Back

2015 JLPT N2-N1 Thread

#51
Well, I just sacrificed a Saturday morning on a mogi test for N1. Good luck to those taking it next week, BTW, I'm shooting for December.

The book I'm using is 日本語能力試験模試と対策, which includes transcripts for the listening section as well as English explanations for all of the answers.

言語知識: 38/60
読解: 44/60
聴解: 56/60
Total: 138/180

I'm pretty pleased with the results, my personal goal for the test is 140+ so it's great to see that I'm not too far from it, though I did feel like I was bombing the grammar/vocab and reading scores while I was taking it. Individually I'm not super happy with those sections, and I am little surprised that my reading score was higher than my grammar/vocab score. I think actually that reading novels for pleasure has really increased my reading speed which helped me on that section a lot. I had about 15-20 minutes to spare at the end of that section of the test.

So what is next? First will go through and understand the explanations for all that I got wrong. Then the plan is to go through and mine unfamiliar words and grammar for my anki deck. Then I will probably order 総まとめ語彙 and 新完全マスター語彙と読解. I had heard good things about ドリル&ドリル but when I paged through them in Kinokuniya (at least the N2 and N3 versions, they didn't carry N1), it seemed like 総まとめ and 新完全マスター were more substantial. I'd like to hear people's opinions on the different series if they have any though.
Reply
#52
Did two more N2 模擬試験 since the first one I posted.

-----

June 21 - U-CANの日本語能力試験N2予想問題集(第2回)

Vocab: 23/32
Grammar: 18/22
Reading: 16/21
Listening: 24/32

TOTAL: 81/107 (75.7%)

-----

June 29 - JLPT Official Practice Workbook (from jlpt.jp)

Vocab: 28/32
Grammar: 17/22
Reading: 15/21
Listening: 27/31

TOTAL: 87/106 (82.1%)

-----

My results didn't change much since last month, which I guess is probably because I didn't study all that hard. In any case, I guess it means I can expect some consistent results.

I feel like I have a slightly better grasp of some of the grammar since last month, but I need to get my reading stamina back up. I haven't been reading much lately compared to before, and I think it's affecting how much I can read in one sitting. In my third exam when I encountered some content I couldn't understand very well, I started losing focus and only managed to finish on time because I skimmed two of the readings. Maybe in the next couple of days I'll do some longer reading sessions. Saturday I'm letting myself relax all day, though.
Edited: 2015-06-29, 10:12 pm
Reply
#53
welp, that's over! N1 was not hard, but very long. I had trouble focussing because the room i wrote it in was at least 35 degrees, but I feel okay about it, and I have no johns. If I failed, then I will pass in december, I am quite confident in THAT at least, lol. continuing my studying without the exam looming is really fun.

What are all you studying POST exam, for those who took the july test?
Reply
May 15 - 26: Pretty Big Deal: Get 31% OFF Premium & Premium PLUS! CLICK HERE
JapanesePod101
#54
Dovetron Wrote:welp, that's over! N1 was not hard, but very long. I had trouble focussing because the room i wrote it in was at least 35 degrees, but I feel okay about it, and I have no johns. If I failed, then I will pass in december, I am quite confident in THAT at least, lol. continuing my studying without the exam looming is really fun.

What are all you studying POST exam, for those who took the july test?
お疲れ! I took N1 on Sunday too. Pretty sure I passed but not likely with the score I want. I'd like to get at least 150 and I probably got closer to 120 this time, so I think I'll retake in December anyway.

