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2015 JLPT N2-N1 Thread

#1
(NOTE: Related thread for the N3 over here.)

This is a thread to discuss how folks are prepping for this year's JLPT N2 and N1 tests.

After being one of the 39% who cleared this year's N2, I've decided to go for the N1 this year. I've decided that this is because I'm insane.

My prep currently consists of the following. This will likely fluctuate as the year ticks by. A lot of my current plans are currently being influenced by the fact that I'm about to go to Japan, and will be suspending work on my Anki decks at least until I return. I also feel like my Anki work is dominating my Japanese time, and I want to spend a little more time enjoying native content in the leadup to the JLPT1.

* Vocab: Skritter + reading and listening to drive acquisition. I'm using Skritter's pre-made JLPT N1 list for backup when I run out of words in my custom vocab list. I've tried vocab acquisition before without an SRS system, and I find I learn a lot faster and retain a lot more when I'm explicitly studying vocab. Plus Skritter gives me the writing component, which helps with my journaling.

* Reading: I have a several-pronged approach here. I have a stack of novels here. Beyond that, I continue to read lots of news online, and am starting to read more specialty interest materials, such as a magazine called Dancyu (http://www.president.co.jp/dan/) that a colleage brought to me as a present. I also spend a little time each weekend reading several entries from the 新完全マスター読解 for N1, just to give me a little more practice in digesting the specific format used by the JLPT. My teacher and I also work on reading and grammar in our weekly lessons.

* Grammar. I've digested all of 新完全マスター and 総まとめ N1 books via Anki already. I wil likely resume reviewing this deck when I'm back to Japan, and am going to keep adding to it. A friend who passed the JLPT N1 years ago recently gave me an old ALC book that contains nothing but common words and grammar points, along with example sentences to clarify usage and highlight the various multiple meanings of basic words. E.g., the section on 抜ける contains four short examples sentences, each with a short accompanying Japanese language explanation:

(1)最近、髪が抜けて困っている。
(2)パンクしてタイヤの空気が抜けてしまった。
(3)トンネルを抜けると、急に景色が変わった。
(4)この本には34ページから49ページまで抜けている。

I find this kind of disambiguation and short usage example very valuable, and am slowly transcribing my photocopy of this book into Anki. (I'm happy to make the final result available to others once I've finished inputting everything and editing my entries.)

Again, this is a task for when I get back from Japan.

* Listening: Lots of anime and drama (some with subtitles, a lot without). Podcasts while walking to and from work. I'm suspending my Subs2SRS work for now, because I have a HUGE pile of shows and anime that I want to watch, and re-watching the same things over and over again through Subs2SRS is digging into that time. (I still have 600 episodes of 名探偵コナン needing my attention!!) I feel like it's time to truly start immersing myself with listening, rather than spending so much time studying. I'm also finishing up まっしろ, will likely re-watch 斉藤さん, and want to keep enjoying the delicious trashiness that is 少女革命ウテナ.

I plan to start explicitly studying N1 listening in July from the 総まとめ and 新完全マスター books. Until then, I'm going to spend some time enjoying the fruits of the past three years.

That's it for now. Basically, I'm trying to prep for N1 mainly by enjoying more complicated Japanese, with a little test-specific study thrown in to give myself some additional practice with JLPT format.

What are YOU doing? Any advice from past takers of the N2 and N1?
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#2
i think in retrospect there were a few things i did that got me past N1... so i'll briefly list them here:

1. re grammar...i put all the exercises and sample sentences from kanzen master N1 and N2 into anki. I found a spreadsheet for N1 but actually did N2 by hand... totally worth it. it's a lot of stuff, but while reviewing I answered "good" (green/third button) by pressing "easy" (blue/fourth) answer button, and really flew threw both books in about 2-3 weeks.

