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2017 JLPT N2/N1 Thread

#26
(2017-05-31, 9:02 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: Thanks for the tips guys!
I've tried using the Jtest4you-N2 and N3 cards, and I guess maybe they can be good for getting the spaced repitition of grammar points, but right now I feel I should look more into actually learning grammar points I don't know. I didn't know about the Kanzen series. I took a look on the internet and it seems pretty good. I'm going to pop over to a bookstore and take a look at 読解 and 文法.
For my reviews, I decided I  might have to set a cap of 100 Anki reviews per day. I only have an hour or two per day to study japanese, so really need to distribute my time as well as possible.

Shinkanzen is great - most of us here swear by it. That plus the Dictionaries of Japanese Grammar should be all you need. I'd also recommend the ドリルとドリル book for N2 - it's nothing but sample problems. It can help you get real world examples of some grammar points if you're not encountering them as part of your reading.

I like the Anki cap idea. At the N2 level and beyond, you should be immersing in native media as much as possible.
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#27
Lately I"ve really begun to like the Nihongo No Mori youtube channel for grammar explanations. I think they do a better job of explaining the differences between points than Shin Kanzen. At the same time it makes for nice listening practice. I find they cover more or less the same content as Shin Kanzen, but its just more fun to watch. The only downside is that it doesn't come with any quizzes.

The day I manage to pass N2 (when will it be....?) I plan to study N1 grammar primarily through Nihongo No Mori with Shin Kanzen and DOJG as references.
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#28
Thanks for the 日本語の森 reminder! I tried to get into them in early N2 and never did, but now I'm really digging it.
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#29
(2017-05-31, 9:42 pm)Hinsudesu Wrote: Lately I"ve really begun to like the Nihongo No Mori youtube channel for grammar explanations. I think they do a better job of explaining the differences between points than Shin Kanzen. At the same time it makes for nice listening practice. I find they cover more or less the same content as Shin Kanzen, but its just more fun to watch. The only downside is that it doesn't come with any quizzes.

Edit: I should preface this by saying that grammar has always been my worst section on the JLPT, as I tend to neglect it and focus more on reading.

When I passed N2 and N1, most of my grammar study was done simply by listening to or watching Nihongo no Mori videos. I would just watch/listen to them on a loop, coming back to them as many times as I could before I basically ran out of time. Haha. I hate studying grammar from books, so this really worked for me.
Edited: 2017-05-31, 11:05 pm
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#30
A problem I have had with Nihongonomori is that they group similar grammar points together, which sometimes makes it difficult to remember which grammar point means what. Otherwise I enjoy watching it from time to time.

@gaiaslastlaugh,
Yeah, I think it's a good idea for one deck to another. But seems it's not very good for main decks with sub-decks.
I just experienced that Anki goes sequentially through repetitions in sub-decks. So when I set max repetitions to e.g. 100 in the main deck, Anki takes me through 100 repetitions within the first few decks, and I am not shown cards from the last decks.
Edited: 2017-05-31, 11:20 pm
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#31
(2017-05-31, 11:14 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: A problem I have had with Nihongonomori is that they group similar grammar points together, which sometimes makes it difficult to remember which grammar point means what. Otherwise I enjoy watching it from time to time.

Shinkanzen Master does the same thing, the idea being that it helps learn the differences between very similar-seeming expressions. Nihongo no Mori is a little less overwhelming in its approach.
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#32
I would strongly advise against setting a cap on daily reviews for anything other than smoothing out occasional review spikes as it undermines the SRS algorithm. If you want to control your review count it should be done by limiting what you add or suspending cards when you've added too much.

Edit: To put it bluntly, all anki's daily limit does is hide the fact that you've not completed your reviews for the day. It doesn't solve the problem. You need to take it upon yourself to ensure what you're adding is in line with how much time you're willing to commit to studying.
Edited: 2017-06-01, 1:49 am
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#33
(2017-05-31, 9:02 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: ...
For my reviews, I decided I  might have to set a cap of 100 Anki reviews per day. I only have an hour or two per day to study japanese, so really need to distribute my time as well as possible.

I had a similar problem with anki. I had a fixed amount of time I could spend with Japanese, and found that anki was monopolizing that time. 

