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Jlpt 2016 July

What level will you take?


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Since I failed passing the n2 last December, I'm going for it again this July.

Who's going to take it, and how will you prepare for it?

I'm searching for different methods to study. I am going to try to enjoy translating lyrics , watch more japanese tv/movies and as @Mike Cash told me I should read more, and not just translate everything but just getting used to reading a lot. Any other ideas are welcome.
 
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I don't think there's really anything else to it. The ideal preparation for N2 (and N1) is really just to read a lot of essays and listen to a lot of podcasts or radio talk shows.

If those things don't interest you, then just reading any kind of books and listening to any kind of spoken material is also fine... but because it's less similar to what's on the JLPT you'll just need to read and listen more.

For the higher levels it's really not about memorizing specific lists anymore, it's just about being able to read and listen at speed.
 
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Sadly the next jlpt will only happen by december here in my country.

Taking in account that my listening comprehension was what really brought my score down last lest, I'm going to expose myself a little more this year, watch more japanese material and hopefully talk more to real people instead of playing games with japanese 吹き替え.

I also gotta finish up the musashi books, I only managed to get to 火の巻
 
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i failed N1 for 2015 with my worst score ever. as the others have said, N1 and N2 are heavy on reading material. I recommend practice testing yourself on previous year's tests and time yourself too. If you're deficient in kanji on the individual level, I recommend spending some time getting the individual meaning's down too for the less common ones while doing your reading too. This prevents me (at least) from running to my dictionary when I'm stuck.
 

Mike Cash

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i failed N1 for 2015 with my worst score ever
What other levels have you taken and what sort of scores have you gotten other times you took the test? Something is very strange regarding your most recent score.
 
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What other levels have you taken and what sort of scores have you gotten other times you took the test? Something is very strange regarding your most recent score.
I have the old 2級 cert before the update. those scores were 39/22/51. Taking N1級 2014 my scores were slightly higher than 2015. those were 33/19/27. I'm wondering how I'm not preparing right or if my level is still quite far below 1級. I do a ton of reading and review lol
 

Mike Cash

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I have the old 2級 cert before the update. those scores were 39/22/51. Taking N1級 2014 my scores were slightly higher than 2015. those were 33/19/27. I'm wondering how I'm not preparing right or if my level is still quite far below 1級. I do a ton of reading and review lol
I don't want to sound mean or hurt your feelings, but it sounds like your level just hasn't gotten up to N1 yet. The old system was, I believe on a max 400 point scale with four sections of 100 points each. It sounds like you took N2 and not the old 2級, but I could be mistaken. At any rate, there is a HUGE jump between 2 and 1, which has long been a criticism of the JLPT. Your previous reading scores were rather skin-of-your-teeth, but that can't account for a zero this time around. Did you actually finish the reading section this time? Did you do any pure guessing (random marking)? I wish I were smart enough to understand their scaling system. I'm pretty sure it isn't simply grading on a curve but also includes a mechanism for spotting patterns of random guessing and in egregious cases perhaps even going so far as to toss out correct answer babies with the Hail Mary bathwater. We do know, after all, that people can have the exact same number of correct answers in a section and get different scores based on their answering patterns. Getting an answer correct doesn't mean you automatically get credit for it and getting an answer wrong doesn't mean you automatically get dinged for it.
 
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Only available in December here, but I'm aiming for N2 all the same. Just ordered Kanzen Master's Choukai book with my first paycheck doing piano lessons, and I'm looking to pick up the Dokkai one after next week. I also listen to a lot of radio stations when I can and I'm attempting to read "Hibana" and actually doing a lot better with it than I thought I would. I could probably use a little more speaking practice even though it's not part of the test just because I know it's good for you. My other dominant learning style is kinesthetic learning. Speaking of which, knowing your learning style is probably the best thing you can do for yourself if you're trying to teach yourself anything. For example, I'm mostly a visual learner, so I can sit down and read through entire books and know everything I need to. Working with images and other visuals helps ingrain new words or ideas into my head even better than just text alone sometimes. (I actually made a picture dictionary for myself when I first started learning Japanese). One of my friend's is mostly an audio learner, so he finds podcasts and other media where the Japanese is spoken first and then an English definition second. A different person I know--the one who had a meltdown over kanji the other day lol--often chats with natives in Japanese with higher levels of English proficiency so she can ask questions about things that confuse her and really get to know the language. I mean, there's multiple ways to go about learning a language, but I'm really convinced the people I know are where they are--myself included--because they utilized their stronger traits to maximize their learning potential. If only we could work like this in public education a little better...
Also, kinda related to this, but I'm looking at taking the AP Japanese test in May and the ACT probably around the same time as the JLPT in December (ugh too many tests; I need sleep x-x). I've heard the AP Japanese test is around N3 level at best, and I get the feeling it's going to be your typical classroom-taught nonsense, which will be more annoying than challenging for me. I think it should still be a decent precursor to what lay ahead for me.
If anyone took the test last December, how was it? I've heard some levels were pretty challenging for people, and at the same time, I've seen others pass with ease and flying colors. What was really easy and what tripped you up? Listening and Reading sections really seem to be the killers, so I'm focusing on those a little more than others. All in all, I'm really just curious to find out what the different experiences were since this will be my first time coming up at the end of the year.
 
