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My humble 2016 JLPT N3 thread

#1
So I didn't pass the JLPT N3 this time around. Yes, I know that I don't have my official score yet. But basically, I was doing ... um ... enough guessing on the reading and listening parts to know that I didn't pass. Or if I did, it was simply out of luck. 

Either way, it's not a problem. It just means that 12 months wasn't enough for me to go from passing N4 to N3. I'm thinking that if I put in the same effort this year, it shouldn't be a problem. Or at the very least, I should see a huge jump in my score.


Having a dedicated thread to the test last year was very helpful, since I mostly self-study. And I just finished another chapter of my kanji book, so I thought to write it down somewhere and help me keep up my motivation. If anyone else wants to join, it'd be fun and help liven things up for me.

So my latest mini-milestone was finishing chapter 7 of my kanji book. There are 25 chapters. So if I finish 1 a week that's about more 5 months. I'd like to finish this book, as well as my remedial grammar book, sooner rather than later. It's too early to get a firm deadline for myself, but I'm thinking that the first half of the year would be good.
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#2
I would like to try N3 this December, but this goal might be too much. We'll see. I will start (continue) with RTK-Anki next week, I also have some other milestones in my mind.
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#3
(2015-12-13, 1:24 pm)Raschaverak Wrote: I would like to try N3 this December, but this goal might be too much. We'll see. I will start (continue) with RTK-Anki next week, I also have some other milestones in my mind.

Welcome.

As for me, since I didn't do well on the reading questions, I've also decided to try and do more reading. Last year I bought my first manga (link) but never finished it. I decided to try and finish it now.
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#4
So I got halfway thru my doremon book this time. The biggest problem I had is that I just don't enjoy the story. (The bigger problem last time was the shock value with it being my first book in Japanese, and worrying about not understanding every single word I encountered).

Then I realized that last year a friend gave me a book of yotsubato. I think back then it was too hard for me, but now it's fine. I definitely like it more than doraemon.

It's definitely a nice contrast to NHK Easy, which is my normal reading material, though I can't say I find the story particularly interesting. Something tells me that finding interesting native material at your own level is a never ending challenge.
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#5
Well, I still haven't done anything yet Sad Will try to fit some Anki into my schedule. On the bright side I made a nice counter in Excel, which shows how much time is left till the exam next Dec.

http://s21.postimg.org/bkl96ylbr/N3yay.jpg
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#6
(2015-12-14, 3:16 pm)ariariari Wrote: So I got halfway thru my doremon book this time. The biggest problem I had is that I just don't enjoy the story. (The bigger problem last time was the shock value with it being my first book in Japanese, and worrying about not understanding every single word I encountered).

Then I realized that last year a friend gave me a book of yotsubato. I think back then it was too hard for me, but now it's fine. I definitely like it more than doraemon.

It's definitely a nice contrast to NHK Easy, which is my normal reading material, though I can't say I find the story particularly interesting. Something tells me that finding interesting native material at your own level is a never ending challenge.
The ghibli movies have pretty good stories as far as kids stories go.  About a month ago I read through the subtitles for tonari no totoro.  Once I anki the vocabulary I didn't know, I'll be watching the movie a few times for listening practice and enjoyment.  If you want the subtitles cleaned of all the markup, pm me and I'll send you the text file.  I'm reading it on an ios app called wakaru which has a pop-up dictionary and flashcard export to go into anki.  You could just as easily convert to html and read in a browser with rikaisama.
Edited: 2015-12-14, 7:26 pm
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#7
(2015-12-14, 7:26 pm)yogert909 Wrote:
(2015-12-14, 3:16 pm)ariariari Wrote: So I got halfway thru my doremon book this time. The biggest problem I had is that I just don't enjoy the story. (The bigger problem last time was the shock value with it being my first book in Japanese, and worrying about not understanding every single word I encountered).

Then I realized that last year a friend gave me a book of yotsubato. I think back then it was too hard for me, but now it's fine. I definitely like it more than doraemon.

