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The KanKen Chronicles

#76
The names of the radicals are really simple since they have a proper system for it. All you really need to know is what each position in a kanji is called and what the radical is a "shorthand" for. We all know what the radical in 停 is. It's person. It's in the へん position. So にんべん? Yes. After that, you just have to learn the exceptions. Add Anki to that and you can learn all of the 213 names in a week or less.
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#77
Good to see you're still trundling along with it Smile

Well i'm part of a study group where I live called 漢字倶楽部 and the guy who runs it registered everyone who wants to take it so I can't really answer your question. They all took it last time it was offered though so I have faith in them Smile I think it's every 6 months? I hope so Smile
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#78
@tobberoth: Yes luckily they're very easily to learn and remember. I'm not learning them in isolation though, what I'm doing is every wrong answer I get I put into Anki and of course if I got it wrong cos I don't know the radical name at all then it's time to learn it via that card Tongue it's extra effort to learn them first then dive into the same process. Haha, still I love having this new knowledge.

A note for those studying for 6級 and above the 熟語の構成 section is a little tricky to work out. So I can clarify it for those interested...

You get given a compound of two characters and a choice of 4 answers
出題 漢字 森林 上下 and it's your job to work out which configuration the compound uses. The configurations mean the following.

上下 - the kanji represent opposite things
森林 - the kanji represent similiar things
漢字 - the first kanji explains the second E.g 金額
出題 - makes sense (meaning wise) when read backwards e.g 入団

The section took a little bit to figure out but it's really not too hard Smile

Update: So I got half way through adding my previous 5? tests wrongs to my new KanKen prep deck. About 100 cards so far but my god it takes a long time to input the data! I'll knock off the second half tomoz and get down to studying new tests.

After going through the radicals and the compound configuration section I think they're going to be a snap! That's a weight off my shoulders. Tell you one thing the 三字熟語 are giving me hell. Do able, but hell. Just some effing obscure words.
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#79
For anyone who got excited by this topic yet doesn't own a DS, here's a tip: The Kanken 3 DS Rom works fine on the emulator iDeaS. In fact, it flows perfectly.

Lol, I got 目安5級 when I did the intro test. So yeah, that test is kinda useless Tongue
Edited: 2009-12-11, 8:14 am
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#80
6級の「熟語の構成」Is really dragging down my score. I always seem to get the 漢字 and 出題 ones wrong. There's always kanji that, to me, can be read and make sense backwards but isn't 出題, and ones that are describing the second char but arn't 漢字! ...any tips? Sad
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#81
deathspi Wrote:6級の「熟語の構成」Is really dragging down my score. I always seem to get the 漢字 and 出題 ones wrong. There's always kanji that, to me, can be read and make sense backwards but isn't 出題, and ones that are describing the second char but arn't 漢字! ...any tips? Sad
Yeah sometimes they are pretty darn tricky. Easiest way to do it is really just SRS whatever you're getting wrong and you'll wind up getting it right. I also think once you can get a lot of the answers right (and understand why it's right) you'll naturally be able to break it down to the correct answer. SRSing your wrongs will definitely up your score.

I guess thinking about it perhaps the distinction between 出題 and 漢字 is which kanji the emphasis is on.
Edited: 2009-12-11, 9:11 am
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#82
Hi everyone!

I have been watching this thread since it started but never posted here.

Actually I started the same week than mezbup, around October 20.

I have been using Tadashi Kanji Kakitorikun (the first one) to help with Kanken tests. It has been useful to know most useful onyomi/kunyomi for each kanji and some word compound I never SRSed. When I was done with the level, it was time to pass on Kanken Smile

Since I started, when I get higher than 80% (160+), I move on to the next level.
I passed level 6 and I'm now struggling with level 5. Maybe it's me, but level 5 is the biggest step between a level so far.
Antonyms and synonyms are getting hard for my vocabulary knowledge, there is no kanji help in the okurigana section, there are the 4 kanji words...

