JLPT BC 86 | Pre-Test Ritual

JLPT BC 86 | Pre-Test Ritual post image
test prep

My ideal pre-test ritual: relaxing on the beach

I have completely flown through the So-Matome N1 Grammar book. My goal this test is to at least get a passing score in the grammar section of the exam. That might not be possible because I don’t enough vocabulary to actually choose the right grammar that should be used, but I’m going to try my best.

I’ve tried a little different approach this time to studying the So-Matome drill book. I’ve been going through on the first pass and just studying the vocabulary and then going back and doing the questions. This way there is a little bit of spacing between when I’m first exposed to the grammar and when I’m tested it on it for the first time.

I’m finally starting to get memrise under control. I have locked myself down to just doing 45 minutes in the morning every day. This limits my ability to learn new words. I’m down to learning about 40 or 50 words a week instead of 140 or so that I was doing before, but hopefully that will start to pick up.

One problem I’m running into with memrise is that the decks aren’t completely ‘clean’ yet, at least at the N2 level. A lot of the words have several definitions which makes it harder to remember and also easier to confuse the words. I’ve been putting in a little extra work to clean up the N2 deck as much as possible. Hopefully that will start to pay off soon.

I’m still squeezing in every minute of study time I can possibly find. I’ve almost become a little fanatical with my iPhone lately trying to work my way through sets of kanji and vocabulary. I guess every little bit counts toward the end goal.

My Pre-Test Ritual

For those lucky enough to have it, this weekend is the July JLPT. I still haven’t gotten my voucher for it yet (I’m recording this about 2 and half weeks early), but I’m taking a big guess that I’ll be heading back up to Kyoto University to take it.

Although I’m pretty sure I have no chance of passing this time around, I’m still glad I signed up for the test because I think if I didn’t I would have just gotten lazy about my studying and not made as much progress as I did. Granted, I just started studying grammar about a month ago, so I’m still dragging my feet a little bit, but better than if I hadn’t done anything at all.

My goal this time around is focus on grammar and simply just get used to the test. You can always take practice tests at home, but there is something different about actually going and taking the test. I want to get as much experience with it as possible. I know more than a few people who have spent 2 or 3 years trying to pass the exam, so I think I might be in it for the long haul.

If you are taking the test I wish you the best of luck. I hope that you can pass it and move on to the next level if that is your goal. To give you the best possible opportunity to pass the test, I thought I’d go over my general pre-test ritual.

Right after Work

Yes, believe it or not I work on Saturdays, so I usually get home around 7 or 8. Of course, I never go out a night before the test. I just try to take it easy as much as possible. I think of it as a little vacation of the mind if you will. I don’t try to do anything that might end up stressing me out.

Typically this means completely vegging out in front of the TV or just chatting with my wife over dinner. I don’t want to crack too many books because I kind of figure that if I don’t know it now, then I just won’t know it.

I also try to eat a light healthy meal that is free of too much fat or loaded down with anything remotely hard to digest. I don’t want to wait until the night before the exam to try some spicy Thai food. I go into more detail about a good meal plan in my 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make on the JLPT eBook, if you are interested in learning more.

Right before Bed

I try to make it to bed at a regular hour and make sure everything is cleared out. I want everything sorted before I lay down for the night. Make sure all the bills are paid, the trash is taken out, mechanical pencils have been packed and are ready to go for the day. My lunch for the test is packed and ready to go for the next day. Absolutely no worries of any kind.

I do try to quickly go over my cheat sheet of grammar points one more time to familiarize myself with the things I was having trouble with. I also review my game plan for the test – what sections I’m going to do first, what I’m going to concentrate on, what kind of questions are on the test, how many of each question. I try to go over each section mentally, so that I am prepared.

What do you do the Night before the Test?

Do you have a pre-test ritual that you get up to? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Shazwan

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