146 responses

  1. virginia
    January 29, 2013

    Too bad about your exam results Mac. If i were you I would sit for this year’s exam on December, maybe it’s not so good to be nervous for July’s test and then go through the same for December.
    I’m waiting for the overseas results to be available, I sat for N3 but i’m not confident I passed. Anyway, no matter what the result is, this year I’ll sit again for N3, I still have a lot to learn. (I have all so matome n3 books and I only finished the grammar book)
    Let’s all do our best this year, gambatte!

    Virginia

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Virginia, yeah, it is a little disappointing, but I learned from it. I know my language skills have improved. I’ve started to understand a lot more just need to practice a little more. I hope you have good news about the N3, but you have the right idea, stay confident.

      I’ll probably sit the July test again just to keep me motivated and on track. I don’t want to start getting lazy. :)

      • Virginia
        February 1, 2013

        You are right, sitting for the exam in july is a way to keep on track. Take it easy though, as if it were a mock test :) Save your efforts for December.
        I just checked my results, I passed. I´m surprised as I was expecting the “Not Passed”… Anyway my marks were 109/180 so this year I’ll focus on reading. I scored 29/60 on dokkai. It was a good practise to know where I am right now, and what to focus on.
        I was told by my Japanese teacher that 2012’s JLPT exams were pretty difficult comparing to 2011 ones. She believes that each year the difficulty changes, for example 2011 was difficult for N5-N4, and easy for N3-N2-N1, so last year the opposite happened: difficult for N1-N2-N3 and easy for N4-N5.
        I don’t know it’s just her theory lol , truth is that apart from studying, it’s a matter of luck: I remember taking N4 on 2011 and finding the kanji excersise for Hantai, that kanji was not on 4kyu-3kyu kanji list, but then again, anything can happen on these new exams….

  2. Barbara
    January 29, 2013

    Sorry to hear that Mac. I’m still waiting for me – I think it’s the 31st for me. Not confident but hey ho :)

    • Isaura
      January 29, 2013

      Overseas results will be available only in 31st January?

      • Nick
        January 29, 2013

        Yes. They will be available on the official JLPT website on Jan 31 anytime after 5pm Japan Time (JST). You will need your examinee registration number and the password that you used while submitting your JLPT application. Good luck! I hope you pass.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Good luck, it’s the 31st here in Japan and it still looks like the results page isn’t up. They seem a little disorganized.

  3. Isaura
    January 29, 2013

    I am sorry, too, to read your bad results, Mac! And if I were you, I would take once more N1 only in December. Maybe it isn’t too good be anxious for July’s JLPT. In addition to this, in 7th July maybe “tsuyuake”, and “atsukuteshouganai”:))

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      I was kind of thinking the opposite. If I take it again in July and not really care about the results I’ll be less nervous. At the very least, it will keep me motivated to study. :)

  4. Can
    January 29, 2013

    Hi Mac,

    Don’t worry. I am sure i will not get any better.
    This time round the paper was quite difficult…

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      It seemed that way. To me the listening just seemed completely different than anything I’m used to. Oh well, it was good practice. I’d like to take it again in July and see what I can do.

  5. nino
    January 30, 2013

    Good on you for being very positive and thinking about the road ahead; don’t let it bring you down! And it is N1, the toughest test!!!

    As for myself, I applied via mail an I think they will be sending out the results on Monday, February 4, 2013 so I should expect it in my mailbox 来週 or 再来週.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Thanks nino, I think you learn more from failing than you do if you are successful, so I guess I learned a lot. :)

      I hope you have good news next week!

      • nino
        February 5, 2013

        Got my results and fortunately I passed N4 (by the skin of my teeth)!!!!

        Reading/Vocabulary/Grammar = 56/120
        Listening = 36/60

        On to N3!

  6. Graham
    January 30, 2013

    Very disappointing news, but with continued exposure to Japanese and practice there is only one way your scores can go!

    As for me, I think that if I fail N4 (what I sat), I’ll continue on to N3 this year regardless. My difficulty is listening only, so I’m trying to expose myself to more Japanese tv and have joined a conversation group (starting this Sunday).

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Awesome Graham! Sounds like you have a plan forward. A conversation group is a huge plus. I wish I could fit one into my crazy schedule.

      For the N1 level it takes a lot of varied exposure to a lot of different materials, I just need to keep it up.

  7. TIinPA
    January 30, 2013

    Still the same plan for me. Light text book studying along with ‘natural’ speech practice with a Japanese friend and trying to find things at my level (N5) to read.

    I took the test here in the US so I guess I’ll have my results in the morning! Fingers crossed.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      It’s looking like the online results on the official site aren’t active yet, despite it being the 31st here in Japan. I hope they get their act together so you can see your results. I hope you have good news!

  8. Bintang
    January 30, 2013

    This is my first N1 test and I failed too. I should take more time to improve my reading skills -,-

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      That seems to be the one thing that gets most folks – reading. Just need to do a lot of reading about a lot of different topics, not just novels, not just news, everything :) Good luck on the next test!

      • Bintang
        January 31, 2013

        Good luck for you too! Btw I forgot where I know this from, but I am using http://www.yookoso.com/pages/mailinglists.php for daily kanjis. Hope it is useful,sorry if you already know :D

      • Clayton MacKnight
        January 31, 2013

        It’s always good to know about resources. I think I signed up for the daily grammar list via jgram.org from yookoso.com which is also pretty good.

  9. Kyokutan
    January 30, 2013

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. This year’s test seemed much harder than any of the previous ones I’ve taken. Hell, I passed the n1 two years ago but i got the worst score I’ve ever gotten on the n1 this time around, a 71.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Well, that is a little more reassuring. I’ve been hearing back from a few people that this test was a lot harder than average. Here’s to hoping the July test isn’t as bad!

