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Taking N4 this July, How to study? Which sources?

#1
Hi everyone!

First of all, thanks to everyone for their support since I joined here.

I have 3 months to prepare for N4. I haven't taken N5 before.

I need sources to study for both N5 and N4. Do you have recommendations?

P/s: Or, do we have a thread somewhere for this purpose?
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#2
(2017-03-27, 12:16 pm)ShotOkan Wrote: P/s: Or, do we have a thread somewhere for this purpose?

If you search Google as follows

n4 site:forum.koohii.com

some previous threads will come up.
Edited: 2017-03-27, 12:35 pm
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#3
(2017-03-27, 12:34 pm)fkb9g Wrote:
(2017-03-27, 12:16 pm)ShotOkan Wrote: P/s: Or, do we have a thread somewhere for this purpose?

If you search Google as follows

n4 site:forum.koohii.com

some previous threads will come up.

I have already searched the forum and read some threads but what I need is suggestion. I meant "a thread" where the recommendations were listed (like Nukemarine's suggested guide).
Edited: 2017-03-27, 12:47 pm
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#4
Well, what did you do so far? Or are you starting from zero? Smile I think in most cases it's recommended to go through a beginner textbook series (like Genki I + II or maybe minna no nihongo shokyu I + II) and then maybe take a look at some example questions or previous testpapers. Some people do some more specific test prep, but I heard from others that they didn't really bother and were fine with what they learned from their textbooks.

edit: I skipped N4, (did N5 in summer 2015 and N3 in december 2016 though) so I can't really comment all that much, sorry Smile
Edited: 2017-03-27, 1:31 pm
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#5
So you haven't written the N5 before?

I wrote the N5 last December and I'm currently studying for the N4 in December 2016.

I'll respond later with links to the sources I used to study for the N5 and the sources I'm using now for the N4.

(2017-03-27, 1:29 pm)sumsum Wrote: Well, what did you do so far? Or are you starting from zero? Smile I think in most cases it's recommended to go through a beginner textbook series (like Genki I + II or maybe minna no nihongo shokyu  I + II) and then maybe take a look at some example questions or previous testpapers. Some people do some more specific test prep, but I heard from others that they didn't really bother and were fine with what they learned from their textbooks.

edit: I skipped N4, (did N5 in summer 2015 and N3 in december 2016 though) so I can't really comment all that much, sorry Smile
Did you pass N3?  How did you do?

Also, have they posted online yet the pass rates for the 2016 N5 to N1?

Thanks.
Edited: 2017-03-27, 1:53 pm
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#6
(2017-03-27, 1:51 pm)phil321 Wrote: Did you pass N3?  How did you do?

Also, have they posted online yet the pass rates for the 2016 N5 to N1?

Yes, I passed! I really thought I had failed the vocab/kanji section, but I forgot it's in the same scoring section as grammar. (lucky me!) So in the end I actually got an okayish score of 36/60 in the language knowledge section. (Not really a good score but well above the 19 needed for not failing that section) My other sections were better though (45/60 in reading and 51/60 in listening) and as I feel like those are more important to me personally anyway, I'm quite happy with my score overall! Though N2 still seems pretty far off and I definitely will have to do some dedicated grammar and vocab study for that... Or maybe I'll just continue being lazy and doing what I want and then only do some cramming right before the test because I'm too lazy for studying "properly" Angel (I am actually using srs and stuff for vocab but I've been really neglecting my grammar books...) I first wanted to try N2 in July (even without a chance to pass), but it seems like I'll be really busy with non-Japanese-related things around then, so I think I'll postpone that til December (or maybe even July 2018)

I don't think the pass rates for the decembers JLPT are online yet, but those from July are on the homepage: http://www.jlpt.jp/e/statistics/archive/201601.html

@phil321 If you are studying for N4 as well, how are you going about it? Are you going the textbook route or are you using some specific JLPT prep materials?
Edited: 2017-03-27, 6:30 pm
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#7
Here's what I'm using to prepare for the N4:

https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Language...ds=jlpt+n4

https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Language...krumbacher

http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/jlpt4/vocab/...ist.N4.pdf

http://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/sample12.html
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#8
(2017-03-27, 1:29 pm)sumsum Wrote: Well, what did you do so far? Or are you starting from zero? Smile I think in most cases it's recommended to go through a beginner textbook series (like Genki I + II or maybe minna no nihongo shokyu  I + II) and then maybe take a look at some example questions or previous testpapers. Some people do some more specific test prep, but I heard from others that they didn't really bother and were fine with what they learned from their textbooks.

edit: I skipped N4, (did N5 in summer 2015 and N3 in december 2016 though) so I can't really comment all that much, sorry Smile

Is it recommended to do some of Tobira as well? I'm heading towards the end of Minna no Nihongo 1-2, but figured doing the first few chapters of an intermediate textbook like Tobira would help for N4.
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#9
I only did (and passed :-) N4. If you never took the JLPT before, I'd recommend you to watch out for two main enemies:

