We are only a few days away from the July test here in Japan. I’m trying the best I can to do review and stay focused for the main event. I took an old practice test this last weekend. It was a bit frustrating because I can pass the old tests, but I’m not sure about the new test.
Anyway, after taking the test, I went over every wrong answer and then circled it in my grammar book that I’ve been using, the N2 So-Matome Grammar Book. This is part of test prep is one of the most difficult for me, as it can get really frustrating to realize how many things you actually aren’t that clear on. But, I’m using the past test to help me focus in review for the last few remaining days.
I was finally able to finish off the N2 So-Matome Reading Comprehension book as well. The main thing I learned from going through this book is to pay attention to details as much as possible. You really need two things to pass the reading section of the exam, speed and comprehension. But, if you go too fast you miss the details, so be sure to be on the look out for small little details that could completely change a question.
Some Test Day Advice
If you are taking the test in July, I have a few last minute tips for you:
1) Try to stay calm and focused. If you have taken a practice test, taken the test before, or simply just test well. You won’t really have a problem in this department, but if you do you might want to try deep breathing or even quick mediation of some kind.
2) Try to get your brain into a calm state. Research has shown that the best recall comes when the brain is in theta wave state. This is when the brain is less active and calmer (another reason to stay calm). So, don’t jam out to heavy metal or drink a can of red bull before the exam. It might make you too jumpy to recall anything.
3) Arrive early. This is for two reasons: First of all you want to orient yourself and find where you are taking the test. Some of these testing centers have several thousand people taking the test and will take over an entire branch or section of a university. It might take a little time to find your room. The second reason is that some of these testing centers have, shall we say, climate control issues. The room might be too hot or too cold. It’s best to get there a little early and adjust to the temp and take off/add clothes as necessary.
4) Dress in Layers. Okay, so this might start sounding like you are going on a hike, but seriously, you don’t want to be uncomfortable when you are taking the test. So be sure to dress in layers so that you can adjust your body temp according to the air conditioning (or lack there of).
5) Treat it like a normal day as much as you can. The first time I took the test, I put a lot of pressure on myself to pass, but in the end it’s just a test, and you can take it again in 5 months if you don’t make it this time.
That’s it folks! Good luck on the July test if you are taking it, I’d like to hear from you about how you did, so be sure to comment or send me an email.
What are some of your test day rituals? I’d like to hear them in the comments below.
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Music by Kevin MacLeod, photo by Brian Walsh
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Hi, there. I am taking the test this July, also! Silly me though signed on for the wrong level. I have been planning on taking the N3 in December, so I thought I’d take N4 this summer and see how I do—I was thinking too hard about December, though, and so I signed up for N3! There’s no way I’m ready.
It’s alright, though. I mainly wanted to take the summer test as preparation for the December test. This way, I’ll know what to expect, exactly, even if it’s too hard for me right now.
I just found your site and I’m looking forward to going through it as the next few months go by. Thanks!
You are exactly right Robin! Treat it as a ‘practice’ test. Go in relaxed and see how well you do.
You might be a little surprised though. You might do better than you think on the test. It’s amazing how much you know that you don’t think you know. 🙂
Good luck and I look forward to hearing about your results!