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2016 JLPT N2/N1 Thread: A New Hope

#26
@FlameseeK
I'm sure you're already aware of this but just as a reminder: you're trying to listen to podcasts made for native Japanese speakers. You will not 100% understand the podcasts even if you know all of the N2 vocab and grammar. You just need to remember that you WILL struggle at first (we all did/do), so saying things like "despite having studied all vocabulary and grammar points in Tobira, it still seems impossible to follow podcast conversations" isn't exactly the right way to look at it in my opinion.

Think of it like trying to gain muscle. The only way you'll gain muscle is if you work out frequently. Similarly, the only way you're going to improve your listening skills is to frequently expose yourself to material that is at or slightly above your skill level (however, too far out of your skill level and it's useless though). The podcast you linked seemed like it would probably be appropriate for someone N2-ish level, *maybe* N3 if their listening skills are good based on the small clips I listened to. A podcast that I used for practicing for N2 was たまむすび, but the difficulty was all over the place depending on the topic or guest.


One thing that has personally helped me recently bring my listening (and speaking) skills up quickly is having active conversations with Japanese people. Having a conversation with someone forces you to be more strict about your skills in order to appropriately respond and understand what your friend is talking about. So, if you have someone you can reliably chat with then it might be useful. Otherwise keep a podcast or movie or drama or whatever playing in the background as much as possible and try understanding as much as possible.
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#27
(2016-05-22, 10:11 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: When you guys finished going through most grammar points and vocab required for N3, could you listen to podcasts like hotcast at all? And while I'm at it, how about when you finished going  over most N2 vocab/grammar?

Not that I'm interested in this specific podcast per se, but I've been told it's one of the easiest ones to get started. The thing is, despite having studied all vocabulary and grammar points in Tobira, it still seems impossible to follow podcast conversations. I mean, I did study these things in advance, so I'm still halfway through the book when it comes to reading and listening. But on the other hand, it seems easy enough to go through the reading and listening sections of a chapter in a single day at this point, as long as there's enough time.

If the answer is no, do you think there was something in particular that helped you bridge this gap?

Absolutely not, no.

Studying grammar and vocab never got me anywhere near listening comprehension (although it did get me some amount of reading comprehension).

For listening comprehension, I borrowed some L-R techniques and went through Erin's Challenge, the first two Harry Potter books+audiobooks, and a bunch of NHK高校講座 and NHK News (easy first, and ふつう when I had time and the story was engaging enough and there was a video to listen to along with or after reading).

In short, I listened to a lot of stuff that I had written confirmation for, roughly speaking starting with read-first then listen and read-along, then reading along unprepped, then read-first and listen without reading along, then
listening first and reading only for confirmation or clarification. Not exclusively like that, I've mixed all those techniques around quite a bit and still do even now (sometimes unintentionally... like I'm playing FinalFantasy X remastered right now, so of course I'm reading along to spoken dialogue with the subtitles).

Once you get your ear well-trained and can identify all the mora in clear, natural speech it becomes a lot easier because you can start looking up words even when you only hear them. Before putting dedicated effort into training my listening though, I misheard far too many sounds to simply jump in like that.

Reading also becomes much smoother once you can listen well, because the 'sound' of the words on the page echoes smoothly and correctly in your mind as you read. It's known that we always subvocalize what we are reading even when reading silently, so this is actually quite important and mostly unknown or unappreciated.

Also I found it much easier to listen to the other podcast the Hotcast people do, Sokoani. If listening to episodes about an anime that I was watching, then I simply had a ton of context to help keep me in the conversation. Hotcast is cool and all, but it's about very random general topics. Similarly I found audio dramas and the like easier to follow than conversational podcasts ; conversations can jump around quite wildly, while stories generally adhere to a steady timeline with only occasional jumps, those jumps almost always simply moving the narrative forward in time a bit (though there is the occasional flashback or rambling internal monologue).
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#28
(2016-05-23, 12:35 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote:
(2016-05-22, 10:11 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: When you guys finished going through most grammar points and vocab required for N3, could you listen to podcasts like hotcast at all? And while I'm at it, how about when you finished going  over most N2 vocab/grammar?

