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2018 JLPT N2/N1 Thread

#1
So, with the December 2017 JLPT finished, we are ready for a new thread! It might be a bit early, but as I didn't take any JLPT this year, I guess I'm pretty eager for next year Big Grin  If I see that correctly the summer JLPT should be on July 1st and the winter one should be on December 2nd.

As always, feel free to post your intentions, study routine, tips or just exchange thoughts in general!
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#2
I am eager to start preparing the N2 whether I pass the N3 this December or not. Since the SouMatome did an amazing job for me (specially 文法) I think I will stick to them for a while. After that I am going to tackle down the Kanzen Master which seams a reasonable follow up.
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#3
Before writing the opening post I actually thought I'd take N2 in July, but when I looked up the date for the post I noticed that I have another commitment I don't wanna miss on that day and even at roughly the same time... so much for that! Sooo, it's going to be December's test for me. To be honest, I'd probably fail it if I took it in July anyway, so it's not a big loss. I just have to be really careful not to slack off now....

So what's the starting point right now? I passed N3 a year ago, but had quite a few holes in my knowledge. If I had to sum it up: I'm pretty decent when it comes to "roughly getting it" but pretty bad at the small details. The former helps with reading and listening a lot, but I'd say if I had taken N2 last weekend, I probably still would have failed those sections because of my lacking vocab and kanji knowledge (and while my reading speed is more than fine for N3, it's probably too low for N2 as well). And well I would have failed the language knowledge part without any doubt, because that's essentially all about the small details...

I'm currently not yet entirely sure how to tackle the vocab issue, because that's definitely my biggest weakness. I find too much anki really bothersome, but I guess I do have to step it up a bit. Overall I think I want to keep a reading focus, but I'll need to graduate from my full furigana children books eventually, even though it will be quite painful :/

(edit fixed some typos, but post reads a bit strange. sorry, too tired :S)
Edited: 2017-12-07, 6:13 pm
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#4
(2017-12-07, 2:58 pm)sumsum Wrote: I'm currently not yet entirely sure how to tackle the vocab issue, because that's definitely my biggest weakness. I find too much anki really bothersome, but I guess I do have to step it up a bit. Overall I think I want to keep a reading focus, but I'll need to graduate from my full furigana children books eventually, even though it will be quite painful :/

Well, until recently I would have suggested reading webnovels on your phone with Rikaichan, but... Firefox done broke all that for now (please be fixed soon).
If you can get an older version you could still do that, but that might be a pain.

If you have some kind of reading app that has a dictionary feature, you could also download the chapters and read it on there, but that'd be extra work that I wouldn't want to do.

Anyway, point being, I made the transition from easy to read or furigana covered manga and such to not furigana covered stuff by reading webnovels with an Android port of Rikaichan (which had the export feature like Rikaisama).
I also got a lot of vocab this way (well, a few hundred, but I don't add everything I don't know).

The core of it is that making the lookup and saving processes easy allows you to focus on reading and makes things more interesting and less painful.
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#5
(2017-12-07, 8:16 am)LucasAristi Wrote: I am eager to start preparing the N2 whether I pass the N3 this December or not. Since the SouMatome did an amazing job for me (specially 文法) I think I will stick to them for a while. After that I am going to tackle down the Kanzen Master which seams a reasonable follow up.

But if you don't pass the N3 what would make you think you could pass the N2 only a year later?

Aside:  whoever runs the JLPT should tell you your marks if you fail as well as if you pass.  Then you could see why you failed and work on those areas.

But I guess that might reduce the number of attempts you make to pass (insert sound of cash registers ringing).
Edited: 2017-12-07, 9:11 pm
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#6
You are informed of your score even if you fail the exam, Phil. As well as individual scores on reading/listening/grammar/vocab.
Edited: 2017-12-07, 9:55 pm
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#7
(2017-12-07, 9:55 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: You are informed of your score even if you fail the exam, Phil. As well as individual scores on reading/listening/grammar/vocab.

Are you sure?  When I wrote the N5 I'm positive I read somewhere that if you fail the exam you don't get any scores.  I'll go back and look.
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#8
Only true if you left early afaik
http://www.jlpt.jp/e/guideline/results.html
Edited: 2017-12-07, 10:57 pm
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#9
(2017-12-07, 10:50 pm)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-12-07, 9:55 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: You are informed of your score even if you fail the exam, Phil. As well as individual scores on reading/listening/grammar/vocab.

Are you sure?  When I wrote the N5 I'm positive I read somewhere that if you fail the exam you don't get any scores.  I'll go back and look.

I failed N2 last year but received my scores.  They helped me focus my efforts for this year.
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#10
>_< does JLPT count as a 4 letter word?
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#11
So I decided I'm going to take N1 next year. I took N2 in Dec 2015 and got a 128/180. I only took it because i wanted it for my job search (what a waste if time that was... No one cares in Japan).