2. re reading...i read a lot of articles on the intenet, using rikaichan to get quick defs and keep reading. Lifehacker and newsweek were really good. between sets at the gym i would read FNN news on my iphone, holding down on words i didnt know to get defs. this was just a hobby, not conscious studying, and i probably did it for about a year or so. i was between core6 and 10k for most of this time.

3. re listening...i spent two summers living in japan... hard for most folks to do, but it really helps if you can figure it out somehow. the first summer was in the inaka and my beginner japanese at that time was better than everyone's english so they were all happy to become my language partners. japanese people living in america will probably have better english than your japanese for a long time, so its great to go to japan to get started talking. after than I made some japanese friends in america, girlfriends, etc. people are the best study material because you really focus... more than on a book or tv show. it really trains your ears in a way that listening to radio/movies/tv can't.
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#3
OP, that book with the disambiguations of basic words sounds really interesting. can you tell us what it's called?

as for me, I'm recently finished RTK, which helps a lot with vocabulary. I'm currently slamming RTK2, but thankfully from everyday use I know about 75% of the On yomi already. along with Kanji, I read the dialogue-heavy manga "Monster" by Urasawa Naoki which is full of practical Kanji at and above the Jouyou level (recently picked up 甥っ子, nephew).

In addition, I've been translating stuff on Gengo.com. It's pretty awesome because you get paid, and if your Japanese is off, the senior editors will catch it, and be straight up with you about exactly what you did wrong. it's basically like school except the tables of tuition have turned. plus it exposes me to spheres of the language that I wouldn't otherwise explore on my own neccessarily (temples and shrines and stuff... culturally important, just not my biggest interest).

I have some textbooks lined up for after RTK2, but I'm not gonna overload. the usual suspects, of course.


I started watching 日本人が知らない日本語on youtube with Japanese (and chinese) subs... it's and drama and it's funny and on top of that it is basically just a well presented Japanese lesson. so good! My only complaint is that the foreigners they cast have kind of frustrating acting chops... but I guess that beggars in Tokyo can't be choosers lol. their Japanese is pretty good but cringe worthy at times, from a listening practice point of view Tongue

I live in Japan, so I try to read everything I see. another thing I like to do is if I see a food with a word/name I don't know I'll just get it instead of look up what it is. as a bonus I get food.

I try not to rely heavily on grammar textbooks, but I realize it is a neccessity to just cover all the grammar systematically when going for N1, so I will need to pick it up in earnest in the following months as we approach July.

Let's go! hopefully this thread becomes a good resource for team Koohii Tongue
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JapanesePod101
#4
Aiming for N1 in December. Passed N2 a few years ago.

* Vocab: I’m going through the Target 2000 N1 Vocab book that I have put into Anki. I’m about 2/3 done right now, I should be complete around the end of April on it. Additionally, every time I read a 社説 I save words I don’t know for later review.

* Reading: My plan is to read a 社説 at least a few days a week, maybe every day as I get closer to the exam. I also take a Japanese reading comprehension class locally that meets once a week. The readings are usually from N2 to N1 level, but not specifically geared for JLPT so there’s some variety. I read some novels and sometimes manga but I’m not really counting on it as being too useful for JLPT, as I read these for interest/pleasure.

* Grammar: I’m planning to go through the 新完全マスター books for N2 and N1 starting in April. I have the Anki decks for those ready to go as I do them.

* Listening: Podcasts like バイリンガルニュース. I may look at the japanesepod101 advanced section, I’m not sure what level those are. I'd like to find university level lectures on iTunes U or just as a regular podcast but haven't really found anything interesting to me. I may switch to watching dramas only with Japanese subtitles, which I only do occasionally right now, but I don’t know how helpful that will be for the exam. I go to an English/Japanese conversation meetup once a week for practice as well.