That being said, I want to continue using Memrise to study vocab and get through the N1 deck I've been working on. Then probably continue with the N2 deck to refresh words I don't know. Studying vocab is most important to me. Then as December gets closer, I'll try to study grammar again. I think knowing these two will raise the score across the board. Reading speed isn't what gets me down in the reading section, I think it's just a lack of vocab more than anything else. So basically I won't change anything and just keep studying the way I have been!
Reply
#55
I took N2 last Sunday (for the third time) and have been on a study rampage ever since. I find that I'm often more motivated right after a test than right before. Anyway, I might have passed (hard to tell based on my perception of that given test), but I'm continuing my study plan as if I didn't. My current study plan:

1) I am trying to do approximately a chapter a day (not counting weekends) in 新完全マスター文法 and 語彙. This is more difficult in the 語彙 book because I'm having to go through all of the words, look up meanings I don't know, type everything into a spreadsheet to make a deck, study those words, then answer the questions. This is driving me mad, and I might have to slow it down a bit unless I can find someone with a spreadsheet already made. Still, I really prefer this method because I can study collocations in categories and then be tested immediately afterward, as opposed to just using any old vocab deck out there.

2) I am still catching up on my reviews on my KIC deck so that I can then finish the deck (about 25 levels to go). Then, it'll be time for step two.

3) I am reading lots of random things as I feel the inclination. This includes manga, newspapers, fiction books, short stories, opinion pieces, etc. Whatever strikes my fancy. It's my reward to myself.

After I finish #1, I'll be moving on to the 新完全マスターN2 読解 and 聴解 and working through those.

Assuming I passed N2 this time around, I'll then move on to N1 新完全マスター materials and maybe aim for next July if I feel ready. I'm also doing other Japanese study with a private teacher where my goal is output and so on, because my goal is fluency, not just passing tests (though that's pretty important too given my career goals). Overall I feel really good about my Japanese level, I just need to work on making my understanding more precise by focusing in depth on grammar and listening and reading comprehension and of course expanding my vocabulary.
Reply
#56
akhety Wrote:I took N2 last Sunday (for the third time) and have been on a study rampage ever since. I find that I'm often more motivated right after a test than right before. Anyway, I might have passed (hard to tell based on my perception of that given test), but I'm continuing my study plan as if I didn't. My current study plan:

1) I am trying to do approximately a chapter a day (not counting weekends) in 新完全マスター文法 and 語彙. This is more difficult in the 語彙 book because I'm having to go through all of the words, look up meanings I don't know, type everything into a spreadsheet to make a deck, study those words, then answer the questions. This is driving me mad, and I might have to slow it down a bit unless I can find someone with a spreadsheet already made. Still, I really prefer this method because I can study collocations in categories and then be tested immediately afterward, as opposed to just using any old vocab deck out there.

2) I am still catching up on my reviews on my KIC deck so that I can then finish the deck (about 25 levels to go). Then, it'll be time for step two.

3) I am reading lots of random things as I feel the inclination. This includes manga, newspapers, fiction books, short stories, opinion pieces, etc. Whatever strikes my fancy. It's my reward to myself.

After I finish #1, I'll be moving on to the 新完全マスターN2 読解 and 聴解 and working through those.

Assuming I passed N2 this time around, I'll then move on to N1 新完全マスター materials and maybe aim for next July if I feel ready. I'm also doing other Japanese study with a private teacher where my goal is output and so on, because my goal is fluency, not just passing tests (though that's pretty important too given my career goals). Overall I feel really good about my Japanese level, I just need to work on making my understanding more precise by focusing in depth on grammar and listening and reading comprehension and of course expanding my vocabulary.
As far as the 語彙 goes, it might be easier to simply add them to your bookmarks in an app like Midori and then export them to Anki from there. Heck, if you've got Windows, the EPWING-to-Anki tool under learning resources might help.
Reply
#57
Raulsen Wrote:As far as the 語彙 goes, it might be easier to simply add them to your bookmarks in an app like Midori and then export them to Anki from there. Heck, if you've got Windows, the EPWING-to-Anki tool under learning resources might help.
The thing is, finding meanings for collocations has been a difficult enterprise, because the phrase together doesn't necessarily mean what the individual words mean separately, and finding that specific phrase in a dictionary app is a challenge. I have been combining sources and occasionally asking native speakers about it.