Not that I'm interested in this specific podcast per se, but I've been told it's one of the easiest ones to get started. The thing is, despite having studied all vocabulary and grammar points in Tobira, it still seems impossible to follow podcast conversations. I mean, I did study these things in advance, so I'm still halfway through the book when it comes to reading and listening. But on the other hand, it seems easy enough to go through the reading and listening sections of a chapter in a single day at this point, as long as there's enough time.

If the answer is no, do you think there was something in particular that helped you bridge this gap?


Once you get your ear well-trained and can identify all the mora in clear, natural speech it becomes a lot easier because you can start looking up words even when you only hear them. Before putting dedicated effort into training my listening though, I misheard far too many sounds to simply jump in like that.

This. This SO much. Once I could identify that XXXXX was a word and wasn't XXXXX stuck together with a particle or two, then I knew I was over the hump.

But after just a few textbooks? Oh hell no. I did a TON of listening first.


If you can't understand, lower the difficulty. Lower it again and again if you have to. Learn to throw away your pride, and accept that it may take a while. Some people will pick it up really fast (*shakes fist in jealousy*), and some of us will take longer. That's just how it is.

In my case, I listened to a ton of Japanesepod101 podcasts, mainly while working out or while commuting. I also watched a lot of TV. The most helpful programs were dramas, the news, and variety shows (like Gatten!), because of bakemoji and because there were a variety of topics presented.

NHK has put out a slow version of their Radio News on their website. You have to do a little digging, though.
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#29
How many words do you think are really required in order to pass the N1? Is 10k words known in Anki really enough?
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#30
Just saw this about "how to beat the JLPT". It gives some specific advice about the N2 and I couldn't help but to giggle a little:

http://www.overseas-learning.com/blog/ho...iency-test

Smile
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#31
(2016-05-23, 3:38 am)dddoushio Wrote: How many words do you think are really required in order to pass the N1? Is 10k words known in Anki really enough?

No 10k is for the N2. N1 is 15k+ words. I remember reading the vocab for N1 is pooled from a 18k vocab list before but I can't remember where (I know it's written on wikipedia but it was somewhere else).
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#32
On the other hand I definitely don't know all the words in Core10K, but I'm still getting 85%-ish scores on N1 mock tests. The total vocab pool might be 18K but passing doesn't require that you recognise every word in the pool or even every word that appears in the test...
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#33
Wikipedia says the old 1 was about 10000 (and the list was only 8009). I don't think "words in Anki" is a good metric, I only had 2500 when I passed the N1...
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#34
(2016-05-23, 4:04 pm)EratiK Wrote:
(2016-05-23, 3:38 am)dddoushio Wrote: How many words do you think are really required in order to pass the N1? Is 10k words known in Anki really enough?

No 10k is for the N2. N1 is 15k+ words. I remember reading the vocab for N1 is pooled from a 18k vocab list before but I can't remember where (I know it's written on wikipedia but it was somewhere else).

Huh? All sources claim that 6k is the amount of vocabulary required for N2. I mean, I've seen some people claim that N1 is closer to 20k words nowadays rather than 10k, but all word lists for N1 have 10k words instead.

So it makes me ask myseslf, where did this new number (that's pretty much twice the amount of all lists out there) come from? People studying 10k words and being unable to follow the test? Because if you really know no more than 10k words (with or without Anki), then you'd have serious issues with the N1 test. After all, you'd only know about half the "list" you're supposed to.
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#35
(2016-05-23, 6:47 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: Huh? All sources claim that 6k is the amount of vocabulary required for N2. I mean, I've seen some people claim that N1 is closer to 20k words nowadays rather than 10k, but all word lists for N1 have 10k words instead.