* Timeline: Plan to take a practice test in June to gauge exactly where my strengths/weaknesses are, and then order some ドリル&ドリル books for the appropriate sections. Second practice test in September, and then a final practice test in mid November to check progress.
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#5
Dovetron Wrote:OP, that book with the disambiguations of basic words sounds really interesting. can you tell us what it's called?
It's called 日本語能力試験1級に出る重要単語集: 似た言葉の使い分けができるようになる本

Looks like I was mistaken - it's still in print. There's also a sizable sample online so you can check out the contents.
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#6
dtcamero Wrote:1. re grammar...i put all the exercises and sample sentences from kanzen master N1 and N2 into anki. I found a spreadsheet for N1 but actually did N2 by hand... totally worth it. it's a lot of stuff, but while reviewing I answered "good" (green/third button) by pressing "easy" (blue/fourth) answer button, and really flew threw both books in about 2-3 weeks.
I heartily recommend this, even if you're still working through the books. I did this for N2, and it was a huge help on the grammar and reading sections. I was able to do an initial review of both the 新完全マスター and 総まとめ N1 cards in about two months, and it has helped a lot in terms of basic recognition of the grammatical forms you'll encounter in the JLPT.
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#7
Going for N1 this December, but currently finishing up some N2 practice; should be starting N1 specific stuff in a month or so.
As for what I'm doing:

Vocab:
Currently, I'm not doing much study of new vocab in Anki, just reviewing; I've been trying to catch common words that have slipped past me and working on the usage of words that I've already studied with my tutor. I've also been picking up some words and phrases in my reading practice.
I plan on completing Core 10k before the test (2895 cards to go), but it has taken a back-seat for now; though I guess I should start it again before long, if I want it to be easy. Other than that, any vocab study will be specifically for the test, probably from the official test prep books.
I'm still a little slow on the usage and 'fill in the blank' vocabulary questions, so I'll be working on those.
(Speaking of, here's a site that has similar questions based on JLPT level for vocabulary and grammar (operate using the options at the top of the page): http://www.n-lab.org/library/mondai/index.html)

Reading:
Recently, I've been mostly focusing on the reading comprehension part of my mock exams; by looking at the answer explanations in the book after I've taken the test, it gives me a better idea of what structures to look for to figure out the tone of a piece or what an individual passage is talking about. I've also been watching "The Making" on YouTube (
) for practice understanding procedural descriptions and the like (but mostly because it's interesting); it's also taught me some new words that are relevant to the subjects being discussed (which may or may not be present in the N1 exam); I try to read the line(s) in the time given in the video, but I'll go back and pause if I missed something.
My tutor said she'd help me with some business Japanese, since I have very little experience with business workings in English (always done contract work for people I already knew or other non-business world stuff). I fear that this may be my downfall, since the test seems to usually have an emphasis on business texts, second only to essays...
Otherwise, I feel confident in the reading portion, as I managed to answer the long passage questions within the recommended time limit (a little over eight minutes, with ten being the recommended minimum).

Grammar:
My great enemy (or something). When it comes to understanding what's already there, I'm usually fine, but I'm not too solid on the production aspect of things (even if it's multiple choice). This is something I'll definitely need to work on somehow, but right now, it seems that practice problems are the only way to overcome the test. I'll ask my tutor about this later, depending on how I do with the first N1 mock exam (which will be a couple weeks from now).
I read IMABI for grammar lessons, though I haven't been reading it often, lately.

