After the initial pages of Harry Potter: The Philosopher’s Stone (or sometimes called Sorcerer’s Stone), it has gotten a little bit easier. I still think I’m looking up a good 4 or 5 words a page, but, I can pretty much understand everything from simply reading it. It is a very easy book to visualize and I think that is why it is a good book to learn from.
I have slowly been changing my play lists over on my iPhone to include a lot more listening practice. Right now I’m loading up on old practice questions from 二級 tests and N2 mock tests. This is essentially review, but I’m basically doing the listening practice to build up stamina and point comprehension. I’m going to start worrying about N1 specific things to look out for over the next couple months.
I’m starting to feel fairly confident with my grammar. I’m hoping I passed that section for the July test, but my vocabulary knowledge might have prevented me from doing that. I’ll have to do more reading and memrise work to get over that.
My 5 Month Plan
A few weeks ago, I went over a few myths about setting goals. I talked about what worked and what was just a bunch of fluff. And while I was doing the research for that particular episode, I realized that I had made a mistake.
You see I’m a pretty goal-oriented guy. I like to set goals and work hard to meet them, but well, I’m not exactly the most organized guy in the world, as most of those people that I interact with on a daily basis will happily tell you. I’ve always wanted to just roll with the punches because, you know, stuff just comes up? And how can you plan for that?
Or at least, that was my excuse. I guess now, I could also claim that my life is so hectic with a 2 month-old in the house that making a written down plan would be pretty worthless.
But, I am in fact not going to make any of those excuses. I am going to, for one of the first times in my life, make a written down plan and since I’m posting it here in front of thousands of readers, I have no choice but to at least attempt to follow it.
So, here goes…
July and August
During these two months, my main focus will be listening. I will still be spending a lot of time with vocabulary, which will basically be me moderating and drilling words at memrise as well as continuing with StickyStudy. However, what I’ll be spending most of time doing is drilling listening.
The main reason for this is that I can review the listening later while I’m walking to work or just doing some house chores by listening to it with my iPhone. So, I can keep reviewing listening while adding in reading practice later.
I’m going to work my way through So-Matome’s N1 Listening book. Then, I’ll move on to Kanzen Master’s Listening book. I’m going to do that mostly because I’m guessing that the So-Matome book is going to be easier than the Kanzen Master. So, if I take the easier one first, I can ease into listening.
If I have some extra time, I’ll try to go through the listening for the two old 一級 tests that have. Although the test was in a different format before 2010, I feel like the listening exercises are still good practice because you still have to listen for the main points.
I’ll also be slowly working my way through Kanzen Master N1 Grammar as review. I’ll probably be using it mostly for the back section of the book that goes over strategies for the different grammar sections of the exam though.
September and October
These will be my reading months. I’ll be trying to do as much reading as I possibly can. I’ll also be reviewing the listening that I did in July and August as well. I hope by this stage, I’ll have studied enough vocabulary and mastered the grammar well enough to just focus on increase my reading speed and comprehension.
Since I’ll get the results for the July test sometime in September, I’ll be able to see what weaknesses I need to focus on with the free time I have during this month as well.
I’ll finish off the month with the mock tests in the back of the Kanzen Master book to make sure my reading is on target.
This will basically be a month of sword sharpening. I’m going to try to probably hold off from learning anything new. I just want to review what I know and get more confident with the material. The main reason why I do this before I test, is that I want to be able to answer the questions as fast as I can. The more confident I am of the answer, the faster I can answer it.
I’ll start off the month with a practice test to see what my weaknesses are. Then, schedule in more practice to improve it. Pretty simple really. I’ll finish the month off with a practice test the weekend before the main test.
Do you Think this is Possible?
How about your game plan? Have you given it a lot of thought? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo by Simon Doggett