I would love to find an easier way to do this, but I don't want the quality of the translations to suffer as a result. I haven't used Midori (is it only available on apple devices?), but I have yet to find a digital dictionary that doesn't make me consult other dictionaries.
Reply
#58
akhety Wrote:
Raulsen Wrote:As far as the 語彙 goes, it might be easier to simply add them to your bookmarks in an app like Midori and then export them to Anki from there. Heck, if you've got Windows, the EPWING-to-Anki tool under learning resources might help.
The thing is, finding meanings for collocations has been a difficult enterprise, because the phrase together doesn't necessarily mean what the individual words mean separately, and finding that specific phrase in a dictionary app is a challenge. I have been combining sources and occasionally asking native speakers about it.
This is not an electronic resource, but I noticed that Kenkyuusha published a collocation dictionary in 2012[1]. It looks to be a lot more comprehensive than the other Japanese collocation resources that I've seen, but I haven't seen it in person so I really don't know.

[1] http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/product...llocations
Reply
#59
Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (5th edition) might be what you're looking for then. The app's more than a bit expensive (~$120), but it's overflowing with set phrases and common uses and such. Might be worth it to, er... Try before you buy though.
Reply
#60
I've decided to take my first run at N1 this December. (I passed N2 last year with a 143/180.) I've been working on reading practice with an iTalki teacher, and she now has me doing listening practice as well. I'm using the ドリル&ドリル N1 聴解・読解 book, which is basically just a crapload of practice problems. I have 総まとめN1聴解 as well, should I finish this one before September. Between that, my subs2srs deck, and my J-J vocab deck, I feel like I should be in decent shape come test time.

I'm pretty confident on my kanji, vocab, and grammar at this point. I plan to run a practice test in the next two weeks to get a measure of where I'm at, and decide what I should focus on pre-test.
Reply
#61
akhety Wrote:The thing is, finding meanings for collocations has been a difficult enterprise, because the phrase together doesn't necessarily mean what the individual words mean separately, and finding that specific phrase in a dictionary app is a challenge. I have been combining sources and occasionally asking native speakers about it.
I would love to find an easier way to do this, but I don't want the quality of the translations to suffer as a result. I haven't used Midori (is it only available on apple devices?), but I have yet to find a digital dictionary that doesn't make me consult other dictionaries.
surprisingly, rikaichan is actually great with collocations. cheaper than kenkyusha too lol...
Reply
#62
harahachibu Wrote:This is not an electronic resource, but I noticed that Kenkyuusha published a collocation dictionary in 2012[1]. It looks to be a lot more comprehensive than the other Japanese collocation resources that I've seen, but I haven't seen it in person so I really don't know.

[1] http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/product...llocations
This looks like a good resource, but at $55, I'd want to look through it first before buying. Unfortunately my local bookstores here in rural Japan have very little variety when it comes to Japanese learning resources. I'll keep my eyes open, though, thanks for the suggestion.
Reply
#63
dtcamero Wrote:surprisingly, rikaichan is actually great with collocations. cheaper than kenkyusha too lol...
I've gotten good use out of rikaikun when looking at electronic text, but since the book I'm using is only in print, rikaikun is pretty useless.

What I really need is a way to automate the process of taking the words of phrases from the kanzen master book, translating them, and then making a deck out of that. I'm not sure if trying to scan and then OCR the Japanese text would be very accurate or effective so at least I don't have to hand type everything.
Reply
#64
akhety Wrote:
dtcamero Wrote:surprisingly, rikaichan is actually great with collocations. cheaper than kenkyusha too lol...
I've gotten good use out of rikaikun when looking at electronic text, but since the book I'm using is only in print, rikaikun is pretty useless.

What I really need is a way to automate the process of taking the words of phrases from the kanzen master book, translating them, and then making a deck out of that. I'm not sure if trying to scan and then OCR the Japanese text would be very accurate or effective so at least I don't have to hand type everything.
Just got through trying out a new idea for just that.

Type out the vocab online (takes only a minute or two, max), use Firefox + Rikaisama with the Anki plug-in enabled, and then choose your favorite dictionary to pull the definitions from with Rikaisama's EPWING feature. Plus, you can even get audio for most words with this method.
Reply
#65
Raulsen Wrote:
akhety Wrote:
dtcamero Wrote:surprisingly, rikaichan is actually great with collocations. cheaper than kenkyusha too lol...
I've gotten good use out of rikaikun when looking at electronic text, but since the book I'm using is only in print, rikaikun is pretty useless.

