So, it’s been a heart breaking last couple of days for me the computer geek. My hard drive in my new computer for some reason spontaneously imploded upon itself, so here I am writing to you from my old battle horse, a 7 year old Sony Vaio. So instead of doing a lot of high tech Anki/memrise.com studying, I’ve been doing more old-fashioned book studying.
I’ve really been grinding my way through the New Kanzen Master Grammar book for N2. It is an incredibly difficult and merciless book, but I think it will be good for me when I get to the test. I’m in the final section and going over the different types of test questions, and the text grammar is quite grueling. It includes a lot of passages packed with nuances. I think it will be good for not only grammar but reading as well.
The Countdown Continues – 3 days away!
Depending on when you read this and what country you live in, we are only about 3 or 4 days away from the big exam in December. Are you ready for the big day?
You might be thinking to yourself that there isn’t that much you could possible do at this point to get a higher score or bale yourself out if you haven’t been studying. To an extent, you are right. If you have been slacking in your studies, you will still probably fail, but there are a few things you can do to squeak out a few points and maybe just pass.
First and foremost, and you probably know this already, but it is worth repeating, take a practice test! Even if it is one of the ones that are available online. Anything to help you prepare for the test. The mock tests available at bookstores for the N5, N4, N3, N2, and N1 are also very good and include specific advice on different sections of the exam.
After you take a practice test or a mock test, be sure to create some kind of strategy. It doesn’t have to be anything grand or complicated – the simpler the better. If your weakness is reading and you are taking the N2, you might want to tackle that first than move to the kanji and vocabulary. For N5 through N3, strategy is a little more complicated because you have to deal with 3 sections instead of 2, but still try to lay down a strategy that will help you maximize your time with the sections that you are the weakest at.
Other Miscellaneous Tips
Before the test day, you should probably think about investing in a nice mechanical pencil to get you through the day. You should also pick up a decent back up in case your trusty pencil decides to self-destruct on test day (much like my hard drive did a few days ago). You can also have a separate eraser if that is how you roll. They will make you take off the cover in the test though, so don’t get too attached to it.
Remember to bring a wristwatch! This is especially true if you are taking the N2 and N1 levels and have to battle your way through the 105+ minutes of joy that is the reading/grammar/kanji/vocabulary section. They unfortunately give you no warnings or countdowns (at least in Japan).
Try to get there a little early. Testing locations range from highly organized to a giant mess. Be prepared to have to do a little hunting to find your room and/or track down a JLPT staff member to point you to your destination. I’ve seen both clearly printed signs telling everyone where to go, and utter chaos, so just be safe and give yourself some leeway.
For those taking the test in a country that is experiencing winter, it is probably a good idea to dress in layers. The climate control in some of these buildings can either be non-existent or only have two settings: fiery flames of fury or off. In Japan, it seems that in December, some schools turn the heat on and leave it on at the same setting all winter. If you dress in layers you can peel off or put on clothes to adjust the temperature yourself.
Above all, it’s just a test, take it easy and have fun! Good luck to everyone! Let’s do it!
Do you have any last minute advice? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
P.S. Are you sweating out these last few days? Then, you should join my newsletter!
P.P.S. Are you going to ace the test like a champ? Really, me too! You should leave me a comment on 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!
P.P.P.S. Join the party over at the Facebook Page. There you can get up to the date info about the site and join the conversation. Hope to see you there!