I've been working and living in Tokyo since March of this year so I think I've improved since coming. I decided to buy the Shin Kanzen Master reading and grammar books since those helped me out a ton for N2. Cracked open the reading study book during some downtime today just to see what I'm getting myself into. I got 5/6 questions right without any issues (the"read this passage and answer" type).

I'm still pretty weak in N1 level vocab, but I think I can probably pass N1. Kinda excited to take it now just as a personal goal. Big Grin
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#12
I'm not sure whether I'll take the JLPT next year. If I failed N2, then probably. If I passed N2, I wonder whether I'll be ready for N1 by December.
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#13
So many people around! Nice!

(2017-12-07, 8:14 pm)sholum Wrote: Well, until recently I would have suggested reading webnovels on your phone with Rikaichan, but... Firefox done broke all that for now (please be fixed soon).

Thank you for the suggestion! I guess I could just read them on my pc (with yomichan), but I have to admit I let myself be distracted way too easily... But I think I'll give it a try nonetheless!

I started reading on the kindle during my train commute recently, which upped my reading time significantly. I still sometimes get sick from it though, but then I usually stick to listening. Somehow my commute really has become Japanese learning/immersion time Shy
Edited: 2017-12-13, 10:52 am
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#14
Just a heads up in case anyone didn’t know: functionality similar to Yomichan is built directly into iOS, so anyone with an iPhone or similar can just look up words on any page or app without trouble. I discovered that when I was reading a novel the other week and wanted to look up a word.
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#15
Looking to take N1 in July just started studying for it now.
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#16
I finished reading 黒魔女さんが通る!! Vol 2 and started reading the third volume. So much for graduating from my full furigana children's books  Big Grin  But I'm having fun, so who cares!

I also downloaded the kindle sample of Harry Potter and it seems surprisingly not too far out of reach! I mean so far I've only read the description of privet drive and the dursleys (so like the first two pages) and it might all change  once we get to some more magical matters, but so far it seems alright and there hasn't been much of a first page syndrom "I can't get any of this" kind of feeling. The furigana also seem to align pretty well with my kanji knowledge. So this miiight be my next project! Or I might look into other books aimed at a similar agegroup, who knows Smile
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#17
(2017-12-19, 5:04 am)sumsum Wrote: I finished reading 黒魔女さんが通る!! Vol 2 and started reading the third volume. So much for graduating from my full furigana children's books  Big Grin  But I'm having fun, so who cares!

I also downloaded the kindle sample of Harry Potter and it seems surprisingly not too far out of reach! I mean so far I've only read the description of privet drive and the dursleys (so like the first two pages) and it might all change  once we get to some more magical matters, but so far it seems alright and there hasn't been much of a first page syndrom "I can't get any of this" kind of feeling. The furigana also seem to align pretty well with my kanji knowledge. So this miiight be my next project! Or I might look into other books aimed at a similar agegroup, who knows Smile

I bought a copy of the Japanese translation of "From A Buick 8" by Stephen King.  Harry Potter's not my cup of tea, in any language including English. 

My main beef with these Japanese paperbacks is that the font is always way too small so I have to photocopy each ten pages or so blown up much larger.
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#18
I thought I might make some updates here about once a month or so. Soo~ the last month was not a great study month. I did quite a bit before christmas, read a lot, added a lot of anki cards, immersed a lot, so quite nice overall. And then there was christmas and even though I probably could have found a little bit of time here or there I chose to not use it and reviews piled up for a bit. And then after christmas it still took me some time to tackle the pile. Buuut, on a positive note, I finally got my reviews back down to zero, also added some new cards and watched some drama without subs or with Japanese subs. Wohoo~ It took me longer than I would have hoped but I guess I'm more or less back on track. I'm still a bit lazy with reading, but that's alright for now...
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#19
Well, I think I'm in for N1, at least for studying.  I am still not sure I'll be able to pass it by December, but I surely won't be ready if I don't try.  When the registration window for JLPT opens up in August or September or whenever it is, I can take J-CAT and evaluate.

I think it makes sense for me to study as if the test is September 2 (which would actually be around my J-CAT date) instead of December 2.

Since I already have the 新完全マスターN1文法 book I'll probably start with that for grammar and keep going with the N2語彙 and (ugh) the flashcards.  I can pick up the N1語彙 book when I've completed the N2 book.  For reading, I'll keep going with tadoku.  I will obviously need to make the transition to adult literature and dust off the old shasetsu habit as well.

No matter what the crazy curved scores say, listening was unquestionably my weakest area this past N2.  I was just lucky that the grading was curved enough to make up for my weakness.  I'm still not really sure how to study for listening but I do have those apps with the past test listening sections so I'll start with those... N3, N2, and then N1.