What I really need is a way to automate the process of taking the words of phrases from the kanzen master book, translating them, and then making a deck out of that. I'm not sure if trying to scan and then OCR the Japanese text would be very accurate or effective so at least I don't have to hand type everything.
Just got through trying out a new idea for just that.

Type out the vocab online (takes only a minute or two, max), use Firefox + Rikaisama with the Anki plug-in enabled, and then choose your favorite dictionary to pull the definitions from with Rikaisama's EPWING feature. Plus, you can even get audio for most words with this method.
That sounds very promising. I'll look into that right away. Thanks!
Reply
#66
Aiming for first JLPT in December. It isn't held in my home country so I haven't had motivation to take it before.

Been quite a while since I had any structured study (class/doing JLPT-graded study materials) so I'm not sure which level to take - N2 or N3. Tried N2 語彙 from the official site and it was a breeze, also found 読解 easier than expected, but 文法 was a total catastrophe (didn't have headphones - no 聴解). So, probably N2 after all - depending on how much I can study during the semester, and whether I value an almost guaranteed N3 pass lower than a possible N2 fail.

Nevertheless I'll study as if for N2 and I aim to finish 新完全マスターN2文法 (with help from どんなときどう使う and DoIJG). Vocabulary and kanji from those/native sources as it obviously has worked well thus far, but I haven't decided whether to use anything specific for reading and (especially) listening.
I'm having a bit of a struggle to come up with interesting native material ideas. It's 70%+ news, lectures and grammar study. (On the other hand I doubt textbooks are any more interesting but at least they are directed practice.)

If there are any gaming or Metal Gear fans - I recommend the 観るMGS series on YouTube, it has full story cutscene movies from the individual games with the in-game subtitles and voice acting. At times technical but the quality and excitement makes it up for me.
Reply
#67
I didn't even think about checking these forums while prepping. Anyways, I took the N2. I failed it by a few points in December and didn't study too much in between, but with any luck I think I passed it (or maybe I'm just remembering the test with too much optimism?).

Can't wait for the results, so I can decide whether to keep N2 prepping or start on N1!
Reply
#68
FYI, JLPT registration in the US starts on August 24, 2015.

Less than 4 months until the exam already. @_@b
Reply
#69
Study Update:
-I finished adding cards from Core10k 21 days ago, still reviewing them though. I decided to be more harsh than before.

-Went through 新にほんご500問N1 once; this is a nice quiz book that has three types of questions resembling the 言語知識 part of the exam. Each page has a 文字 question ('what's the reading' questions), a 語彙 question (fill in the blank: word), and a 文法 question (fill in the blank: grammar). There are thirty pages of this plus a 35 question recap at the end of each section. the reverse side of the question pages has the answers and a short explanation (and the grammar ones get a couple example sentences).
Anyway, tallying my correct answers in this book has given me further data to suggest that I suck at grammar (and 'fill in the blank' questions in general).
First run through the book:
Week 1:
文字: 26/30 Test: 9/12
語彙: 13/30 Test: 11/12
文法: 8/30 Test: 6/11
*The tests are slightly flawed in that there are only two options instead of four; and while the first two sections have different answers than their original referenced questions (as in, the answer is a different word), the answers for the grammar section are the same as the reference question (the question is different of course; this is likely unavoidable in this kind of format), so if it was from a question you did recently, you can probably remember it easily, without actually remembering why it should be that answer.

Week 2:
文字: 24/30 Test: 9/12
語彙: 7/30 Test: 10/12
文法: 7/30 Test: 8/11

Week 3:
文字: 22/30 Test: 11/12
語彙: 14/30 Test: 11/12
文法: 5/30 Test: 7/11

Week 4:
文字: 22/30 Test: 11/12
語彙: 8/30 Test: 7/12
文法: 5/30 Test: 5/11

I decided to stick the grammar bits from this book into Anki, since I can do so without using anything from the question page. I have a feeling that grammar could be the deciding factor for whether I pass or fail, and it seems like studying it will give me a good return for the time.

