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2017 JLPT N2/N1 Thread

(2017-12-03, 7:44 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Yooo that listening was GARBAGE.

Just wondering...is the JLPT open to people who as children spoke Japanese with their Japanese parents?  That would give them quite the advantage on the listening section wouldn't it?
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(2017-12-03, 9:18 pm)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-12-03, 7:44 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Yooo that listening was GARBAGE.

Just wondering...is the JLPT open to people who as children spoke Japanese with their Japanese parents?  That would give them quite the advantage on the listening section wouldn't it?

Yes it is, I met a Japanese guy once at the Chicago test. He was born in the US and simply needed to take the JLPT and pass it for entry qualification into a Japanese college. Why wouldn't it be open to them? If they're going to take it they would want a reason or it's pointless and just costs money/time.
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(2017-12-03, 9:57 pm)TheVinster Wrote:
(2017-12-03, 9:18 pm)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-12-03, 7:44 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Yooo that listening was GARBAGE.

Just wondering...is the JLPT open to people who as children spoke Japanese with their Japanese parents?  That would give them quite the advantage on the listening section wouldn't it?

Yes it is, I met a Japanese guy once at the Chicago test. He was born in the US and simply needed to take the JLPT and pass it for entry qualification into a Japanese college. Why wouldn't it be open to them? If they're going to take it they would want a reason or it's pointless and just costs money/time.

Perhaps if they grew up speaking Japanese at home they need to be in a different stream of JLPT tests than those who didn't grow up in that environment.  Maybe two different levels of difficulty depending on your background.

I recall how the university in my city won't let students who grew up in Chinese speaking households enroll in introductory Chinese, because it's too easy for them to get good marks compared with the other students, so not fair to the other students.  There's a separate introductory Chinese course for those who have some natural background in the language (i.e., their parents spoke it to them).
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See this thread for Holiday Countdown Deals (until Dec 15th)
JapanesePod101
I thought it couldn't get worse than the shitty speakers from last year... Well, this year we had okay speakers but a room with acoustics so shitty, I'm fairly sure sounds reverberated for more than a second... It was like listening to a recording being played into an intercom... If you're going to have an auditorium-style lecture room, why not put twenty dollars into some acoustic board or something!?
I tried plugging my ears to block some of the reverb, but it didn't really work. There were only a few questions that I remember thinking I had the answer with no trouble, and all of those were in the 即時応答 portion.

I just looked at the answers on that site, I think I only got two out of four answers on the last listening part. I don't remember the numbers for any of the other questions or answers, so I can't really use this site for the rest of the test.

The vocab was harder than my mock exams, as expected. I think I did okay, but I know I messed up the usage question for うなだれる (might have even had it right the first time, but changed answers towards the end of the test, 'cause I went over the potential answers saying "that should be うつむく, that should be 頷く") and probably messed up the one for 重複.
I accidentally flipped multiple pages without realizing it and had to sit there and erase answers. I would've thought I'd notice something was off as soon as I looked at the questions, considering the amount of experience I have with the JLPT format.

The grammar part seemed pretty easy. I only remember having any trouble on the passage part. I might have missed one of the sentence scramble ones (wasn't sure where to put ではの).

The reading also wasn't too bad. I actually thought the longer ones were easier than the short ones. I think I actually did pretty well on this portion for once.
I got lucky too, because I was going kind of slow at the beginning and sped up my reading for the long passages and the comparison questions. Ended up finishing with some time to spare, so I went back to the language knowledge portion to check some problems. If they had been much harder, I wouldn't have been able to finish the test.

Guess we'll find out in a couple of months... I really don't want to have to take this test again...

Oh, btw, for anyone at the Atlanta site that was paying attention to the people around them, I was the guy who clearly hasn't trimmed his beard in the past month or so because he was studying for this stupid test, lol.
Edited: 2017-12-04, 12:12 am
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(2017-12-04, 12:10 am)sholum Wrote: I thought it couldn't get worse than the shitty speakers from last year... Well, this year we had okay speakers but a room with acoustics so shitty, I'm fairly sure sounds reverberated for more than a second... It was like listening to a recording being played into an intercom... If you're going to have an auditorium-style lecture room, why not put twenty dollars into some acoustic board or something!?

