I've been playing around with some Kanji apps on ios which have approximate lists of the JLPT Kanji (I don't think the Kanji are officially defined so that's why it's approximate. Please correct me if I am wrong). Depending on the app, they present a list for N1 cumulative (all the levels) of about 2200-2300 Kanji. Skimming through them, there are obviously some that are outside the Joyo list and therefore RTK1 (6th edition). There exists an older list which is probably based on the older JLPT levels and doesn't take into account the 2010 Joyo additions here http://forum.koohii.com/viewtopic.php?pid=4720#p4720 . Does anyone have an updated list taking into account the Joyo and JLPT updates?
The kanji list for JLPT1 was always a little vague. Theoretically, it was the Jouyou kanji, although there was a supplemental list of another couple of hundred or so (not sure where that came from). The N series of tests do not have official lists, kanji or otherwise. There is just a vague declaration that they're the same difficulty as the previous tests.
Imho, learning kanji from a list for N1 level is fairly useless. The kanji section is about you knowing how to read obscure words. Unless you know the word, you won't be able to answer the question (RTK knowledge + readings won't be good enough).
Make sure you can read at an N1 level, learning all the required kanji and vocab, and then sit the test. There are no lists anymore. If you're desperate for lists, use the old JLPT1 ones and don't stress over slight differences between different versions.
Thanks for the information. I'm a beginner but my interest was peaked after seeing the kanji used in some iPhone study apps. I'm almost at the end of RTK 1 with the extra 2010 Joyo kanji in the 6th edition. I was thinking of adding to my flash cards on this site for the extra hundred or so kanji that I see are in the JLPT kanji apps. Not that I need to know them at my level, but just for fun. Anyway, thanks again for the help.
I believe the official test guidelines for the JLPT 1 state that they use the Jyouyou list as a guide only when it comes to determining furigana and J-J meaning footnotes. Higher level material is completely fair game for the test. I also believe their reading material is taken from real native sources.
Not necessarily true if you know your radicals and on-yomi well.
This is true in my experience as well. The vocab section of the test is a joke. There might be a few curveballs in it every year, but for the most part you can pass it by just choosing the most obvious right answer. Lots of kanji and compounds have obscure readings, but the truth is that most don't. It's pretty easy to guess readings for kanji and compounds you've never seen before provided you have enough general vocab exposure. It's also pretty easy to guess meaning or appropriate kanji based on the context of a sentence without even knowing what the words in question actually mean functionally.
So would it be worthwhile to add these extra JLPT N1 Kanji to my flash card deck for completeness sake or would they be too obscure in actual usage since they are outside the Jouyou kanji list? I figured out how to add them by using the custom add option. I could just paste every N1 character there in one shot and the site will only add the ones I don't already have in my deck.
The Joyo list really isn't a good guide to what kanji are obscure -- it depends a lot on what you read. Kanji counts in general aren't very reliable.
There is a core set of about 1000-1200 or so kanji that will be fairly common no matter what, but beyond that it's going to vary based on what you read. In general, the more kanji you learn, the less useful each new kanji is. By the time you're done with RTK 1, you shouldn't really need to learn kanji from an arbitrary list anymore.
From: Tokyo Registered: 2007-02-06 Posts: 840 Website
For N1 I'd say the present ('New') Joyo kanji list (2,136 characters) should easily suffice. The proportion of kanji-specific questions on the test has decreased anyway, and someone with strong reading & listening skills should pass even if their kanji is a bit weak.
The test organization used to publish lists of vocabulary, kanji, and grammar points for each level, but hasn't done so for the new "N" tests. The list linked to in the first post in this thread was copied directly from their book of test specifications. The book was aimed at those who set questions, not students, and was intended to be advisory rather than absolute; i.e. to give an idea of the level required. Having said that, the kanji or grammar points that appeared in the tests were usually from the lists.
By the way, watch out for apps or web sites that list exactly 2,230 kanji. These will usually consist of the old Joyo (1.945) and a name list (285) that was current about 15 years ago. It's not necessary to learn all those name kanji for the test. (Incidentally, Halpern's Kanji Learner's Dictionary uses that list.)