  10. Janice
    January 30, 2013

    Hi Mac sorry you were disappointed. I can relate as I just took practice n3 since I’m taking test in July and I got 30 percent on everything except listening which was 80 percent! Ouch I’m in panic mode and hoping restructuring my lessons will help. The I know app for kanji is amazing FYI. Cheers !

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      I’ll have to check out more apps for kanji. I started using my app, iKanji about two years ago, and I know there have been a lot of other apps that have come out since then. I’ll check out iKnow and see if it is a good fit.

      Janice, with a listening score like that, do you live in Japan and get a lot of exposure through conversation? Just curious how your listening can be really high and then everything else be lower.

  11. Surabhee
    January 30, 2013

    Hey Mac,

    Sorry to hear about your result. I have appeared for N2 this time and very anxious about the reading section. So i can totally understand how disappointed you must be feeling after seeing the score.

    Anyways, i hope you clear the exam this year.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      I just need to do more natural reading, which I recommend for you as well. More speed, more confidence.

      Let’s hope we both pass this year!

      • Surabhee
        January 31, 2013

        I passed N2! Got 103/180. But as i expected reading sucked big time, got 21/60. But thanks to vocabulary 44/60 and listening 38/60 i managed to pass.
        I am feeling as if someone has taken a big burden of my shoulder. Feeling so happy that i can’t express it in words.

      • Clayton MacKnight
        January 31, 2013

        That’s really awesome! That reading score was a bit ぎりぎり :), but it is a pass none the less. Keep up the reading!

  12. Hilary
    January 30, 2013

    I’m sorry to see you didn’t make it this round, but there’s always next time.

    I’m still waiting (in Japan) for my results to come by mail… *crosses fingers*

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      That’s always agonizing. Before, we had to wait until mid-March. By that time I had pretty much forgotten about the test. :)

  13. Lasse
    January 30, 2013

    Hi there,

    Actuallly, many Japanese teachers of Japanese language have told me that the test in July is usually somehow a bit easier than the test in December. So in that sense, you actually might’ve improved, it just cannot be seen only by watching the score.

    As for me, I tried JLPT for the first time and passed N1. But I, too, thought that the test was very difficult. I used the Kanzen Master as my studying material, and in addition to that, I tried to read as much difficult Japanese text (for example university journals) as I could. Unfortunately, most of the grammar in the actual test wasn’t included in the Kanzen Master, so I had to go by feeling there. You never know what’s going to be in the actual test…

    Anyway, if it is true that the test in July is a bit easier, I would recommend going for that. I’m sure that you’ll be able to pass the test!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      I can see that. When I passed the N2, I took the July test and came pretty close, then took the December test is just passed even though I put in a lot of study time. I’ll probably switch to doing more reading this time and go over a few drills before the exam again.

      By the way, where did you find university journals? Any online resources you can recommend? I’ve been reading a lot of 論説 online, but they can be a bit tough to read quickly. Good to learn about Japan’s opinions though.

      • Lasse
        February 3, 2013

        I’ve been reading university journals in the “original format”, ie. actual paper journals in libraries. They have mostly been related to my own field of research.

        However, although you might already be aware of this, the CiNii service (http://ci.nii.ac.jp/) contains countless articles covering a vast range of themes. Most of the articles listed in CiNii are not available online; however, the amount of articles readable online is still huge. Just select “CiNiiに本文あり” (or “include full-text”) and start browsing. Search and pick anything that might interest you even a bit! For example, you have a baby, right? How about reading something related to upbringing or education? Not only you get to know beneficial words and expressions, but also learn about the Japanese situation and ways of thinking.

        Personally, I think that this is the best kind of exercise there is, in addition to studying grammar and vocabulary (although it can be quite frustrating).

        Good luck!

  14. C
    January 30, 2013

    I’m sorry to hear about your results. I’m sure you’ll ace the exam next year! I really appreciate your posts, and I find them very informative and interesting!

    I just started on my JLPT journey in July 2012. I took N3 and passed. Then I took N2 in December and…passed!? How is that even possible! The only one left for me is N1…and I am dreading that exam. Any pointers that you could give me would be greatly appreciated! I’m wondering if I should give myself 2 years for N1, or should I just attempt it this year and see how it goes…

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Definitely attempt it and see how it goes. At the very least you’ll have a good feeling for how far you need to go and what the actual test is like.

      The N1 is different than the other levels in a lot of ways. For example, the grammar section actually tests every point of Japanese grammar, even particles sometimes, but with very complex sentences. It is a weird beast.

  15. Hannah
    January 30, 2013

    That sucks that you couldn’t raise your score much! Maybe the test was a little more difficult this winter. It was a lot harder than any practice tests and study books I had. :(

    I failed it too, but for my first time I’m not too disappointed. Especially on the Listening, I thought I wouldn’t even break 19 ’cause I blew all the short response questions. ^^;
    26/60 Language, 24/60 Reading, 32/60 Listening. I didn’t get a ton of studying in before it and I’m STILL annoyed they turned the heat off on us. So I’m thinking with more work and a warmer room, I can do it this July. Only 18 points to higher! (Though 18 points still feels like a long way off. orz)

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      Those scores don’t look so bad. I think you could definitely do it in July with a little more studying and reading practice.

