-- they make up a new word every week, and listeners report in on what happens when they use the made-up word in a conversation, usually at work.) Don't turn it up too loud, though, or Ota will destroy your eardrums.
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to stick with watching the news for a half hour each day and then mix it in with some anime and misc stuff like this podcast you mentioned. I tried just listening to news instead of watching it but it is just too boring.
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JapanesePod101
#29
Yeah, if you don't mix things up, it can get dull really fast. I usually listen to the news when I'm doing something like cooking or cleaning. I can't do it while driving-- I'll fall asleep. For driving, that's when I pull out the JUNK podcasts.

I think the best thing is to vary what you listen to. It's really easy to fall into the trap of, "Ah crap, I know all of this," and just shut down. (That's my main problem with anime. It's not challenging for me.) By keeping my diet varied, I keep challenging myself to figure out, "What the hell did he just say???" Big Grin
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#30
Passed N3 in December 2012 and now after a long break I'm taking the N2 in July.

Yesterday I did my first practice test from U-CANの日本語能力試験N2予想問題集. I'm not sure exactly how the scaling will be on the actual test, but based on my percentage of correct answers I'm feeling relatively safe knowing that I still have a month and a half to study.

Vocab: 26/32
Grammar: 15/22
Reading: 18/21
Listening: 26/32

TOTAL: 85/107 (79.4%)

I felt relatively comfortable with the vocab and listening sections, but in reading and grammar I felt like without some lucky guesses I would have barely gotten by.

Results excluding my lucky guesses:

Vocab: 24/32
Grammar: 11/22
Reading: 14/21
Listening: 22/32

TOTAL: 71/107 (66.4%)

Right now what I really need to do is work on my grammar in some way. For vocab I use Anki, for reading I've currently got a YA novel (Howl's Moving Castle), and for listening I'm just depending on the fact that I live in Japan. However, I think that I actually need to work through a book to improve my grammar usage. Right now I have U-CANの日本語能力試験N2これだけ!一問一答集(文法) but haven't opened it yet. I'm thinking of working my way through that and reading the explanations for questions I answer incorrectly. Hate working on grammar...
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#31
Six weeks till game-day.

this thread has helped me with my studying a lot. all the resources you guys have posted have contributed to my (perceived) improvement.

If you have anything else that is working for you, please let me know! as for right now, I'm going to get 日本語能力試験 完全模試N1, which has been mentioned in other comments so I can do mock quizzes and put all the questions I am not confident with into anki. I do have the 公式問題集 and it was useful, so more mock tests will help I think!

for those who are doing mock quizzes, the channel I posted on page on does a really good job of picking apart all potential answers and illustrating why they are right and wrong, and it also doubles as listening practice. I have been watching those videos and taking notes, which I highly recommend.
Edited: 2015-05-24, 6:37 am
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#32
日本語能力試験完全模試第N1 - 第3回

言語知識: 47/61
読解: 27/61
聴解: 59/64
Total: 138/188 (passing is 105)

Reading killed me on this one. Two of the readings I just flat out got zero points on. I don't know what happened but I guess I'm going to have to focus a bit more on reading. Everything else has been going up little by little as I study vocab and grammar. I'm sure I'll pass but with over a month left to study, I'd like to get as high of a score as I can and clearly reading is where I need the most work.
Edited: 2015-05-24, 7:59 am
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#33
Hey everyone. I was looking for an anki deck specifically for honing my Kun yomi knowledge--one that has kanji with okurigana on the front and the kun yomi on the back--but i couldn't find one. So, I modified the big kanji deck on anki shared decks to show this way. I think it is useful, so here it is.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByYp-re...sp=sharing

it has all the kun yomi of a kanji on a single card, because I went through and made the fronts as quick as I could. i think it will still be useful, just pass it once you know all of the readings you care about.

the words don't have context like MCDs (which are awesome :3), which is something I think would benefit for learning the meanings and when to use certain words (especially like 5 kanji with the same reading, but slightly different uses). looking at 硬い 堅い 固い 難い 緊い and similar series', as they show up in the 言語知識 section indefinitely. if anyone has any lists or can raise some examples of cool series' like that, please post :3 I think it would help us a lot Big Grin
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#34
I felt like a fool after my tutoring session yesterday, but that just means I need to study more.

We did some conversation practice, but I couldn't get the words I wanted to come out, let alone proper grammar (or any grammar, for that matter). This just confirmed what I already knew: I can't speak at all.
I'll keep working on it though, since I'd like to get better at that; we're going to use a bit of a script next time, so that might help.

