Anyone tried Kanken?

I’ve mostly used the two official Kanken games on 3DS, which are called 漢検トレーニング and 漢検トレーニング2.

They are not without issues, but they are still the best options on handheld.

There are some other games that incorporate writing, but they are either for other tests or are unofficial Kanken games, but I haven’t really found those to be recommendation-worthy. Perhaps if you really wanted to take one of the other tests, such as the 日本語検定, then just getting the game that focuses on that would be your best bet.

Long ranty update. TL;DR- 5級 on August 20th. Hooooo boy.

It looks like my school will still be hosting the summer 漢検, so as long as 9 students sign up to take it with me, I’ll be giving 5級 the ol’ college try on August 20th!

I have to say, now that I’m expected to be able to write up to 1026 kanji from memory, the sections where you write multiple kanji with the same readings are really starting to kick my butt. I’m on track to finish my ステップ book by the end of this month, which will give me about 3 full weeks to review before the day of the test. I’m planning on taking practice tests here and there starting pretty soon, and hoping I do better than I currently feel.

Surprisingly, the 音訓, 部首, and whatever you call the part where you have to group 熟語 into categories (類語、対語、修飾、and that other one) sections aren’t giving me as much trouble as I had previously expected. 四字熟語 and general vocab knowledge are going to be key to me getting a passing score this time around, so we’ll see how I do.

Regardless, I’m pretty happy to be able to say that I’ve gone from virtually 0 writing practice to 5級 in the span of one year, and even happier with the fact that this lines up with only about the 3 year mark of studying kanji. Once I clear 5, I’m definitely going to take a break to polish my speaking because good lord is it behind my reading/writing. If I could speak proper Japanese at the same level as a native 6th grader like this test says I can read/write (in theory), I’d be over the friggin moon.


In the best way and the nicest possible way, you’re crazy.

Best of luck to you!

5級 Update

Test was today and uh, I’m pretty sure I passed? I wrote all my answers on my question sheet so as long as I didn’t make any mistakes in my self-grading (totally possible), then I passed!

Funniest part is that two weeks ago I was working through my step book (didn’t finish on track, oops!) and decided I wasn’t going to take it because no way would I pass (lots of curveballs came up and I lost some study time).

Last night the school Japanese teacher texted me reminding me of the test (I had actually forgotten, and stopped studying entirely… oops again!) and so I figured I’d better cram as much as possible to give myself at least a chance of passing. A 115 and a 125 on practice tests later and I had conceded to my failure (140 is passing).

Then test time rolls around, and I actually managed to answer a majority of the writing questions, and by self-grading I got a 155/200! Miracles do happen! :joy::joy:


Last week I signed up for 準2級 in Düsseldorf.
Up until now I was basically only studying my daily Anki 書き取り and 四字熟語 cards, which is going pretty well I think. Since there’s only like a month left, I decided to do the practice test from their website, which is the first 2019 test, and I actually managed to pass first try with 159/200 (140 passing). I finished with about half the time left, so I technically had enough time to think longer about some answers and maybe manage an even better score?
I still have the mock test in my Step book, which I’m probably gonna try and report back tomorrow.
Of course the environment is gonna be different during the real thing, and I don’t know if they’re gonna complain about my 外国人 writing and dock some points. But usually I’m not someone to get stressed during a test, so I’m feeling pretty good right now :woman_shrugging:. I guess you just gotta be lucky with the questions.


I just noticed that I haven’t reported back on the other practice tests.
I took the one from the book and scored 157/200, which is also passing! Additionally I found another past test (from 2012), where I scored 163/200.
Which means, I scored about the same every time, which is very reassuring. I am also very glad that I only have to get 70% instead of the 80% you need for 2級.

Reading and 四字熟語 were mostly no problem. The exercise I found to be most difficult is the 類義語・対義語 section, because you just have to know lots of words. If you don’t know two or three instantly from the hiragana they give you, it’s really hard to guess what word they’re corresponding to, which means it’s difficult to try and guess kanji for them.

I put all words I couldn’t write in my Anki deck, even though I doubt they’re gonna put in questions from their official book / official practice test on their website, but hey, it won’t hurt.


Today I took Kanken 9級, and I must say I’m fairly happy that I did! During my preparations I had come across soooo many unknown words, mostly from child-related activities, which is totally fine for a 2nd-grader but not so much for a foreign learner :sweat_smile: Anyways, today’s test did not contain too many crazy words (or I simply did not realize…) I did mess up the reading for 大工 though (it’s だいく and not たいく which was my answer), but to make up for that I guessed 土星 correctly (it’s どせい).
The most embarrassing bit was when I double-checked my answers and realized that I had at least 5 errors in the Hiragana :flushed: - now I’m glad there is no Hiragana exam because I would probably fail that one badly…
I was also quite surprised that there was a large number of foreigners taking the test - I was worried I might be the only adult among a bunch of 7-year-old Japanese children, but although there were some little ones, the number of adults was larger.
Anyways, it was a fun experience, and I’m sure I’ll take another test next time around.


I just guessed the same as your wrong answer. :laughing:

WaniKani level 6 :joy: