The December JLPT has just finished here in Japan. The N1 seemed to be about the same level as I’ve gotten used to. Unfortunately I was not in the best condition to take the test, but I made it and it’ll be interesting to see the results. Fingers crossed that I kept my score. I would have liked more but it’s been a rough couple of months.
All this last week, I’ve been spending most of my free time moving the last few items from my apartment into my house. This is after a month and a half of meetings and paperwork-finding to buy a house here in Japan. But, it is finally done, and I have the scratches, bruises and fatigue to prove it.
Between the July test and this one I placed a lot of focus on grammar and making sure I knew every little detail about each point. I’m not sure if I got back what I put into it though. I think I will still continue my strategy of refining my grammar knowledge, but I’ll probably add a few more tricks as well to refine things even more.
The biggest problem with N1 grammar is about half the questions are more complicated examples of simpler grammar points. N1 is not a test where you can simply study Shin Kanzen Master Grammar, memorize it and be done. You need to know a lot of fine points that only come from a lot of reading (at least in my opinion), which I simply haven’t been able to do this time.
I felt that the reading was pretty much what I expected. There were 2 passages that I had a hard time staying interested in (the 2nd medium passage and the 1st long passage). I could not hold my focus long enough to get the questions answered which is a huge problem. I thought the subjects of the essays were fairly mainstream except the one about music (the longer passage 4th from the end), it put me totally to sleep and I had to do some guess work.
This also seemed to be about what I have come to expect from the test. The kanji questions seemed a lot more difficult though. I even asked my wife about one and she had no idea how to pronounce it (日夜, nichiya). This, to me, seems a little ridiculous – being asked the orthography of kanji that are usually only seen in writing. But maybe I just don’t see/hear it much in my day to day life. Has anyone heard this word before today?
I felt listening was a lot more difficult for some reason. On the July test, I could follow the conversations fairly well and only missed a few twist and turns. But, this time, there were a handful that I could hardly follow. Again, this might have just been my mood, but I got completely lost. How did everyone else do?
Going through the Motions
I hate to admit this publicly, because after all I do run a blog about JLPT, but the test was not a huge priority for me this time. I almost didn’t go, but considering I paid, I figured I might as well give it a try. I’m pretty sure I did horrible on it. Why do I know this?
Well, I pretty much did the opposite of everything I recommend. I didn’t get a healthy night sleep. I ate kind of poorly because are kitchen is still packed up. I had way too much fried food for example. And I’ve been cleaning and still maintaining my crazy work schedule.
In other words, don’t try this at home. But, we have a house. No internet yet though so, I’m writing this on my iPhone. Obviously this was a less than ideal time to move, but we get a tax break for 2013 and we saved some money on rent. I’m not sure if I would do it again but it is all done now.
Anyway, please excuse the slightly less than professional post. But, I had to get it out. It’s test day!
How did you do?
Let me know what level you took and where as well as how it went in the comments below.