In the room I was in, we had a boom box, I guess it was too loud. Every syllable they spoke sent a jarring, echoey sound wave. I guess its a bit of an excuse. I did so well on the listening practices at home, but I think the reason I did poorly was that I had never heard a lot of the N2 vocabulary out loud and wouldn't be able to recognize said words without seeing the kanji.

I'm gonna assume I have to retake N2 and start slowly studying when I get back to my home town. Instead of cramming 5 months before. Need to boost my kanji, vocab, and reading speed. I bought some Japanese magazines here, so I think I'll read while eating my breakfast instead of the English newspaper.
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When I wrote my test yesterday (N4) I noticed that a large chunk of test writers were Oriental-looking kids brought presumably by their tiger-mom parents.  (I assume they were Japanese, not Chinese).  If these kids are already speaking Japanese at home then obviously the listening part of the JLPT won't present any problem.  The pass rate of the N4 on down is around 35%.  I'd be curious to know what proportion of that 35% spoke Japanese at home while growing up.

I'm beginning to wonder, based on the listening part, whether the JLPT is intended for people with some native Japanese exposure, and they just let anyone else who wants to sign up, because after all it's more cash money in their pocket.

Notice how there's no requirements to sign up and of course you can fail it as many times as makes you happy.  I hear the sound of cash registers ringing.....

(2017-12-04, 6:27 am)haley_usa Wrote: [quote pid='248431' dateline='1512364228']
I think the reason I did poorly was that I had never heard a lot of the N2 vocabulary out loud and wouldn't be able to recognize said words without seeing the kanji.

[/quote]
I had the same issue at first with vocabulary (needed to see the kanji to recognize the word) but I fixed that by removing the kanji from my list of vocabulary to be learned and trained myself to recognize the word from the kana alone.  It's harder, but necessary in order to understand spoken Japanese.  Here's part of a list I made of easily confused words.  I drilled myself endlessly on these, but phonetically, WITHOUT looking at the kanji:

kankei - relationship

keikan - police officer

kaiken - interview

kenkai - viewpoint
Edited: 2017-12-04, 8:09 am
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(2017-12-04, 7:33 am)phil321 Wrote: I'm beginning to wonder, based on the listening part, whether the JLPT is intended for people with some native Japanese exposure, and they just let anyone else who wants to sign up, because after all it's more cash money in their pocket.

The N4 listening is not even remotely close to native. It's extremely slow, simple and mind numbingly boring. Right around N2 is where they start speaking at a regular speed.
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Also, the pass rate is set to be around 35%, and answers are weighed accordingly.
Edited: 2017-12-04, 9:35 am
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(2017-12-04, 12:10 am)sholum Wrote: I thought it couldn't get worse than the shitty speakers from last year... Well, this year we had okay speakers but a room with acoustics so shitty, I'm fairly sure sounds reverberated for more than a second... It was like listening to a recording being played into an intercom... If you're going to have an auditorium-style lecture room, why not put twenty dollars into some acoustic board or something!?
Our sound in room 300 was perfect, at least from where I was sitting. Our proctor was awesome too, even if he did start things off a little awkwardly by informing us all that the first date he proctored the JLPT was December 7th. Only a handful of us got that reference.

(2017-12-04, 12:10 am)sholum Wrote: I just looked at the answers on that site, I think I only got two out of four answers on the last listening part. I don't remember the numbers for any of the other questions or answers, so I can't really use this site for the rest of the test.
For the N2 at least, one of the vocab links shows the question choices in Japanese, as well as the correct answer number. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to use it either. I certainly didn’t have time to memorize my answer numbers. There’s a link that shows most of the grammar choices as well (some only have Chinese explanations, though, but a person like me who is desperate to know can sort of extrapolate). The N2 just showed the answer numbers for reading and listening on every link I clicked.

(2017-12-04, 12:10 am)sholum Wrote: Oh, btw, for anyone at the Atlanta site that was paying attention to the people around them, I was the guy who clearly hasn't trimmed his beard in the past month or so because he was studying for this stupid test, lol.
Haha, I dunno, seemed like there were a lot of those there. Smile Lots of anxious faces too. Here’s hoping we all passed.

