Jun 15, 2019
Last summer, with some luck, I was able to pass the N2. It was my very first time to take the JLPT, so needless to say, I was thrilled. I have been thinking about that experience lately because I am currently trying to study for the N1. I have been thinking about my study methods, and what worked at the end of the day for me last year.
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First, I bought a ton of JLPT prep books, but I hardly touched any of them. They may work great for many people, but just the way they are set up does not work for me. I have tried several of the different series available, but none of them really suited me. My goal is to not only pass the test, but actually be able to use the language I learn and the books just don’t do it for me.
However, the books that are typically used for Japanese classes really suited my style. It worked for me and prepared me at the same time. The difficult thing about this is that these kinds of textbooks may not match up with a particular level perfectly, so beware of that.
For the listening portion, I did not study specifically. What I did was just use what I learned and talked with my friends, watched Japanese TV, etc. This was apparently the best approach because I scored perfectly on the listening portion. The more you use Japanese in your everyday life, the more it will affect your listening skills and your overall Japanese ability!
One other thing that helped me a lot is Wanikani. I hate kanji, but there is no way around it. But I cannot get myself to just sit down and practice kanji. However, Wanikani made it easier for me and I liked the program a lot. However, for the N1 test, I am no longer using Wanikani, I have found that after a year of using it I have gotten bored of the system, so I guess it is back to writing for me!
I think the most important thing is to make the studying as interesting as it can be. Maybe you could get the score you are aiming for faster if you just use test prep materials, but will you actually be able to motivate yourself to study it? My answer is no, and I imagine it is the same case for many other people.
Either way, find what works for you and don’t give up! Happy testing!
Teacher, Traveler, Dancer -
Currently living in Gifu -
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!