The way I handled this problem was by no longer adding in new cards, and letting my number of daily reviews naturally decrease to my "target" number. I might have also set a daily review cap too. But that was just a stopgap measure until the "real" number of reviews hit my target. (In my case, it was also 100).

This worked well for me. As someone else said, simply setting a cap isn't that advisable. Yes, it will solve your immediate problem of having too many reviews. But it also means that you're not making the best use of their memory algorithm.
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#34
In the end I am doing as you guys suggested, stopped adding new cards (for the most part). I bought Shinkanzen grammar and reading and am getting ready to enjoy myself with those. As I go about learning new grammar, I will activate the corresponding cards in the Jtest4you grammar decks.
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#35
(2017-06-03, 10:50 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: In the end I am doing as you guys suggested, stopped adding new cards (for the most part). I bought Shinkanzen grammar and reading and am getting ready to enjoy myself with those. As I go about learning new grammar, I will activate the corresponding cards in the Jtest4you grammar decks.

Nice plan! 

I'm doing an Anki deck, but it's focused on kanji review, starting from Grade 1 on up. I want to strengthen my kanji knowledge, and also get to the point where I can write fluidly. Also started into the 日本語の森 videos for review. Outside of that, it's all extensive reading and listening.
Edited: 2017-06-03, 11:43 pm
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#36
(2017-06-03, 11:42 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote:
(2017-06-03, 10:50 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: In the end I am doing as you guys suggested, stopped adding new cards (for the most part). I bought Shinkanzen grammar and reading and am getting ready to enjoy myself with those. As I go about learning new grammar, I will activate the corresponding cards in the Jtest4you grammar decks.

Nice plan! 

I'm doing an Anki deck, but it's focused on kanji review, starting from Grade 1 on up. I want to strengthen my kanji knowledge, and also get to the point where I can write fluidly. Also started into the 日本語の森 videos for review. Outside of that, it's all extensive reading and listening.

It's focused on kanji review? So do you do production/recognition of single kanji? If so, what do you feel is the merit of this method? 
I practice kanji indirectly by always writing the word when I do production cards of words written in Kanji. If I fail to write it, I fail the card. Thus for some kanji, I remember how to write it, but haven't yet associated it with any specific meaning. E.g. 柔軟, where I have only seen 軟 in this one word. It's kinda laborious, but it has given nice results in the form that I can also write all Kanji I know how to read.
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#37
How did it go for people yesterday?

I took two mock tests before the actual one and passed them both. But I felt I did less well on the actual test. I didn't manage to get through all the reading and had to do some guessing in the end. That was quite frustrating. It's my fourth (!) attempt and I'm not even sure if I will pass this time or not. But of course it is always difficult to judge.
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#38
(2017-07-02, 9:29 pm)Hinsudesu Wrote: How did it go for people yesterday?

I took two mock tests before the actual one and passed them both. But I felt I did less well on the actual test. I didn't manage to get through all the reading and had to do some guessing in the end. That was quite frustrating. It's my fourth (!) attempt and I'm not even sure if I will pass this time or not. But of course it is always difficult to judge.


Let's just say I went for it since I had already paid haha.

I found the trick of starting the first part from the back helps. I can't remember where I picked that up from. I managed to fill in all the questions with five minutes to spare. Even though i was mostly guessing it's like when you get to the front pages you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and not dreading a big wall of text.

I might register for the next one but only after I have sorted my schedule so I can actually study for it Rolleyes
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#39
I took N2. I found honban to be a little more difficult than the mogishiken. On mogi I finished reading with 13 min to spare, but I was left with one question when it ended. A friend of mine thought so too.


Listening was easy for the first half hour or so, but I got quite tired and made several mistakes near the end.
I thought the one problem about some company leisure trip to 1. バーベキュー, 2. ボーリング, 3. ゴミ or something like that was kinda ijiwarui. I was following the conversation almost til the end, where I lost focus for a bit, and lost the one, final sentence where the 部長 or 課長 or whatever decided which one they would go for. That was so bitter, and I'm quite sure I guessed wrong as well. From there, I think I failed all 4 problems for problem 5 as well.