Looking back at my study materials, I think SKM grammar and vocabulary books were both very helpful. Working through the grammar book and then encountering the grammar via tadoku was extremely helpful. As for vocabulary, I was not an enthusiastic SKM vocabulary studies but a couple of those vocab questions could have been pulled straight from that manual. “Oh, the manual has 弱火? Let’s see if they can figure out 強火 then.”

Tadoku was HUGELY helpful for reading. I did still run out of time but it was SO much better than last time. I will have to read even faster for N1 when the time comes, of course, but I felt so much more confident in my answers this time around.

Still looking for that magic bullet for listening, of course. I need to find material that includes super talkative and super indecisive speakers... who vacillate on every minute detail before finally saying nothing at all... and who do all of this at a very rapid speaking pace... and preferably who I don’t want to reach through the speakers to strangle after five seconds. But that last part may be unachievable.

Still looking for that magic transportation solution too. I did not make it home last night, I became unsafe to drive and had to stop in a hotel. Ka-ching, up goes the cost of JLPT. I did this last year too. I just need to budget that in for next time.
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(2017-12-04, 8:49 am)satogaeru Wrote: Still looking for that magic bullet for listening, of course.   I need to find material that includes super talkative and super indecisive speakers... who vacillate on every minute detail before finally saying nothing at all... and who do all of this at a very rapid speaking pace... and preferably who I don’t want to reach through the speakers to strangle after five seconds.  But that last part may be unachievable.

"I could do this, or maybe that, or maybe this other thing, but this other other thing just won't work. Blah, blah, blah. Okay then, I'll get going now."
How many people actually talk like that? Is it not cross culturally reasonable to confirm your intended plan of action when deciding something?
It'd be absolutely hilarious if just one time, the question track ended like this:
Aさん:"じゃあ、そうする!"
Bさん:”。。。そうって、どっちの?”
And then they just flat out give you the answer as the last line.

(2017-12-04, 8:49 am)satogaeru Wrote: Our sound in room 300 was perfect, at least from where I was sitting. Our proctor was awesome too, even if he did start things off a little awkwardly by informing us all that the first date he proctored the JLPT was December 7th. Only a handful of us got that reference.
Our male proctor in room 200 was from Boston, if I've got my Yankee accents down, and was pretty funny.
He told us about the intermission in the listening test and said we could dance if we wanted (unfortunately, no one did).
He told us about the rules that say a proctor has to escort you to the restroom if you need to go during the test and went on about how he wouldn't have treated us like babies if it weren't part of the rules. (Personally, I think that rule is more akin to treating us like convicts who are sure to cheat and rob the test materials if we're not being watched at all times.)
He almost screwed up and timed us for an hour and ten minutes instead of an hour and fifty minutes.
The female proctor didn't talk much (she was more like an assistant), but she was really nice.

And I do have to be thankful that, for once, we actually had room for all of the test materials, pencils, watches, etc on the tables, and had pretty comfortable chairs (the best you can get at a school before they turn into a computer chair).

I'm just really peeved at the sound being so bad three years in a row. I even used speakers for most of my practice this time instead of headphones, but it's still that much difference... I'll just have to hook up my amp and screw with the distortion if I fail again.
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(2017-12-04, 11:42 am)sholum Wrote: (Personally, I think that rule is more akin to treating us like convicts who are sure to cheat and rob the test materials if we're not being watched at all times.)
The reason for that, sadly, is that there is a small but nonzero subset of the people taking the test who would do exactly that if not watched (though I imagine it is more effective to do so in a test centre in an earlier timezone than the US ones).
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(2017-12-04, 11:42 am)sholum Wrote: "I could do this, or maybe that, or maybe this other thing, but this other other thing just won't work. Blah, blah, blah. Okay then, I'll get going now."
How many people actually talk like that? Is it not cross culturally reasonable to confirm your intended plan of action when deciding something?
It'd be absolutely hilarious if just one time, the question track ended like this:
Aさん:"じゃあ、そうする!"
Bさん:”。。。そうって、どっちの?”
And then they just flat out give you the answer as the last line.
Oh please let this happen. And please let me be taking the N1 when it does.