      Heating and cooling at these test-taking places is always such a headache. I guess you just need to dress in layers :)

  16. Mariano
    January 30, 2013

    Hi Mac, sorry to hear that. I also came short, much more than expected. I got about the same score as you, 66, but reading was the weaker, even though it is actually my stronger point.I think I spent too much time on the grammar and vocabulary part and rushed too fast through the reading part.
    How would you compare this years n1 to the previous? This was actually my first attempt a year after passing the n2.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      January 31, 2013

      I took the July test, and I would say that the December test seemed a lot more difficult to me. I felt like the reading just took more time because it was a little more complicated. The information retrieval questions (the last two of the reading) seemed to just take a lot more time to skim through than the first test.

      The grading system (IRT) is suppose to help curve the test to keep a difficult test from ruining everyone’s scores but I think it is still a little hit and miss.

  17. Matt
    January 30, 2013

    Sorry you didn’t pass, but to be honest you were cruising for a bad grade with your “gambling” strategy.

    I would strongly recommend that for reading you ditch the textbooks and start reading light novels or full novels. Just go to Book-Off or something, pick a genre that interests you and grab whatever strikes your fancy. You saw from this test that the reading ranges from diatribes on the educational system to critiques of electronic dictionaries to sentimental reflections on childrens’ stories; N1 in my opinion is beyond the realm of test-prep books. If your weakness is comprehension then having to keep track of a whole novel’s worth of characters and plot developments will whip you into shape quickly. Plus you will get introduced to a ton of new vocab that will also tend to be repeated quite a bit in the span of just a few pages, which really eliminates the need to “study” it.

    And believe me I feel you on the time thing, my son is 13 months and it’s nonstop from the moment he wakes up till the moment he conks out. Toddler energy my man. お前はもう死んでいる ^_^

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 1, 2013

      Your dead on Matt. I knew it was a fool’s errand, but I felt like I wouldn’t make it without so had to give it a try. You can see from my listening/language skills scores that I’m just not there yet.

      I’ve definitely been doing a lot of reading lately. Unfortunately, a lot of it is about buying house because I’m looking to try to cash in on all the benefits before the Japanese government wises up and takes them all away :) Lots of specialized vocabulary, but actually the reading is pretty easy compared to N1, haha.

      Anyway, thanks for the advice, I need to journey back out to Book off and see if I can find some more editorial or opinion pieces to read through, those seem to trouble me the most.
      Good luck with the 13 month old!

  18. Kay
    January 30, 2013

    Ahh, it’s the 31st in Japan and results are still not out here =(

    • Kay
      January 31, 2013

      Yay! Results up.
      http://imgur.com/dsUcQIy
      Awesome ^^ I wasn’t expecting such a high score.

      • andrew
        January 31, 2013

        dang! nice score and pass on the N2!!

  19. Andrew
    January 30, 2013

    Agree w/ a lot said above. Foremost the test in December was a beast!!

    If I don’t pass I’ll have to wait until December because of work most likely :((

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 1, 2013

      That has to be such a pain. Of course, having to sacrifice July 4th weekend to take a test is also a little bit of a nuisance :)

  20. Mitchell
    January 31, 2013

    That’s tough :(

    I managed to pass N2 this time round (this was my 2nd attempt)

    I got 45/60 in Vocab/Grammar; 31/60 in Reading; and 58/60 in Listening. Total: 134/180

    About what I was expecting in reading, and I’m stoked with the listening mark as I did indeed feel very confident in that section of the test. Am sort of surprised by the Vocab/Grammar mark as I felt more confident there but I guess not. Oh well, still stoked to have passed this time round.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 1, 2013

      How did you prep for the listening? That is a pretty amazing score. It’s one thing to pass it, a completely different thing to nearly ace it. :)

      • Mitchell
        February 1, 2013

        I watch A LOT of Japanese TV… probably more than is considered healthy. And I watch a variety of different shows (music shows, concerts, game shows, talk shows, news, etc.) so that really helps with the listening. I also found that a lot of the grammar I was studying in my drill books appeared in the listening tracks of the test (not so much in the actual grammar section though :P ) so that made it easier to comprehend what was being said.

  21. Matt
    January 31, 2013

    Vocab & Grammar – 49/60
    Reading – 34/60
    Listening – 36/60

    Total – 119/160

    N1 = PASSED

    Time for celebratory sushi!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 1, 2013

      Very nice! That is a pretty good balanced score.

      Do you prepare for the test specifically (drill books and such)? It looks like you have a pretty good grasp of grammar and vocab.

      • Matt
        February 2, 2013

        Well, I got a B on the vocab and an A on grammar, which surprised me a bit because I figured it would be the other way around. I did not use any JLPT specific books, drills or otherwise, although I did try to do the tests from previous years to get used to test-taking with a time limit, and a couple N1 practice tests to better familiarize myself with the test format.

        What I did for studying was spend maybe 6 months or so learning to read and write the 800+ kanji I still didn’t know with an Android app called “Obenkyo.” I supplemented this with reading a lot of manga and a couple of novels I picked up the last time I was in Japan, which by sheer dumb luck made frequent use of 由緒 and おっくう. I did some Anki vocab decks too but I didn’t stick with them for very long.

        Once you know the kanji learning vocab is much easier since it’s quicker to look the words up (if you can’t figure them out from context), and reading books helps give you a better feel for sentence structure which makes the “put the pieces in the right order” questions a snap.

        I thought I would do better on the listening section but I attribute it to kind of zoning out during the latter half. They only gave us a TEN minute break which was NOT enough to time to eat a snack, drink some water, and pee :P

  22. TIinPA
    January 31, 2013

    ‘Other Countries’ results are available.

    Failed over all, failed language knowledge, passed listening. It’s improvement over the last time, but obviously not what I hoped for.

