The N3 has always been a strange test. It is halfway between N4 and N2 and while the N2 and N4 had old tests that you could practice with to get an idea of what level those tests are, N3 does not. It is a new level of the test created in 2010 to help students bridge the gap between the N4 and N2.
This gap is pretty big too. The difference between N4 and N2, in my opinion, is that N2 and above really test your language skills. At the higher levels, you can’t just study a lot of vocabulary, kanji, and grammar and expect to pass easily. You need to really practice reading and listening for comprehension.
N3 does a decent job of helping you step up to this next level. Although, you will have to change a lot about how you study in order to really make the jump.
How the Practice Workbook Can Help
The JEES released practice workbooks for you to practice with before you go and take the real thing. These can help you get a good idea of the level of the test, especially since a lot of people don’t really know the level (even textbook makers). But, the practice workbooks are made up of previous test questions, so they should, in theory, be the same level as the test.
The one downside is that these workbooks don’t offer any explanations of the answers or any test strategies. So, if you need a little more help, you might want to pick up a practice test as well. This is especially true if you are a self-learner and don’t have a tutor to go over these questions with. I think one of the best things about taking a test is that you can discover and learn from your mistakes.
If you don’t have time to go through this entire workbook, I still have the older, but shorter JLPT N3 Practice Test available that you can use as well.
Here’s the Goods
Here is the giant wad of stuff:
Again, I separated out the 4 large audio files into separate CD tracks for each question, so that it is a lot easier to review. I even included the muzak break!
If you love downloading things separately, here are all the files:
If you are pressed for time, the much shorter older JLPT N3 Practice Test is also still available.
Also, if you prefer a hard copy, so that you can doodle on it and take notes, you can pick up the printed copy of the Official JLPT N3 Workbook here.
What you are Standing Around here for?
Go forth and take this practice test, practice workbook thingy. Download it and give it a whirl, you really don’t have anything to lose. Let me know how you did in the comments.