Experiences with WK and JLPT

So… I’ve started WK a few weeks ago and I’m currently level 5. I’ve seen a few posts about people who managed N1 by level 40. So, the thing is, I wanted to attend N2 this year, but I don’t feel so secure about it. The API suggests I’m going to be level 27 around the exam date. I’m fine with grammar, but kanji has always been my problem which is how I found WK (wish I had found it sooner). Last year I attended N3 and failed because of kanji and vocabulary. Thus, what I wanna know is about your experiences with WK and JLPT. By which level were you fine passing N2? Should I try it or stick around with getting N3? Thank you for the answers >_>

I took (and passed) N3 when I was around level 27, and the kanji / vocab part was still fairly challenging. My non-WK vocab was pretty limited at the time, which is likely a contributing factor. I’m not sure how difficult N2 is exactly as I haven’t taken it yet, but I’ve heard it’s a bit of a jump up from N3, so N2 might be a little difficult at that point if you don’t have kanji and vocab knowledge from somewhere else. Certainly doable but the N3 would probably be easier.

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I have only taken N5 and N4 so far and a couple fo N3 sample tests so I can’t talk about N2. What I do notice though is that kanji that I can recognize well enough in WaniKani might still trip me up during the test when they are asking for the little details in “which of these kanji is the correct version?” questions for example. So I try and write each kanji at least once in preparation for the test. And I think getting to the point where wkstats says you know 95% of all kanji is hopefully sufficient (but level 27 is far from that for N2).

Would you have the option to go for N3 in December and then N2 in July? That is probably how I would do it since personally I feel it is a better experience to be somewhat well prepared and confident for a test than going in with the bare minimum and hoping for the best (which is a bit ironic of me to say because I’m really underprepared for the N3 vocab section; I was hoping it would be different when I signed up… ).

And also: do you have any reason why you would need N2 now? Are you doing this just to measure you progress and have a goal to work towards or do you need it for e.g. job applications? How much time will you be able to allocate to studying in the next few months? How much other stress do you have in your life that could interfere with studying? Do you think you are someone who would enjoy the additional pressure instead of getting burnt out by it? Would you be fine if you failed, without losing your motivation?

=> I think all of these would influence the decision of going for N3 versus N2.


Thank you for the questions, they really helped a lot. Truth is I want to attend the MEXT exam for research next year and as I’m from the humanities field it is recommended having a good knowledge of japanese (which I understand as at least N2). But now I do realise that I can’t rush it anyway and should better prepare myself properly than trying to rush things without the need to.


Good luck with your study goals then, I hope everything works out the way you want it to.


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