Listening:
This section has been hit or miss for me; the content and questions are easy, but I tend to miss a few words here and there, sometimes, they're inconsequential, other times, the only words I missed were the ones that I really needed (like a question asking how much someone spent on tickets: I got how many tickets they had to buy and even the reason they needed them, but I completely missed the ticket price and the discount they applied). This is especially a problem with the long conversation questions, since I'm spending so much effort trying to understand possible that I miss important information while processing older information. Despite this, I've gotten half the questions correct on the N2 practice tests (though I cheated on the first one by rewinding a lot, so I won't have a good idea of the trend until I take the third; if I score higher on the next one, I'll interpret it as an improvement in listening ability from the first test, since the first and second listening section scores were similar).
Since most of the trouble I have with the listening is just the act of listening, I've been watching Japanese YouTube channels (like jstsciencechannel and 書道・美文字チャンネル). I've been meaning to watch a couple anime series that I have Japanese subs for (蟲師 and Psycho Pass), but I have a habit of binge watching anime if I have the episodes, so those will have to wait until I have more time.
Interesting YouTube channel suggestions are welcome.
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#8
For listening, I'm listening to the NHK Radio News for now, and also JUNK 爆笑問題, which I think is actually harder to listen to than the news, because they talk pretty fast and use a lot of colloquialisms. (Kind of almost like the real test.) Also, 爆笑問題 is pretty funny, too. Just don't accidentally wind up studying some of their made-up words.

I've also been listening to the 荻上チアキ podcasts, but it's not the same as Dig. I miss Dig!

I should probably be studying harder right now, but things are so hectic, it's hard to do more than listen to podcasts when I have some free time. Ugh. Need to carve out more time.

I suppose I'll go back to reading 社説, but now that I'm not syncing with the Anki server, this makes using Rikai-sama to add vocab a RPITA. I need to do more writing, too. Lots to do, and before you know it, it's test time again.
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#9
harahachibu: If you are looking for university lectures then gacco.org is pretty cool. It's free and there are transcripts for everything. Plus, they have quizzes that test whether you understood the content or not. I found out about it through this post: http://forum.koohii.com/showthread.php?tid=11773.

I might sign up for N1 in December but I haven't decided yet. I attempted it last year but failed with 92/180. I am just not sure how to go about studying for it again. The points were spread out pretty evenly (36,27,29) so I can't think of some obvious area that I need to spend more time on - I think I just need to improve overall.

I prepared for it in much the same way as I prepared for N2 the year before, but N2 turned out pretty well (148/180) so that leaves me extra confused about what I did wrong on the N1.

For grammar I went through 新完全マスターN1文法 and I also made an Anki deck with all the sentences from that book which I spend many hours on in both recognition and production (just as I had done with N2). I also added some sentences from a couple of other resources like the どんなときどう使う日本語表現文型辞典. I got a B on the grammar section of the test so there is definitely room for improvement, I'm just not entirely sure how to go about it.

For vocab I had gone through Core10k and had just started my own vocab deck where I added unknown words from my reading and listening. I think I did the best on the vocabulary/kanji section of the test - I felt pretty confident when I did it and I also got an A on that section. I am still adding to my vocab deck but it might be better to focus on other areas if I want to improve my chances at the JLPT.

For reading I was mostly reading stuff that I found interesting, and this meant that most of what I was reading was novels. I did work my way through the 新完全マスターN1読解 book which I guess helped me a little in getting more familiar with the test, but it probably didn't help me improve my overall reading ability that much. I felt that many of the readings on the actual test were very different from most of what I had been reading so far; many JLPT texts are about somebody having an opinion about some specific topic and then you have to answer correctly what the author wants to say. I am not sure that novels are ideal for preparing for this type of questions and I have come to think that I should read a lot more 社説. I also didn't manage to finish all the readings on the test (I missed one of the readings), so improving general reading speed would help improve my score.

For listening I went through 新完全マスターN1聴解, N1聴解スピードマスター and 日本語能力試験聞くN1 and after doing the exercises I put all the audio on my mp3 player and listened to it whenever I had some spare time. The listening section is definitely the one that I fear the most. While I was doing that section I almost felt as if i didn't understand anything of anything and I ended up thinking that I had done even worse on it than I actually did.

In short, I am kind of at a loss as to how to proceed from here. It seems to me that first and foremost I need to improve my general reading and listening ability and my own guess is that I just need to do more reading and listening rather than doing more test specific preparation. But any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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#10
rich_f Wrote:I've also been listening to the 荻上チアキ podcasts, but it's not the same as Dig. I miss Dig!
Can I say how pissed I am that Dig is no longer around now when I actually might be able to understand most of it? Sigh...
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#11
Dig was great, but that's kind of how TBS rolls. They do a podcast, it'll run for a while, then it gets killed off, whether you like it or not. It's very much a big media company approach to it.

