Best grammer text/workbooks for N3?

I plan on taking the N3 in the winter but I would like recommendations on what text/workbooks you all think are best. I am looking for something aimed at the JLPT n3.

Also if anyone has experience taking practice tests let me know. I am not sure I understand the grading of the test.


A lot of people recommend 上級へのとびら, a gateway to intermediate level Japanese, which is roughly N3 levels of grammar, though is not created specifically to cover every grammar item of N3 in order.
I like it so far, it’s a classroom textbook though, so if you’re self studying like me, there will probably be parts you have to skip, or get a bit creative with.
I also hear good things about Sō-Matome, though I have never tried it out.
Oh and I can recommend Bunpro, which is great if you like Wanikani style SRS, but for grammar. It even has a study order for Tobira!


If you’re looking for a textbook specifically aimed at passing N3, the ShinKanzen Master books are highly recommended. If you just want a textbook at approximately N3 level, as Aechen said the Tobira textbook is excellent, and there’s also currently a Tobira study group that’s super friendly and welcoming :blush:


I’ve been using TRY N3!. I like it because it has good grammar explanations and lots of Exercises.

I found Tobira to be incredibly boring. The grammar explanations were too short and the exercises were incredibly tedious. I even tried doing the exercises with a partner to make it more “classroom like” and that didn’t make it any better.


I got my N3 with Minna no Nihongo book 1 and 2, and a little bit of the intermediate texts. And a teacher who let me ask a million questions, and take hours and hours of classes.

It isn’t possible to get an accurate scoring from the practice tests, but if you get about 75% correct on all the sections individually, you’ll probably be all right on the actual test. On the tests some questions are weighted differently from eachother, maybe also dependent on the overall success of the test takers on those questions, but I’ve never seen an answer key that accounts for the different weightings.

As a textbook, I use まるごと中級2, which uses the JF Standard and leads to N3 but focuses heavily on communicative skills. I personally did not like 上級へのとびら at all, but I’m generally not a fan of the more old-fashioned textbook combination of long texts and grammar exercises even though they may be more conducive to a self-study setting.

For the JLPT exam specifically, you’d have to supplement まるごと中級2 with a series like New Kanzen (which I like), at least for grammar and kanji. Like all standardized tests, it’s about test-taking skills as well though so I’d definitely do a couple of full practice exams irrespective of what you use to prepare for it otherwise.

I’d also like to confirm that both Tobira and 新完全マスター are amazing. I started with Tobira and then completed the missing grammar I needed for N3 with the 新完全マスターN3 series.

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