Post image for July 2012 JLPT Results

July 2012 JLPT Results

by on August 30, 2012

July 2012 JLPT Results

I can work with this.

We luckily got a new super duper internet registration and score checking site for the JLPT.  Before this site, we had to patiently wait by our mailboxes until the slip came.  And back in the olden days of one test per year, we had to wait for 4 months for the results!  By the time, you pretty much forget you even took the thing.

Anyway, no big surprise here.  Yep, I failed, but I kind of knew that going into it, so I’m not exactly too heart-broken.  I really focused on the grammar this round and although my grammar score was a little lower than I hoped, I still feel like I accomplished my goal of performing okay in that section.

In general, I feel like this score is something that I can work with.  At least I didn’t score below 30, which was about what I scored the first time I took the N2 (mostly because I had no idea the format of the test completely changed).  So I consider this a pretty big step forward considering I really only started seriously studying for the test about 2 months before.

Biggest Disappointment – Reading

I was really shocked by the reading score though.  Mostly because I felt like I did okay with the reading.  Even though I didn’t put any focus on it at all (I spent more time on grammar and vocabulary), I felt like I could at least pass it (get above 19/60).  I don’t really remember too many passages catching me completely off guard, and I did have time to go back and re-read some things for a better understanding.

My reading speed is pretty much on par with what it should be.  My biggest issue is comprehension.  I am able to read the words, understand the individual words, but putting together the big picture is something I have yet to work out.

This is becoming pretty obvious as I start work my way through the So-Matome N1 Reading book.  I’ve already encountered a few passages that I have been able to understand the words, but not really the overall meaning.  Again, I’m going to start shifting away from raw list memorization and move more toward building up reading comprehension.

One of the biggest things I need to focus on are those fill in the blank questions, where they ask something like:

( )の中に入る適当な言葉はどれか?

And then give you a list of words that could potentially fill in the blank in the passage.

Also, a lot of the references using こそあど words mix me up, too.  The questions that go something like:

ここの指すものはどれか。

I’ll be going through a lot of practice exercises and doing some re-reading to make sure I boost my comprehension before the December test.

5 Month Plan Revisions

I’m now heading into my two reading months of my 5 month plan and now that I know I have a weakness in reading I’ll be throwing everything I got at it.  I think I might even up the amount of reading I do in  day to try to keep up the pace.

I’ll be trying out a series of reading techniques to help me build up comprehension and to see what is the most effective. I’ve already started to experiment with a few ways to improve my reading faster.  But, I know it is going to be tough to bring my score up enough to pass in December.

I’m also extremely busy at the moment.  Sometimes, I feel like I have bit off more than I can chew, but I really want to get N1 out of the way and concentrate more on teaching Japanese and blogging.  There are a lot of fun new projects I’d like to work on here on the site, and some exciting things that are happening over at memrise.

I also just want to enjoy being father, which is my biggest priority at the moment.

Getting your Results

Different countries and institutions have different policies for how the results are issued, but here in Japan, you can check your results online at:

http://info.jees-jlpt.jp/

Note, that you had to have signed up for the July test through the online service in order to see them now.  If you didn’t you have to patiently wait until the 3rd when they get mailed out.

How did you Fare?

Did you get your results back yet?  How well did you do?

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Hilary August 31, 2012 at 12:23 am

My biggest problem is comprehension too, although I’m finding that it’s gotten a little better after I improved my vocabulary skills. I’m still finding it difficult to get the bigger picture meaning too. I finally found a kid’s novel that is at my level that I can read without too much difficulty. I started reading How To Train Your Dragon in Japanese and I get it! It’s more difficult than another series I picked up but far easier than Harry Potter. I can read it quickly too. I read the first chapter in about 20 minutes with no major problems. I was rather pleased with myself. I hope that reading will also help my comprehension issues.

“I also just want to enjoy being father, which is my biggest priority at the moment.”

I think that’s the most important thing, to be honest. The JLPT is an important exam but your little one is far more important than that.

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Mac August 31, 2012 at 1:11 am

I think reading for pleasure is one of the best things you can do for your comprehension skills and getting comfortable with the written language.

By the way, in case anyone was wondering, I do all my blogging/studying when the little one is either asleep or I’m out of the house (on the way to work or lunch break) so yeah, she is #1 priority. I’m not workaholic (yet anyway).

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Mac August 31, 2012 at 1:11 am

I think reading for pleasure is one of the best things you can do for your comprehension skills and getting comfortable with the written language.