    • Isaura
      January 31, 2013

      Yes, are available, but I have to wait 2 hours, because now I am in my parents home, and if I didn’t pass, my parents could’nt imagine why I am depressed:)) But I hope I passed. I can write “yuuutsu” with Kanji by hand, yet, but I don’t want to write this word in my letters to my Japanese teachers and penpals!:))

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 1, 2013

      An improvement is always good. What level did you take?

      • Isaura
        February 1, 2013

        I took N4 level. My kanji skill is good, but I think my listening skill “madamada desu”:)) Now I am preparing for N2 and I want to take N3 in December 2013:)) In Hungary JLPT are organized only in December.

  23. Francisco
    January 31, 2013

    First of all, sorry to hear that… But I heard from everyone doing the N1 that it was really hard this time. And anyway, each failure only makes you stronger and eventually builds up to the final success. You’re already in the highest JLPT level, it’s just a matter of time until you conquer it as well.

    I got the results for N4 and I passed, with 154 out of 180. What really surprised me was that I got 60/60 in the listening section. Didn’t expect that! Now I’m aiming for N3 (which was what I originally planned to take in December), started studying immediately after sitting of the JLPT in December. But depending on how my studies progress, I might even risk going for N2.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      That’s a great score on the N4! I would say you are well on your way to N3.

      I would be a little careful, there is a bigger difference between N3 and N2 than N4 and N3. You really have to focus more on skills – reading and listening skills. Be able to take good notes and practice quick comprehensive reading.

      Anyway, good luck, I’m sure you can make it to the top!

  24. MK
    January 31, 2013

    Thanks for your regular updates. They kept me in check.

    I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t successful. If you need some tips that have helped me gain overall proficiency in the language over the years, let me know. As you can tell by my scores, it was less “studying knowledge” and more “practical knowledge” that helped me.

    I’m just very happy to have passed.
    Language Knowledge – 55 / 60
    Reading – 42/60 (ouch)
    Listening – 60/60
    Voc – A; Grammar – A
    Total 157/180 (reading did me in)
    N1 = Passed!

    I’m really, really disappointed in my reading, but then again I’ve never been the most studious of people.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      That is still a great score for the N1. A reading score like that is amazing.

      I would be interested to hear what you do to round out your general proficiency. I suspect a lot of listening to TV shows and dramas?

      From what I keep hearing from people, N1 is all about immersion. There really aren’t any books that are going to have all the information you need to pass the exam.

  25. Dan
    January 31, 2013

    I took N1 but didn’t pass. I wasn’t overly confident, but I actually did worse than what I was expecting. Reading was my strongest section, followed by vocab (passed both) but I totally bombed out on the listening and failed that section! This really surprises me because I worked in a company all of last year where I spoke Japanese in person and on the telephone most days!!! Maybe it was just the test situation – I know that I missed some of those ones where they say the sentence and you have to pick the correct reply and also the last two really long ones as I lost concentration.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      The last two really long ones are pretty tricky if you are not used to a test like this. Basically it comes down to taking good notes and practicing how to take those notes.

      The New Kanzen Master Listening book is pretty good for this, it walks you through how to take great notes for the listening section. Helped me out a lot at least. Before that I was pretty lost too.

      Quick Response questions are almost impossible to prep for, just have to do a lot of natural listening. Something I need to do more of because I know I missed a few there.

  26. vivzilla
    January 31, 2013

    Aaaah sorry to hear about your results Mac.

    As for me I juuuuusst scraped over the line for N5. Overall 95/180 (66/120, 29/60). And more importantly I beat my boyfriend’s score (not that its a competition ;-))

    N4, lets do this.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      Wow, that’s pretty close, but you made it!

      Things should get easier now that you have a study pattern down. Good luck with N4. Are you thinking about taking it in July? Can you take it in July?

      • Vivzilla
        February 10, 2013

        Unfortunately Australia doesn’t have July tests so ill be taking it in December. I’m in no rush though.

  27. Russell
    January 31, 2013

    I passed N5!!!!! 92/180 I’m so happy!!!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      Awesome!

  28. Nick
    January 31, 2013

    N4 passed!!!
    Although I’m sad to say that I just barely passed with a 90/180 score. One point less and I would have flunked! Vocab A, Grammar B and reading C. Shows that I really need to focus on the reading speed and accuracy. I am disappointed with my listening score of 36/60 since I thought I did very well on that section. I’m guessing however that the questions with time references (What time shall we leave the office?) messed me up.

    On the whole, a little sad that I couldn’t pass with a better margin, but on the other hand, I’m self studying and relying on free materials with no textbooks (Genki or the like to read), so I guess I should be happy that I passed on my second attempt! All luck to you Mac for the next exam. Study well and thanks for reading and replying to each post; you surely care about your readers. :-D

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      Yeah, studying on your own is pretty difficult, so great score!

      Reading is always a toughy for the JLPT. The sooner you pick up some native materials to fight through the better off you’ll be. I remember after I passed 三級 (old N4) I started to try to hammer my way through a few books. It takes some time at first but then it gets faster and faster.

      Good luck!

    • Russell
      February 5, 2013

      pass is a pass.. awesome job

  29. Mai
    January 31, 2013

    I passed N2 on the first try, 1 year after getting N3. Vocab & Grammar – 43, Reading – 29, Listening – 34. Total 106/180, much lower than N3 (140/180) but I am very pleased because I didn’t have much time to study for it.
    I’m sorry to hear about your result. Now I will start to study for N1 and your advices will be very helpful.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      I will try my best to help you out! I will be trying a few new things to try to push up my general proficiency to a higher level.

      Here goes nothing!

  30. Ioana
    January 31, 2013

    I passed the N2 :D.
    It was a near pass (106 points total), but it could’ve been even more so. Points don’t matter anyway ^^

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      A pass is a pass. Excellent work!