So it makes me ask myseslf, where did this new number (that's pretty much twice the amount of all lists out there) come from? People studying 10k words and being unable to follow the test? Because if you really know no more than 10k words (with or without Anki), then you'd have serious issues with the N1 test. After all, you'd only know about half the "list" you're supposed to.

Well, there is no longer a limited set of vocabulary around which the test is built and there hasn't been since they change from JLPT1-4 to JLPTN1-N5.

I think you could easily pass the JLPTN1 with only half the vocabulary that has ever appeared in an N1 test -- as long as it's the right half and your kanji knowledge is solid. Since they don't limit themselves, a word could appear one year and never again, after all, and many kanji compounds are easily understood in context even if you haven't studied them as separate 'vocabulary words'.

In short, while knowing only 'half' the vocabulary that has ever been used in the JLPT, if you know the most common words and have solid kanji knowledge then you'll know ~95% of what you read and be able to easily deduce a good half of the rest. Those aren't real statistics, but if you've done much reading of actual native materials, or just reading of people's lexicographical analysis of bodies of work, then you should see what I'm getting at - most of what you read is the same few thousand words over and over again in different arrangements and conjugations. Many unusual or academic terms are kanji compounds with easily deduced meanings and readings if you are familiar with the characters and have a solid context for the term (as you will in the 読解 section where the majority of words appear).

I've mentioned before and I still believe that it's not worth worrying about vocabulary count. You need to just read a lot of native materials. Add what you like to your SRS, but you don't have to add everything, you'll come across new words too much to add -all- of it anyway if you're reading as much as you should. Essays are preferable if your primary goal is passing the JLPT. My goal was primarily to enjoy manga, light novels, and video games in Japanese so I just practiced with those until I had enough experience to pass anyway despite the majority of 読解 being essays. Well, I did also practice with Erin's challenge, NHK News (Easy and ふつう), NHK高校講座, and JOI teacher's blog, but that was because I was looking for easy listening materials with text confirmation to improve my listening comprehension. Still it probably had a lot to do with my passing the N1... especially 聴解!
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#36
Yeah, that's exactly why the whole 18k word thing sounds too far-fetched to me. I've only seen the word 読解 in romaji a few times on the forums and in book names, but today I could easily guess what it was when I read it here. Furthermore, because I've seen the compound 聴 in a few new words lately, I was able to guess the pronunciation and meaning of 聴解 at the end of your post as well, despite the fact that I'd never seen the word before (not even in romaji).

Given the fact that I only have about 3200 Core words (minus most katakana words and extremely easy words you can't possibly forget) and 900 words in my personal deck and SEVERAL of the new words I've learned seem almost redundant (not to mention easy to guess the overall meaning based on the kanji alone), my guess is that by the time you know 9-10k words, learning new words becomes a breeze. Maybe things will get much harder again later, but adding 50 words in one day now is far easier than it was when I wasn't used to compounds and kanji readings.

This might be a weird approach, but I'll most likely plow through the rest of Core 6k to get used to more readings as I've been doing lately (50 Core words a day + whatever I decided to add to my personal while reading Root Double and watching anime)... unless my reviews get a little too overwhelming. I'll probably start adding 10 grammar points (sample sentences) a day from DoIJG to my grammar deck (save the ones I already know) once I'm done with Tobira, and maybe move on to DoAJG while I'm at it if I finish DoIJG quickly enough. Then I'll just read visual novels until my eyes bleed and add new words to Anki after each reading session.
Edited: 2016-05-23, 11:12 pm
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#37
(2016-05-23, 11:09 pm)FlameseeK Wrote: I've only seen the word 読解 in romaji a few times on the forums and in book names, but today I could easily guess what it was when I read it here. Furthermore, because I've seen the compound 聴 in a few new words lately, I was able to guess the pronunciation and meaning of 聴解 at the end of your post as well, despite the fact that I'd never seen the word before (not even in romaji).