By the way, in case anyone was wondering, I do all my blogging/studying when the little one is either asleep or I’m out of the house (on the way to work or lunch break) so yeah, she is #1 priority. I’m not workaholic (yet anyway).

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Dotto August 31, 2012 at 1:31 am

I got my result over the internet on Monday. It’s funny; back in 2005 when I graduated from high school in Australia, they sent us our end of year results via SMS. 7 years later and the JEES has finally caught up. And lots of people think Japan is technologically miles ahead of the rest of the world…

I took the N1 and my scores were:

Language Knowledge: 33/60 (Vocab B, Grammar A)
Reading: 27/60
Listening 41/60

Which made 101/180.
That’s right, JUST past the post.

In any case I was absolutely ecstatic! (Not to mention glad that it was 1 mark over and not 1 mark under; that would have killed me)

Reading is indeed very tricky. I took the N1 in Dec 2011 and found it overwhelmingly difficult. So difficult, in fact, that I kind of lost motivation in the listening. I ended up getting 15/60, which still surprised me since I thought I would at least get 20. So you’re not alone in being disappointed in the reading scores.

The thing with N1 reading is that the questions are so (excessively) tricky you need to understand everything; the details AND the overall point. When I first started my JLPT study I thought if I could understand the vocab and grammar, the reading would come to me. But it doesn’t work that way. It actually took me a long time to fully realise that and the first time I started studying for the N1 I thought just going through the walkthrough of one of my comprehensive JLPT textbooks would suffice.

After getting my 15/60, after reading your recommendation of the series, I got myself a copy of the Shin Kanzen Master Dokkai and I attempted to go through the whole book (I got about 2/3s in, I think). The ridiculous amount of time I devoted to it in 3 months got me 12 extra points and didn’t even push me above the 50% mark, but I guess it was enough (and spared me enough motivation to get a much better listening score). I recommend that book because it was the only textbook out of many that made me feel like I was actually doing N1 practice questions – the other textbooks, especially the comprehensive ones, seem to go too easy on you).

So after my blog-sized comment, that’s my recommendation. You are right; those are definitely good marks to work with, and you are the type of person who will stick at it (you do keep a JLPT blog after all!), so I have faith that you will pass the N1 soon!

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Mac August 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Wow, very nice work! I just passed the N2 last December, so no problems with that score, you passed right?

Yeah, the Kanzen Master series will dish out a beating, but that just means a higher score on the test. I really like that series of books.

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Ashley August 31, 2012 at 1:57 am

I was surprised that my listening was 30/60 I really thought I did better on that and that my reading wasn’t all there but my vocab and grammar were higher. I failed the N4 which is a bit scary cause I am still at a loss of what to do now.

In order to get the Japanese Major the school wanted me to pass the N3 since I cannot take the JLPT Prep Course. If I cannot pass it then I cannot get the major.

I know I still have time. This summer I’ve been traveling and I’ve been relying on my speaking and listening skills. I notice nowadays I don’t need subtitles as much unless I don’t know the vocabulary. Too bad the JLPT doesn’t count speaking skills. I really need to improve my vocabulary and Grammar skills and I have a couple of books I can try to start reading. I am just afraid I will not understand them at all.

I’ve also been trying to do translations of things back in forth between English and Japanese. I don’t know if that is helpful though. I’ve already been told that since I didn’t start learning Japanese until my Sophmore year of college that I have no chance of ever mastering the language. But I really hope that is not true. Being in Japan makes me want to try harder than ever to do this!

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Mac August 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Translations have been shown to help with things like sentence structure and overall comprehension of something if your not at an advanced level. The theory is that you still don’t have enough vocabulary to summarize and reword things properly, so you need to use your first language to do it.

As for never being able to ‘master’ the language, whoever told you that is right, because well you can never ‘master’ a language in my opinion. I’m definitely not a master of English and I teach it every day. It is possible though to be able to understand and comprehend 95% of the material you encounter with relative ease, and be able to communicate your ideas to others (You might not be as articulate as a native, but you can share your idea and that is the point of a language) even if you start ‘late’.

The whole starting late in learning language prevents you from becoming fluent thing is a complete and utter myth. There have been multiple studies that have shown that adults can actually learn a language faster (especially vocabulary) than children. They just learn in a different way. Don’t believe the hype!