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I don't want to sound mean or hurt your feelings, but it sounds like your level just hasn't gotten up to N1 yet. The old system was, I believe on a max 400 point scale with four sections of 100 points each. It sounds like you took N2 and not the old 2級, but I could be mistaken. At any rate, there is a HUGE jump between 2 and 1, which has long been a criticism of the JLPT. Your previous reading scores were rather skin-of-your-teeth, but that can't account for a zero this time around. Did you actually finish the reading section this time? Did you do any pure guessing (random marking)? I wish I were smart enough to understand their scaling system. I'm pretty sure it isn't simply grading on a curve but also includes a mechanism for spotting patterns of random guessing and in egregious cases perhaps even going so far as to toss out correct answer babies with the Hail Mary bathwater. We do know, after all, that people can have the exact same number of correct answers in a section and get different scores based on their answering patterns. Getting an answer correct doesn't mean you automatically get credit for it and getting an answer wrong doesn't mean you automatically get dinged for it.
I did have a few instances where i wasn't sure at all of what the question wanted from me. the old 2級 wasn't terribly bad though I probably could have done better. I will try N2 this year and see what happens. I'm also purchasing workbooks to get ready to resit N1 as well. People who can pass N1 with just a couple years of study make me envious haha. Well over a decade later I can't get it. Agitating sometimes.
 
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Wasn't that on a 100/100/200 point breakdown? I can't understand how you passed it with those scores. I'm afraid I'm missing something somewhere.
i believe it was on that standard, I had wondered myself about how I passed but I ended up with the cert. Though with scores like that i couldn't hardly call myself actually 'advanced', you needed a total of 400 points I believe to score a pass mark. I'll dig around through my papers and find out if I quoted the right attempt or not and keep you posted. I did take it more than once for the old 2kyuu
 

Mike Cash

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Doing past tests is always key - and making sure you dont run out of time
I didn't do any past tests and took the test without any means of watching the time. (I assumed there would be a clock on the wall but there wasn't).

The only reason anyone should run out of time is if they haven't put in the work to develop their reading skills. This seems to be prevalent among people who do as little reading as they think they can get by with and still pass the test.
 
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Embarrassed to say I'll go for N5. Most of what I read says it's pointless due to being so elementary but I feel I ought to get some indication of where I stand even if it's just confirmation of having minimal skills.

From everything I've read it should be easy for me, but I'm just not confident enough to go for N4 though my teacher encouraged me to go for it with a bit of study.
 

mdchachi

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Embarrassed to say I'll go for N5. Most of what I read says it's pointless due to being so elementary but I feel I ought to get some indication of where I stand even if it's just confirmation of having minimal skills.

From everything I've read it should be easy for me, but I'm just not confident enough to go for N4 though my teacher encouraged me to go for it with a bit of study.
That's what the practice tests are for. That will tell you where you stand.
 
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I didn't do any past tests and took the test without any means of watching the time. (I assumed there would be a clock on the wall but there wasn't).

The only reason anyone should run out of time is if they haven't put in the work to develop their reading skills. This seems to be prevalent among people who do as little reading as they think they can get by with and still pass the test.
I really diasgree with this... maybe I'm a bit of a slow reader but I clearly passed every section on N2 (lowest was 42/60) so I didn't scrape a pass by any means, and I still pretty much ran out of time. I only just managed to finish all the questions and I didn't have time left to review the ones I wasn't sure about. This is after doing a few practice tests and calculating how much time I should spend on each reading passage. Initially it took me just over an hour to finish the vocab/grammar section, but I realised that was too long and I got that down to about 45 mins. I think one problem is people spend too long on this vs. the reading section.