(2017-12-04, 11:42 am)sholum Wrote: He almost screwed up and timed us for an hour and ten minutes instead of an hour and fifty minutes.
That reminds me, we only got ten minutes' break before the listening. I had left a granola bar in my car and really had to rush to get it and be back on time. Also they didn't let anyone have water, even though it says on the test site pdf that you can have a clear water bottle with no label. Didn't affect me but could be a real problem for some people.

(2017-12-04, 4:06 pm)pm215 Wrote:
(2017-12-04, 11:42 am)sholum Wrote: (Personally, I think that rule is more akin to treating us like convicts who are sure to cheat and rob the test materials if we're not being watched at all times.)
The reason for that, sadly, is that there is a small but nonzero subset of the people taking the test who would do exactly that if not watched (though I imagine it is more effective to do so in a test centre in an earlier timezone than the US ones).
You'd be amazed at what people will do. At a test I took once (non-JLPT, but administered worldwide), one of the proctors found a baggie with the answers in it, tied to a string, in the toilet tank. Someone had a friend in China I guess.

Speaking of China, that website has posted the answer explanations for the N2 reading and listening sections. I can't read most of them, of course, but from what I can glean, I didn't do as well on reading as I thought, and I am in real trouble on the listening section. But based on the reddit thread with people's test impressions, I am definitely not the only one that had trouble with the listening section. Who knows. It's going to be a long couple of months waiting for results.
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Suggestions on books that would help me improve the type of reading comprehension that's on the N1? I read novels named at adults (e.g Haruki Murakami), but there's a way those passages are written that throws me off half the time. Just looking for something interesting. They're obviously a lot different from a novel and so I guess I'm looking at something non-fiction.
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Leave out the fiction (different language and grammar use) and start reading editorials. It's what the JLPT reading tests are actually about.

Major newspapers tend to write about the same issue but from different angles. A website like http://shasetsu.ps.land.to/ is a godsend if you want to practice your nuance reading.

Also, the あとがきs in fiction will help you more than the actual work of fiction.
Edited: 2017-12-04, 6:56 pm
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(2017-12-04, 6:04 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Suggestions on books that would help me improve the type of reading comprehension that's on the N1? I read novels named at adults (e.g Haruki Murakami), but there's a way those passages are written that throws me off half the time. Just looking for something interesting. They're obviously a lot different from a novel and so I guess I'm looking at something non-fiction.

I linked a screenshot of a book I hear helps you get a perfect score on JLPT N0.
[Image: ItIyd0X.png]
Edited: 2017-12-04, 8:44 pm
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(2017-12-04, 8:43 pm)karageko Wrote:
(2017-12-04, 6:04 pm)TheVinster Wrote: Suggestions on books that would help me improve the type of reading comprehension that's on the N1? I read novels named at adults (e.g Haruki Murakami), but there's a way those passages are written that throws me off half the time. Just looking for something interesting. They're obviously a lot different from a novel and so I guess I'm looking at something non-fiction.

I linked a screenshot of a book I hear helps you get a perfect score on JLPT N0.
[Image: ItIyd0X.png]

That seems like it'd work better for Korean...
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(2017-12-04, 11:42 am)sholum Wrote:
(2017-12-04, 8:49 am)satogaeru Wrote: Still looking for that magic bullet for listening, of course.   I need to find material that includes super talkative and super indecisive speakers... who vacillate on every minute detail before finally saying nothing at all... and who do all of this at a very rapid speaking pace... and preferably who I don’t want to reach through the speakers to strangle after five seconds.  But that last part may be unachievable.

"I could do this, or maybe that, or maybe this other thing, but this other other thing just won't work. Blah, blah, blah. Okay then, I'll get going now."
How many people actually talk like that? Is it not cross culturally reasonable to confirm your intended plan of action when deciding something?
It'd be absolutely hilarious if just one time, the question track ended like this:
Aさん:"じゃあ、そうする!"
Bさん:”。。。そうって、どっちの?”
And then they just flat out give you the answer as the last line.

This made me laugh so hard. Honestly though I find the ones where they're obviously supposed to be pointing at things the weirdest since it feels like we're deliberately not looking at them while listening in to the conversation. It only makes sense if they're specifically testing our eavesdropping skills.
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