Japanese reading is one of the two essential skills that the JLPT covers. For N5 and N4, this section of the test isn’t all that critical. The reading is fairly short and straightforward. If you study your vocabulary and kanji before hand you shouldn’t have too many issues with these two levels.
However, starting with N3, the reading section gets increasingly difficult. People taking the N2 and N1 often complain that this is the section that gives them the most trouble. For whatever reason, it gives most test-takers nightmares, so it is important to know your enemy before test day.
Where is the Reading Section?
The reading section will appear in different parts of the test depending on which level you are taking. For N5 through to N3, there are three sections of the exam, and the reading section appears in the middle section. For N2 and N1, there are only 2 sections for the exam, language knowledge and listening. The reading section appears in the language knowledge section or the first section of the test.
The times for these sections also different depending on level. Here is a quick list to sort it all out:
N5 – 50 minutes
N4 – 60 minutes
N3 – 70 minutes
N2 – 105 minutes
N1 – 110 minutes
As you can see, for N1 and N2 time management plays a bigger role. This is where taking a mock test will come in handy. You can pick up a mock N1 test or mock N2 test at White Rabbit Press. They are definitely worth the small investment in time and money.
Action Steps –
1)Have you been doing some reading in Japanese?
2)If you’ve taken the test before, what did you feel was difficult about the reading section of the test?
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