The best I did was only 100/200.. Still a long way to go.


As for 構成, I found by using my native language with kanji's English meanings I learned it's going really well, at least in French.
- Caractère chinois
眼 - Laver les yeux
- ~Défendre rigoureusement
傷 - Porter une blessure
腹 - Lever son abdomen
Any French speakers doing Kanken find it easy this way?
Edited: 2009-12-11, 10:39 am
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#83
mezbup Wrote:上下 - the kanji represent opposite things
森林 - the kanji represent similiar things
漢字 - the first kanji explains the second E.g 金額
出題 - makes sense (meaning wise) when read backwards e.g 入団
The third is adj+noun and the fourth is verb+object, the same word order as in Chinese.
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#84
Jarvik7 Wrote:
mezbup Wrote:上下 - the kanji represent opposite things
森林 - the kanji represent similiar things
漢字 - the first kanji explains the second E.g 金額
出題 - makes sense (meaning wise) when read backwards e.g 入団
The third is adj+noun and the fourth is verb+object, the same word order as in Chinese.
Ahh that makes a lot of sense Smile

So I finally put all my data into Anki and reviewed it all, had a game of kanken and my score went from an 80 to 129 Smile Rather pleased with that!! I feel like i'll have this level in the palm of my hand by the time the month is out!

@wonk: Encouraging progress to hear! I shouldn't have slacked off and I would have been tackling 5 instead of six this time round at KanKen. I'm pretty eager to see the difference between levels as I can definitely appreciate how much harder it's going to get.
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#85
67hours and 18,000 questions later. I'm doing alright Smile

As yet i've only seen about 17% of 6級. Still scoring about 130 but I haven't taken a practice test since my last lot of data entry so that could have been bumped up a few points.

The JxPlugin says that so far my KanKen deck has 471 unique kanji in it and it's tested me on 99/185. The number doesn't exactly represent the total i've seen whilst studying level 6 at the moment because it's only taking into account the stuff that I put in when I get a questions wrong and not the other 80 Questions out of 120 that I got right. So all in all I think i'm starting to cover a lot of ground on this level but definitely lots of gaps in knowledge.

The data entry time is pretty killer tbh, it saps a lot of time and motivation but I'm managing 1 - 2 tests a day. I want to do 3 but time doesn't allow it. I could just do the practice tests and not SRS anything unless it's rare but I really wanna get 190 - 200 points on this so I don't wanna let anything slip.

I'm considering changing my strategy up a little for this level and using the drills. I've already started just purely working through the questions in the drills section for the stroke order because I don't need to SRS those things so it can be done really fast. I think for sections like 音訓 漢字選択 三字熟語 this approach could work really well to up my score pretty fast. 書き取り2 is still raping me but that'll all change with time, I actually think the main killer is the data entry for this section because it takes ages.

I'm kinda aiming to be at 50% when the new year hits but that's at minimum. I should have a passing grade at least by the time the week is out. I've been sitting on 7級 for a while now it'll be a refreshing change to move up to 6級.

Interestingly, my vocab deck shows that I'm reading just below a 4級 level so I feel like that's a really good target to aim for when it's offered again in 6months time. I'm a little disappointed however that I've forgotten how to read a small percentage (about 20 kanji). Maybe I should revisit those particular kanji and refresh my memory by adding the words I used to know them in to my vocab deck and bump up how many Kanji I can read from to just above 1300.

How's everyone else doing?
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#86
mezbup Wrote:67hours and 18,000 questions later. I'm doing alright Smile
You a machine!

I picked this puppy up recently myself, and I gotta say, this has to be the first and only educational "game" I've ever taking a liking to. I've pumped about 10 hours into it over the past 6 days, and I feel like I've gotten a really good return out of it. I don't write kana very often, nor do I really produce kanji from kana, so at the very least, this game is great for brushing up those skills. I do feel as though it's reinforcing current knowledge, though, and I'm learning plenty of new stuff as well.