It's definitely a nice contrast to NHK Easy, which is my normal reading material, though I can't say I find the story particularly interesting. Something tells me that finding interesting native material at your own level is a never ending challenge.
The ghibli movies have pretty good stories as far as kids stories go.  About a month ago I read through the subtitles for tonari no totoro.  Once I anki the vocabulary I didn't know, I'll be watching the movie a few times for listening practice and enjoyment.  If you want the subtitles cleaned of all the markup, pm me and I'll send you the text file.  I'm reading it on an ios app called wakaru which has a pop-up dictionary and flashcard export to go into anki.  You could just as easily convert to html and read in a browser with rikaisama.

That sounds pretty sweet. I'll take you up on this, but probably around mid next year. Getting subs for movies, etc. and ankifying them before watching sounds very good. 

Right now I'm at capacity for adding new vocab. I think I want to get an A on the vocab section next year, so right now I'm focusing on my N3 kanji book's vocab. Plus I add in some vocab that come up when I talk with friends or read news online, etc.

It took me about a week to break my "oh, I'll only add in a few new cards a day" vow. I've been doing ~10 new cards a day for a while now. It will be fun to see how my stats look next month.
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#8
BTW, @yogert909, are you thinking of taking N3 in 2016?
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#9
I haven't thought too much about it to be honest.  My only motivation for taking the test being that it would be a nice feather in my cap. I know you like to use it as a benchmark for your progress and assure you are getting a rounded education and that seems to be working for you. 

My benchmark is to be able to enjoy japanese media without too much effort and to understand whats going on when I visit Japan.  It seems the JLPT tests some skills that simply aren't a priority for me at this point, so I'm not as interested in spending much time studying things outside of my immediate goals right now.  But who knows how I'll be feeling in 8 months.  I'll probably take it if I feel I have a good chance of passing without too much test specific study.
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#10
(2015-12-15, 1:50 pm)yogert909 Wrote: I haven't thought too much about it to be honest.  My only motivation for taking the test being that it would be a nice feather in my cap. I know you like to use it as a benchmark for your progress and assure you are getting a rounded education and that seems to be working for you. 

My benchmark is to be able to enjoy japanese media without too much effort and to understand whats going on when I visit Japan.  It seems the JLPT tests some skills that simply aren't a priority for me at this point, so I'm not as interested in spending much time studying things outside of my immediate goals right now.  But who knows how I'll be feeling in 8 months.  I'll probably take it if I feel I have a good chance of passing without too much test specific study.

Yeah, you got my motivation exactly. Good answer.
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#11
I'm in for the 2016 N3.
I followed this thread a bit last year, but never got on board and actually participated (or studied).
Hopefully, some accountability and camaraderie will actually lead to some progress (fingers crossed).

Sorry to hear that you (likely) didn't pass ariariari. Better luck this year.

My plan of attack is to go through Tobira at a pace of about one chapter every two weeks, which would put me finishing somewhere around the end of July. Then to spend the next four months on JLPT specific study (probably mostly grammar using 新完全マスター 文法, and listing practice using 生きた日本語).

I'll also try to keep up my Anki stats. I just started (over?) after about four years without studying, so I started Anki up fresh a few days ago. Right now I only have a deck for kanji (kanji-> Japanese keyword) and vocabulary. The only kanji I'm worried about right now are the 297 that Tobira says are prerequisites, and the only vocabulary are words using those 297 kanji, which amounts to about 1,000 words. (I used cb's kanji-word association tool and only took words that were in the 10,000 most commonly used.) I already know those kanji and much vocabulary pretty well, so it's mostly just to get a refresher and to get back into the habit of studying before the new year starts.

So my stats so far are:
---Kanji---
    Total mature: 4
    Number matured this month: 4
    Compared to avg matured/month: +0%
---Vocab---
    Total mature: 0
    Number matured this month: 0
    Compared to avg matured/month: +0%
---Grammar---
    No cards yet...
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#12
Welcome トリピー! Yeah, the camaraderie is definitely the best part.
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#13
OK, so I wanted to post my goals for the test:

I want an A on vocab. I feel like I'm mostly there, and that it's mostly just a matter of anki-ing the right words.

I want at least a B on grammar. Again, I feel like I'm mostly there. Historically this has been my weakest area, so I'd like to fix it.

I want a good score on reading. I just started doing a lot of reading, so I feel like getting a good score on the reading section should be doable.

