Up until the end of 2009, the JLPT only had 4 levels. Because people were having trouble passing the level 2 test, they decided to add a new test between the old level 2 and level 3 tests. This new test is N3.
With the new testing system, they are also no longer making the old tests available like they did previously. So, you will not be able to see what an official old N3 test looked like. Before you could look at previous year’s tests and use them as a guide for what the test is like. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with N3.
This makes it one of the most difficult to prepare for. In this episode, I go over my personal insights into the exam (I took it back in December of 2010). Overall, I felt like it was the easier material (vocabulary and kanji) from N2. There were only 13 choose the correct form grammar questions, 5 scrambled sentences, and 5 text grammar questions. Mostly these tested for appropriateness more than conjugation.
The listening section was a little tricky mostly because you have to have laser focus to get through it. Also, at some test facilities, other lower level tests might get out before you. This means students from those tests might be in the hallways or outside making noise and might interfere with your concentration.
Action Steps –
1) Have you had experience with the N3? If you have let me know about it in the comments below.
2) Do you think this test was needed?
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Photo by Patrick Hoesly, Music by Kevin MacLeod