I just "passed" the 10 minute 9級 test earlier with a whopping 148/150, only to barely fail the 40 minute test by one point shortly after. One point! Not really a big deal since I'm confident I'll be able to consistently pass this level from here on out, but kind of funny at the time.

Especially as someone who's brushing off a lot of rust and relearning forgotten vocabulary and so forth, this is an awesome tool. I hope to be able to pass the 8級 tests by this time next week, though I'm sure the curve is going to get a heck of a lot more difficult as levels progress...
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#87
The curve starts kicking in at 7 and is in full swing by 5. I wouldn't bother with the 10 minute tests if I were you, they're nice for a brief little game but at the lower levels the 40 minute test can be done in 10 - 15 mins.

Also a really great way to learn some of the craziest most obscure vocab you'll ever come across! 均一化 - homogenization. Don't think i'll ever forget that.

みんな、頑張って!
Edited: 2009-12-16, 1:26 am
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#88
So I spent a good portion of my day watching LA Ink on dvd and not getting any study done. Well that's what would of happened if I hadn't gone and grabbed my DS and hashed out some drills for a good hour or two whilst watching.

I made it all the way through the okurigana section which bumped up the percentage of questions seen about 5%? I've worked through Stroke Order, Radicals and Okurigana in this fashion now. Gotta say it's getting me results in those sections pretty quick and I find for those things I only need to SRS things that are noticeably much more tricky or rare than the rest. E.g whats the main radical of 応? I would have said まだれ but apparently it's こころ... just stuff like that, the rest of it I have no problems remember at all once I've learned it.

Been too busy with my new approach to try a practice test but I'll bet my score has been bumped up by 5 or so points. If I did the same for both 読み & 書き取り sections i'd be pwning.

Was looking at the amount of kanji I can read as reported by the JxPlugin on my vocab deck, it's sitting at 1300. Thought to myself, if I just went through and drilled all the reading sections on KanKen DS3 up until 4級 it'd teach me to read about 200 more Kanji which would bring me up to 1500. Don't think it'd be too hard and it might work well if I added all those new vocab to my vocab deck. I think it's kinda going out of my way a little but possibly once my KanKen prep is over I might do it to boost my skills a little more.
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#89
I can consistently pass 9級 now, though I'm still missing one too many questions for my tastes. Planning on starting 8 tomorrow, but also continuing to hammer away at 9 until I'm more comfortable with the pesky vocab I keep missing. (SRS should help me with that too, as I'm using Anki in conjunction with most of the missed answers)

Also, this game hates how I write み and interprets it as お about 30% of the time. Maybe it's trying to tell this 白人 something.
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#90
I've seen 88% of the questions on level 9 now and will probably start on level 8 tomorrow.

Has anyone else noticed that once you reach about the 80-85% range it because increasingly difficult to increase the percentage rate? At that level it seems like the tests start counting only a fraction of what they originally did.
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#91
activeaero Wrote:I've seen 88% of the questions on level 9 now and will probably start on level 8 tomorrow.

Has anyone else noticed that once you reach about the 80-85% range it because increasingly difficult to increase the percentage rate? At that level it seems like the tests start counting only a fraction of what they originally did.
It goes by percentage of the total that you have answered correctly. Basically, if you get a question wrong and you don't mark it for review in my kanken then you'd have to take every test again until it cycled back around to that question to have a chance to get it right and up the percentage. So if you have a high number of questions that this has happened with then yeah, you'll need to weed them out either by doing the whole lot again or just going through each of the drills sections which is a hell of a lot faster.

