Test results became available for those that registered online in Japan on Wednesday Aug 24th. If you didn’t register online, don’t worry you will probably see a certificate show up sometime next week. The servers tend to be a little overloaded the first day, so you might have to check in later after everything calms down.
JLPT results for everybody else, no matter where you took it, should be available online sometime on Aug 24th as well according to the official site. However, it doesn’t seem like they are currently available yet. If you took the test in another location, like China or Hong Kong, you can find more information about results on the official site as well.
So, what can you do with your results now that you have them? I’m glad you asked.
Fall in Love with your Weakness
Over my years of teaching English, I’ve come to find some universal truths. One that tends to stick out a lot. One example, is often times when I ask a student what their weak point and what they hate to study the most, the tend to be the same thing. We tend to avoid what we don’t like and that leads to holes in our language use.
Normally, this is not actually all that bad of thing. After all, you might as well emphasize what you are good at instead of torturing yourself with something you are not interested in improving. If you are really interested in reading about Japan and doing translation, then improving your reading skill is crucial. Listening is great to have too, but it is by no means necessary.
However, in order to pass the new JLPT, you need to be well-balanced. You need a minimum score in each category to pass the test as a whole. In the past, it was just one big score, so you could specialize in a particular skill and pass the whole thing. Not anymore, they’ve made it so you are forced to study everything even if you are not thrilled to learn it.
And now that you have your results, you might be looking at them with disgust. The last thing you want to do is dive back into the books and focus on a weakness. Going over yet more material or reviewing something that you fell short in.
But, I say forget that. You should fall in love with your weak points. Embrace them and make them a new challenge for yourself. If you hate reading, go out and find a nice book or other reading material that really interests you. Is it going to be the most efficient way to study and pass the JLPT? Probably not, but at least you will be enjoying yourself and making progress toward something you really want to do.
For example, if you love movie watching, why don’t you read up on movies in Japanese? Or pick up a movie novelization of one of your favorite movies in Japanese. That is how I picked up the regular habit of reading. Now I still do a lot of reading for fun to pick up new words and review the ones I know.
If you are more interested in real Japanese, there are great services like FluentU that provides transcripts of popular YouTube videos for you to practice with. They have content for all levels. I like to pick up one of their videos from time to time to get a good feel for something more real.
The JLPT is a great measurement of your skills in Japanese, but don’t let it crush your motivation for learning the language. It is simply a benchmark to measure yourself against. Now is a great time to take the feedback you got and apply it to your studies. Change the parts that you are bored of or are not having an effect.
Move on to N1?
I tend to get a lot of emails after results asking about how to proceed. One of the common questions is whether someone should take N1 after N2. The answer to that question depends on a lot of different factors. And there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all.
In my personal experience, I just passed N2. I attempted the N1 a few times without much success. Although I did come somewhat close one time. And at the time, I felt like a bit of a loser. I’m a JLPT blogger and haven’t passed the highest level.
Back in those days, I had plenty of other things taking up my time like my newborn daughter, new work responsibilities, and a few other bumps in the road. My effective study time every day was reduced to 30 minutes to an hour. I wasn’t getting in any speaking time either because I couldn’t make it to my sessions.
And so for the longest time I was stressed out about the fact that I just couldn’t put in the hours to finish it off. But one thing lead to another and I didn’t actually end up needing it. All the things I thought I need it for, didn’t really need it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, in order to work in Japan it will be extremely helpful if you have an N2 and of course an N1. But there are also other opportunities available if you don’t hit the top mark. And yes, you do need a high level of comprehension to work in Japan and do translation, etc…
By some estimates it takes just as much time to get from zero to N2, than it does to move from N2 to N1. In that amount of time, you can invest in other skills that can make you more of a job candidate. You could become fluent in a whole other language in that amount of time. So, you really need to weigh your options and decide what is best for you.
Enough about Me
What about you? What were your results? Were you disappointed? Let me know in the comments below.