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Kanji Kentei

WonkoTheSane

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Stopped by a bookstore near my house, picked up a level 10 book for 900¥.

A bit disheartening to look through it and realize just how I compare with a 7 year old child.

Edit: While there were a few different ones for the levels 6 and above, they only had one for level 10... Hopefully I like kittens and cartoons! ;)
 

Mike Cash

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Stopped by a bookstore near my house, picked up a level 10 book for 900¥.

A bit disheartening to look through it and realize just how I compare with a 7 year old child.

Edit: While there were a few different ones for the levels 6 and above, they only had one for level 10... Hopefully I like kittens and cartoons! ;)
I'm proud of you.

Enjoy the kittens while you can.
 

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madphysicist

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Actually, it isn't all that hard. Thanks to the way the levels are laid out it is a very linear process and it is possible to know exactly what you have to work on for each level. Hell, they publish the past test questions and reuse the questions. If you ever want some stuff to create SRS cards out of I can try to export my stuff to CSV files for you. I think knowledge gained through studying for the KK would be helpful for taking the JLPT but I have my doubts that the opposite is true.
A kind offer, thank you. I have always been good at rote memorisation so I don't think it would be extremely hard in that sense, just finding the time and effort to study for exams I don't really need for anything. (I studied a lot towards N2 to include it in a couple of scholarship applications.) But perhaps when I'm actually in Japan my incentives will increase.
 

JimmySeal

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Since N1 is meant to be an indication that the person is at a point where they can function in a Japanese university it seems to me it would be reasonable to expect anyone who has passed N1 should also be able to pass KK2, which covers all the characters one should presumably learn by the time they finish high school in Japan.
I don't think this is quite correct. I think a typical native adult's grasp of kanji is not sufficient to pass KK2 because it includes obscure words (especially the four character compounds) that someone will not encounter unless they specifically study for the test or are extremely well read. There's also the matter of people's declining ability to write characters from memory thanks to the technology that does it for them.

I think pre-2 is more in line with a typical adult's level, but it might still go a bit beyond the knowledge required to function in university.
 

Mike Cash

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I don't think this is quite correct.
And I am sitting here struggling mightily trying to figure out your motivation for such incredibly selective quoting. If the entire post was too much for you, you could at least have done me the courtesy of finishing reading the paragraph you clipped that from. You give the appearance of intentionally misrepresenting what I was saying, which I would like to believe not to be the case at all.

By the way, even pre-2 has a rather poor pass rate, and that of course is from people who have been preparing for it... most of whom are adults.

May I ask your history of taking the KK?
 
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JimmySeal

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And I am sitting here struggling mightily trying to figure out your motivation for such incredibly selective quoting.
My motivation was that it I thought it contained a fully-formed thought that I saw as incorrect. I was addressing your reasoning that it would be reasonable to expect that someone who passed N1 should be (ideally?/theoretically?) able to pass KK2. Maybe I misinterpreted what you meant by "reasonable to expect," but the point I was trying to make is that though they encompass the same set of characters, they have very different purposes, so there's no need to expect that they should be equally difficult.

I honestly wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. There's no reason I would want to. You've made it clear in that post and several others that their actual difficulty levels are vastly different.

May I ask your history of taking the KK?
I started studying for KK6 after I passed JLPT 1-kyu, and even at that level it wasn't exactly a cake walk, so that goes to show just how disparate the JLPT and KK are.
A year later, I took and passed KK3, but I didn't put that much heart into it and barely remember it.
2 years after that, I took KK2. That one took a lot of work (about a year of practicing 2-3 hours a day), but I got a score of 196.
Now 6 years later, I'm gearing up for KK pre-1. This has been a major slog, and discouraging at times, but I think I've finally gotten to the point where I can just barely pass. As soon as I finish my third pass through the book I'm currently working on, I'm planning to take one of the tests from 2013 and see how I do.
 
