JLPT December 2018 Results

JLPT December 2018 Results post image

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 2018 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.

What do you do now?

Okay, so you got your results back and now it is time to look them over and give yourself a good self-evaluation. I’m sure over the last few weeks you have been tensely waiting for these results to come back so you can decide on how to spend your study time more effectively. Last year, I outlined some key steps that you can take to make the best use of your test results, which I encourage you to take the time to read over if you haven’t already.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

But, this year I want to address one of the big questions I get around this time. And that is should you move on to the next level or stay where you are and retest. For example, a reader who had just failed the N3 by only a few points emailed me the other day, and was wondering if she should move on to N2 or stay with N3 in order to perfect her score.

It’s not an easy question to answer though because it depends a lot on your personal goals and your motivation.  You need to start by asking yourself what the test means to you. Is it something that you need to pass in order to get a job or qualify you for a position?  Are you taking the test for personal motivation and achievement? Do you just love taking tests?

If you are taking the test to qualify for a position, it might be better to focus on the particular level that is needed.  For example, if you need N2 for a job, or would like to put that on your resume, I would move on to that level even if you haven’t passed lower levels.  Later, if you do find it difficult to pass that higher level, you can move back to the level you were having trouble with.

On the other hand, if you are taking the test for personal achievement, it really comes down to your personal motivation. I think there is a lot to be said for perfecting your knowledge on a subject. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at Japanese from really mastering the basics of N5. But for others this might take a serious toll on your motivation.

The Race

In the end, the race of life is always a race with yourself. Don’t feel like you need to pass N2 in a year just because somebody else has. It’s probably not going to be all that useful to you if you speed though it anyway. Real world usage, especially with speaking and writing Japanese, is also really important.

Quick Update

I know I have been a little quiet lately.  I’ve been putting the finishing touches on my JLPT Study Guide for N5 that should be coming out soon.  We’ve had multiple delays because I want to make this the best possible book for the N5.  I’m getting excited about bringing it to everyone as soon as I can.

How about you?

How well did you do? Let me know in the comments below.


{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Stephanie January 25, 2019, 10:50 am

    I passed N3 this time! I had taken it a few times before but never passed. Here’s what was different this time.

    The last several times, I used regular textbooks and studied Japanese like how I would in class, over a whole six months.

    This time, I just used drill books and practice tests to cram the material into my head for 90 days before the test.

    In my case, since I work in Japan and my spouse is Japanese, everyone says I have business fluency in speaking and listening. But reading, having test-taking skills and rote memorization are all that’s needed to pass.

    This year, I will pass N2.

    • Clayton MacKnight January 25, 2019, 12:50 pm

      That sounds like a good plan. Yeah, the JLPT unfortunately only tests passive skills, so it might be difficult if you have just picked up Japanese in more natural situations. N2 is good-sized jump up. If reading is a weakness, you’ll have to speed up your reading speed. I think you need to read about twice as fast at the level. Good luck!

      • Dec January 26, 2019, 1:47 am

        > Yeah, the JLPT unfortunately only tests passive skills

        Um. Yes, and no. Although the test doesn’t have written or oral (as opposed to reading or aural) sections, I’ve come to the conclusion that the test actually does a pretty good job of testing your “production” skills (ie, the active part of speaking a foreign language) in a few indirect ways. For example:

        * at least at higher levels, they test your vocabulary knowledge from multiple different angles (not just passively being able to read a certain word written in kanji, for example)
        * reading speed is critical, so being able to anticipate sentence and textual flow is crucial. You can’t anticipate what’s coming next unless you have a reasonable level of ability in actually producing possible options
        * a lot of the grammar is about what “sounds” natural to you, so again, you’re passing it through the filter of trial productions
        * in general, “speed” is synonymous with how automatically your passive recognition/cognition language functions are working, and you really only get that level of “automaticity” through a balanced regime of passive acquisition and active production, or a slower regime of purely passive acquisition (for example, a mix of intensive and extensive reading).

        Have another look at how the questions in the exams are formed. I think that you might find that quite a few of them are actually indirectly testing your production ability, even though there aren’t specific speaking/writing questions included.

        • Clayton MacKnight January 28, 2019, 11:17 pm

          It’s true that in order to pass the higher levels of the test, especially N2 or above you probably need to have a good amount of experience producing the language.

  • Stephanie January 25, 2019, 2:10 pm

    During the test this time, I had extra time after both of the first two sections, like 20-30 minutes. As long as I memorize the new material just as fast and keep reading natural materials on the side (newspapers and short stories and documents) I think I will be ok.

  • Lucia January 25, 2019, 3:30 pm

    It was my first time taking the JLPT last December 2018, and I am glad to say that I passed! It may not seem that much, but passing N5 is a good start. While I did familiarize myself with the test’s contents and doing as much practice as I can with JLPT reviewers for over a month, the real deal itself was a totally different experience.

    As I always kept track of my performance in classes, I knew very well that listening was my greatest weakness, so I made it a point to practice listening exercises in one sitting to help me build stamina (I often lose focus in long conversations and begin to start thinking about other things).

    All the effort paid off and I earned a perfect 180. I believe I don’t have the time and ability to study enough N3 content in less than six months, so I’ll be applying for N4 in July instead.

    Thanks for this awesome blog! I learned a lot of test-taking tips and tricks, so I felt very prepared for the actual JLPT. I look forward to your completed N5 study guide.

    • Clayton MacKnight January 28, 2019, 11:09 pm

      Wow 180! That is a great score. The listening can be quite difficult even at this level. There are a lot of twists and turns. N4 should be no problem for July. Good luck with your studies!

  • Dec January 26, 2019, 1:29 am

    I already posted on an existing article to say that I passed, so I won’t repeat myself here (see https://jlptbootcamp.com/2018/11/december-2018-jlpt-last-minute-advice/#comments).

    I do want to add something to what you said above, though. I think that if you’re at N3 and you failed by a small amount, then definitely do “go” rather than “stay”. However, if you failed at N2, I think that it’s best to “stay”.

    Basically, if you’ve moved along from N5 to nearly passing N3, then you should have a good idea of how the test works. Even if you’ve only ever taken the JLPT at N3, but still got close to passing, I don’t think that it’s a good idea restricting yourself to only revising N3-level material. You’re at a level now where your own personal study routine and strategies are more important than whatever the textbooks might tell you. You’ll want extra, new material to study, so N2 gives you a wider range of materials.

    If you failed the N2 by a small amount, you should also look at the N1 material (the next level up, especially reading materials, since they don’t actually use that much extra grammar forms in that section–the problem is mostly vocabulary and the length of the texts) , but don’t bother applying for the N1 until you’ve got a solid win by passing the N2. The practical value of N2 is nearly the same as N1, so I think that it’s better to just get the N2 out of the way.

    Basically, if you’re nearly at N3, it makes more sense to take N2 after a year. That’s plenty of time to study. If you’re nearly N2, though, N1 is a fair bit harder for marginal returns, so, practically speaking, it’s probably better to just pass N2 first. In both cases, though, definitely study the next-level materials (even if you’re re-taking N2).

    Just my $0.02…

    • Clayton MacKnight January 28, 2019, 11:13 pm

      True. Looking at study estimates, it seems like the time invest to get from 0 to N2 is about equal to that of getting from N2 to N1. It was a very big jump and might not even be worth it until you’ve had some real world experience with the language.

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