  31. Afoofoo
    January 31, 2013

    I can see why it would be upsetting that all that effort didn’t show through points, but I’m sure you’ve got Japanese down in real life! The test isn’t everything, especially a group people who can’t make up their mind in the listening section! XD

    Which I should be telling myself; I’m a little down about my reading score. It was perfect. It was easy. I literally do not understand; it boggles my mind! But I passed N2 anyway (46 in language, 36 in reading, 35 in listening) Hehe, my listening blew :’)

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      That is a great score for the test! That reading score is nothing to be ashamed at. Sometimes reading score comes down to if you didn’t overlook one small word or grammar point in an answer somewhere, which I always end up doing.

      My greatest enemy is stupid mistakes. :) Good luck on the N1!

  32. Isaura
    January 31, 2013

    I passed, too!:)) Vocabulary, Grammar and Reading are “A”, in the Listening section I received 31/60. Reading is my “nigate”:)) How can I take better my listening skill, Mac?

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      Well, that all depends on what your weakness with listening is. Are you losing concentration? Do you have problems with the actual skill of listening to the different sounds? Does it seem to go too fast?

      • Isaura
        February 4, 2013

        With my actual skill of listening it seems to go too fast.

      • Clayton MacKnight
        February 6, 2013

        Hmm, that is just a matter of getting use to it and make it more automatic. You should probably do more listening of the same dialog to get use to the patterns and stop yourself from translating it in your head. What I usually do is put old dialogs that I have on shuffle and listen to them as I walk to work. I have quite a lot of dialogs (like 12 hours worth at the N1 level) so it doesn’t get boring. I would start out small though and do more over time.

  33. Barbara
    January 31, 2013

    I couldn’t check today – I didn’t set up a password. Grrr. Does anyone know when I should expect them? Please not March.

    • Ioana
      February 2, 2013

      Depends on your area, but up to last year (when online results didn’t exist) the results came in somewhere between late February and mid-March.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      I would think you would get them mid-February. People in Japan get them around now (Feb 6th), so I would think it would take an extra week (or two?) for them to get to the UK (that’s where you are, right?)

  34. Harry
    January 31, 2013

    N1: 40+22+21=83

    It’s Tanabata, then.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 4, 2013

      Is that lucky? :)

      You came close. Looks like just a matter of some skills practice.

  35. Louise
    January 31, 2013

    I sat the N4, just checked my results and I failed by just a few marks. I’m a little disappointed, but the sectional marks were really useful. I did much better on the listening than I expected, got an A for the vocabulary as I expected so it was the reading and grammar which let me down.

    I’m pleased I came so close to passing, because I had my little one in June I had very little time to revise for the N4 so I sat the test mainly to see where I was and to get the feel for the test. I’m still planning to sit the N3 in July and I’ve been doing regular revision, a few hours every couple of days, alternating between doing vocab and kanji one day and then grammar, reading and listening the next. So hopefully things will be better in July.

    Although having said I too am gearing up to buy a house this summer (in the UK though, not Japan) so I can empathise with trying to revise whilst so busy!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 6, 2013

      House-buying is such a major decision to work your way through. In Japan, it seems like things are all flipped around. You have to be a little more careful because houses actually lose value after you buy them. They are kind of seen like cars. The big question is just how much value they lose and how fast. :)

      It will be a busy year that’s for sure. I’m not sure how much concentrated studying I will be able to do. Right now I’m gearing up to practice all the phrases and vocabulary I need to know just to talk to the 不動産.

      Good luck on the N3!

  36. Kata
    January 31, 2013

    I took N2 for the second time and passed it. Barely (97/180), but I passed anyway. I’ll concentrate on reading from now on, as my dream is to read fluently in Japanese :)

    I hope you will pass N1 next time. I still admire you for getting such a high result!

    • Isaura
      February 4, 2013

      Kata, are you Hungarian?

      • Kata
        February 10, 2013

        No, I am from Poland :)

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 6, 2013

      I pass is a pass. Great work, now it is on to N1!

      • Kata
        February 10, 2013

        It is my dream! We need to work hard to pass :)

  37. Jane
    January 31, 2013

    I passed N3!! 113/180 *_* But I still need to work a lot on my listening skills….

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 6, 2013

      Nice! Listening should be easy enough to improve. Good luck on the next level!

  38. Bart
    January 31, 2013

    Barely, barely passed N2.

    Vocab/ Grammar: 42
    Reading: 22
    Listening: 32

    I’m kind of surprised at how bad I did in the reading section. I’ve been reading novels and non-fiction books in Japanese, but maybe I need to hit the JLPT Reading books a bit harder. Gotta love the curve!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 8, 2013

      A pass is a pass.

      Yeah, I’m the same way, I can make my way through a book about buying houses which talks about taxes, exemptions, housing restrictions and laws, but some of those reading passages really trip me up. And the questions can be just as difficult!

  39. Fernando Braga
    January 31, 2013

    After being reproved in 2010, finally got N4! :D

    Language knowledge: 72/120
    Listening: 39/60
    111/180

    Now heading to be approved in N3 this year!!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 8, 2013

      Awesome! That’s a pretty good score overall too. Good luck on the N3!