-Haven't really done any listening practice recently, other than watching some anime with subs (thus, very little listening practice), but I do have the 総まとめ book for listening, so I'll be working through that more.

-Haven't done anything special for reading practice recently, just normal reading.

-My tutor brought over some cards with items on them and asked me to describe them in Japanese. It was actually quite fun (but difficult, at my level), and I learned that corn kernels aren't referred to as 種 but 実.

Plans:
I still think I'm going for N1 this year; I don't want to take N2, because then I'd have to go back and take N1, so at least this way there's a chance I'll pass N1 in one go (I think it's a good chance too, just have to work on that grammar).
I've been entertaining thoughts of applying for the MEXT scholarship to go for my Master's degree, but that's a ways off and irrelevant to this thread.

I'm going to try and be competitive for the rest of this Tadoku half-round; hopefully I can increase my reading speed enough that I don't have to worry about time as much during the reading portion of the test.
I'm definitely going to work on grammar...
Reply
#70
Thanks for your update, sholum.

Been a while since I updated, so here we go.

Direct N1 Practice:

- Twice a week, reviewing the old cards in my N1 grammar deck to keep points I don't run into frequently fresh.
- Once a week meeting on N1 reading or listening practice with a teacher.
- Been working through 新完全マスター読解 when my kids aren't here, so every other weekend.
- Have periodically worked through the 聴解 portion of ドリルとドリル N1, but haven't spend as much time with it as I'd like.

Outside of explicit N1 practice:

- Subs2SRS and vocab deck. Currently working through Season 11 of 相棒. Vocab deck is new, and only has about 600 cards in it currently, as I'm mostly creating J-J cards by hand. I quit doing vocab for a while because I wanted to focus on making the words I already knew more concrete, but now I think it's time to ramp up learning of new words again.
- Reading. Finished 幽霊探偵八雲第2巻 earlier this month. Finishing up 嘘を、もう一つだけ by 東野圭吾 sometime this weekend. I read whatever I can online during the way as well, usually NHK, Wired.jp, etc.
- Listening to at least half of NHKジャーナル en route to work every am.
- Japanese TV on the rare chance I get to turn it on and just zone out.

Next steps:

- Take a mock N1 exam next weekend and gauge my readiness.
- Sign up for N1 next week (ulp).
Reply
#71
Crap, everyone's getting serious! Time to power up!

うぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉぉおおおおおおお!

I've been working on my vocab, because that's the one thing that undermined everything else the last couple of years. I dumped Anki, because it wasn't working for me. It's like that high-maintenance SO who claims not to be high-maintenance, but in reality is SUPER ULTRA MAX 超High Maintenance.

At any rate, I feel better about my chances now, because I spend more time doing vocab review than I ever did before. I use the vocab books with the red check sheets. All of the rubi and definitions are in red text, so I can't see them. It's awesome. I really like the ones by Jリサーチ出版. Reviews are nice and fast.

I've also been working on grammar a bit, while also working on listening at the same time. A few years back, in a fit of somethingorother, I scanned a bunch of grammar stuff from KM grammar N1 and OCR'ed it. Then I dumped it into Anki decks... and it really didn't help much. So what I'm doing now is dumping the text into CeVIO, a speech synth engine that will make stuff I can listen to in the car or when I'm walking, or when I just feel like listening to robots lecture me on grammar. Yeah, it's weird. I'm not sure about it either. Fortunately, it doesn't take up much time.

For listening, it's 爆笑問題. I still can't understand 大田 sometimes, but I love it when he starts yelling. I have no idea why. At any rate, I find it's much better listening practice than the NHK radio news for me. I need to find more podcasts like this. (But I don't think スーパホームラン!失格! will be on the N1.) The main thing I want to find is people talking fast. NOT broadcasters talking in measured tones, or actors talking in measured tones. I need to find that guy with the mushmouth who is well-nigh impossible to understand, but will definitely show up on the N1 listening section.

