We are starting to come down to the last couple of months before the December test and a lot of people always ask me what they can do in these final weeks before the exam to help prep for the main event. I like to use this time before the test to do a lot of review, something that I call sword sharpening because I think it is important to go into the test being confident of what you know.
Part of that sword sharpening process is taking a practice test. I do this for a few reasons. First, it will obviously show you what you are weak in. Second, it can also reveal some places where you’ll need to sharpen up your test taking skills. For example, if you take the test and time it out, you might find that you are spending way too much time on the reading section or not enough time on vocabulary.
The JEES, the organization that is in charge of creating and administering the JLPT, put out a practice test for each of the new tests in 2010 when the new test was first administered. These were pretty handy, but they had one small problem. They weren’t full-sized tests. Most of the sections only had 2 questions in them.
They gave you a good idea of what the test was like, but not the whole picture. You weren’t really able to practice any real test strategies with them and so you were pretty much forced to pay for other practice tests if you wanted something full-sized.
Then Came the Official Workbooks
This year JEES released official workbooks for each of the levels of the exams. Being that they are published from the very organization that puts on the test, my guess is that these are pretty accurate in terms of level and also what the test is going to cover.
These official practice workbooks are actually a conglomeration of questions from the past two years tests (2010 and 2011), so it is kind of like getting a Frankenstein version of the past tests. All in all, they are a really valuable resource to have at your disposal.
And, I forgot to mention the best part.
They happen to be absolutely free, which is really cool.
Anyway, I made some notes for the N5 workbook and did some other handy work with it to help you get a better score on the test. I’ll be working my way through the workbooks as fast as I can. I hope to get them all out by early 2013. In the mean time, you can download the ‘raw’ files from the very well-hidden download page.
I should note one thing though. On the official website they say that these workbooks have almost the same number of questions as the real test. When I was looking through the N5 workbook, all the questions seemed to be there, but there might be some missing from a section.
Without further ado, here is the whole package of goodies:
I separated out the 4 audio files (for each section) into separate tracks for each question. This way it is a little bit easier to review with. Each track is labeled with the corresponding section and question number. I even included the break in case you love that awesome muzak they play.
If you prefer, I also broke the files down into separate downloads as well.
Or, if you prefer the short version, the old JLPT N5 Practice Test is also still available.
Also, if you prefer that stuff called ‘paper’, you can get a hard copy of the Official JLPT N5 Practice Guide and rejoice in the smell of dead trees.
Other JLPT N5 Resources
A subscription to the JLPT Boot Camp Premium site includes a complete guide to studying and preparing for the JLPT as well as a complete grammar guide for N5. The grammar guide includes tips and common mistakes to look out for when taking the test. Each chapter includes a video explanation, clear grammar explanations, several example sentences, and JLPT-style questions. Sign up today and get started on the right path.
This is a great book of 500 problems that tests you over kanji, vocabulary, and grammar for N5 and N4. What I like about it is that you answer 3 questions and then flip the page and see how you did with detailed feedback about each question. It is really helpful to check what you are missing.
Japanese Pod 101 has a 6 lesson last minute prep course for the test as well as additional practice tests. Also, their lessons are sorted by grammar points, so if you are having problems with a particular point, it is a great place to focus in on the one point that is giving you some trouble.
Take it and Go Be Awesome
I hope this workbook helps you score better on the test. Download it today and give it a try. You’ll be surprised how helpful it is. Let me know in the comments how well you did.