At this point, I'm not particularly interested in the listening part. Presumably I'll focus on it later. But at least for now, it's not my priority.
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#14
So I just finished Yotsubato #2. So that was officially my first manga I read cover to cover, and it was both a heck of a lot easier, and a heck of a lot more enjoyable than I expected! It turns out that my local library has the whole series, and I just put a hold on volume 1. Does anyone has any recs for other manga at about that level?
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#15
(2015-12-19, 8:36 pm)ariariari Wrote: So I just finished Yotsubato #2. So that was officially my first manga I read cover to cover, and it was both a heck of a lot easier, and a heck of a lot more enjoyable than I expected! It turns out that my local library has the whole series, and I just put a hold on volume 1. Does anyone has any recs for other manga at about that level?

It looks like my Japanese is now good enough that I ask google the question in Japanese and read the results. 

I asked: 外国人ために簡単な漫画 
and got: http://oshiete.goo.ne.jp/qa/4298666.html

Just this simple interaction with google is a huge milestone for me. I remember last year about this time, the day after the N4 in Tokyo, I was trying to use Japanese google to find fun things to do in the neighborhood where I was staying. I couldn't phrase questions well, let alone understand the answers. It was incredibly frustrating. A year later here I am asking google, in Japanese, for Japanese language book recommendations and am able to understand the answer!
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#16
Hello! I think I am up for the challenge for N3 JLPT 2016. I don't have any stats as I haven't really touched Anki for Japanese in a while (removed all the Japanese content as separate files). But that will soon change in due time Big Grin

As for easy manga, I can recommend しろくまカフェ (Shirokuma Café). It only has a few volumes and it's really easy to read. At the time I read the series it was only 4 volumes. Good to know that they added a few more. During my Google search, was able to find a site that shows previews. You can check them out here:
小学館コミック website

I'm also reading 食戟のソーマ (Shokugeki no Sōma) for my own benefit. Only got halfway to volume 1. It is a bit on the difficult side for me due to my lack of vocab knowledge but I like cooking related stuff. Plus I watched the anime first and loved it! You can preview it in the Shonen Jump webiste

[EDIT] I found this post that has a short list of recommended manga. This person goes on to do 4 more posts with more manga recommendations. A total of 24 different manga recommendations from all 5 posts! (22 excluding Yotsuba! and Shirokuma Cafe as he also listed them).
http://japanesetease.net/easy-to-read-ma...rs-vol-01/
Edited: 2015-12-19, 10:11 pm
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#17
@RawPk - awesome answer and welcome to the thread!
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#18
Big day today, started Japanese once again Smile. Got my first 50 cards in Anki (RTK-kanji). My goal is to do at least 1 hour of intense studying every day until the N3 comes. I figure that will be not enough, since I'm only between N4 and N5 atm. According to the all-knowing internet, it takes roughly 800-1000 hours of study for N3. I will be around 400+ by this time next year, so yeah. I should probably stick to N4, but I'm still gonna try N3.
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#19
@Raschaverak - Welcome!
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#20
Here is an article I could that might help those who have only self studied in Japanese. I for one like this gauge better

An Alternative to JLPT Study Hours http://jlptbootcamp.com/2011/04/an-alter...udy-hours/

Quote:Can I take the JLPT N3?

In order to pass this test, you should be able to have lower intermediate conversations in Japanese. Ask yourself the following questions:

Can you talk to a sales person about something in a store and be able to manage your way through the main features of the item? (Note, I said ‘manage’ not perfectly understand.)
Are you able to read and/or figure out most of the things on the menu at a Japanese restaurant?
Can you read 1st and 2nd (school) year material with relative ease?
Can you talk to a 10 to 14 year old and have a decent conversation?
Can you pick up the theme and a most of the basic details of a random conversation? (that isn’t about rocket science)
Are you able to describe a scene to someone with reasonable clarity?
Can you ‘manage’ some more complex tasks in Japanese like visiting the doctor’s, troubleshooting some PC trouble, or conducting a meeting with Japanese speakers that know there are low-level non-natives in the room.
Can you have a good 5~10 minute conversation about general topics?

If you said yes to most of these, then you should be all set for the N3 test. Having passed the test just recently I can say that these should be accurate to the best of my ability, but I’d like to hear what other learners think.