I guess this is also one side of testing language proficiency. If I get exhausted by listening to japanese for 45 minutes, then I'm not exactly fluent yet.

I like your trick nella. I will try that when I go for N1 sometime next year (granted I pass this one of course).
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#40
(2017-07-03, 8:21 am)Northern_Lord Wrote: I guess this is also one side of testing language proficiency. If I get exhausted by listening to japanese for 45 minutes, then I'm not exactly fluent yet.

I'm somewhat doubtful of this. I think the way the questions are structured is challenging regardless of Language level. Having to hold the names and relationships of various unfamiliar people, places and companies in your working memory while following along with a conversation designed to contain red herrings, and making sure you don't miss the one phrase that signifies what you need to know, is something I think I would struggle with in English.
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#41
Yeah, the listening problems are deliberately confusing so it does require more concentration than your average conversation. They're trying to avoid creating questions which you can get right by just understanding a half phrase or word from the middle so they're somewhat unnaturally complicated. And concentrating for 45 minutes is hard work...
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#42
Hey peeps, how long does it take until we get the results?

Agreed that they make the listening part deliberately complicated.
I watch shows like ametalk easily, but I got totally tripped up on two of the N2 listening questions.
If I remember correctly listening Qs 2 and 3 made me go wtf. After those I sat up and really focused realizing its not like a podcast where you can relax and enjoy.

I remember that company leisure question! In the end the joushi guy said something about returning to the original way was just fine due to cost/time/whatever for the bowling/bbq/gomi hirou suggestions. So the answer was 1.restaurant right? RIGHT? Smile

EDIT:
Oh yeah, and the way I studied for this was watching streams of my favorites on http://varadoga.blog136.fc2.com and doing a ankiweb shared N2 deck (only 50% completed :/). Could have studied more.
Edited: 2017-07-07, 12:05 pm
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#43
(2017-07-03, 4:32 pm)Splatted Wrote:
(2017-07-03, 8:21 am)Northern_Lord Wrote: I guess this is also one side of testing language proficiency. If I get exhausted by listening to japanese for 45 minutes, then I'm not exactly fluent yet.

I'm somewhat doubtful of this. I think the way the questions are structured is challenging regardless of Language level. Having to hold the names and relationships of various unfamiliar people, places and companies in your working memory while following along with a conversation designed to contain red herrings, and making sure you don't miss the one phrase that signifies what you need to know, is something I think I would struggle with in English.

Still; I cannot speak for you, but using myself as an example, I would say things that make me stumble on the listening comprehension questions are *not understanding a specific word, *loosing focus and needing to retrace the conversation "buffer" in my head to figure out what was said (where sometimes the sentence in its entirety is lost), *not understanding context or culture entirely (e.g. what is common to say in certain situations etc.). In a language of high proficiency level, I think I am at least 100 times less likely to make these mistakes than in Japanese, even if I'm not focusing very hard. That's why I think a highly proficient speaker is way more likely to catch the important parts of the conversation and analyze them correctly to produce a correct answer.
So even though they are using technically speaking familiar vocabulary in challenging ways to deliberately confuse us, I think there should be a distinguishable difference between someone very proficient and not quite so proficient in the language. There will be individual differences, but especially on average, this will be true I think.

@pubbie2,
Really? I thought they scratched the idea about the restaurant, because the boss said to his underling that "he wants to do something new this time". I also thought they did not do bowling, because that was over budget. I guessed on the barbecue because it was within budget. I don't remember what they said about gomi though... But doesn't that sound you as ridiculous? Picking garbage as a social event haha.
Edited: 2017-07-08, 12:28 pm
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#44
(2017-07-08, 12:26 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: But doesn't that sound you as ridiculous? Picking garbage as a social event haha.

One of the JLPT questions in former years centered around a flier advertising a community cleanup event. I remember it starkly because it was the first time I had ever encountered the word 持参. So, not outside the realm of possibility.