It seems to me your level is much higher than N1, but if someone is doing a test that's roughly at their level then doing practice tests can really make the difference between pass/fail. Especially so you don't waste a lot of time reading the instructions for each type of question. Also if like me you suffer from bad exam anxiety, it makes you a lot calmer if you know what to expect.

(I really needed to pass first time because of the cost of the test + transport, and the fact I probably can't do the date in July. Hence the extra effort in timing everything out.)

EDIT: re scaling, you will always get some amount of credit for a correct answer, just the amount that you get depends on how good that question was at separating high-scorers from low-scorers. I wrote a short post on scaling here:
How is the JLPT scaled? | ジョジーナ
Although the mathematics they use is complicated, the gist of the scaling is fairly simple. All that it practically means for you as a test-taker is that some questions are worth more than others, and generally the more difficult questions are worth more (as you would expect).
 

Mike Cash

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Also if like me you suffer from bad exam anxiety, it makes you a lot calmer if you know what to expect.
I calmed myself at the beginning of the exam by reminding myself it didn't matter a hill of beans whether I passed or failed. That helped a lot. I also switched to an "Oh, screw it....no point in worrying about it" mode when I realized there was no clock on the wall and I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of trying to figure out if I was on pace to even finish the thing in time or not.

In all honesty, I left the exam with doubts about how I had done on the reading section. The texts weren't hard but the questions seemed bizarre sometimes. I went through the whole thing thinking "I know what the guy wrote but I'll be damned if I can figure out what you're asking about it".

I still can't believe that little cheap-assed laminated-on-one-side ****** postcard is all the certificate I get for my 5,000 yen and a day off shot to hell sitting there getting treated like a criminal. My wife was amused at my reaction upon receiving it...."Those cheap b@stards!" I stuck it in the big battered envelope my nice proper sized old 2級 certificate has been sitting in since 1997. Never got around to hanging that thing up either, so I doubt I would have actually framed the N1 even if they had sent me one...its just the principle of the thing.
 
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@Mike Cash
Unfortunately for me it did matter a lot because I want to apply for language- or Japan-related things this year and they put a lot of stock in bits of paper (even if they provide no proof I can actually string a sentence together). I don't have any other proof of my abilities. On the personal achievement side, I am much more proud that I spent nearly a whole day yesterday with someone who spoke zero English and I managed to communicate effectively with limited difficulties. But I need a piece of paper.

I think they'll send a proper certificate eventually, it just takes them a while. I didn't receive any kind of postcard or anything so far, maybe that's only for Japan residents.

I went through the whole thing thinking "I know what the guy wrote but I'll be damned if I can figure out what you're asking about it".
Haha I had the same reaction for a few reading questions. "I understand every word but what do you mean?"
 
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@Nebulahime14
There's some discussion of what we thought of the December test here
Jlpt 2015 december | Japan Forum

My main impression of N2: vocab/grammar/reading were what I expected from practice papers, reading perhaps a little easier, listening was much harder than the practice papers (but ultimately I got the highest score there so they seem to have accounted for this).
 

Mike Cash

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i believe it was on that standard, I had wondered myself about how I passed but I ended up with the cert. Though with scores like that i couldn't hardly call myself actually 'advanced', you needed a total of 400 points I believe to score a pass mark. I'll dig around through my papers and find out if I quoted the right attempt or not and keep you posted. I did take it more than once for the old 2kyuu
Not to nag or necropost, but I've sort of been waiting for the promised clarification.....
 
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Not to nag or necropost, but I've sort of been waiting for the promised clarification.....
I apologize for the wait, I got extremely busy with school so I haven't had time to get back to you. I misquoted a previous attempt before the attempt I passed. I scraped 72% for 2kyuu giving me 288 points for my pass. I'm sitting for the N2 this December as I don't feel ready for N1.
 
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@Nebulahime14
There's some discussion of what we thought of the December test here
Jlpt 2015 december | Japan Forum

My main impression of N2: vocab/grammar/reading were what I expected from practice papers, reading perhaps a little easier, listening was much harder than the practice papers (but ultimately I got the highest score there so they seem to have accounted for this).
Great job. I will sit N2 myself in Dec this year to see how much of a gap I have between N1 and N2 at this point.
 
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