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Mike Cash

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Maybe I misinterpreted what you meant by "reasonable to expect," but the point I was trying to make is that though they encompass the same set of characters, they have very different purposes, so there's no need to expect that they should be equally difficult.
That was exactly the theme of that entire post....

I think this unavoidably becomes a sort of "apples and oranges" problems if one tries to gauge how JLPT and KK levels correspond.
...and the exact point I was making in the entire paragraph from which you focused on only the set-up sentence, which introduced the flawed logic that might cause one with an inadequate familiarity with the two very different tests to think it might be possible to correlate them in any meaningful direct manner.

Since N1 is meant to be an indication that the person is at a point where they can function in a Japanese university it seems to me it would be reasonable to expect anyone who has passed N1 should also be able to pass KK2, which covers all the characters one should presumably learn by the time they finish high school in Japan.
The very next sentence then goes on to point out that I don't believe such a simple correlation can be made and gives some reasons why....with particular mention of the 四字熟語, the fact that we as foreign learners are especially ignorant of them, and that they constitute such a large chunk of the score on the KK that doing poorly on that single section of the test alone can pretty much doom an aspirant to failure.

In actual practice, I suspect that with no preparation at all most passers of N1 would struggle to pass KK5 , which only tests through the Kyouiku Kanji... those taught in elementary school. I know I certainly needed several hours of reviewing and brushing up to get ready for KK5. Anything from KK4 and up, the presence of the 四字熟語 section and the fact that we as foreign learners are typically almost entirely ignorant of them would make passing the test exceedingly unlikely without preparation. That section of the test is such a huge chunk of the total score that even though it is possible to do poorly on it (or even score zero on it) and still pass the test overall, it would leave room for almost no incorrect answers on the other sections of the test.
I then went on to point out another humongous difference between the two tests.

Unlike the JLPT, it does require examinees to demonstrate that they can actually write Japanese, so it is particularly important to include kanji recall and active writing practice in one's preparation for the test.
I hope you can see how I was baffled by what you choose to select to respond to from that earlier post. It was a single sentence which posited the fallacy which I spent the entire post arguing against. Posts #26, 37, and 47 provide further context.

I am highly impressed by your damned near perfect score on KK2. Having taken it myself I know very well the work that went into it. I only got somewhere around 175 (exact score is in the thread somewhere), but I did it as a rush job, having taken KK5 and 4 in February and then working like mad for an average of three hours per day to take pre-2 and 2 just four months later.
 
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JimmySeal

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Ok, my bad. It's clear that you went into detail about how they're different. I just thought you were trying to say in that sentence that they should (ideally/theoretically) be closer in difficulty than they are because they're both ostensibly tests of the joyo-kanji. I can see now that you were paraphrasing a train of thought that you don't yourself hold.
 
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lincstreff

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I think that Mike could have worded his July post slightly more clearly (using a phrase such as "one might expect", for example), but I agree with him that when you read the full paragraph it is obvious what point he is trying to make, and that he is not suggesting that N1 and KK2 are comparable.

Good luck to both of you with your upcoming KK tests. Perhaps we have a rivalry brewing to see who can next join the ranks of the KK elite.
 

aeiou583

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Actually, it isn't all that hard. Thanks to the way the levels are laid out it is a very linear process and it is possible to know exactly what you have to work on for each level. Hell, they publish the past test questions and reuse the questions. If you ever want some stuff to create SRS cards out of I can try to export my stuff to CSV files for you. I think knowledge gained through studying for the KK would be helpful for taking the JLPT but I have my doubts that the opposite is true.

By the way, my low opinion of the JLPT has more to do with the people who run it than with the test itself... although I will confess I don't hold it in high regard either.
Could you please export some of your study materials to CSVs, if not too inconvenient? It would be very helpful for me. Thank you in advance.
 

salyavin

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This is from over three years ago and I have not seen Mike in a while, I miss his posts. I think there are many materials available for you to study you may find online.
 
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