As for hours, based on the hours of my formal study (2 years of Japanese courses: 4 courses total), I have about 384 classroom hours. Based on the table of hours I saw on the tanos site, I should be good for N3 by that alone. Of course I accumulated more hours by studying outside the classroom and later when I self studied. I can't say how much because I don't log my self study hours.

Here is the hours based on the tanos site
http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/aboutjlpt/
Edited: 2015-12-20, 1:54 pm
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#21
"Here is the hours based on the tanos site
http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/aboutjlpt/"

Riiiight, the tanos site. I've been studying with their vocab list for the N4 this spring...after I've gone half way through, I realized that it's a piece of ****. No offence, but really, words like "Communism", "Christianity", ect, I can't really recall, but there were such idiotic words, omg. By that time, I didn't want to start over from a new vocab list (time pressure), so I finished it anyway. Bad decision. The cumulated list they have for the N4, does not contain some basic words, for instance: "wall" (!).

So for me Tanos is out of the question, I'm not sure what vocab list I'm going to use for the N3, the core xK series seems to be the fav here, but I might as well do some research, and fine-tuning before I jumpstart studying vocab again. Not going to make the same mistake twice.
Edited: 2015-12-20, 2:22 pm
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#22
Sorry to hear that. There are vocab list at memrise site and kanji box.

http://www.memrise.com/course/24172/jlpt...ith-audio/

kanjibox.net
You can't view the kanjibox info without registering but it's free. There is also a kanjibox iOS app but that is paid so better to just use the online site. You can also export the vocab and kanji list from the site too.

I own most of the N3 Sou Matome books so I'll be referring to these as my primary source. I don't have any reading and listening resources so I'll have to do some searching or just complete the Sou Matome set I currently have.
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#23
(2015-12-20, 1:50 pm)RawrPk Wrote: Here is an article I could that might help those who have only self studied in Japanese. I for one like this gauge better

An Alternative to JLPT Study Hours http://jlptbootcamp.com/2011/04/an-alter...udy-hours/
I think the difficulty with that kind of gauge is that the JLPT isn't really testing that kind of "real world" ability -- it's weighted heavily towards reading comprehension and speed, and though it does have a listening section it has no tests of production at all (either written or spoken). So it's quite easy to end up able to pass the JLPT without hitting all of those real-world benchmarks. A lot of those things are partly whether you've practiced the thing in question (reading menus, for instance, can be tricky depending on the menu and whether you've got the detailed food related vocab or not...and if you don't happen to live in Japan you probably haven't spent that much time reading menus.)

I guess it depends whether the underlying question is "supposing I'm this capable in Japanese, what level of JLPT would I be able to pass without having to prepare for it particularly?", or "if I've passed JLPT level X then what does that imply about my general competence in the language?". I think I'd agree with the benchmarks for the first question, but not for the second.
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#24
(2015-12-20, 1:50 pm)RawrPk Wrote: As for hours, based on the hours of my formal study (2 years of Japanese courses: 4 courses total), I have about 384 classroom hours. Based on the table of hours I saw on the tanos site, I should be good for N3 by that alone. Of course I accumulated more hours by studying outside the classroom and later when I self studied. I can't say how much because I don't log my self study hours.

Here is the hours based on the tanos site
http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/aboutjlpt/

Correction. I just found syllabi for the Japanese courses I took in CC. Each had 80 total faculty hours (aka class hours). Had four courses so my classroom total is actually 320. A bit less than expected but not by much imo. I thought replying to my old post would be easier than editing it so it is seen better. Plus I was going to add more content to this post.

What I also found in the syllabi (particularly for the highest course available at my CC) was that my textbook was indeed on par with Genki 2. At least, that's what the syllabus states. Just in case, they have the lesson agenda written out so I can compare with the Genki series. I'm actually somewhat relieved I found this info as I feared that my 2 years of courses in Japanese weren't up to the standards of school who use Genki or Minna series.  Big Grin
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#25
(2015-12-20, 2:22 pm)Raschaverak Wrote: So for me Tanos is out of the question, I'm not sure what vocab list I'm going to use for the N3, the core xK series seems to be the fav here, but I might as well do some research, and fine-tuning before I jumpstart studying vocab again. Not going to make the same mistake twice.

I have spent quite a while with both of these books and can recommend them:

N3 Sou Matome Vocab
Shin kanzen master N3 kanji
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