Given the fact that I only have about 3200 Core words (minus most katakana words and extremely easy words you can't possibly forget) and 900 words in my personal deck and SEVERAL of the new words I've learned seem almost redundant (not to mention easy to guess the overall meaning based on the kanji alone), my guess is that by the time you know 9-10k words, learning new words becomes a breeze. Maybe things will get much harder again later, but adding 50 words in one day now is far easier than it was when I wasn't used to compounds and kanji readings.

This might be a weird approach, but I'll most likely plow through the rest of Core 6k to get used to more readings as I've been doing lately (50 Core words a day + whatever I decided to add to my personal while reading Root Double and watching anime)... unless my reviews get a little too overwhelming. I'll probably start adding 10 grammar points (sample sentences) a day from DoIJG to my grammar deck (save the ones I already know) once I'm done with Tobira, and maybe move on to DoAJG while I'm at it if I finish DoIJG quickly enough. Then I'll just read visual novels until my eyes bleed and add new words to Anki after each reading session.

How did you study the kanji, especially the readings? Going through some kanji book, or....?
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#38
Sounds like a reasonable approach to me! Of course, non-fiction would be more targeted to the test, but visual novels sounds a lot more fun.

As for 読解 and 聴解, I think anyone taking N1/N2 should know those words... they will appear in the instructions and the results of the test after all! 読解 is a pretty normal word in an academic context, but I've never seen 聴解 outside of the context of the JLPT. 聞き取り is by far the preferred term. I suppose though that 聴解 probably also appears in tests taken in Japan, but it's unlikely to matter unless you attend a Japanese university in the future.
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#39
This is the official definition of what to expect on the N1:

Quote:The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.
[Image: levelsummary_read.gif]
  • ・One is able to read writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, and comprehend both their structures and contents.

  • ・One is also able to read written materials with profound contents on various topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers comprehensively.
[Image: levelsummary_listen.gif]
  • ・One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents comprehensively. One is also able to understand the details of the presented materials such as the relationships among the people involved, the logical structures, and the essential points.

Emphasis added by me.

According to this:
http://jlpt.jp/e/about/pdf/comparison01.pdf

The OLD 1kyuu tested about 10k words. According to the official site, N1 is "Approximately the same level as the old Level 1 test, but designed to measure slightly more advanced abilities." (I added emphasis here, because I think that bit is important.)

IMO I would forget about 10k words as a measure, or 900 hours, or just about anything else for that matter, and look at the intentionally vague specifications instead. That's why I underlined their uses of "various" and "variety" over and over again in the test specs. 

10k words isn't enough to meet that specification. 15k probably isn't either, TBH, unless you focus on getting vocab directly from editorials, news reports, business letters, and essays. Even then, you could easily get burned if they choose an essayist with a funky writing style.


That's why I'm tearing through Core10k to make sure I have my fundamentals covered. I should be done in another 4-6 weeks or so, depending on how many days off I need to avoid too much deck bloat. Then it's on to the supplementary decks, and whatever else I can dig up before October. (November is too late to be learning vocab for the December test, IMO.)

I still need to read some Aozora Bunko stuff in Typhon as well, and use that as a source for extra vocab.
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#40
(2016-05-23, 11:38 pm)Hinsudesu Wrote: How did you study the kanji, especially the readings? Going through some kanji book, or....?

Pretty much just RTK and Anki.

When I started out, all I did for about 3 and a half months was Genki 1-2 + RTK. After that, I did Core 2k + others things like SRSing DoGJB, watching Erin's Challenge, and stuff. In addition, I SRSed all recommended vocabulary from Tobira in advance. Then I started doing Tobira whenver I felt like it and tried to reach the 3k mark with the Core deck, which was actually more than 3k because I'd seen a lot of stuff I felt like in advance, for example 魔法 and some kanji compounds that I was learning just for the hell of it. I also started making my own deck at one point.