1. time limits (specially on the reading part)
2. mental tiredness when you get to the last section (the listening part)

(also, it's important to take the usual measures to not get hunted by the need to go to the bathroom)

Being your first time, I'd strongly recommend doing at least one sample exam, with the same time constraints for each part as the real thing, if possible, just to get a thoroughly idea of what it tastes like. IIRC there's only one official example test available for each level, so, unless you already have other similar resources, if you feel like it you can do the N5 sample *right now* (but keep in mind it's a lot simpler, so don't get fooled by its easiness) and test yourself on the N4 around a week before the actual exam. You'll gain the experience that'll allow you to know which sections to skip or which ones to skim through.
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#10
You might not find it necessary for N4, but if you decide you want to more than just the official mock exam, I highly recommend the ゼッタイ合格!日本語能力試験完全模試 series (I was going to give an Amazon link, but it's not copying right, and I don't feel like figuring it out); I haven't done their N4 exams (started with N2), but the ones I've done have been a great help in preparing for the actual JLPT.
I highly recommend using their suggested times for each section to study; at the top of each question type there'll be a suggested time for that question (and a time for each problem that's just the question time divided by the number of problems). While it's not as much of a problem for the lower levels (or so I've heard, no personal experience), the reading part of the test is as much a battle with time as it is a battle with Japanese.

A lot of people like the 新完全マスター series. I personally don't think it's necessary for the lower levels, especially if you're already using a textbook, but you might look into it. I've only just started using them myself.

For drills (again, probably not really necessary at lower levels), the ドリル&ドリル series is really good. They have lots of practice questions, and explanations in the back. I recommend using the times suggested by ゼッタイ合格 as time limits, if you get all of these books for some reason. If not, I'd say an average of thirty seconds per problem (about five minutes per question type). If you have to think really hard about an answer, you need to work on that grammar point, word, or whatever. If you can't finish the problems in the allotted time (better if you're using the times from the book), then you know that you need to focus on your reading speed.

Again, I don't know exactly how much each of these things applies for the N4, but they're things that have been really helpful in my studies for the N1 (which I just barely failed again...), so I think they'll be good for N4 as well, if you find yourself wanting some practice that resembles the stuff above.
Edited: 2017-03-27, 11:37 pm
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#11
(2017-03-27, 11:36 pm)sholum Wrote: You might not find it necessary for N4, but if you decide you want to more than just the official mock exam, I highly recommend the ゼッタイ合格!日本語能力試験完全模試 series (I was going to give an Amazon link, but it's not copying right, and I don't feel like figuring it out); I haven't done their N4 exams (started with N2), but the ones I've done have been a great help in preparing for the actual JLPT.

Link: amazon.co.jp/dp/4863921381
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#12
(2017-03-27, 11:50 pm)fkb9g Wrote:
(2017-03-27, 11:36 pm)sholum Wrote: You might not find it necessary for N4, but if you decide you want to more than just the official mock exam, I highly recommend the ゼッタイ合格!日本語能力試験完全模試 series (I was going to give an Amazon link, but it's not copying right, and I don't feel like figuring it out); I haven't done their N4 exams (started with N2), but the ones I've done have been a great help in preparing for the actual JLPT.

Link: amazon.co.jp/dp/4863921381

Can I order this if I have an amazon.com account?
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#13
(2017-03-27, 7:57 pm)ForgettableFury Wrote: Is it recommended to do some of Tobira as well? I'm heading towards the end of Minna no Nihongo 1-2, but figured doing the first few chapters of an intermediate textbook like Tobira would help for N4.

I think from the materials covered (grammar/vocab) it isn't really necessary, but it won't hurt either. In any case it should be helpful for reading practice. The readings in Tobira are said to be pretty good practice for N3, so if you get around to tackle the first few of them, the N4 readings shouldn't give you much trouble.
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#14
(2017-03-28, 5:22 am)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-03-27, 11:50 pm)fkb9g Wrote:
(2017-03-27, 11:36 pm)sholum Wrote: You might not find it necessary for N4, but if you decide you want to more than just the official mock exam, I highly recommend the ゼッタイ合格!日本語能力試験完全模試 series (I was going to give an Amazon link, but it's not copying right, and I don't feel like figuring it out); I haven't done their N4 exams (started with N2), but the ones I've done have been a great help in preparing for the actual JLPT.

Link: amazon.co.jp/dp/4863921381

Can I order this if I have an amazon.com account?
 
Not sure if the rules have changed recently, but when I order from Amazon Japan, it won't let me use my Amazon.com US account. I had to create a brand new account. However, I have had no problems using my credit cards or having things shipped to me. Usually comes by DHL in 3-5 days...very fast delivery and shipping price is very reasonable.
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#15
Thanks for your feedback about amazon. I overcame my reluctance and opened an amazon.co.jp account.  The purchase was just as easy as ordering from amazon.com. 

There's even an option to view the website in (mostly) English.
Edited: 2017-03-28, 11:08 pm
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