JLPT BC 32 | Why Take the JLPT?

Why Take the JLPT PodcastWe are two and a half weeks away from the July test here in Japan.  At this late in the game, there isn’t much that you can do for the test.  It’s important to shift from learning and memorizing new vocabulary and grammar to reviewing and strengthening your knowledge of what you have now.

The best way to do that is doing some review.  I’ve been looking over my textbooks and taking a look at all the questions I missed.  Any questions I missed, I’ve been reviewing and practicing again.  I find that this gives me a solid background of what I need to know.  How about you?

More Reasons for Taking the Test

A while back, I wrote two articles about Why you should take the test, part 1 and part 2.  They went over the typical reasons why you would take the exam like for motivation, as a benchmark, for feedback on your progress, or just for the challenge of the test.  These are the big reasons why people take the test.

But, you can take the test for other reasons as well.  The test forces you into good listening and reading skills, that you might otherwise not take the time to learn if you weren’t studying for the test.  And these skills can come in handy in real life.

Japanese Reading Skills

The test, especially N1 and N2, force you into good reading habits.  Due to the fact that you have a limited time to read the passages and answer the questions, you will have to learn how to scan and skim for important information.  If you don’t you will end up running out of time and not being able to answer all the questions for the test.

This skill of scanning and skimming can be of immense value when you get out into the real world.  If you can read quickly for the information you need you can do your job a lot faster and find the information you need to know a lot quicker.  If you are studying on your own without the test, you may never pick up this skill.

Improving your Japanese Listening

Some of the questions on the test may seem a bit unrealistic.  But, these two can come in handy in a business situation.  For example, there is a question on the test where you must listen to 3 people talking about something.  And, you aren’t actually given the question until after you’ve listened to the entire conversation.  I can easily see this type of situation coming up in a business meeting where you have to take notes and then pass along that information to a co-worker, who will probably have a few questions for you.

Some of the other conversations will also help you with your listening for movies and TV shows where you won’t be able to interact or double-check the information given to you.  In real life, you might be able to ask someone a question about something, but you can’t do the same for a TV show or movie.

Action Steps

This week I’m asking for something a little different.  I’d like to know when did you need to do some important reading or listening in Japanese and it helped to have good listening skills or reading skills?  I’d like to know about it. So, if you have time, send me an email via the contact me form.  If I get a few interesting stories I’ll share them on the podcast.  Thanks for listening!

P.S. I’m now in iTunes.  If you like the podcast, please be sure to visit iTunes and leave me a review.  If you have comments or suggestions for the podcast, by all means let me know in the comments below or contact me and let me know what I can do to improve the show.  Thanks!

Music by Kevin MacLeod, photo by bark

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