I realised this was the case when despite having done all the tests most of mine are stuck at about 97%. I'd say don't sweat it but just be aware of that for the next level and always mark stuff you get wrong for later review. Each tests counts for the exact same amount of the total.
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#92
do you reckon it would be possible to go straight from RTK1 to KanKen DS3?
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#93
If you have trouble getting your kana recognized I recommend really exagerrating your characters. Personally I have the most trouble getting 8 recognized.
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#94
vinniram Wrote:do you reckon it would be possible to go straight from RTK1 to KanKen DS3?
That would only be mildly useful IMO.

The most benefit you could get out of it at that point is going through each levels reading section and mastering them to help you learn to read and learn some vocab. Even doing that won't get you reading to a fantastic standard but it'll help out a little.

Of course there's nothing stopping you from trying it. For levels 10, 9 and 8 you don't even really have to read the question/passage you can just answer the question by looking at the kanji or kana because those are so obvious. That's only if you've been doing plenty of reading already however. If you do up to level 8 (max lvl 7) just on the reading section you'll see a decent gain in ability to read lots of the most common kanji. Beyond that really the best thing to do is go through something like KO2001 or just to try and do a lot of real reading.

I noticed going by the stats that I can read up to about a 5級 level and 4級 won't be too far off after another 100 kanji. After that I think it would actually be a lot of work to wade through levels in which I know virtually nothing. Not impossible just not super beneficial. Time would be better spend doing real world reading.

All you can do is try it and see. I bought it after I finished RTK and the day I arrived I played it once or twice, probably touched it again a week later but it was all just too much for me at that time. Came back to it a few months later and was definitely ready for it then which made all the difference.
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#95
Only about 10% of 6級 completed, I got distracted by どうぶつの森 ^^; The 熟語構成 advice really helped though, so hope to get better at that.

Completely forgot that you can drill, and the seen questions percentage will still go up. Was getting a bit fed up of barely passing the tests so might do some drills to get my score up a bit as well.

EDIT: Just read mezbup's post, and I never realized that the percentage was for correct answers, better make sure I'm ticking all the ones I get wrong!
Edited: 2009-12-17, 6:08 am
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#96
Just did a new practice test after all that study. 138/200! 2 points off passing! So studying all that stuff in isolation put my score up 10 points Smile I couldn't believe it this round when it came to the opposites/similiars section I got 0. I'm going to study that section next.
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#97
Tried level 8 for the first time today and boy is it a lot harder vocab wise. I only got 2 correct on the first 10 minute exam I took. This sucks lol.
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#98
activeaero Wrote:Tried level 8 for the first time today and boy is it a lot harder vocab wise. I only got 2 correct on the first 10 minute exam I took. This sucks lol.
Yeah, vocab is the main killer you encounter for someone who's completed RTK. I can see me hitting a definite wall after 4級 because I can read up to that level kanji wise but beyond that I would know basically 0 of the vocab.

I think it helps to work through appropriate levels and then go back and learn more vocab and be able to read to a higher level and return to kanken when it suits.
Edited: 2009-12-17, 7:48 pm
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#99
mezbup Wrote:
activeaero Wrote:Tried level 8 for the first time today and boy is it a lot harder vocab wise. I only got 2 correct on the first 10 minute exam I took. This sucks lol.
Yeah, vocab is the main killer you encounter for someone who's completed RTK. I can see me hitting a definite wall after 4級 because I can read up to that level kanji wise but beyond that I would know basically 0 of the vocab.

I think it helps to work through appropriate levels and then go back and learn more vocab and be able to read to a higher level and return to kanken when it suits.
Well the thing is I've almost completed KO2001 lol.
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Jarvik7 Wrote:If you have trouble getting your kana recognized I recommend really exagerrating your characters. Personally I have the most trouble getting 8 recognized.
Haha, that's been my solution too. I have to write the "tail" end of み more sticking up or on an even level rather than drooping down, and then it almost always registers. Seems like I have to write 7 with a line through it in order to get that to work, too Tongue I also seem to have issues getting it to recognize 顔 sometimes - most other kanji are usually fine. Could definitely be worse.
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