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2016 JLPT N2/N1 Thread: A New Hope

(2017-01-23, 11:36 pm)SomeCallMeChris Wrote:
(2017-01-23, 10:31 pm)sholum Wrote: Oh, right! I had to pee really bad, and that made me lose my concentration!

Hah. It can actually be quite a problem though with the length of the exam. While there was no way I was going to skip my pre-exam coffee, on later rounds I was quite consciously moderate in how much water I drank during the exam and breaks. It's not so long an exam to be a problem as long as you're a little careful. My first exam I wasn't so careful (and maybe didn't use the bathroom during the break? Not sure at this late date) and it was pretty terrible by the end. You joke, but it is actually a tip for success. Smile

Oh I know, it actually happened. I couldn't use the last few minutes of the first part of the test because it was starting to get painful (had to slowly walk to the restroom during the break; haven't had it that bad since the last time I took a drug test for an employer).

Maybe I should skip the pre-exam coffee next time, since I don't normally drink it when I'm going to be sitting still. But caffeine is so useful... Meh, I've got a year to revise my strategy.
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Try a 5 hour energy if if doesn't make you jittery. There's so little liquid, you shouldn't have to use the restroom.
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First attempt at N2, 107... Grammar/vocab was my worst section (25), so I will try and focus my efforts.

Going to ease off  JLPT studying for a year though and just focus on reading novels/watching movies, then maybe take N1 in a couple of years. I got super burnt out on test prep.

Congrats to everyone that passed and keep going anyone that didn't! Remember that the scores don't change what you learnt.
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Relieved to say that I passed N1, though hardly in spectacular fashion:

Language: 43/60
Reading: 35/60
Listening: 31/60
Total: 109/180
Vocab: A
Grammar: A

I guess that's about what to expect from 90% Anki grinding Rolleyes
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(2017-01-24, 2:58 am)anotherjohn Wrote: I guess that's about what to expect from 90% Anki grinding Rolleyes

Only 90%?!?!
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Passed N1 second time around; found it way easier, since I've been reading a lot.

Is anyone thinking of doing any 漢検 levels? I looked through them and 準1級 (about 3000 kanji) is about the highest practically useful level and seems doable with RTK3 finished and a bit more useful kanji here and there. It might be useful as a quick qualification on a resume to show potential employers I am literate.
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(2017-01-24, 1:04 pm)Dovetron Wrote: Passed N1 second time around; found it way easier, since I've been reading a lot.

Is anyone thinking of doing any 漢検 levels? I looked through them and 準1級 (about 3000 kanji) is about the highest practically useful level and seems doable with RTK3 finished and a bit more useful kanji here and there. It might be useful as a quick qualification on a resume to show potential employers I am literate.

Congrats on your N1 pass!

I spent some time looking into Kanken after I passed 1kyuu the first time. It's a really interesting concept, but I never got far with it. Maybe someday.

The tricky thing is, it's meant for native speakers, and tests a lot more than the JLPT does. You not only have to know how to recognize readings and spell words with the correct kanji (often including quite rare or irregular readings for the lowest-level kanji), but you have to know all about stuff like radical names, stroke count, and at higher levels, idiomatic four-kanji compounds. And you have to be able to do all that at native-speaker speed. I've heard (though I can't say from personal experience) that the speed at which you are expected to be able to write kanji, alone, can leave foreigners in the dust after the first few levels.


Still, no harm in trying it out. The test prep materials and resources for it are quite useful. I think some folks here on the forum have had success with Kanken studies, and I hope to tackle it someday when I'm more fluent. I would be interested to hear how your experience goes.
Edited: 2017-01-24, 1:24 pm
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Finally passed N1 on my fourth attempt (this time in Zürich).

Language knowledge/grammar: 43/60 [A vocabulary, B grammar]
Reading: 54/60 (I must have been very lucky here)
Listening: 27/60 (I didn't expect more considering how much the reverb in the room disturbed me - tip: don't practice with headphones!)
Total: 124/180.

The whole journey took longer than expected considering that I started studying Japanese in April 2008 (at 30) and that I passed N2 in July 2011. Of course I'm still far from fluent...
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(2017-01-24, 1:23 pm)tanaquil Wrote:
(2017-01-24, 1:04 pm)Dovetron Wrote: [...]

Is anyone thinking of doing any 漢検 levels? I looked through them and 準1級 (about 3000 kanji) is about the highest practically useful level and seems doable with RTK3 finished and a bit more useful kanji here and there. It might be useful as a quick qualification on a resume to show potential employers I am literate.

[...]

Still, no harm in trying it out. The test prep materials and resources for it are quite useful. I think some folks here on the forum have had success with Kanken studies, and I hope to tackle it someday when I'm more fluent. I would be interested to hear how your experience goes.

Now that I've finished with N1, I'm thinking of moving on to 漢検3級. I've done 7級 to 4級 successfully, but each one does take special study to learn the particular format of each level and the vocabulary involved--which is not always common. 7級 to 5級 were very doable and I felt confident with each one. I felt doubtful sitting 4級 but managed to scrape a pass around the same time I passed N2 (with a high mark). I recommend studying a ton of the recommended vocab in Anki and getting the game for Nintendo DS, if you have it. The game covers all levels. I've bought books in the past but quickly realized that Anki and the game were all I needed.
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(2017-01-24, 2:51 pm)agt_the_walker Wrote: Listening: 27/60 (I didn't expect more considering how much the reverb in the room disturbed me - tip: don't practice with headphones!)

I think I need to switch to speakers. I was getting about 2/3 of the points on listening practice tests, but I was using headphones and I was definitely thrown off by the terrible acoustic quality in that concrete room with twenty year old speakers.

And congrats to everyone that passed! I think I forgot to say that earlier.
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Ugh. That's one thing I hated about the listening tests, is that it was always poor quality sound played way too loud. They'd ask if everyone could hear it (which of course we all could) and I suppose if anyone ever complained they would turn the volume up but honestly I wanted them to turn the volume down... and get better speakers.

And that's in Boston which I gather is one of the better sites (I never took the test anywhere else, I'm just guessing from what I've heard from other test-takers). We had heat and clocks and comfortable chairs, and all kinds of good stuff that other sites complain about, but the listening was kind of terrible.
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Failed the N2 for the third time with 82/180 - two points lower than the last time I took it in July. It`s frustrating to see that I haven`t really moved myself much the 5 months between the tests. Nothing to do keep going at it!
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N2
December 2015: 54/180 (19/8/27)
July 2016: 73/180 (21/20/32)
December 2016: 64/180 (24/12/28)

Yeah, i'm done with the JLPT for now. Too much guessing and not enough actual study.
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