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The KanKen Chronicles

#1
I've decided I'm going to study up to about KanKen level 2 and I'm going to try to do it over the next 12 months or so. I have no idea if that timeframe will get me there or not but it's just a base to work around and there to add a little bit of structure.

I'm going to use this thread to periodically update you guys on my progress, sharing my methods, successes and epic fails along the way. Welcome to the first post of what I shall dub "The KanKen Chronicles".

Here goes...

After buying KanKen DS3 a few months ago because my bones ached for it deep down, I'm starting to feel like it has a pretty strong grip on me now. Considering I only picked it up and started actually using it a month ago. Now I play it everyday 3 times a day. I usually do it to relax and not really to study. It's a great way to chill and I even seek it out as entertainment when I want a challenge or feel the pull of it calling my name.

So the first time I took 10級 about a month ago I got about 100/150 needing 120 to pass, it was a failing grade. Of course back then I didn't understand the format of the test and a few more practice tests had me much more up to speed with the whats what of KanKen. Subsequent attempts saw my score bump up to just over 120 points which was enough to pass.

You may have read in a previous thread I was kind of debating over how to study for the KanKen but have since discovered that using the softwares built in functionality has gotten me far more than just up to scratch on 10級, it looks like all I'll need is my KanKen DS3 and a little bit of determination. After doing every test in 10級 it had me passing with full marks in a lightening quick 6 minutes.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo...1254098232

After going back through the my KanKen section and hashing out all the tricky or rare questions, I'm extremely comfortable tackling any problem at this level. I haven't needed Anki so far but I may do as I start getting into level 8 and up.

So the past day or two has seen me chipping away at 9級. Currently I'm consistently achieving a passing grade of about 130/150 and I expect to see it slowly climb to 140 and 150 like I did with 10級. My guess is the real challenge will come at 8級 and up. It's definitely a test of vocab aswell as Kanji. Interestingly enough playing KanKen is expanding my vocab Smile

I've answered 4570 questions in15 Hours 11 Minutes 20 Seconds so far. With 97% of 10級 covered and 19% of 9級.

I shall keep you posted!

And please, if anyone else has KanKen DS3 or 2 and would like to chronicle their progress with it during their KanKen studies, then this thread is the place to do it!
Edited: 2015-05-08, 7:29 pm
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#2
Good luck! I passed level 3 several years ago; I'll be going back to Japan either next year or the year after and I really want to pass jun-2 and maybe 2, although 2 is really hard.
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#3
mezbup Wrote:And please, if anyone else has KanKen DS3 or 2 and would like to chronicle their progress with it during their KanKen studies, then this thread is the place to do it!
I'm not at the point yet that I think I could get that any points at all... But maybe I'll look into it. What level would you say you have to be to get started?
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#4
wccrawford Wrote:
mezbup Wrote:And please, if anyone else has KanKen DS3 or 2 and would like to chronicle their progress with it during their KanKen studies, then this thread is the place to do it!
I'm not at the point yet that I think I could get that any points at all... But maybe I'll look into it. What level would you say you have to be to get started?
Well I think you could get started at anytime. Preferably you will have wanted to at least completed the basic prep work of doing Heisig and something like KO or Core2000/6000 so you at least have some vocab and aren't totally left in the dark.
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#5
Level 10 tests 80 kanji and is for 6 year old children, so if you have some grammar knowledge that level shouldn't take you too long.
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#6
yudantaiteki Wrote:Level 10 tests 80 kanji and is for 6 year old children, so if you have some grammar knowledge that level shouldn't take you too long.
Jeez, how I hate admitting I know know more than a 6yo. Wink Actually, I think I finally might be in good shape for that level... Maybe I'll give it a try. Smile Thanks for the info!

Yours as well, mezbup!
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#7
Woot I just got my highest score so far on 9級 147/150 in 11 minutes!

I'm finding when I first try a new level I'm a little out of touch with writing certain kanji although reading isn't too much of a problem but after going through some of the material and being tested on it, my confidence in writing each character is quickly regained. It's been a few months since I finished heisig and I haven't kept up reviews really either so it's interesting to see that I don't really need to review them.
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#8
Hahaha. I took the initial test and didn't get a single one of them. Haha Big Grin
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#9
wccrawford Wrote:Hahaha. I took the initial test and didn't get a single one of them. Haha Big Grin
Do you mean that short test that gives you 20 questions? Cos that gives you questions from every level. I did it the other day and got 7/20 which put me at 7級 apparently but i'm definitely not ready for that yet.