Studying as if the test is in early September leaves three months to drill and/or shore up my weak points if I decide to go for it.  Or, well, let's call it two and a half months.  One thing I noticed this year was that the last few weeks before JLPT are useless for studying, at least for me.  There's too much family stuff going on.

Does anyone have a practice exam book they would recommend?
Does anyone have any interesting novels, movies, or J-drama they would recommend that take place in an office setting?
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#20
(2018-01-24, 9:16 am)satogaeru Wrote: Does anyone have a practice exam book they would recommend?
Does anyone have any interesting novels, movies, or J-drama they would recommend that take place in an office setting?

I've recommended this one a lot, so you might already know about it, but the ゼッタイ合格! mock exam books are really nice. I recommend them before anything else.

As for office settings... I've got nothing.
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#21
(2018-01-24, 12:03 pm)sholum Wrote:
(2018-01-24, 9:16 am)satogaeru Wrote: Does anyone have a practice exam book they would recommend?
Does anyone have any interesting novels, movies, or J-drama they would recommend that take place in an office setting?

I've recommended this one a lot, so you might already know about it, but the ゼッタイ合格! mock exam books are really nice. I recommend them before anything else.

As for office settings... I've got nothing.

Thank you. I had trouble finding ゼッタイ合格 before but I didn't look very hard. Now that I know I can order from amazon.jp I'm sure I'll be able to find it.

As for the other, I can assure you that my hopes were not terribly high when I wrote "interesting" and "office setting" in the same sentence. But maybe someone's got something.
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#22
I'm planning to retake the N1 this July.

Got a low pass (109) in Dec 16 - hoping to give it the kicking it deserves this time.

Was going to retake it in December but the signup closed really early and I missed it by a day.

Gonna have to find some mock papers I haven't already seen - might actually have to spend some money Rolleyes
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#23
(2018-01-24, 3:58 pm)anotherjohn Wrote: I'm planning to retake the N1 this July.

Got a low pass (109) in Dec 16 - hoping to give it the kicking it deserves this time.

Was going to retake it in December but the signup closed really early and I missed it by a day.

Gonna have to find some mock papers I haven't already seen - might actually have to spend some money Rolleyes

Make the 7DC proud.
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#24
I've decided that I'll retake the N2 this July, and retake it again in December if I ever fail again (but hopefully I pass). It's a bit hectic but I'm really hoping to put it in my credentials this year so I can find a better job and I just have other plans for 2019 which I'm saving enough money for. I'll take a break from the JLPT if all things fail this year, so the pressure is on.

My plan: Well, judging from the results it will be a whole year of reading for me so I'm planning to take a library membership from the local Japanese foundation. The books are way too costly for me and hard to get via the internet. Postal service is a nightmare in my country (Philippines). I've pretty much read the whole Kanzen and So Matome series and all the other mock test books from there so I'll probably aim for the textbooks or short stories (should have started from there in the first place).

The mock tests I took last year gave me a false sense of security that I am doing well with regards to vocabulary, grammar and listening because I've always passed those sections in the mock tests easily but come the actual test, I barely recognised any of the words they presented. My workaround for this is to study N1 kanji while reading those short stories (or novels) so that I would pretty much just recognise the reading even if I don't know the exact vocabulary. I don't want to go back and go over thousands of N3 & N2 words in memrise just to make sure I know 70% of it by heart. It was a repetitive nightmare (though I might have to do it if I become desperate)

I've also discovered that I can read from Quora Japan so hopefully that would help me familiarise with those pesky opinion passages. I will have to stop depending on rikai-chan though.
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#25
(2018-01-24, 11:49 pm)kayteekudo Wrote: My plan: Well, judging from the results it will be a whole year of reading for me ...

Do you participate in tadoku? If not, I would highly recommend it. I will never "win" tadoku but it has inspired me to read more than I ever thought possible. It has really helped me get my reading speed and fluency up. The "new balanced schedule" started this year, so the next contest is March 15-31.
Tadoku how-to

nippon.com has reasonably interesting articles on a variety of topics. They are difficult for N2 but I found them helpful as a way to add variety to my reading diet. Sometimes the same article is offered in translation as well.

http://shasetsu.seesaa.net/ aggregates opinion pieces from several magazines. I dislike shasetsu and they are hard for me but I am sure I will be spending a lot of time on this site this year.

How do you read? For studying I try to read things through twice. Last year in preparing for N2, I would read an article or chapter once through while looking all unknown words and grammar up, and again without looking anything up. Then as the test date drew nearer I switched the order, reading once through without looking anything up and then again allowing myself to look things up. I can tell that the second order is better, but for me, for stuff like shasetsu, it's not always possible. Anyway, it's a little boring to read things twice, so to change things up I also have a book of short stories I am reading just for fun, without rereading.
Edited: 2018-01-25, 8:45 am
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