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Hannah August 31, 2012 at 2:36 am

I’m so pumped; I managed to pull of N2 with pretty good scores!! I got 54 points on listening, which I think was a mix of luck and the fact I watch TV ALL the time anymore for the “practice.”
My worst section was vocab, but at least I pulled out a B. My reading and grammar were good though. I have to thank you for your text recommendations and the inspiration to just start reading real material!

But I’m pretty scared looking at N1. It looks like a whole ‘nother animal. T__T Guess I will just stick to what I’ve been doing since it work this time around. I’ll definitely keep watching your site for more tips and recommendations. :)

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Mac September 2, 2012 at 3:14 am

Actually, I don’t think N1 is all that different. You just have to get better at the skills you learned for N2, like taking good notes, and reading faster. The vocabulary is also a big hurdle to overcome too. That just takes time though, nothing you can’t pull off with some reading and some vocabulary learning.

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Jen August 31, 2012 at 4:54 am

Aww, too bad, but you did get more than 19 on 2 sections, so you are on your way!
Reading was really difficult, I thought I woudn’t make it because of reading part.

I got 40/60, 38/60 and … 60/60 on listening ^^
So it is 138/180 for me!
But well, it would be strange if I didn’t, I live in Tokyo for 7 years, and while I didn’t actually studied for years, my Japanese history is 14 years already… ^^;

At least, no more JLPT for me, so glad! Test was so めんどくさい ^^

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Jen August 31, 2012 at 4:55 am

Oh, forgot to mention, it was N-1

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Mac September 2, 2012 at 3:16 am

Wow! Perfect score on the listening. That is pretty incredible even for living in Tokyo all that time. I take it you use Japanese every day. I’d love to be in that situation. Right now, I do a lot of English teaching so I just speak English all day.

Great score!

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Jessica September 1, 2012 at 1:33 am

Passed N2 on the first try, at 96/180. I absolutely can not wrap my head around this. I was mostly taking it to get a “feel” for the exam, and had barely studied. I opened the test and felt almost lost, especially with vocab and grammar. Reading was oookay, but I’m almost sure I put a huge string of B B B B B answers when the proctor told us to stop. Listening was fine.
Is this test broken? Do people sometimes pass despite themselves? I feel happy that I got it but rather shocked that this is the level of proficiency that gets a pass.. Know what i mean? I don’t feel like I’m N2-level.

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Mac September 2, 2012 at 3:20 am

Haha :) The test can be weird animal. The new test (with the Ns) are supposed to be curved with a new system that is suppose to prevent things like this. In the past, a lot of people would pass a particular exam because it was ‘easier’ than other exams. Now, the curving system is suppose to counterbalance that, but I swear sometimes there is a lot of chance involved (for the good and the bad).

I would personally count your lucky stars and consider it a win. Are you thinking about taking the test again? (to get a ‘true’ score)

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Sil September 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Fascinating. I just checked my results from last December (no summer test over here) and my weaknesses are quite different.
Language Knowledge 7/60
Reading 16/60
Listening 34/60
Total Score 57/180

The end result is close to yours, but with the major (and crippling) deficiency in Vocabulary/Grammar. I’m a bit disappointed with my reading as I was expecting a lot more than 16 points.

Considering I was intending to study for that test and didn’t, I think the results are as to be expected. I’m still unsure if I should apply for the December test. Without some serious vocabulary and grammar study I won’t be able to pass it. Question is, will I actually have the time to do that?

On my 1-kyuu test score that I did a few years before that I had 212/400 points. So either my knowledge dropped from disuse or the new test is really much more difficult. Same weakness in the old test though with vocabulary/kanji. It was possible to cover grammar with reading though if I remember correctly.

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Mac September 2, 2012 at 3:24 am

I got a lot of my vocabulary and kanji practice from doing a lot of reading and then reviewing the vocabulary that was new to me. Do you do a lot of reading in your free time? It might be possible to pick up a few books of Japanese literature and pull out a passing grade on the N1.

And yes, the N1 is supposedly more difficult than the old 一級, I know the N2 is a lot more difficult than the old 二級.

Good luck, looks like you are a pretty high level, just need a little push to make it to the top.

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Sil September 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I’m too lazy to actually review vocabulary. I pick it up by deducing the meaning from the context. Only if that does not work and the Kanji are of no help either, do I look it up (if it seems important). I don’t like to stop reading just because there’s a word I don’t understand.

