For those of you who are lucky enough to have been able to register online at MyJLPT, you can now see your official results for the December 2017 JLPT. The official results will be mailed out next week and should be arriving sometime next week for those that took the test in Japan. It will probably take a few weeks longer for those that took the test outside of Japan. However, if you entered a 8 digit password on your application form, you should be able to check your results online now at the official jlpt.jp site (not the JEES site MyJLPT).
If you are outside of Japan, you may want to check with the organization that conducts the test in your country to see if they have another system for reporting the results to you. Different countries and organizations have different time frames for when your results will get to. To check and see what organization puts on the test in your country, you can check the official JLPT site as well.
Okay, Now What?
Okay, so you got your results back. Now is a good time to do a healthy self-evaluation of what your weaknesses and strengths are, so that you can focus your studies for the future. If you are anything like me, you were probably in a bit of a holding pattern while you waited for the official results to come back. At this point, you might be wondering what to do next. Not to worry, you just need to follow a few simple steps.
Step 1: Analyze your Results
Sit down and take an honest look at your score. Choose one particular category that seems to be a weakness. What score was lower than the others? Was reading a little weak this time? Did you struggle with listening? Unhappy with your kanji score?
Now, break that down into specifically what held you back. For listening, did you have trouble concentrating? If you had a good vocabulary score but had a hard time in the reading, you might have problems with overall comprehension. Try to isolate exactly what caused the problem so that you can target it. If you need more help with how to do this, be sure to check out the JLPT Study Guide Kit, which goes over how to identify these problems in more detail.
Step 2: Resolve to Improve the Specific Skill that Held you Back.
If you had trouble concentrating during the listening section, you might need to improve your listening stamina, which simply involves listening to more Japanese for longer periods of time. If you had trouble answering questions in the reading section, even though you knew all the words, you need to practice reading comprehension. Practicing a habit of reading on a daily basis for comprehension can really help you get a better score.
Decide on an initial study method that focuses on that weakness. Don’t worry about picking the perfect one. You can always change it later if it isn’t working out for you. The point is to get started on something while you have the motivation to change. You may also want to take it slow. Just add something that you can easily do every day or replace something you are already doing.
Step 3: Let us Know about it
Let us know how you did in the comments below. What level did you take? How did your score break down? Were you surprised by the results? Did you think you would get that score? What would you like to improve upon? What specifically are you going to focus on? Commit to it, by letting us know. You’ll be helping yourself and others.
Step 4: Get Started
This is the most important part. Start with your study plan focusing on your specific weakness. Starting is more important than doing right (at least at first). So, I’m giving you permission to stop reading my blog and head off to get started as long as you have commented below. If you haven’t, then stop what you are doing and let us know how you did below.
Step 5: Analyze your Studying
Every few months or even weeks, take a look at what you are doing and ask yourself if it is effective. Do you feel you are improving? Is it still motivating to study Japanese? If what you are doing is making you dread your study routine, it might be time to switch it up a bit.
Whatever you do, don’t stop. It might be tough at times, but speaking, listening, reading, and writing at a native level in another language is an amazing experience, and the JLPT can help you do that. Good luck with your studies and let me know how you are doing.