Does studying Japanese stress you?

I’m loving my Japanese studies and I’m improving in a fastly manner. However, I can’t help but having this feeling of impending doom given I have to get N2 this December according to my schedule. How do you deal with this?.


Could you first clarify what you mean by this? Are you going to sign up for the December JLPT?
What is your current level, and what are your study plans for the year?


Exactly that, I’m taking the JLPT exam this December so I still have 11 months to study. When it comes to my level I’m at unit 34 in Minna no Nihongo. I’m taking 3 1 hours classes per week with a private tutor given I can’t join a group because I need to go fast. Yet sometimes I feel I have to mentally digest (if that makes any sense) new information and that slows me down.

I’m not personally familiar with Minna no Nihongo but I looked up unit 34 and it seems to be in the N5-N4 range. Being generous and assuming that means you’re at a solid N4 level, that means you’d still have to get through (and get somewhat comfortable with) both N3 and N2 material over the next 11 months.

You said you take 3x 1 hour classes per week, which is like 140 hours before the test assuming you take no weeks off. That’s not very much (hopefully you have a solid self-study plan as well). Here is a rough estimate I found googling “hours to prepare for JLPT”. It should obviously be taken with a grain of salt given that everyone is different, but it should make it clear 140 hours won’t cut it.

JLPT Study Times N5-N1

Even if you manage to go through all the required material (kanji, vocab, grammar) for every level up to and including N2, you’ll need to do a lot of reading just to improve your reading speed, otherwise you’ll have a hard time answering every question on the test in time. I took the JLPT N2 a month ago, and I had been reading novels daily since august (roughly 2000 pages of pure text). After answering everything on the reading section I had just 5 minutes (out of 105) to spare in order to re-check my answers.


Thank you for your answer. You’re right. I do study around 2 hours each day but according to those numbers I should study 4 more each day to meet my goal. One good thing is that they don’t test speaking which is a thing that I had to study for when I got the FCE. I should focus on improving my reading skills as well.

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I just go at my own pace and it’s not stressful. In fact there are moments where something clicks and certain things just begin to make sense, and those times are the opposite of stressful. Luckily, I’ve picked up reading more lately and those moments have been coming more often. The thing that slows me down the most right now is just raw vocabulary, which really can only be gained through repeated exposure.

I am planning on taking the N2 eventually though, but not until probably December of 2024.


No it doesn’t really stress me.

Maybe I missed it but you never said why you have to get N2. Like you signed up for it…but why? And why do you have to pass?


Would probably need 4-6hours per day, studying to have a chance at N2 in 11 months.

I would also be stressed. Not looking too bright.

Hope for the best though.


My aim is going to Japan next year. There are several economic reasons it would be way better for me to go in 2024. In order to enroll in a Japanese college I need to get the N2 before applying so that’s why I’m in a hurry to get that level.

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Thank you! I’ll do my best and tell my experience after taking the exam.

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I don’t think I was ever stressed, since I did well in class, so there were no real deadlines, and I only applied for N4 after 3 years of weekly classes and 3 months of a bit more intense reviewing for the test. We also used MnN, and there was some stuff missing at the end, hence the extra classes.

The most stress was probably waiting for the results (did pretty well), and then losing motivation in the following years.

I see that it’d be ideal if you pass the N2, but also ideal would be to not burn out. If you’re feeling stressed by a deadline that’s a year away, either come up with what you need to do to reach it, or if you realize that it’s too much, reconsider it.

Good luck on you journey. :slight_smile:


Thank you for your reply. You’re right. I’ll try to make a realistic studying plan and do my best.


As meantioned a plan is the only thing you can do. There are some youtube channels that look into N1 or N2 in one year and layout how they did it or how they broke things down.

Now they all say the same thing that this is breakneck speed and not a great idea, but it is doable.

But it will cost you a lot (mentally) and you need to plan out what needs to be done each month and schedule everything.

As everyone else has said, good luck. But also dont beat yourself up. Make small monthly goals ie 100kanji in a month, 1 chapter a week, ect. Nice chunks you can reach.


Ahh, well on the reducing stress front having a backup plan is always a good idea.

But anyways, I think N2 in a year is pretty doable if you do 4+ hours of focused study a day. I’ve only taken N1 so all my knowledge of the actual difficulty of n2 just comes from looking at practice questions.

As with most things, my suggestion is to listen to people who have achieved what you want to achieve. I know people who have done n1 in about a year and a half, so you should be able to find people who have done n2 in a year if you look around. I’d search on Reddit and stuff for credible people and their stories and do your best to follow their suggestions and replicate what they did.

If you replicate someone who achieved what you want to achieve, I imagine it will help a bit with stress and questioning yourself if you’re on the right path.


I really started diving into studying Japanese last year at the same time the company I was working at started to look pretty iffy (we were running out of money). I’d been in similar situations before and there comes a time where there’s just nothing you can do about it and it helps to be able to think about something else. Similar to playing the guitar, studying Japanese helps me to block out those pointless negative “what-if” and “why-didn’t-you” internal conversations. I’m not shooting for any specific goal or deadline. It helped my mental health a great deal IMO.



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