I actually enjoyed reading specialized manga like “Black Jack” back in the day. You get so much specific (in that case, related to medicine) vocabulary, but it just comes naturally as it’s quite easy to guess as what the illnesses or procedures are. Sadly I forgot all of it again.

As I’m not in Japan any more getting (interesting) reading material has become harder and more expensive. Most of my immersion with Japanese are the occasional drama or Japanese visitor now. It’s hard to keep it up that way.

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Mac September 3, 2012 at 6:10 am

Reading is a pretty effective way of picking up vocabulary. That is what I’ve doing a lot of recently. I try to ‘learning’ from lists and flash cards. I use them more for reviewing. Black Jack sounds like a useful manga to read, especially for those in the medical industry.

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L September 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I took the N5 and passed. While I know that’s a pretty easy test in the grand scheme of things…I have been in Japan just 1 year and my job requires nearly no Japanese. Obviously living in the country, you pick up things a little faster, but let’s be honest…one can get by with very little Japanese here fairly well. So I am self-taught. Initially, I studied the language for fun and learned the kana and a few kanji. But after a learning plateau, I felt very unmotivated studying on my own so when I heard of the JLPT, I figured it would be a great way to force me to study. And even if I didn’t pass, I would have learned a lot, which was my main goal.

I started studying for it a couple of days before the application deadline. Thanks for this site by the way, it was helpful! I didn’t do as well on it as I would have liked…my vocabulary was excellent, everything else was so-so. Lots to work on! But I’m happy I passed and for all the Japanese I learned in the process.

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Mac September 3, 2012 at 6:08 am

That’s great! Yeah, N5 is the easiest test, but it is still a test, and if you aren’t used to learning languages it can be quite difficult to just get that far, so congratulations!

I also understand about not needing Japanese in Japan. It seems a bit strange, but there are plenty of old-timers here that can hardly introduce themselves in Japanese, which seems pretty amazing to me. So congratulations on taking the initiative and learning the language. I hope you can smash through that plateau and keep learning. Trust me, the first part is the hardest once you get higher up it gets more and more fun, especially if you are in Japan because you start to understand more and more of the things around you.

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min September 3, 2012 at 4:06 am

The moment I saw my results online.. I was really devastated..
I can live with vocab and reading.. but not listening…
I have no idea if I should continue to take such a torturous paper…

language 30 / 60
reading 23 / 60
listening 37 / 60
total 90/100
fail…

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Mac September 3, 2012 at 6:15 am

That score isn’t so bad. I think you came pretty close. Is this for the N1?

I think with a little more review you could push your score over the pass rate.

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min September 3, 2012 at 7:01 am

Yeap.. It’s N1..

I was just really disappointed with my listening (cos I thought it was easy, hence I could score)
Now.. I have to regain my momentum to prepare for Dec paper again.

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Nikhil September 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

Hey Mac,
Sorry to hear about your score. I hope you do your best and pass the exam come December. I took the N4 in July and am sad to report that I failed. Quite badly. Just as I had suspected I managed to pass each section but fell short of the overall pass grade by 2 points! Reading was the worst performer for me this time and I vow that I will read daily to improve my chances of passing.
I have the dedication to study and this speed bump only taught me where I’m lacking. Hope to bear good news for you after taking the N4 again in December.
Cheers,
Nikhil.

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Mac September 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Nikhil,

I wouldn’t say that is failing badly. You were only two points away! I’ve seen a lot worse than that!

And you are right about this being a speed bump. All you need to do is speed up a little to get over it.

頑張って!

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sunny September 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Hi Mac,

I like your posts and in fact I am following closely for my N2 preparation…
I lived in japan for about 3 years and at present I am in India trying to go to japan..well thats altogether a different story..:-)
I appeared for N3 this July,2012 and I have passed.
My score break up is as follows… Moji/Goi–> 41/60.. Dokkai–>29/60 and Choukai–>60/60..Total–>130/180.
I would appear for N2 this December,2012…From the N3 score I think I should practice more in dokkai section…what do you think?
There are two books I see in the net..1)So-matome & 2) New Kanzen master..
Which book do you suggest for N2 preparation…in your website you mostly mention about 2)..

Please do advice..thx

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Mac September 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Yeah, New Kanzen Master will better prepare you for the N2 I think. It is really difficult, but if you can get through it, you will be well-prepared. The reading will be a lot more difficult for N2 than N3. The N2 is still a pretty big hurdle to jump over, but once you get past it, all you really need for N1 is to be faster and have better/more vocabulary.