  40. Adit
    February 2, 2013

    I passed!
    This is the first time I’m taking this exam, I took N4 exam. My score is:
    Language Knowledge 62/120
    Listening 42/60

    My Vocabulary A, My grammar B, and My reading is A. I’m taking JLPT test again this July, for N2 test. I don’t know how the scoring for reference information, but based on comment above, I think my score is pretty average. Still, I feel more motivated than ever. Taking this test step by step it’s really a good thing. I hope I passed this year test too…^^

    • Isaura
      February 4, 2013

      Ganbatte kudasai ne! You are very brave to have courage to take N2 in July!:)) Now I am preparing for N2, too, I memorized 1000 or so Kanji, and in my country JLPT are organized only in December, but I haven’t courage to take N2, only N3 this year:)) But I can help you in Kango learning, I introduce some Kango words in some tables here: http://www.szaku.hu

      • Adit
        February 4, 2013

        Thanks… Isshou ni ganbattemimashou!…^^ I actually don’t know how much you have to learn to be qualified for N2 test, but I really have a tight schedule, and I can’t afford to tone the level down. I need to pass N2 certification before the end of the year, so that I can apply for my qualification learning in Japan. Right now, I memorized more or less 1500 kanji, and until a month before exam, I plan to raise it to 2000. I hope it will be enough. I’m desperately (and nervously) learning everything I can before the test…. >_<

        I look up your site, a great site you have there. You really got into japanese culture…^^ Unfortunately, I can't read the language, so I can only look around. Anyway, I look forward for everyone help in learning japanese. If there's any tip you can share, it will be really helpful…^^

      • Isaura
        February 4, 2013

        This site is not mine. I am only sending into this site every week a table about Kango words. If you search “Kango”, you can find my Kango tables.

  41. Gail
    February 3, 2013

    N2 results:

    Language knowledge: 31
    Reading: 30
    Listening: 39

    I’m still in shock that I actually managed to pass first time! I was already starting to plan out a study plan for the year based around having to resit in July and/or December, so to a certain extent I feel at a bit of a loss about what to do now. It wasn’t a particularly impressive pass grade (although I was happy to have scored at least 50% on all sections), so I have no ambitions to push on to N1 in the near future. In fact, I think I’m going to take a break from formal study and spend this year simply enjoying using the language.

  42. nino
    February 4, 2013

    So, today they started sending out the results by snail mail. I have this small niggling question :

    I applied via snail mail and there were problems in sending out my test voucher as the post office returned it to the JLPT office. I actually called the JLPT office a week before the exam and asked them if they had my voucher, and it turned out they did (because the post office returned it to them). Myself and the JLPT lady (who was very nice to me) patiently confirmed my address and we found nothing wrong with it, which made us wonder why the post office returned it to them in the first place. So in the end, they sent my test voucher via fax.

    Now, I was thinking that the snail mail results would also have a similar problem? I live just outside Tokyo so I guess I will wait for a week; and if there is still nothing, I guess a call to the JLPT office will be in order.

  43. Sally
    February 4, 2013

    Ugh. Failed my N4 by a couple of points. I am so discouraged…how do you guys remain motivated to keep trying? At this point I just want to pack it in. I studied so hard, and I thought I passed, but I did worse than on any practice test I ever took! Hau hau hau, I know. I’m so happy for you guys who passed, though–congrats! I felt like this year’s test was really brutal.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 8, 2013

      Sometimes the test can be like that unfortunately. It can focus on topics or grammar points that you are a little weak at and then it doesn’t come through. Don’t let it get you down!

  44. Nanashi
    February 4, 2013

    Hi
    I took N5 and i took it well. I wanted to gamble initially for N4, thanks god i did not do that. I say i am pretty good at japanese. I talk in Japanese most of time and could pass N4 but is better right now to take the exam that is lower than your level. There was some tricky part even in N5. The trickiest is listening because i am used with fast speech and it was slow (i failed a few). Now i want to prepare for N3 in december. Now the problem will be Kanji and voc
    Nanashi

    • Isaura
      February 6, 2013

      The best is studying every new words with Kanji:)) I am studying every words with Kanji, and “Kanji renshuu wa totemo tanoshii to omotteimasu”:))

  45. Hendry
    February 5, 2013

    Hi Mac, keep on studying, i am sure one day you will passed your N1 with high score, 頑張って :)
    I took N4 and passed with Language Knowledge & Reading = 90 / 120 and Listening = 30 / 60. I heard my sensei said if failed either section will failed the exam. So, my planing for coming exam N3 is study hard on both section to keep the balance score ;) Good Luck !

  46. Hilary
    February 6, 2013

    N3 Results:

    Grammar/Vocab: 29
    Reading: 16
    Listening: 29

    Total 74/180

    Surprisingly, I’m not devastated by my results. I definitely need to improve my reading skills but it’s not too far off for me. I think if I focus more on reading practice this year I can pass it in December.

  47. Clive1
    February 7, 2013

    Vocab+grammar – 51
    Reading – 18
    Listening 25
    = 94/180

    N1 fail :( i failed! Starting to lose my interest now

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 8, 2013

      With that score? That’s pretty close. I would say it is just a matter of what topics came up on the test for the reading.

      • Clive
        February 8, 2013

        Indeed right.. From now on i guess i have to put on more time reading boring editorials and warranties of refrigerators..

      • Clayton MacKnight
        February 10, 2013

        I’ve started reading a few editorials here and there. Some of them are interesting if you want to keep up with the topic of the day. Others are real snore-fests.

  48. Lucy
    February 10, 2013

    Vocab/Grammer+reading: 76/120
    Listening: 57/60

    Total: 133/180

    I’m surprised I got 3 Aces for Vocab, Grammar and Reading when the last time I took the N5 it was 2 B and a C. I think this website was one of the biggest help to me so thank you very much for creating this blog! ありがとうございます~

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 10, 2013

      Thanks for the compliment!

      That is a great score on listening, almost perfect! Now, it’s time for N4?

