As you may know: being good at Japanese language is important for living in Japan. To find out about your Japanese skills there is a test called Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験) or shortly JLPT.
The JLPT takes place twice a year - once at the begining of July and once at the begining of December - in Japan and a lot of other countries. The test has five different levels, starting from N5 as lowest and N1 has highest level. Mostly, if you want to go to Japanese university or want to work at a Japanese company, you need to have passed at least N2 level. What this means, you can see in this table (info from Wikipedia)
So this is what you need on Kanji and vocabulary for each level:
|N1||2.000 kanji + 10.000 vocabulary|
|N2||1.000 kanji + 6.000 vocabulary|
|N3||650 kanji + 3.000 vocabulary|
|N4||320 kanji + 1.500 vocabulary|
|N5||120 kanji + 800 vocabulary|
I applied for N4 level and the test will take place on Sunday. I'm kind of nervous and worried if I can make it. Sure, compared to the 2.000 kanji and 10.000 vocabulary you need to reach N1 level, the 320 kanji and 1.000 vocabulary don't look much. But they are!! Especially if you are learning Japanese by yourself without a teacher or a language school.
Luckily there are some books you can use for studying. So mainly, I made this post to show which books I used for preparation *laugh*
First there is a book series called Nihongo Challenge (にほんごチャレンジ) which I enjoyed to use. Unfortunately I can't finish all the books before the test. I have the three books for N4 Grammar and Reading practice (文法と読む練習), N4 Vocabulary (ことば) and N4-5 Kanji (かんじ). All books costs between 1,200 ~ 1,400 yen (+tax) and include explanations, practise tasks and solutions.
Another book I got interested into when I saw it in the books store is 日本語能力試験対策Ｎ４漢字・語彙・文法 ２０日間で合格力を身につける！ It includes many tasks in the sections kanji, vocabulary and grammar which have the same structure as the JLPT test. At the end of the book you also can find some test examples where you can find out if you are ready for the test. Even so the book costs 1,500 yen (+tax) I can totally recommend it. I enjoyed practising with this book.
I also used the Offical JLPT Practice Workbook N4. With only 700 yen (+tax) it's cheap, but there is only one full test inside you can practise with. It's good to get to know the structure of the whole test and how the test sheets will look like. Here also you can try out the listening part, because a CD is included. I wasn't so bad with this test - hope it will be good at the real one, too.
My last book, is a book I bought in Germany. It's explaning Japanese grammar in German language and it's pretty usefull if I don't understand the explanation in the other English books. Maybe you also have such book in your homecountry? In addition, I also practised a lot vocab with apps like Memrise, Kotoba and Obenkyo on my smartphone.
Is anyone else taking the test this time? How did you get prepared for it?
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