Not a bad strategy, though. I feel like I largely passed N2 聴解 by picking up on the open snickering at silly answers during the short question period.
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#45
(2017-07-08, 1:53 pm)gaiaslastlaugh Wrote: I feel like I largely passed N2 聴解 by picking up on the open snickering at silly answers during the short question period.
One of the questions in the JLPT2 I sat a decade ago was based on a チーズ/地図 mixup by one of the dialogue participants :-)
(And I've just remembered the 2009 JLPT1 test's Evangelion pastiche...)

(2017-07-08, 12:26 pm)Northern_Lord Wrote: So even though they are using technically speaking familiar vocabulary in challenging ways to deliberately confuse us, I think there should be a distinguishable difference between someone very proficient and not quite so proficient in the language. There will be individual differences, but especially on average, this will be true I think.
Yes, I definitely agree (the listening test really is measuring something, and if you go back and look at N3 listening when you're at N2 level, or N2 when you're at N1, you'll find that the lower level test questions are now easier for you I think). On the other hand the thing being tested is not actually "how well can I understand a real world conversation about meeting schedules", but something that's sort-of correlated to that...
Edited: 2017-07-08, 4:09 pm
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#46
I took N1 in Tokyo. I felt like I did the test to the best of my current ability. I didn't finish the reading section in time and had to guess.  I don't think it affected my score but twice I turned the page too strongly and skipped a page and had to erase answers and go back. I didn't do a practice listening session because I was lazy and I do think that hurt me. The listening is deliberately hard but I feel you know the question pattern in advance you know what to concentrate on and or even what to write down. The last two listening questions I just guessed. People do snicker and or start writing answers and you can hear the pencils and cheat During the listening part. I thought this was ironic considering how much they seem to try to prevent cheating. My friend who was taking N2 and is super good at listening but weak at grammar and reading actually helped the Chinese girl next to him to get all the answers right on the listening. She finished the reading grammar early and just slept for a while but she was clueless for the listening he said. I assume she was cute. I told him she's going to pass but he'll probably barely fail again.

I'm a big non cheating type. I was clueless during the listening but I did my best to shut out the reactions of the other students and just focus and answer or guess as per my ability. 
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#47
I've been trying to work work this out for a while but does any one know what the 参照 in the ドリル&ドリル books is. Next to many of the answers in the answer booklet it has 参照 followed by a number and I assume this is pointing towards a reference with more info but I can't seem to find one in the book or separately as part of the series. Does anyone know anything?
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#48
(2017-08-04, 10:06 pm)Splatted Wrote: I've been trying to work work this out for a while but does any one know what the 参照 in the ドリル&ドリル books is.  Next to many of the answers in the answer booklet it has 参照 followed by a number and I assume this is pointing towards a reference with more info but I can't seem to find one in the book or separately as part of the series. Does anyone know anything?

In my copy of ドリル&ドリル, which is for N1 bunpou, the 参照 number refers to other questions that are about the same grammar point.  So if question #15 has 参照 35, 142 listed, then check question #35 and #142 for other examples of the grammar point covered in #15.
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#49
I just finished up all my grammar and vocab learning for N1, so thought it'd be a great point to take my first practice test. Having read everyone's opinions all over the internet for how hard N1 is compared to all the other levels, really wasn't sure what to expect to be honest. The practice test I took was from the 完全模試 series and just for reporting this was my score breakdown.

言語知識: 54 / 61
読解: 32 / 63
聴解: 57 / 64
総合得点: 143 / 188
合格!!

Pretty happy i passed on this first practice test! The reading section is definitely a beast, and I think this has taught me I really need to dedicate myself to reading a lot more... Even on N2 it was my lowest scoring area (44/60). Need to work in reading some 社説 and novels to boost my reading speed.

Same as last year for N2 I'm going to set myself a goal of getting 90% or above on the N1. So... does anyone have any recommendations for improving reading comprehension? Aside from obviously just reading more lol. Has anyone tried out the 読解 books by 完全マスター? Are they worth getting?
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#50
(2017-08-06, 9:15 pm)CerpinTaxt Wrote: Has anyone tried out the 読解 books by 完全マスター? Are they worth getting?

I went through the 新完全マスターN1読解 a couple of months ago and found it pretty helpful. If nothing else, it's definitely a way to pinpoint which types of passages or questions you're shaky on. Though I do think the explanations are useful as well.
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