      • Lucy
        February 10, 2013

        Yup studying for it now, hope to join the July test ^^

  49. Deepaa
    February 11, 2013

    Hi Mac,

    Sorry to hear about your result but good luck for July.
    I took N2 for the second time and didn’t pass :( . Infact my reading section is going to be down and down. Please suggest me what should I do…. how could i improve my reading section(読解).

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 13, 2013

      Doing lots of reading actually. I read a lot of essays to prepare for N2. Read every day, and if there is something you don’t clearly understand be sure to ask your teacher. That’s the best advice. NKM N2 for Reading is also pretty good too!

  50. Ben
    February 11, 2013

    Sorry to read it didn’t go as planned for you Mac, but you really seem busy with other things at the moment, which are all in all probably much more important than test results.
    I finally got good news the other day, as I’d posted in the “first impressions” sections.
    I passed N2, score is 60/60 in Language Knowledge, 36/60 in Reading and 60/60 in Listening, total 156 out of 180.

    So yes, reading needs work, as expected. I didn’t have time to finish this time, and found it much more difficult than the 模擬試験 I’d done (this was my first JLPT attempt ever, and I’m glad N2’s out of the way). Even had to take another JLPT type test at university (they opened a compulsary JLPT training class so we had to take on yet another N2 JLPT type exam in January) and again the reading was much easier, had time to finish, make definite choices for the answers etc… I’m still a little baffled by the length and type of material we were given in the December, I guess it’s really a lack of practice since a lot of people found this easy.
    I’ve started working on honing speed reading skills with 速読の日本語, as recommended, though the amount of work here at INALCO is getting in the way. We’re doing French to Japanese summaries of social sciences articles at the moment which is really challenging, and more captivating than multiple choice questions. But i’ll get back to it as speed(ier) reading is a useful thing. Apart fom vocabulary issues, I don’t really have any major issues reading books or articles anymore, but I know I really need to work on speed and JLPT type quizzes if I ever intend to take on N1.

    Cheers

    ben

  51. Deepaa
    February 14, 2013

    有難うございます。。。。。
    I will start again.. and could you please tell me what is NKM N2?

  52. Barbara
    February 15, 2013

    Just got my N4 results and didn’t pass. Got an A for listening and vocab but a c for grammar. Needed 16 more marks to pass :( I posted just after the test that I felt it hadn’t gone well. Glad I can predict my results – knew I was okay on the first and last paper. The second one was tough. I need to sort out my reading strategies and practise those ‘re-structure the sentences’ questions. I have been doing N4 lately and am getting just a few wrong for paper 1 and 3 – like the test. Going to keep the balance of N3/N2 whilst doing N4 as basically I’m just reviewing. I know so much and I did pass all the practise tests; shame I didn’t do it on the day. Hopefully in July the room will be warm, I’ll have a proper desk and I won’t be ill. :)

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 17, 2013

      Sometimes you just have a bad day, that day happens to be the day you take the test. :)

      Sorry to hear that Barbara, I know how much you put into studying, but I’m sure it was just matter of jitters and maybe the subject matter being a little off. Sounds like you have a positive attitude about it, which is what is the most important!

  53. Stephen Arnquist
    February 16, 2013

    My December 2012 results: 27 Language Knowledge, 17 Reading, 32 Listening Total Score 76… only 5 points higher than my last JLTP N1 score, I feel you dude.

    I’ve actually started studying the Japanese translations in my girlfriend’s eiken 1 books with her and I feel like I’m learning a lot faster. If you have friend or significant other who is interested in learning English, take advantage of it! Studying with someone makes it so much more meaningful and easier to remember than toiling away in solitude.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 17, 2013

      That sounds like a pretty smart idea about the Eiken textbooks. I’ve been curious about trying those out just to see because it is quite difficult to find difficult test-like reading in the wild so to speak. I mean I guess you could read everything you can get your hands on, but the Eiken books sound a little more efficient. Maybe you can pick up a few used.

  54. Derrick
    February 18, 2013

    Well I got my N2 results in the post this morning. I had really convinced myself I had failed the test, was absolutely certain of it in fact. There wasn’t even a faint glimmer of hope in my mind as I opened the envelope….and it actually took me a few seconds of staring at the contents before I realised I had actually passed it! Unlike my near 100% clearance on N3 however, I was only middle of the road here – 41/60 on language knowledge, 31/60 on reading and 47/60 on listening. 119/180 total. Very happy with that! I thought I had completely blown the reading part so to get 50% is great.
    So now my question is this – do I go for the N2 again in July and try to improve on this, before hitting N1 in December…. or try the N1 in July to get a feel for it and better prepare myself for taking it on in December….not sure which is best…. Any advice. If Ive already passed N2, is there any advantage in doing it again for a better score, other than for my own personal satisfaction?

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 18, 2013

      Personally, once I passed N2, I moved on to N1 the very next test (in July). The gap really isn’t as big as you might think. The N1 is just a tricky devil and so it is better to get used to it early on so you know what you are going up against. I would say with your scores, you will have a fighting chance of getting a good score. Also, if you are missing any grammar, doing the reading for N1 will probably bring it out.

      As for trying to get a better score that is purely a personal thing. No one is going to care that much about your score, just whether you passed or not.

      • Derrick
        February 18, 2013

        Yeah you’re probably right. I passed N2, nobody is going to ask me what my individual scores were for each element. And as you say, by studying for N1, you’re going to be revising stuff you studied for N2 anyway, especially grammar. So may as well just take the plunge and see what treats the N1 has in store! :)

  55. david
    February 19, 2013

    I did not pass the test this time, but I suppose I knew that before even checking my score. Actually, my score was higher than I expected, 92/180, so I need to move up 8 points only. Now I have to get to Japan so I can take it in July and get this over with.

