For those that registered online for the JLPT in Japan, the results for the December 2012 test became available on Tuesday the 29th. And, I excitedly checked my score at a second after midnight. Unfortunately, I experienced a little Deja Vu.
Huh? Wasn’t this the same score I got 6 months ago?
I mean, at the very least, I thought I would be able to push my listening up to a decent mark, something over 30 would have made me happy. After all, I went through two books to practice my listening, the New Kanzen Master and So-Matome. On top of that, I’ve been re-listening to all the exercises to get used to listening to more advanced conversations. Still, just one point.
And what about reading? I went through two more books for reading, New Kanzen Master and So-Matome. Both are excellent books that focus on different aspects of reading. I reviewed NKM and So-Matome before, I would still recommend them. But, unfortunately, they didn’t improve my score.
Of course, this is as they say, the nature of the beast. When I passed N2 last year, my original idea was to take it slow and steady to pass N1. I took it in July of last year to see how far I needed to go, and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t seem very far. But, it still looks like I have a ways to go.
Gambled and Lost
My reading comprehension for longer passages of the test (the page long passages) is pretty bad. So bad actually that I was regularly getting only 1 out of 4 of the questions right. This was obviously pretty bad, and the questions themselves take up a lot of valuable time.
So on the test, I decided to skip over them in favor of spending more time on the other questions. For the 2 long comprehension questions, I simply put all 2s. It was a gamble, but I figured it was worth it because I was regularly getting 1 out of 4 right, which is pretty much the same as guessing.
It was worth a shot anyway. Well, it obviously didn’t pay off. I got the exact same score I got in July. So going forward I’ll probably try to answer all the questions, in hopes of getting more points. In other words, no more gambling for me. I learned my lesson.
The Road Forward
Reading is obviously my biggest weakness. Over the next few months, I’m going to try to review the New Kanzen Master and So-Matome reading comprehension books. Basically, I want to increase my comprehensive reading speed. I want to make the whole process a lot more automatic and smooth. The faster I can read and understand the material, the more time I will have to spend on comprehension and double-checking answers.
Speaking of time, it is definitely not going to be my friend over the next few months and probably for the next year. I’m currently in the process of making the biggest purchase of my life, a house. And that house is of course in Japan, so all the research I’m doing for that involves wading through awesome words like 軽減措置 (relief measure) or 管轄 (jurisdiction).
Also, my little angel is about to turn 1 and is already beginning the process of destroying everything in our house the moment we turn our heads. It’s going to be a busy year.
Don’t worry though, I will definitely keep the blog going and creating more regular and premium content, including monthly updates to the grammar lessons and to the kit. It has been a lot of fun sharing tips with people from around the world and I don’t want to give that up.
My studying for the N1 is going to shift to more review and more natural study methods, chatting more, reading more, and watching more Japanese TV. I feel like I ‘know’ enough to pass the test, I just need to get more confident and make everything more automatic with less hesitation and more clarity. That takes using the language more and reviewing and over-learning the material.
What is your Road Forward?
If you took the test in December 2012, what were your results? What are you going to do now? Let me know in the comments.