One of my N1 listening strategies involves using the playback speed function of my podcatcher. Up that playback speed!
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#12
justusperthes Wrote:harahachibu: If you are looking for university lectures then gacco.org is pretty cool. It's free and there are transcripts for everything. Plus, they have quizzes that test whether you understood the content or not. I found out about it through this post: http://forum.koohii.com/showthread.php?tid=11773.
justusperthes, thanks very much. Looks like a great resource.
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#13



this channel is a series of JLPT prep lessons for grammar and kanji and stuff done by attractive women in pretty casual easy to understand Japanese, where you can practice easy listening plus the grammar and kanji and other questions they are talking you through step by step!
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#14
I've been reading 朝日 news articles, but with heavy dictionary use. Anyone know roughly what level that's at compared to the N1? Should I be good if I can get through most articles without a dictionary?
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#15
if you can understand 朝日's 社説 (in slow-average speed) then you are way past N1. Even lots of Japanese have trouble understanding what exactly they want to say.
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#16
mindKILLER, z1bbo, thanks for the idea. Today's editorial about broadening the power grid was pretty interesting, but I would have liked to read more about the details of the actual initiatives rather than the basic "The government is trying to think about maybe...." as the Japanese are wont to do Tongue

I feel like the entire article could be summed up by saying "The government wants to increase the interconnectedness of the power grid so that there are less inequalities in electricity distribution throughout the country, and to prevent situations like those experienced in the Tokyo area in the wake of the 3/11 Earthquake."

did anyone get anything else out of the article? I just read through quickly and didn't know some words.

http://www.asahi.com/paper/editorial.html
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#17
In the vein of the N3 thread, I'll post an update.
Took the third (and final) N2 mock exam in my book; I did much better than my previous attempts, but I was still short 6 points for the final grade (84 points, needed 90, 170 total) managed to save enough time to pass the reading portion this time, though. I thought the 言語知識 portion was much easier than the other two, though, so the results might be a bit off.

A run through of the results (with comparison to the previous mock exam):
言語知識:
1-word readings:
2/5
last time: 3/5
I'm a bit surprised that I've only been getting two or three right on this one, considering it's most like my regular study sessions. It really just comes down to vocabulary recognition, though, so I'm confident that I can improve this before December (hopefully it will be enough for N1).

2-choose the kanji that fit the word:
5/5
Last time, I only got 2/5; the only word I wasn't really familiar with was the last one (あまとう) I picked 甘党 partially because it seemed to fit the best, but mostly because I thought it would be fun to have a political party devoted to sweets...
This is really the same as the first one for me: if I know the words, it's easy, otherwise I'm just making an educated guess based off the potential readings.

3-fill in the blank with a kanji (prefixes and suffixes):
4/5
Last time, I only had 1/5... This time, it was a mixture of things I new for sure and things I could make reasonable guesses at.

4-fill in the blank (verbs):
3/7 (could've been 4/7...)
Same last time. While it's still just knowledge based, I have difficulty with these usage questions due to my lack of actually producing Japanese. I only marked two questions as uncertain, but that just means I had another answer I thought might fit (thus the 4/7 comment).

5-synonyms (or near synonyms):
3/5
Only 1/5 last time. This time, I had one answer I marked to mean uncertain (though my second choice was wrong too). I also had one question I was entirely uncertain about, as below:
もう5時だ。時間が経つのは早いものだ。
1 かかる    2 飛ぶ    3 過ぎる    4 動く
Correct answer 3. I chose 4 (as a guess between the latter 3).
In your opinion, does this question seem obvious before you know the answer? I thought the best word for it was already used in the question, so I couldn't tell if my choice was supposed to be stylistic or suggest something completely different (as the correct answer does).