But the most important thing was just finshing RTK and doing Anki reviews every single day. So far, it's been mostly repetition and getting used to the readings that way. Lately, I've been trying to associate sounds to something related to the kanji when I feel the need. (Some are just easy to remember, so it doesn't even matter)

For example, today I learned 交互 [こうご] - the first kanji is no hassle because it's fairly common and pronounced the same as 校 in 学校, 高校, etc. So all I had to do is think of a way to remember ご. The kanji looks conviently like a G, but the center also looks like an O - "okay, I'm done" lol. Another recent one is 粒子 [りゅうし]. The second kanji is easy, but the first one was a bit tricker. Since it's related to grains, I thought I'd associate someone name Liu with the idea of grains of rice or whatever, so it could be someone like Liu Kang for example doing some sort of mental training with rice, eating rice, I don't know... anything really. It can be connected to just one of the primitives, both primitives, my RTK story, whatever... as long as there's a small connection that helps me remember the reading, that's fine. It's just an initial aid to help me remember a new reading anyway, whatever gets the job done quickly and easily does it.

^ And after posting all this, I realize the word I added today was 相互, not 交互! But whatever, my point still stands. Anyway, here's another good example of how easy these can be. There's this girl that I liked back in the days called Juliana. When I saw 需要 [じゅよう] and realized I didn't know the reading of the first kanji, I immediately imagined her combing (bottom primitive: comb) her hair and was done with the new reading in the blink of an eye. I don't care about the rest of the kanji much, I just know what kanji it is because I can recognize all primitives in it and have seen them together in RTK, so that's enough. All I have to do is look at this part of it for now to recall the reading if I forget it. After a couple of reviews, that mnemonic won't be necessary anymore so I see no reason to be too meticulous with this approach.

Learning more kanji with the same reading has helped at times. But that means I have a handful of not-so-useful words to review as well.
Edited: 2016-05-24, 1:19 am
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#41
I agree that the emphasis on 'variety' is important. I've been reading a lot of fantasy, so I don't have too much trouble figuring out what's going on in a new story (and after I get used to the author's favored words and style, it's almost easy), but I struggle with the essays and reports that generally show up in the JLPT, because I don't read that stuff regularly, so I'm not terribly familiar with the vocabulary or style that can be used to expound on the countless topics you can write an essay on.

I'm really trying to fix that, but I keep procrastinating... I even have a plan of what to do; I'm just not doing it.

I've been considering studying from the Core supplement (the extra 15k one), but I'm thinking that mining is the way to go after 10k, unless its for something specific (like that IT deck that someone's working on right now). To that end, I've been using Rikaisama's save feature; the sentences aren't always great, but I figure that the worst case is that I look up another example if I need it (but I don't usually look at the example sentences).
I might still add things from the supplement, just for the heck of it.

I have read a lot since I had surgery (being generally stuck in the bed); In this past week, I've read 81 chapters of the web novel 蜘蛛ですが、何か?; while it's not the most difficult thing I've read (in fact, the style makes it one of the easier things I've read that wasn't manga), it has been introducing me to a lot of new phrases and vocabulary; some of it has stuck just from reading it over and over, but I've been harvesting these and plan to add them to Anki soon.
I can't seem to stop reading it; the only reason I'm on here right now instead of reading is because the site is down for a six hour maintenance...
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#42
Personally I'm a bit dubious about how well the "official definitions" of the JLPT levels line up with the actual tests -- certainly if you can do the listed things you'll have no problem with the test, but my suspicion is that many people passing the test will be a bit below those benchmark descriptions.
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#43
(2016-05-24, 1:43 am)sholum Wrote: I'm really trying to fix that, but I keep procrastinating... I even have a plan of what to do; I'm just not doing it.

For what it's worth, 後書き of novels are written in essay style. Making a point of reading those when you finish your books would be a way to ease into essay style. (Of course many web novels don't -have- an 後書き, but some do, and every print novel I've read does.)
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#44
(2016-05-24, 1:43 am)sholum Wrote: I agree that the emphasis on 'variety' is important. I've been reading a lot of fantasy, so I don't have too much trouble figuring out what's going on in a new story (and after I get used to the author's favored words and style, it's almost easy), but I struggle with the essays and reports that generally show up in the JLPT, because I don't read that stuff regularly, so I'm not terribly familiar with the vocabulary or style that can be used to expound on the countless topics you can write an essay on.