I finished the third week of 日本語総まとめN1読解 (minus the practice test) before my tutor came. I did the practice test while she was here and completely bombed it (after going through the rest of the week with ease). I'll be going over the passages in that test to work out any problems I had with them. I had plenty of time to read the passages, but I couldn't find the information I needed for the questions.
I still think I'll wait until I complete this book before I go back to doing mock exams; I'm already half way through, after all.

I have 1547 cards remaining in 10k (about 77 days left), but some of them are things I already know (I usually suspend at least 1 in 20), so it's not actually that many. I'm glad I stuck with this, because words that I've only just studied have shown up in the practice tests (and in my reading). To anyone using the Core 2k/6k/10k Further Optimized deck, it does have mistakes, especially in the 10k part (usually the definition, but I did just fix an instance where the card for 降伏 (as こうふく) had the furigana as ごうぶく (which is a different word with the same kanji) in the sentences).

There's only about five months left, but I think I have a good chance of passing on my first try if I keep it up.
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#35
sholum Wrote:I did just fix an instance where the card for 降伏 (as こうふく) had the furigana as ごうぶく
Seems to be an issue with Mecab-generated readings.

Wtf Mecab thinks it's doing with such a fricken obscure reading in its dictionary is anybody's guess Rolleyes
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#36
sholum Wrote:I finished the third week of 日本語総まとめN1読解
How are you finding the book? Do you recommend it? Reading is the part I need the most improvement on so I think I need something to help me
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#37
Jawful Wrote:
sholum Wrote:I finished the third week of 日本語総まとめN1読解
How are you finding the book? Do you recommend it? Reading is the part I need the most improvement on so I think I need something to help me
I like it. Though the first six days of each week are easier than the practice test on the seventh, their point is to work you through the days topic. It could use one or two more questions in days one through six, but for 1200円 it's a good book.

It doesn't provide much explanation for most of the answers, though, so it's probably better to work through with a tutor. I've been doing one week at a time and going over that week with my tutor.
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#38
rich_f Wrote:Yeah, if you don't mix things up, it can get dull really fast. I usually listen to the news when I'm doing something like cooking or cleaning. I can't do it while driving-- I'll fall asleep. For driving, that's when I pull out the JUNK podcasts.

I think the best thing is to vary what you listen to. It's really easy to fall into the trap of, "Ah crap, I know all of this," and just shut down. (That's my main problem with anime. It's not challenging for me.) By keeping my diet varied, I keep challenging myself to figure out, "What the hell did he just say???" Big Grin
I just got slaughtered by this. Was watching NHK news and was getting more comfortable with it. Then I put on a Japanese variety show. I'm missing a ton of words because of the speed at which some things are said. On the news. the words are enunciated clearer which I guess is natural.
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#39
Yeah, that same thing slaughtered me on the N1. I was so used to the news and its relatively slow pace, that whentheystarttalkingreallyfastonthetestIcan'tkeepupanymore and boom, there goes what should be the easy section of the test.

That's why I'm still listening to news, but mixing in a lot more JUNK podcasts.
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#40
rich_f Wrote:Yeah, that same thing slaughtered me on the N1. I was so used to the news and its relatively slow pace, that whentheystarttalkingreallyfastonthetestIcan'tkeepupanymore and boom, there goes what should be the easy section of the test.

That's why I'm still listening to news, but mixing in a lot more JUNK podcasts.
I may have to skip variety shows for now. They sometimes speak so fast and unclear that even if I go over it many times, I can't make out what they are saying. I think I am going to alternate between anime and the news.
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#41
Do we have to read the whole article? 'cause some are rally lengthy
I heard some advice we read the questions first. But here's what troubles me, questions or options? Or read both before we come to the main reading?
I'd like to hear from people who passed these levels before. Thanks.
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#42
Kisei Wrote:Do we have to read the whole article? 'cause some are rally lengthy
I heard some advice we read the questions first. But here's what troubles me, questions or options? Or read both before we come to the main reading?
I'd like to hear from people who passed these levels before. Thanks.
I don't think it matters what order you read things. I personally read the article before looking at the question.
I would definitely read the whole article though, because they sometimes make you think it's one answer then bring up something to change that later. I would also be a bit worried if you find yourself without time to read everything.... practice to up your reading speed in Japanese?
Edited: 2015-06-02, 6:00 am
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#43
Started studying Japanese last year and was trying to decide which level to take this year. Took the J-CAT today and my scores are as follows