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 25, 2013

      That’s not so bad. It seems like it could just be a matter of luck and chance with a score like that. Keep it up!

  56. N1Buster
    February 21, 2013

    I passed N1 on the first try after having taken the old 3kyuu test back in 2009 and after having failed the N2 one in 2011, falling only by 1 point below the pass line.

    This time my scores are as follows:
    Language knowledge: 60/60 Reading: 23/60 Listening: 30/60

    I wouldn’t regard it as a well-ballanced score, but taking into account that my reading comprehension is not one of my strong points even in my native language as well, i’m not so distressed about it.

    To my surprise, listening wasn’t a piece of cake, even though i encounter no difficulty when talking with native japaneese people at all. Maybe i was too nervous or something like that.

    In the future i’m considering to widen my japanese knowledge by reading books, learning 四字熟語, kanjis, as well as a great deal of other phrases.

    Good luck to everyone, who’s still struggling with the infamous N1 test! :)

    • Clayton MacKnight
      February 25, 2013

      Yeah, a lot of people said that the listening was more difficult than usually this time around. I think it was pretty difficult to be honest as well. You got great scores. Keep it up!

  57. Victoria
    May 31, 2013

    Thanks for sharing your results here, even though they weren’t as you’d hoped. I found this page as I’m currently preparing for the N2 in July, but have fairly recently identified that my reading is going to be a major, major problem. I just scraped the N3 last December so most of N2 was always going to be a stretch six months later, but I’ve commited a lot to study and to the exam so it’s frustrating now to have just a month to go and feel underprepared. Still, reading your article here and seeing that someone else who is also highly commited to the exam is finding it a challenge makes me feel a bit better – perhaps this stuff is just HARD WORK!!! :) Which will make it more of an achievement when we both get the grades we want :)

    By the way, I’ve also been taking the J.TEST which is available much more often than the JLPT here in Japan and has similar style questions. It’s really useful for identifying weak areas (they send a really good breakdown of your score after) and checking for improvements more frequently than is possible with the JLPT. It’s a little bit cheaper, too. I recommend it!

    Good luck with your continued study. It sounds like you’re juggling a lot this year so don’t be too tough on yourself!

    • Clayton MacKnight
      June 2, 2013

      I’ve always thought about giving the J-Test a try. I’ve heard it comes in two flavors the fairly easy and unbelievably difficult. But, it also gives you detailed results and they do nice things like make the old tests available. Did you try the difficult one?

      Thanks for the encouragement. This year has gotten tougher and tougher actually as my little girl gets bigger and bigger she eats up more of my time and energy. I’ve kept with my studies, but they have become a little more generalized instead of getting all stressed out about the test. :)

      Good luck!

      • Isaura
        June 2, 2013

        Are the old tests available in the Internet? If yes, where are they available?

      • Victoria
        June 2, 2013

        Cheers! Yeah, the advanced one is pretty tough. I took the lower level one (“E-F”) in January then the higher level one (“A-D”) in March and May. There is quite a jump. In March I managed to improve my overall score, but not enough to “pass” the paper (as there’s a minimum requirement in each skill and my writing score was very low). May results aren’t out yet but I’m not sure I did much better!! They’ve actually introduced an elementary-level exam as well, now (“G”) and they do a business version too. I haven’t seen many past papers but they allow you to take the paper home with you afterwards and publish the answers and listening scripts on the website within a day or so (so if you make a note of your answers during the exam, I guess you could work out if you passed pretty quickly). The results are published about 3-4 weeks after the exam.

      • Clayton MacKnight
        June 2, 2013

        There is a writing section to the exam? Wow, I didn’t know that. Or do you mean reading?

        Have you taken J-CATS?

        http://www.j-cat.org/

        It is a pretty cool test, you can do for free at home.

      • Victoria
        June 2, 2013

        There’s a writing section in the J.TEST. It’s not that long, but you have to know the readings for some kanji and be able to write kanji. The toughest part is they give you a start, middle and end part for a sentence and you have to join them together to make the whole sentence (obviously there are different ways you could do this all of which would be acceptable, so no answers are given for this portion of the test).

        It’s not essay writing, like the IELTS for English, but it’s better than nothing. I fail at it, but I think it’s a good thing that at least one Japanese test measures output.

        Cheers for the J-CATS link – I hadn’t seen that, so I’ll give it a try! Looks really good :)

    • Isaura
      June 2, 2013

      What is the “J.TEST”?

      • Victoria
        June 2, 2013

        Here’s the website: http://j-test.jp/

        All in Japanese, unfortunately, but the E-F level paper is pretty accessible to anyone around N3/N4 level so don’t be intimidated! There’s some more information about it on Wikipedia, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-Test

        Seems relatively unknown amongst English speakers. There have been a couple of other westerners at the exams I’ve taken but it seems more popular amongst East Asians. I think some of the language schools here have their students take it to keep them focused. If you’re serious about improving rapidly (and don’t find the A-D paper too demoralizing) it’s a good idea, I think.

  58. lazuli
    August 22, 2013

    oh my….
    it makes me so scary for my test on December TT
    do your results on the real test matched the results you could get from a mock up test?

    • Clayton MacKnight
      August 27, 2013

      For N1, mmm, not really. N1 covers so much stuff that it all depends on what is on the test. Sometimes the passages will be about a subject that you know, other times they won’t. It’s a little bit of luck involved. They are getting a little better about balancing out the tests though I think. For the lower levels N5 to N3, mock tests should be fairly accurate.

      • lazuli
        August 28, 2013

        mmm…I see
        I really need to study like a beast then ;D
        thank you for sharing your experience^^

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