Good luck!

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Oyatsu September 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I had taken and passed the old JLPT1 in 1999 and 2005. This was my first time to take N1. I’ve lived in Japan for over 10 years and even got my MA from a Japanese university (even though I wrote my thesis in English.)

I got Moji/Goi–> 60/60.. Dokkai–>60/60 and Choukai–>60/60..Total–>180/180. I had gotten about 360/400 on the old test in ’99 and ’05, but I was surprised to do so well this time.

People say that N1 is supposed to be harder than the old JLPT 1kyu, but I thought the questions about kanji readings were harder on the old test than the new one. As other people also got perfect scores on the listening, I also thought the listening was pretty simple for someone who has lived in Japan for a while (I’ve lived here for 12 years.)

It seems that the test is a lot more like TOEIC (i.e. the format — the short listening questions seemed A LOT like Part 2 questions on TOEIC). It seems that individual grammar and vocabulary and kanji questions are much less important and understanding the author’s main message in passages is emphasized more. I also know that the people who designed the new test were highly influenced by Europe’s foreign language level ‘Can Do” lists.

I think they changed the test to make people study in a different way. In other words, they want people to study by reading passages, skimming for specific details, etc. rather than studying specific readings of kanji, etc. Of course you still need to know kanji and grammar, but it just won’t be tested directly anymore. That’s my hunch. I’d say study your vocabulary and grammar, but read everything you can get your hands on. By the way, ASK — the publisher of Somatome has a graded reader series for extensive reading that can give you things to read at a level that is appropriate for you.

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Mac September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

wow 満点! That’s amazing.

Can I ask what your background is? Are you a native English speaker? The only people I have met that have 満点 are Korean or Chinese, so it would be interesting to see someone with an English background ace it.

Also, do you work in a Japanese-environment? If so, is it in translation or just regular business? I’m just curious.

Thanks for contributing your insights to the test. I completely agree with your recommendations. I guess there is no need for you to study that much anymore. :)

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Oyatsu September 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Let’s see: I’m American, and I grew up speaking only English. My ancestors are Germanic. I learned my first Japanese word other than ‘Honda’ and ‘Toyota’ after I graduated university — mostly in my first few years on the JET program. I bought ALL the books back then and had a 35 hour a week job, so I had the books, the motivation, the time and the environment. (I had a Canon Wordtank electronic dictionary, but I didn’t have Anki!) I got 69.5% on the old JLPT 1 after 2 1/2 years living in Japan (on the JET program) but didn’t end up passing until a few years later.

My current work is teaching English, translating and proofreading.

I read a fair amount and watch a lot of TV — more along the lines of science, news and talk shows than variety show. I think all of that helped, especially given the new format.

I’ll probably keep taking the JLPT to keep abreast of what’s on the test — more for helping others with their studies rather than because I need it. I might try N2 next time for a change.

Good luck with your studies! Even if you don’t get there in December, keep going! It’s worth it!

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Andrew September 8, 2012 at 2:42 am

Ahh.. A perfect score, almost 20 years of studying to do it ? Looks like I’ve got another 15 or so to go ha. Great job. Really hoping to pass N1 finally this December.

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Oyatsu September 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

I think 5 years — especially if you live in Japan and are actively studying — is more than enough to pass N1. Good luck!

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Tan September 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hi Mac! Thanks for the insights and tips. I took N2 last July but failed. Score – language 19/60, reading 18/60, listening 35/60. Just short of 1 pt. to pass :-( . This is my 2nd time, but I’m not giving up! Maybe the next time around I can pass. I’m using also New Kanzen master for Reading but I barely started it last time since I concentrated on grammar. So, this time more on reading …let’s do it!!!

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Mac September 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

That’s really rough to come so far and be so close to passing, but the reading can be a real nightmare. The New Kanzen Master book will probably get you there though. I actually did another book to prepare for the N2: Shiken ni deru Dokkai. It was okay. The major downside was that half the book is for N1, so it might not be useful if you are not planning on taking the N1.

Anyway, good luck, I’m sure if you keep up the studying you’ll do it this time!

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TC September 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

Hi Mac,
I took N2, and got 26/60 on vocab/grammar, 23/60 on reading and 39/60 on listening. So 88/180, so did not pass by 2 points! I would be upset but failing by 2 points is just absurd so all I could do was laugh. Anyway, prior to the test I knew I had to beef up my vocab (particularly the word usage part), and I only got about 1/2 way through the Anki, etc., vocab lists, so I am overall OK with that score; higher would of course be better, but from what I studied up to, that is a realistic reflection.