I'm really trying to fix that, but I keep procrastinating... I even have a plan of what to do; I'm just not doing it.
Yeah, I'm pretty much in the same situation as you, sholum. I read a lot, but when I read, I'm usually reading for pleasure, not for test prep.

Coming at reading as, "I have to read this because it's studying," is a real de-motivator for me. Whenever I look at the editorials on shasetsu.ps.land.to, it's always a rehash of the same 10 or so topics. I know that it's good for me in terms of the N1, but that doesn't mean I enjoy reading that stuff. I get enough agita from my local news. -_-

But what I have figured out from my own experience is that reading LNs or WNs doesn't help me with N1 very much. It helps my Japanese, and it's entertaining, but aside from some limited vocab help, it doesn't really help me with N1 as much as reading a stack of writing by old men yelling "Get off my lawn!" would. :\

I've been using that book I mentioned on page 1 for some help with that. The essays are more enjoyable than shasetsu.ps.land.to's stuff, and overall the content has a very N1 feel to it.

And yeah, I'm going to start working on that 15k supplement, too. I'm thinking about maybe slowing down Core 10k to 50 cards a day, while doing 100/day on that 15k supplement for now. Yes, I know that sounds insane and unsustainable, but I really want to pass the test. @_@
Edited: 2016-05-24, 11:01 am
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#45
(2016-05-23, 4:04 pm)EratiK Wrote:
(2016-05-23, 3:38 am)dddoushio Wrote: How many words do you think are really required in order to pass the N1? Is 10k words known in Anki really enough?

No 10k is for the N2. N1 is 15k+ words. I remember reading the vocab for N1 is pooled from a 18k vocab list before but I can't remember where (I know it's written on wikipedia but it was somewhere else).
たぶん・・・ julianjalapeno post on 2012-02-14
http://forum.koohii.com/thread-9044-post...#pid161135
かもしれない
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#46
N2 here! 

Current study plan:
Vocab:
Anki decks JLPT Vocab N2 and JPLT Vocab N1, plus other decks that I add to as I read. Personally I don't study the individual kanji means, just vocab. Eventually somehow it seems like you are just able to know in most situations what reading you would use - there are exceptions - but I never found doing kanji alone helped me.

Reading comp / grammar:
Finished Soumatome N2 reading/grammar books, half way through Kanzen Master N2 reading/grammar books. I don't plan on getting the vocab/kanji books, unless there is some compelling reason too.

General reading:
ねじまき鳥クロニクル
学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話
NHK news site articles

I want to start on the editorials in http://shasetsu.ps.land.to .... but I can't find the time to do it right now.

Drill / exam books (not yet started, will begin after finishing kanzen master series):
合格できる日本語能力試験N2
日本語能力試験 完全模試N2
パターン別徹底ドリル日本語能力試験N2
TRY! 日本語能力試験 N2
新にほんご500問 N2
日本語能力試験 模試と対策 N2
日本語能力試験 模試と対策 Vol.2 N2
日本語能力試験スーパー模試N2

Nearer the test I will also start doing the old practice tests, and also probably pick up Kanzen Master N1 reading.

Only thing is I don't really have any plans for listening :/ I lived in Japan for awhile so for the most part it's always been one of my better skills, but I think I will have to do some more work now. I have a lot of drill books but other than that, does anyone have any recommendations? Especially for factual news / current events listening practice.
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#47
I took a practice N1 test last week. The format was the same as the actual test, but their total points in the scoring are out of 188. Anyway, here's how I did:

Language Knowledge: 40/61
Reading Comprehension: 36/63
Listening Comprehension: 54/64

Total: 130/188. A pass! The textbook said 「合格可能性を高めるために、110点以上を目指しましょう」

I'm pumped. Last year I barely failed the practice test and did even worse on the actual test, but I think maybe I have a little hope of passing this time? I know the real test will probably be more difficult, but one can hope...
Edited: 2016-05-31, 9:37 pm
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#48
(2016-05-31, 4:41 pm)lateralchip Wrote: Only thing is I don't really have any plans for listening :/ I lived in Japan for awhile so for the most part it's always been one of my better skills, but I think I will have to do some more work now. I have a lot of drill books but other than that, does anyone have any recommendations? Especially for factual news / current events listening practice.