6-word usage (here's a word, choose the best sentence to accompany it):
2/5
Same as last time. Same as the other usage question, really. The two I got right were the ones that I knew the best (a little surprised I didn't get the 取り残す question right, considering I see it constantly when "The Making" describes sorting machines and such).

7-fill in the blank (grammar structures):
4/12
This was pretty much expected... I still need to figure out my grammar study method. Picking things to use is harder than reading them.

8-sentence construction (what goes in the third blank):
5/5
Easier than the other ones, but I got 3/5 last time; since the sentence is already there, it's easier to decide what goes where, as opposed to the other production questions which want you to pick the best choice for the blank.

9-fill in the blanks, essay edition:
3/5
Same as last time. These aren't terribly hard, but once again, with production stuff, it takes me too much time and it can be hit or miss; thankfully, with that much context, it's not as bad as the single sentences.
Also, just realized this problem is misprinted as 7 in my book...

読解:
10-short passage reading
2/5 (almost 3/5)
Last time: 0/5. I noticed an improvement in comprehension ability for these problems, which is understandable, since I practiced them between these two tests. At this point, the time pressure starts kicking in (I think I had about 30 minutes left on the clock, this time; less before), so I tried ignoring it as best I could. Of course, this entire section can come down to knowing a couple of words (I couldn't remember 到着, so I picked the other choice that seemed likely), so... More vocab, more reading.

11-medium length passages
0/9
Last time- 1/9. Ran out of time on both tests; went for the higher points at the end of the test before going back. Need to up my speed on the first sections.

12-compare two passages
1/2
Last time 0/2 (time). Still that time pressure; these aren't really that hard. I got both answers right on the last one when I did it separately. I rushed this time.

13-long passage
1/3
previously: 0/3 (time). A little disappointed with this, since I got 3/3 when I did the last one separately (in 8 minutes, without prep). I think it's still that time pressure, however, this passage did contain some phrases and words that I was unfamiliar with; unfortunately, it was enough to throw off my ability to answer (I understood the gist of it, at least).

14-practical reading
1/2
last time: 2/2. Time. Time. Time! These are actually some of the easiest reading questions, since they don't require complete understanding of the flyer or whatever you're pulling information from; most of the question is just logic; "given these parameters, which program should be picked". I wanted to answer more questions, so I spent less time on this part than last time. It paid off on my overall score, but I really need to get to where I can source that time from elsewhere (the 言語知識 part and the basic reading bits).

聴解:
1-answer choices are written (what will they do after this):
3/5
Same as last time.
Not much to say, need listening practice. Pretty much the gist of the whole section.

2-answer choices written (passage specific question):
2/6
last 3/6
Meh. Listening

3-answer choices in audio (basically the same as 2):
4/5
last 4/5
Personally, I find these easier, since there's more time to process things at the end (answers are read slowly); also, they seem to let up on you when they take the reading crutch.

4-responses:
4/11
last 4/11
I hate these! By the time I focus on the audio, the prompt is already over (the number of "I missed the question" marks was too high (6))! On top of that, you have to think of what was said, how it was said, and then you have to do the same for the answers while remembering all the stuff you just decided in a split second! I get that it's supposed to simulate responding to people in real life and to get you to pull the most information out of the smallest dialogue, but there's more context and time to focus in real life!
Oh well, guess it's just a matter of practice... might be the one section on the test that I abandon, but the content is pretty obvious on paper...

5-longer conversation (last conversation has two questions):
3/4
last 0/4
This set was easier than the previous one (they went all out on the tricks last time). I missed a line or two in the last conversation, which made me miss one question, but half the audio was throw-away on that one (thankfully, because it was an exaggerated sales pitch; I have a hard enough time with those in English).

