Does burning every turtle = good foundation for JLPT N1?

Hi guys!

I passed JLPT N3 in 2013, then passed JLPT N2 in 2014. After that, I decided it might be worth it just to throw myself at the JLPT N1, even if I couldn’t pass on my first try. So I tried… 3 times… And didn’t pass, all 3. XD

That was while I was holding a full time job and not reeeeally studying much outside of work. Basically, I had graduated with a Japanese major back in 2007, and my residual language proficiency was what got me through N3 and N2.

But in 2018, with my spouse’s support, I quit my day job and focused almost entirely on studying Japanese, with the aim to become a translator.

In comes Wanikani!

After fighting through the first bit of Wanikani, I decided to sign up to take JLPT N2 again in 2018, just to prove to myself that me passing it in 2014 wasn’t a fluke. I kept up Wanikani, took the JLPT, and happily passed, reaffirming to myself that yes, I do have a lot of knowledge left in this brain!!

So now…

There’s that JLPT N1 goal, still looming in the distance…

Anybody here passed the N1 yet? Know anyone who did? Any thoughts on if fully burning every turtle in Wanikani might be a good time to take the N1?

Not this year, but I’m looking at Dec. 2020. It’s far enough in the future that I feel like I could really have a good chance. Even if I don’t pass, I feel like I’d score much better than previous years!!

What do you think?


Do you use ?

At level 60, WK has covered a little under 80% of N1 kanji and vocab, so using some outside sources to shore up the left-overs would be advised. ^^

I feel like you would definitely pass based on kanji, I don’t know about the other skills, but with more than 1 year to go and the N2 in the pocket it should be 100% doable!!

(also I feel like your knowledge is very solid bc you took the N2 twice with such a big gap, so you probably repeated everything a lot)

Awesome story, good luck!!!

Only kanji is considered in those stats. I think it’s unlikely you’d get anywhere close to 80% of N1 vocab from WaniKani alone.


Ah, I must not have looked at the list properly. Thanks. ^^

Just tried it, thanks for the link! That’s awesome that it shows all the kanji on Wanikani and on JLPT like that!

YES, this is the thing I am definitely the most worried about. My reading comprehension has always been pretty decent for Japanese; I can use context queues to get a vague idea of what a sentence says. But my malnourished vocab stands in the way, which is partially why I was hoping Wanikani would help. It’ll take a chunk out, but I’m going to need to hit some more N1 study books to boost my vocab more, I imagine.

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Since the kanji often reveals the meaning (like being aware of the kanji in 投影, throw-shadow = projection), I would sharpen up your kana-only vocab as much as possible. I bet that’s much harder with only WK. I think anki decks exist that focus on these.

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I can confirm that the kana-only vocab in the N1 prep is rough.

On the bright side, the kanji questions are almost a joke.


Yes ok I had not considered this lol. So in terms of kanji, 80% is sufficient for the N1, but if the vocab is this terrible 0_0 Anyone have any idea whether the core 10000 deck in torii (for example) does cover all of this?

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