But the real issue I had was the reading, which is funny because I’m usually a pretty good reader (I read editorials and the newspaper fairly often with pretty good comprehension). But as I was taking the test, particularly in the reading section, I could just feel myself running out of gas. And I was reminded of the strategy that I believe you said that you used, which is that you did the reading section first as that is when you are sharpest/freshest. I think that is a good strategy and I’ll likely follow that path in December.

But here’s my question for you. I used the Shin Kanzen series for study and found them excellent. But for the December test, particularly for the reading, I do not want to review the same materials. Can you recommend another series or a different reading practice book that is as good as Shin Kanzen?
Thanks!

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Mac September 16, 2012 at 12:25 am

I actually used 試験に出る読解 when I prepared for the N2. It is an okay book, similar to the level of the test. The only problem is it is for both N1 and N2 so kind of two for one even if you don’t need a two for one. The So-Matome book is little too easy, so probably not worth your time.

I also read a lot of passages from the old 二級 tests and answered the questions for them. The subject matter for the passages are very similar and it will get you used to the sentence patterns and things for the test. You can also practice your reading strategies on them too (timings, and how to read)

Reading comprehension at the N2 and N1 levels is a tricky beast. You might have to practice a lot to get it down. Also, it doesn’t hurt to re-read things like your Shin Kanzen book. Studies have shown that repeated reading (re-reading a text) can help comprehension on future texts, so you might want to try a little bit of that as well.

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Kat September 17, 2012 at 8:29 am

I only took the N5, but I am really excited that I passed with good marks overall. When I took the test, I found the grammar section to be incredibly hard, much harder than the past year tests I had taken for practise and the practise questions I had being doing from books. I had been so worried beorehand about the listening, but I found that part really easy!

So now I will need to start learning and preparing for the N4 next July as there is no way that I have the time to dedicate to be ready for December. Now that I’ve found I can pass an exam that I found hard, I am more confident about getting ready for the next one.

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Mac September 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Awesome news Kat! N5 is good training for the next test. Sometimes a test can be just as much a mental game as it is knowing the information, so getting high marks on N5 is something to be pretty proud of. I hope to hear good news from you next September (when the results for the July 2013 test come back).

Good luck with your studies!

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JL September 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Hi Mac,

I just got to know of your website, and I am really thankful for the reviews you did on the various guidebooks/ textbooks. I have been studying Japanese as a school subject since 2009 (at a really relaxed pace, since our curriculum isn’t geared towards the JLPT). Come this December, I will be sitting for my first ever JLPT argh. And i signed up for N2, though I had originally planned to take N3 (peer pressure… everyone else in my level seems to be attempting N2 and I foolishly signed up for it). I do think I will fail though, given that I have just started preparations for N2 two days ago, amidst upcoming major examinations in school (which will end in early November, giving me 3 weeks of intensive Japanese study time until december 2nd).

I anticipate encountering problems in the vocabulary and listening comprehension sections. Having gone through your blog posts, I think I would probably stumble on the reading comprehension too at N2 Level. Listening comprehension is really difficult for me, because I can’t recognise and comprehend the meaning of words right after they have been said (guess I’m more of a visual learner). I guess its because I do know Chinese, and often depend of guessing the meaning of kanji characters to decipher a text’s meaning. And so, I was wondering if New Kanzen Listening for N2 would be a good choukai book for me to start with? School’s really busy, and i have a major Japanese test coming up in the first half of October (‘O’ levels? I’m from Singapore), after which i will need to leave Japanese aside and focus on my higherchinese paper instead which I will have to take on november 7. So i guess i will put japanese aside for about 3 weeks until I start my intensive 3 week study plan on November 8. I know I don’t really have a lot of time for preparation- I’m rushing through SouMatome N3′s goi, bunpou, kanji just to firm things up before i start on the SouMatome Series for N2 in November.

However, having read that the SouMatome series don’t really measure up to the standards of the actual JLPT, I am actually having doubts as to whether i should study N2 using another series of books perhaps? Like the New Kanzen Learning Series for N2? For the dokkai section, i intend to get the 試験に出る読解 N1 and N2 2-in-1 Book, but was wondering if it will be too hard for me to handle and if I should stick with an easier book instead.