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I was really hoping to pass this one; if only I saved more time. Oh well. I think I'm good to try the first N1 mock test in a couple weeks. After that, I should have a good idea of what I need to work on the most (since my poor areas should be exaggerated enough at that level for me to rank them). If I get a similar score (pass or almost pass all the sections but miss out on total points), I'll know to just chug along with what I've already been doing until the next one; somehow, I doubt that'll happen...
Edited: 2015-04-06, 2:10 am
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#18
For those interested in reading lots of 社説, I'm a big fan of this site:
http://shasetsu.ps.land.to/

Use that with Rikai-sama, and create a massive deck with the words you want to learn. (Says the person who isn't doing it right now. Gotta get back on the wagon!)
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#19
sholum Wrote:5-synonyms (or near synonyms):
3/5
Only 1/5 last time. This time, I had one answer I marked to mean uncertain (though my second choice was wrong too). I also had one question I was entirely uncertain about, as below:
もう5時だ。時間が経つのは早いものだ。
1 かかる    2 飛ぶ    3 過ぎる    4 動く
Correct answer 3. I chose 4 (as a guess between the latter 3).
In your opinion, does this question seem obvious before you know the answer? I thought the best word for it was already used in the question, so I couldn't tell if my choice was supposed to be stylistic or suggest something completely different (as the correct answer does).
Just responding to your question but yeah, 過ぎる is what automatically popped into my head before I looked at the options. I'm not sure why you think they're completely different - デジタル大辞泉 even defines 経つ as 時が過ぎる. Anyways good luck, it looks like you're pretty close to being able to pass^^
Edited: 2015-04-06, 12:53 pm
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#20
Ash_S Wrote:
sholum Wrote:5-synonyms (or near synonyms):
3/5
Only 1/5 last time. This time, I had one answer I marked to mean uncertain (though my second choice was wrong too). I also had one question I was entirely uncertain about, as below:
もう5時だ。時間が経つのは早いものだ。
1 かかる    2 飛ぶ    3 過ぎる    4 動く
Correct answer 3. I chose 4 (as a guess between the latter 3).
In your opinion, does this question seem obvious before you know the answer? I thought the best word for it was already used in the question, so I couldn't tell if my choice was supposed to be stylistic or suggest something completely different (as the correct answer does).
Just responding to your question but yeah, 過ぎる is what automatically popped into my head before I looked at the options. I'm not sure why you think they're completely different - デジタル大辞泉 even defines 経つ as 時が過ぎる. Anyways good luck, it looks like you're pretty close to being able to pass^^
Ah, that was my bad, I confused 過ぎる with 過ごす; that's what I get for doing all this after midnight... Makes much more sense when I can actually read it correctly.
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#21
I guess if it's been nearly a month, I can double post.

Took the first of my N1 mock exams and did better than I thought (especially considering how mentally drained I was from exams and my terrible luck when I had to guess towards the end of the reading portion).

My scores from this test:
言語知識: 24/61
読解: 16/63
聴解: 36/64
Total: 76/188 (passing is 105)

In the first section, there were a lot of words I didn't know or couldn't remember, so I'll have to go over them again; I also need to work more on grammar (I'm going to try putting the stuff in my exam book into Anki).

For the second, most of my problem was that I was running out of time and was so tired that my eyes were crossing and refused to focus... So I just guessed on the last three parts (nine questions total, but they were worth a lot). On the earlier ones, I managed pretty well using the technique my tutor showed me (read the question and answer first, then skim the passage for the main point of the question; the answer will be very close to that sentence).
My tutor brought me 日本語総まとめN1:読解 to work through over the next month and a half, so hopefully, I can improve my ability in this section enough that I don't run out of time...