Section Score
Listening 65
Vocabulary 59
Grammar 35
Reading 47
Total 206

I feel the score is about right haven't seriously started working on grammar so that score is to be expected i guess. Just the push I needed to go for N2 in December.
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#44
nella Wrote:Started studying Japanese last year and was trying to decide which level to take this year. Took the J-CAT today and my scores are as follows

Section Score
Listening 65
Vocabulary 59
Grammar 35
Reading 47
Total 206

I feel the score is about right haven't seriously started working on grammar so that score is to be expected i guess. Just the push I needed to go for N2 in December.
Started last year? Great progress! Got a buddy of mine who's lived in Japan for about 9 years and passed N2 like 2 or 3 years ago. He got a similar score a few weeks ago. I'd say you're doing well for just having started a year ago. Nice work!
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#45
Ash_S Wrote:I would also be a bit worried if you find yourself without time to read everything.... practice to up your reading speed in Japanese?
this was my biggest problem with that test. maybe I read slowly but in the three practice tests I took for it I could never finish all the reading... not even close. and if you try to skim you will miss a ton of answers... they are intentionally tricky to prevent that tactic I think. so after three practice tests I figured out which styles of essays I was weakest at and completely skipped them during the actual exam. it's only 2 or 3 questions for a huge 2-page essay, so skipping one of those big ones saves you a ton of time.

speaking as someone who passed the test on the first try.
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#46
cheers, dtcamero, that's something I'll have to try. my times on the reading section are over the suggested time it takes, but my biggest problem is that I take like 15 extra minutes looking over the gengo chishiki section because it's my weakest one. if I can trade 2-3 questions for an extra 10 minutes, I'll have plenty of time Tongue and for some reason you only need 33% on each section which... is incredibly low lol. and listening is pretty free compared to the other sections, from the practice questions i've dnoe so far.
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#47
Dovetron Wrote:cheers, dtcamero, that's something I'll have to try. my times on the reading section are over the suggested time it takes, but my biggest problem is that I take like 15 extra minutes looking over the gengo chishiki section because it's my weakest one. if I can trade 2-3 questions for an extra 10 minutes, I'll have plenty of time Tongue and for some reason you only need 33% on each section which... is incredibly low lol. and listening is pretty free compared to the other sections, from the practice questions i've dnoe so far.
Bear in mind though, that you still need a total of 50% to pass. So if you have weaknesses within one section you will have to be able to make up for it in one of the others. When I failed the N3 last December I passed each of the individual sections, but didn't manage to get a high enough total score. That was no fun at all Wink
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#48
Hi guys! Been lurking for a while and finally felt like registering. I've been half-heatedly studying Japanese for way too long and decided to finally get serious about my studying around March and that I will take the N2 this year no matter what. I've never taken a JLPT before so I'm pretty nervous. I took the J-CAT the other day just to gauge my level and see how I'd do under the pressure, and here's my score:

Listening: 63
Vocabulary: 49
Grammar: 49
Reading: 52
Total: 213

Which according to J-CAT's interpretation of scores thing, should be somewhere around N2 level so I feel comfortable that I'm not entirely off mark here.

As for studying, I've been working my way through the 新完全マスター語彙 N2 and 新完全マスター読解 N2 books. I'm doing relatively okay on everything so far (usually around 75-85% or so on everything, and trying to keep times below 5 minutes each for everything in the 読解 book). About month or two ago I also gone over the official JLPT N2 mock exam on the website, as well as all of the questions in 合格できる日本語能力試験N2. All of the grammar, the 言い換え類義 part of the vocabulary, and the 即時応答 and 統合理解 parts of the listening were my weakest points using the 合格できる book (which I might add if no one here has used it before, it's a decent book if you want a ton of questions to test yourself with. It covers every type of question on the exam and gives you a lot of questions for each. All in all, a solid 150 pages of straight up test questions in the same format as the exam. Can't tell you how hard it is compared to the real exam until December). I've also been going through a custom deck of N2 vocabulary in Anki that includes multiple examples sentences, and so far my short term retention rate hasn't been that bad, but we'll see how that holds in a few months I guess.

I'm doing other stuff in addition to actual study time (talking to friends daily, reading Japanese novels and websites, and so on) but that's the gist of what I'm doing at the moment.

So that leaves me with a few gaps I would like to fill in. For grammar I plan on going through the 新完全マスター book eventually. Hopefully the 言い換え類義 problem fixes itself after studying a lot more vocabulary. And lastly, listening. I don't have much problem with understanding the speed of the NHK news podcasts (understanding political and economics-related stories is another thing, but I can still get the general idea behind the stories), but from the sound of it, the actual test is even faster than that. I can find some podcasts or something like that on my own time for casual listening, but are there any good workbooks for practicing listening in the context of the exam? Is 新完全マスター聴解 N2 any good for that? I'm terrible at note taking while listening so I really need to practice that skill.