NHK has a podcast. The regular news is fine, but the Journal segment is more interesting. If you need more support than just straight up listening to the news, you can go NHK news website and read the articles first before watching the videos. The articles are almost word for word to the broadcast - sometimes there's an extra paragraph in the written version, but mostly the only difference is that the broadcast will say yesterday/today/tomorrow while the written version has a date.

The same stories will appear in the podcast (maybe with slight differences), and also be discussed in more depth in the Journal segment.

If you need even more support than that, you can of course pick out stories from NHK News Easy, read and listen to the easy version first, and then be primed to tackle the regular news article (which there should be a link to from the Easy page).

Other television news sites similarly have written stories that are very close to the video.

When I was approaching N1, and just as part of my listening comprehension practice, I made a point of reading the news pretty regularly and listening to the podcast on my commute. I probably actually couldn't understand the podcast now, the news-speak is so ... news-specific and I haven't been regularly reading news!

The news, by the way, is not particularly good practice for the JLPT. It's okay... it has a substantial vocabulary overlap with the test contents and it's pretty quickly paced standard Japanese. However, the listening portion of the JLPT is almost always conversations, or sometimes some kind of explanation that you have to pull some facts from. In any case, it's always very immediate, practical kind of stuff - who's going to the meeting when, what is being bought by whom for the party, etc, etc.  School or office doramas are probably better prep for the listening test than the news, but the news is not bad prep for the reading test and if you're reading it I suppose you may as well practice listening to it too.  (Of course essays and editorials are the best practice for the reading test, since that's what almost all the long readings are).


Edit: Congrats, Kuma_sensei, nice results! Good luck on the real test! がんばって!
Edited: 2016-05-31, 8:26 pm
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#49
(2016-05-24, 11:01 am)rich_f Wrote: But what I have figured out from my own experience is that reading LNs or WNs doesn't help me with N1 very much. It helps my Japanese, and it's entertaining, but aside from some limited vocab help, it doesn't really help me with N1 as much as reading a stack of writing by old men yelling "Get off my lawn!" would. :\

I've been using that book I mentioned on page 1 for some help with that. The essays are more enjoyable than shasetsu.ps.land.to's stuff, and overall the content has a very N1 feel to it.

I have a subscription to 日経 now and have been reading that for "fun" every day. I guess I have a weird definition of what I find entertaining. Undecided

However, I've also found that it's helped my Japanese to up the level of the novels I'm reading. At some point, you outgrow the material you started with, and it's time to look for something more challenging. I've been reading 池井戸潤 lately, and between the complicated subject matter (Ikeido seems to specialize in stories of salarymen caught up in massive financial swindles) and the specialized vocab, it feels like a nice stretch for me. Yeah, I *could* read a fifth 東野圭吾 novel (and I very well might at some point), but I know that's not going to give me the same mental workout.
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#50
(2016-05-31, 4:41 pm)lateralchip Wrote: Only thing is I don't really have any plans for listening :/ I lived in Japan for awhile so for the most part it's always been one of my better skills, but I think I will have to do some more work now. I have a lot of drill books but other than that, does anyone have any recommendations? Especially for factual news / current events listening practice.
There are lots of stuff over at The Podcast Thread.
http://forum.koohii.com/thread-5572.html

Buonaparte's (audio and text links) have some previous recordings of the  「情熱大陸」 which are useful, and Bokusenou recommended a couple of the podcast for listening practice in this thread,
JLPT Listening
http://forum.koohii.com/thread-13380-pos...#pid229285
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