For listening, I had the same problem I've been having on that darn response part (3/13; thankfully they're only worth one point a piece)... I don't really know how to study for it, so I guess I'll try conversation practice? It's probably the only skill I've never accounted for, so it might help for this part. Otherwise, I did better than I expected, I only missed one of the four long questions (last section), and that's because I missed the point I needed to listen for; I didn't do so well at the third section either (2/6), but it looks like I was either missing the point entirely, or forgot what the question was before they finished reading the answers; I did fine on the first two sections though (like the third, but a little kinder, since the answer choices are written out).
The listening part has actually become quite a bit easier since I started studying, so I don't think I have to worry about doing anything extra for it, except for that one section...

For comparison, this first N1 mock exam went better than the first two N2 mock exams; while I'm only about 72% of the way to passing, I was only about 64% there on the second N2 and even worse (no accurate data) on the first N2. It doesn't beat my last N2 score, but I'd be pretty surprised if it did. I think I should pass the N1 this December, if I can continue progressing as I am.

EDIT:
It'll probably be at least a month before I do another mock exam, since I only have two left (that I haven't seen). I might go over this test again after I finish 総まとめ, to see if I can do better on the reading section.
Edited: 2015-05-01, 4:22 pm
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#22
Taking N1 for the first time. Using Memrise to do most of my vocab studying and then mock exams to practice the other skills. That was basically how I tackled level 4, 3, and 2 back in the old format days. I passed Level 2 in 2008 and at the time had decided that Level 1 wasn't necessary (or possible) for me. Now, many years later, I decided to give it a go.

I've taken a few mock exams and the results look promising. From 日本語能力試験完全模試N1, I've taken 第1回 and 第2回. The results are as follows:

第1回:
言語知識: 38/61
読解: 29/63
聴解: 55/64
Total: 122/188 (passing is 105)

第2回:
言語知識: 41/61
読解: 44/61
聴解: 59/64
Total: 144/188 (passing is 105)

I have one test left from this book and a few more mock test books. I found taking mock tests over and over was what helped me most last time, if anything for keeping time, and so far it looks like I'll do OK on the test this time around too. I really need to work on grammar as I have barely touched it and I find myself guessing based on feeling for almost everything. Anyway, good luck to everyone else taking the test. Anyone else taking N1 in Kansai?
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#23
Niiiiiice! I'm glad to finally find a thread for all the N1/N2 people!

I passed the N2 last year, and now, I'm prepping as much as I can for the N1 with the 新完全マスター series like most of you.

In order for me to feel like I'm really comprehending the material, I'm trying to limit myself to only two of the books until I finish them. Right now, I'm going through the N1 文法 and 語彙 books, and so far, it's not too bad. The vocab memorization can get a little bit overwhelming (tips from anyone who's used the book?), but I feel like I get a pretty good retention rate so long as I review all the cards from a given lesson every few days in Midori. For grammar, I run through one lesson in the N2 and N1 books each day, since I feel like there were some points I was unsure of on the N2. Having "A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar" here really helps out, just because of the plethora of further examples it offers. For vocab, I've come to realize that I retain the most when I don't hate myself because of Anki reviews, so I'm chugging through both Core 6000 (50 new/review per deck) and the lessons in the 新完全マスター 語彙 book, making sure I feel confident with the words as I encounter them.

Outside of that, I've started listening to the NHKニュース podcast on iTunes whenever I'm doing something else, and I feel like the passive listening has helped a good deal. And, while I suppose it's not formal test prep in the strictest sense, I'm going to be doing my undergraduate thesis on representations of the アメリカの夢 in the Japanese version of グレートギャツビー, so I'm going through a few pages of that a day as well. When I want to relax, I'll go through ファイアーエムブレム:烈火の剣 and follow the script online, recording the new vocab as I go. Heck, with only a few exceptions, if I do any gaming nowadays, it's exclusively in Japanese. I still can't decide whether that's sad or something to be proud of!

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!
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#24
Thanks for that reference to the NHK news podcast. They don't have transcripts for it do they? I happen to like to watch the actual NHK news (video). i have a ihome like setup. But every now and then. I fail to discern a word. Captions are only available for terrestial broadcasts.
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#25
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
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