Edit: Got a little Amazon-happy and ordered the listening book this morning. We'll see how good it is when it gets here tomorrow I guess! Big Grin
Edited: 2015-06-11, 12:41 pm
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#49
As I wrote in the milestones thread, I just finished the last week of 日本語総まとめN1読解. I couldn't finish the test (seventh day) in the prescribed time, only six of ten questions. And after answering all the questions, I found I had missed four of them. This was definitely the most difficult part of the book.
I'm going to start working on my reading speed more (for essays and novels, anyway; I can usually read manga about as quickly in Japanese as I can in English).
I also found that I need to review certain words that didn't stick with Anki; the words I don't know tend to be the ones that are important for understanding the entire topic...
I'll go back through the book and study all the words I don't know.

I finally have less than 1000 cards left in 10k (about 840); I recently went back to doing thirty new cards per day instead of twenty. Even if I miss a few days, I'll be finished in a month; then I'll start being more strict with my reviews.

Just a little less than five and a half months left until test day. I still don't feel prepared for the reading section (mostly the long ones), but I think I've gotten better since going through 日本語総まとめ; I won't know for sure until I take another mock test though.

Does anyone know of a good metric for reading speed in Japanese? Or rather, an appropriate time to read one page in a novel? I can read quite quickly in English, but that came from years of "What happens next!" while reading fantasy novels; not something I can replicate in such a short time frame.
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#50
sholum: The time limit really is a killer. This is less Japanese speed reading specific and more general, but do you happen to subvocalize when you read? That is to say, do you vocalize words in your head what you are reading or something like that? That's how I am when I read and write (even as I'm typing this), but it tends to slow me down quite a bit. When I'm able to stop the subvocalization I'm able to read a lot faster but sometimes I'll have to go back and re-read something if it starts not making sense since I don't read often or practice speed reading techniques much. Also knowing how to selectively skip unnecessary details in a paragraph helps speed things up but that can be a little dangerous.

I think the amount of time it takes to read a page will be highly dependent on the reader and the material so that's kind of tough to say. I personally am a slow reader but if I'm reading a not too advanced novel where I understand a majority of the words then I can get through a full single page in a few minutes (< 5). You could instead try setting a self defined time limit of how much time you will spend on a single problem based on how many reading problems there are on the test (plus factoring in time needed for other areas of the exam), and study using that time as a metric. A rough count of the number of problems for each section and the time allowed for each part of the exam is available on the internet so you could come up with some kind of plan based on that.

Since you said you only finished 6 out of 10 problems: If it's a particularly difficult problem that you get stuck on then just skip it and come back later. If you lose 2 points because you ran out of time trying to solve one particularly difficult problem, then it's better to lose the 1 point from the difficult problem and get those other 2 points instead. Worse comes to worst, write down a random answer just before time runs out on any of the problems you couldn't figure out. You have a 25% chance of getting it right, so leave nothing blank. Tongue
Sorry, that's more general test taking advice instead of reading advice, but all points count! Big Grin

(Edit: I decided to time myself reading since I was curious. It took me 1 minute 41 seconds to read an entire single page from the novel I've been reading lately, 宇宙の声.)



As for me, I received 新完全マスター聴解 N2 about 2 weeks ago and finished it earlier this week. It's a short book but overall it was a very useful book for me. If anyone needs to practice listening skills (the majority of the book is based on building skills for the problems on the exam instead of throwing a bunch of problems at you that are similar to the exam) then I would recommend it. I struggled with it at first but it gets better.

After I finished that, I wanted to gauge how my studying has been going over the past 2 months so I redid all of the problems in 合格できる日本語能力試験N2. I had all of my old scores saved in an Excel file so it was easy to do some calculations and comparisons. My grades went way up in some areas (聴解 即時応答, 聴解 統合理解, 文法 文の組み立て, 語彙 言い換え類義, and some others). I bombed the 理解 内容理解(1) (200 word) reading questions since I was tired, but I did well in the harder reading questions after I took a nap and rested so I'm not stressing it. Bad days happens.

Overall, my lowest grade this time around was 66/100 on the 文法 文法形式の判断 set of problems. I only managed to improve by 2 points compared to my old score, but it's now the only set of problems that I scored below 70 points on. I'm going to work on learning and practicing new grammar as well as work on reading more. I need to work on vocab some more as well. If I can get my speed and confidence up then I feel like I can take on N2 with no problem.
Edited: 2015-06-25, 3:07 pm
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