I’m currently planning on taking the JLPT N3 in July and then (hopefully) moving on to N2 in December. To reach this goal, I’ve bought the 日本語総まとめ kanji, vocab, grammar, and reading comprehension books for the N3 level.
Going through the books, I’ve realized just how fast paced everything is. This is actually ideal for me because I have a lot of free time and spending time blazing through these books and then going back and reviewing all over again is a good way for me to seal it all in my brain. My concern is, though, that due to the insanely fast pace of these books, it doesn’t cover everything you need to know for the test.
I’m not concerned about whether it’s an ideal format for studying or whether another curriculum explains things clearer. Really, all I want to know is if the textbooks cover everything I’ll need to pass the N3 and the N2. If I just study the kanji that appear in those books (although of course I am supplementing with wanikani too) will I be okay? If I only go over vocabulary in the vocab book, am I likely to be well covered for the test?
Basically, if I get through the books and understand everything they attempt to teach me, will I be well prepared for the JLPT?
Yes, if you really go through these books thoroughly, you will be ready for the test. You could probably do this with any of the other similar series as well, but they do have their own little stylistic differences here or there. So preference can play a part.
It just comes down to being consistent and actually using the books thoroughly, but I’d say you’ll be more than prepared.
I know you did say “only” a few times, though, so just to be clear… I think you’ll be fine with these as your only study material, but you shouldn’t stop consuming content that is appropriate for your level, like manga or whatever.
I mainly used their books for N5 and N4 to prepare when I took the N4 and they helped amazingly. They were a lot more fun than Shin Kanzen and Speedmaster. So I would assume that their N1-N3 books are the same.
Tofugu did a review (a while ago before they had an N4-N5 versions, but since you’re covering the higher levels, it should still be accurate).
For memory, according to the review, they’re not seen as ‘complete’ as Shin Kanzen, but they work for a pass.
I’ll probably be using them for N3 when I take the N3 one day since I prefer the format.
Yeah, following those books, you will be prepared well enough for the N3 exam, but if you want to be super prepared, there are a few extra things you could do.
I found the grammar books in the 日本語総まとめ series to be overly simplified, so if you’re having trouble fully grasping that part, some other sources might help. I know the Shin-Kanzen Master series is pretty good for going in a bit more detail (I’m currently using it for N2 grammar). If not, the 日本語の森 （nihongo no mori） youtube channel has some great grammar explanations.
I highly recommend the 日本語能力試験 模試と対策 N3 (Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken Moshi to Taisaku N3) book as practice a month or two before the test. It essentially has two full practice exams, meant to match the official JLPT exams as closely as possible. That way, you can have an idea of how well prepared you are, and how the exam will flow.
I would also recommend focusing on reading comprehension a lot. That is essentially the bulk of what you will be facing on JLPT exams, and it’s the part that got me sweating the most when I took the N3 test!
Good luck with your studies! I hope you manage to pass the exam \ ( ^ o ^) /
It’s my main ressource of study because of how it splits everything in day classes.
It kind of make you work every day and I think it’s great for motivation purpose.
For grammar I just go 日本語総まとめ book + bunpro website at the same time. I find out the grammar points of the day on the website and try too read / watch youtube videos about it.
And do both exercises book + website.
Just a fair warning for someone who went through the same kind of plan: There is a big leap between N3 and N2. So if I understood you correctly and you plan on taking N3 and N2 the same year, it might be difficult to achieve.
i studied with shin kanzen master (prefer them over soumatome but i guess it depends on personal taste) but what really helped me is goukaku dekiru. it’s not really a book that you use to study but it has a lot of practice questions. i just felt a lot more prepared after i worked through it
good luck with JLPT :)!
I’m actually mostly at an N3 level in my Japanese skills as is. It’s mostly just kanji that holds me back from taking the test. I bought all the materials to go over and confirm I know what I need to. I think a good majority of my time from now to December will be spent on N2 content. But it’s definitely good to be aware of that jump in difficulty.