I know its like a last minute preparation that I’m doing here, but I do really wish to pass the N2 JLPT test this December, given that I might not be able to continue Japanese as a school subject in high school due to the limited amount of subjects we are allowed offer. Given that I will probably be really busy next year due to preparations for the ‘A’ Levels (really important examination over here), i probably won’t study japanese officially at all and so I do really want to have at least a N2 pass with me.

Okay, my post is probably too long already and so I will stop here. It would be great if you could provide me with suggestions as to what books I should get for my JLPT N2 Preparation.

Thankyou :)

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Mac September 23, 2012 at 5:52 am

The New Kanzen Master N2 Listening book is great for listening strategies for the different kinds of questions. I think these strategies alone (how to take notes, and what kinds of things to expect) can give you an extra 3 or 4 points, so yeah, I think it is worth it to give that a try.

The So-Matome series helps, but getting all the answers right to the questions in that book doesn’t mean you’ll be able to pass the test, so be careful.

Another thing you can do if your listening is not so good is do a lot of eye shadowing. This involves reading the script while listening to the audio. If you are a visual learner this will help attach the audio to the visual. Another thing to do is try to squeeze in practice where you can. Good luck!

Sweet! This is the 1000th comment on the blog! Wow!

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Santiago Ferriol January 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Can you tell me where I can find the JLPT results last december 2012?Thank you

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Clayton MacKnight January 30, 2013 at 12:02 am

They will be available on the 31st on the official JLPT website, or now if you registered online and took the test in Japan.

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rakushmi February 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

i had applied n5 level but i not passe in grammar i loose my marks howi want to prepare the grammar ,vocalbular & kikthori points. please guide me this time i like to write the level n4 is correct how i want to practice

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Clayton MacKnight February 4, 2013 at 2:37 am

What do you do now to study? Do you do a lot or SRS?

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Nicolas February 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Ha well, I’m a bit relieved… I was shocked to see my N2 results.
Vocabulary B, grammar B
language 33/60 (well done!)
listening 32/60 (well done!)
reading 13/60 (WHAT???? That’s what one gets if he answers randomly! I certainly didn’t answer randomly and was rather confident to have nearly 30)
So I’m kinda glad I wasn’t the only one to get a very low reading score (although I was on N2 and you on N1). I have the old Kanzen master dokkai, which obviously I didn’t quite have time to study enough (I was halfway through at the beginning of december). Would it make sense to buy the new Kanzen dokkai on top? Are the texts all different? Or should I instead get the Unicom preparatory course for JLPT dokkai (I have their grammar one, of which I studied 80%, with some result). Or maybe just read stuff online regularly?
All I need is to have some noticeable improvement in reading (speed is a big issue so if I practice more regularly I should get a few points) and pick up a few points in language and listening, so at this point I’m rather confident for next session (December, as I’m in Europe).

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Nicolas February 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I wanted to add: I was even more disappointed because I trained by doing the JLPT2 tests from 1991 to 1996 and my reading/grammar score was around 50% (either one question short, or several questions better) on all of those tests, so ending at 22% was quite unexpected. I guess the reading got more difficult on the new version. I’ll do the tests from 1997 to 2006 (any clue where to find the more recent ones?) and aim for 67%…

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Clayton MacKnight February 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I think just 2009 is available as well as 2004-2006, but it seems like 2007-2008 are missing :( I managed to get my hands on a 2007 before they disappeared. The old tests are definitely a lot easier than the new ones. Here is a link to some of them on White Rabbit Press. They should be at major bookstores in Japan as well.

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Nicolas February 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I see. The 2010 N2 papers are also available, but without audio files or solutions AFAIK, so not very useful to me. Those books are also available here in Europe ( http://www.roellin-books.com/ is one specialist for Japan, OCS bookstores in Germany is another possibility…). Anyway, do you know if the new kanzen dokkai is worth buying for someone who has the old one?

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Nicolas February 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I could look at the shin kanzen master dokkai, and therefore I can answer my own question : They kept the main point of their approach, which I liked, but it’s a completely different book: the old one started with short texts, then medium-length texts, then long texts. The new one is organized differently, adapted to the types of texts offered in the N2 exam. All the texts are different, and the final test is different too. It’s also a good 20% bigger, which means more practise exercises. So if I can buy this book, I will, after finishing the old one.
Just in case someone else was wondering about this…

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