In the next week or two, I need finish doing a ground up grammar review. I have that 20 points basic review that I always recommend: it's a pretty quick review of "what you should know already" up to N3 or N4 or so. Then I need to dig out KM 2級 grammar sometime, and run through it to make sure I remember all that. If I really hate myself, then also the Japanese Particle Workbook, too. Only if I really hate myself, though! Big Grin

Then really, it's just ドリル&ドリル, the other N1 drill books I have, doing mock tests, all until I want to throw myself down a well. Big Grin

EDIT: down a well, not out a well. It's late.
Edited: 2015-08-21, 1:27 am
Reply
#72
So I have taken my mogi test #2.

What have I been doing leading up to this? I’m about halfway through 総まとめN1語彙 and ドリル&ドリルN1文法, doing a little bit every day for each of these. Still doing my daily anki reviews, which is starting to wear on me a bit. I haven’t read much long-form Japanese for pleasure lately, just some SmartNews or /r/newsokur. Any dramas I watch have been with Japanese subtitles.

Here are my scores (prior score in parentheses):

言語知識: 35/60 (38/60)
読解: 41/60 (44/60)
聴解: 48/60 (56/60)
Total: 124/180 (138/180)

Ouch. Lower scores on all three sections. Still passing, but further away from my goal score.

This practice test was definitely much harder than the one I did previously. I skipped a few grammar questions, intending to go back, but then ran out of time on the reading section. In contrast, in my last practice test I had 15 minutes to spare at the end of the reading section to go back. That kind of worries me, that the test can vary in difficulty so much from year to year. The 語彙 book seems to be working, my scores on that section were better, but offset by worse scores on grammar.

For listening, I feel like words I don’t know (at least for JLPT) are rare enough now that when I encounter them my brain kind of freezes while I strain to try and remember the word, instead of concentrating on the audio. Instead I should keep concentrating on the audio and try to figure out the missing word from context. That definitely tripped me up on a few questions on the listening section.

What’s next?

I will go through the practice test and mine the words I didn’t know.

I should finish 総まとめN1語彙 and ドリル&ドリルN1文法 in about 3 weeks, and then I have 新完全マスター読解 and 新完全マスター語彙 to go through after that.

I should start reading long-form Japanese again for pleasure. I just want to make sure I don’t burn out, so I will restrict adding every unknown word into Anki because I don’t want to get bogged down into looking up every single word and obsessively cataloguing them.
Reply
#73
Was a shin-kanzen master N1 spreadsheet ever drawn up? Started typing in some grammar points before I realized it might already be done. I can provide proof of ownership if needed.
Edited: 2015-08-23, 9:05 am
Reply
#74
Just signed up for N2. Kinda nervous since it's my first time taking a JLPT test. I'm going to try focusing on grammar, reading comprehension and speed, and listening skills until the exam. I'll try to do frequent flashcards for vocab as well (I've been slacking lately... Sad). I'll be around my friends at school who are also learning Japanese (although they're around N4) so it'll hopefully keep me motivated. Plus I'll have 4 hours in between classes twice a week to kill without my desktop computer, so I will have a lot of free time to study during the week.

Good luck to everyone else that is taking N1 and N2 this winter!
Reply
#75
Signed up for N1 again, in DC again, too. Georgetown U does a great job of hosting the test. I wish my results there were better, tho. -_-

I'm going to try to stay focused on my weak points, and do more drilling.

@zx573 The best advice I can give for getting ready for N2 (or any JLPT) is to take as many practice tests as you can at regular intervals. (Every couple of weeks or so.) And do it like the "real thing" when you can, so you understand that for X minutes, you're glued to your chair, answering questions. Then give yourself a break as long as the "official" break. It gives you the best idea of what to be ready for, and it will shine a big light on any deficiencies you may have, so you can focus on them.

@kerosan If you can't find it (there's one floating around), shoot me an email.
Reply