In my preparation for level 4, I hadn’t done a paper test until today. I was just using Kanken Training. It’s super convenient, but fails to capture the feel of a real test in a few ways, such as allowing kanji to repeat within the same test. Never for the same section, but it’s not unusual to see a word in the reading section and then again in, say, the okurigana section.
Today I took a paper practice test for the first time in this run-up to level 4. I was thinking I’d do worse than in the game, because the game gives you some crutches, like guessing on your messy characters in ways that can actually tip you off to the answer. But surprisingly, I did my best yet, 182 points. I think part of it is because you can kind of jump around wherever you want in the test, and it gives your brain a chance to work on things in the background while you move on to other questions you want to answer. The game version makes you answer a question immediately or pass and receive no points. You get no second chance to check your work at the end.
Even though I had that opportunity, I still lost a few points to sheer laziness, not double-checking my work completely. But it was interesting to see how the two ways of practicing feel so different.