Try doing a proper 10級 test. I'm sure you'll get some!

If you have any questions on how to use the software or you want to know what something does you can ask me. I finally read the manual the other day and it cleared a few things up that I didn't know Smile I might make a youtube vid detailing the little things gaijin might miss.
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#10
mezbup Wrote:Try doing a proper 10級 test. I'm sure you'll get some!

If you have any questions on how to use the software or you want to know what something does you can ask me. I finally read the manual the other day and it cleared a few things up that I didn't know Smile I might make a youtube vid detailing the little things gaijin might miss.
Make it for complete Japanese-idiots and I'm all over that video. Wink

I did the first training session and got 10/20. Which I actually felt was pretty good considering how badly I stink at Japanese. Smile

Sadly, my writing skills are ... Well, non-existant. I have to look at my keyboard to remember how to write the kana. Kanji is going to be impossible. Heh. I can -read- kana all day long, and some kanji... But writing is in need of serious help. (I even learned to touch-type kana at one point, but disuse made me lose the skill.)
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#11
wccrawford Wrote:
mezbup Wrote:Try doing a proper 10級 test. I'm sure you'll get some!

If you have any questions on how to use the software or you want to know what something does you can ask me. I finally read the manual the other day and it cleared a few things up that I didn't know Smile I might make a youtube vid detailing the little things gaijin might miss.
Make it for complete Japanese-idiots and I'm all over that video. Wink

I did the first training session and got 10/20. Which I actually felt was pretty good considering how badly I stink at Japanese. Smile

Sadly, my writing skills are ... Well, non-existant. I have to look at my keyboard to remember how to write the kana. Kanji is going to be impossible. Heh. I can -read- kana all day long, and some kanji... But writing is in need of serious help. (I even learned to touch-type kana at one point, but disuse made me lose the skill.)
I'll make sure it's all in plain English Smile

As for writing the kana? Get practicing! I can relate, although I had no problems writing any hiragana, when it came time for the Katakana section of 10級 despite being able to read Katakana I couldn't write nearly any of it. By the end of 10級 I could write it all! Smile Always when I'd be thinking of the answer I KNEW that I knew what it looked like because I could read it, so it was on the tip of my tongue so to speak but I just couldn't think of how to write it. As soon as I saw the answer there was a definite OF COURSE! moment and thereafter I usually had no problems with writing that character. So if you can read the kana you'll soon be able to write them I think.
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#12
This thread convinced me to buy a DSi with DS3. I'm pretty competitive with myself so this looks like it could be a fun way for me to study when I'm not studying (as little sense as that makes).

Hey Mezbup what level are you at in terms of vocabulary?
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#13
mezbup Wrote:As for writing the kana? Get practicing!
It's funny... Despite having to look up every single character to write the kana, I've only had to look up a few of them twice. I think as long as I keep practicing daily with KKDS3 then I'll retain them. (A few of them I remembered the katakana for, but of course, that's wrong here.) Wink

I seem to be doing okay with training so far, but I have a feeling I'm missing things that would make life easier.
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#14
activeaero Wrote:This thread convinced me to buy a DSi with DS3. I'm pretty competitive with myself so this looks like it could be a fun way for me to study when I'm not studying (as little sense as that makes).

Hey Mezbup what level are you at in terms of vocabulary?
I'm just finishing up KO2001. So around 3000? As for how many I could write from memory I have no idea. KanKen is a real test of that. Far as I can tell my vocab is adequate for levels 10 - 8 but after that I'm going to have to beef it up a little to get things right.
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#15



Thats the tour of the menus. I think the audio is a bit too quiet though. Theres a second video detailing how to take 10kyuu and what the various sections are.
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#16
Thanks! I definitely would have wondered about some of that.

And yeah, the audio is pretty low... I had to turn my volume way up.
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#17
I have just completed 9級! I've taken every example test and pass with an average of about 147/150. If I re-did them all again it'd be 150/150 i'll bet! Although I got full marks in 10級 a lot of the time, I found that 9級 introduced new vocab on a slow and steady basis and those were the questions that tripped me up. I did score full marks once Smile Definitely pleased at now being able to pass 10級 and 9級 with ease.

Tomorrow I shall be starting 8級! I've taken it twice before and it definitely proved a challenge. There's new sections of the test for me to learn and a further 200+ kanji to master. I suspect it will start getting a lot harder to gain proficiency at this level due to vocab. That being said, I guess we'll see! I'm confident I can master 8級 with some hard work.

I'll keep you posted.
Edited: 2009-10-29, 4:06 am
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#18
Just got the game in today. My initial impressions are that this might be my new favorite study tool.

I really like how it gives you the option for the 10 minute test (which in reality only takes a couple minutes at the most) and allows you to retake it as many times as you want. This means as the game introduces new material and vocab you can continuously drill it until you've got it down.

I'll definitely be updating my progress.
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#19
activeaero Wrote:Just got the game in today. My initial impressions are that this might be my new favorite study tool.

I really like how it gives you the option for the 10 minute test (which in reality only takes a couple minutes at the most) and allows you to retake it as many times as you want. This means as the game introduces new material and vocab you can continuously drill it until you've got it down.

I'll definitely be updating my progress.
That's awesome to hear Smile
As the levels get harder it does progressively take you longer to get through the tests.

I took 8級 this morning and still only got 100/150 but I'm noticing a LOT of new vocab at this level. Ultimately this is a good thing Smile I'm eager to see if 8級's learning curve pans out halfway through. I find the repetition of new vocab helps drill certain things in quite well but other stuff is a lot less frequent and SRS could be beneficial here. 8級 will definitely help me gauge this for the coming levels.

I noticed that each test for 10/9級 was 3% of the total but I suspect 8級 to be maybe only 1 - 2% so there should be more practice tests than before.
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#20
Woot big news... today I passed 8級! Twice! I passed with 126/150 first time and second with 120/150 (only just!).

I'd definitely attribute that to the review I've been doing with the MyKanKen feature. I've been looking up every word I don't know and going over it til I get the answer right and I feel comfortable unchecking it. It's making a big difference. Considering a month ago I couldn't pass 10級 and now I'm scraping by on 8級 I'm very happy with my progress so far and if I can get up to averaging 145/150 on 8級 then I feel I can do anything Smile

I've been playing for 27 Hours 9 Minutes and I've answered 8261 questions. I've only seen 15% of 8級 at the moment.
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#21
Hehe Congrats! My DS glitched and I lost my progress for my practice on 10, but I tried the 40minute test and got 113, which I think is pretty impressive for me. Big Grin
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#22
awesome! only 7 more points for a passing grade!
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#23
So i've seen about 30% of the problems for 8級 and im passing with in the high 130's on average now which will creep up to the mid-high 140's after another 20 or so percent.

After getting a tad bored I tried 7級. Much harder writing section due to the vocab! The reading I did well on. The 2 character compounds took me a little bit to figure out how it worked and after that it was sort of educated guess work. Overall the leap from 9 - 8 was big but only marginally whereas the leap from 8 - 7 seems quite substantial.

I would say that 10, 9 and 8級 are beginner level, 7, 6 and 5級 would be intermediate and 4, 3, 2.5 are all advanced with 2, 1.5 and 1 being expert.

I really want to move beyond the realm of beginner Tongue It's going to take a lot of work vocab wise to pass through the intermediate section.
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#24
Interesting day today... I couldn't be stuffed doing KO reviews so I played copious amounts of KanKen to procrastinate. Studying as a way to procrastinate from studying? Brilliant.

I've officially answered 10,000 questions! I'd been sitting on 9000 something all day and just waiting til it hit 10,000 so I could feel proud. Imagine if that we're 10,000 cards in Anki. Ugh i'd have 50,000 reviews over a month. I'm definitely loving not SRS'ing this stuff so far.

Anyways I bumped it up from 30% of 8級 to 45%! As predicted im routinely scoring over 140. Usually always score at least in the low 140's now and often in the high 140's Smile I got 148/150 before! Woot. Only got two reading questions wrong and as usual it was a two new words that I didn't know. However, I know them now along with many others that 8級 has sent my way. I'm guessing my vocab has expanded by a couple of hundred words thus far.

Already I'm itching to get on to 7級 and see if I can improve on my dismal 88/200 I got when I tried it before. That's where the real challenge will kick in.

As a side note, each test on 8級 is 2% of the total.
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#25
Thanks for the updates. I'm up to about 64% of 10級 after 4 days which is nice. I know the pace will drop off rapidly as the levels progress but I'm hoping I can increase one level per month, at least until the upper-intermediate levels. Seems doable as that will only require 3% per day.
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