Getting from early N4 to N3 in 3 months?

Well I may have made a mistake because in 3 months I’m going to Japan and I’m gonna do some language school, but when signing up for it I realized that I probably sounded much better than I actually am :') (while according to my anki and bunpro stats I should be able to easily pass N4 I would say my actual ability in the language is maybe halfway through N4) and according to my progress so far my bunpro and anki would surpass N3 in about 1-2 months, and I highly regret basing everything off the straight stats of what I should (and am unfortunately am not) be at so now I figure I should step it up a little so it doesn’t look like I was lying on my registration form :eyes:

Currently I do my wanikani and ~100 bunpro reviews bc I crammed half of N4 a couple of weeks ago and my reviews are still in the 300s (and then I do 5 lessons a day so I don’t get tempted to cram N3 too) and then I do anki where I only do 200 reviews and “20” new cards which is actually 10 because I use reversed cards (there was a time in my life when I did 50 new words a day but then I realized that my wanikani and bunpro are dying and I should probably do the stuff that I’m paying for instead of just waste my money)
Most of this is done in school (somehow I ended up with 2 hours of study hall per day although one of them is last period and I never feel like doing anything then) so I get at least a solid hour of japanese reviews done on weekdays(my lack of headphones has led me to having an accent that even I know is really bad but I figure I can live with that if I can at least be understood) but then on weekends I get lazy unless I get up at 9 which is the only time on weekends I can be productive.

Other than that ocassionally I’ve been reading yotsuba to! where I can barely understand most of the words but somehow I can still get the jokes, and sometimes listen to the intermediate nihongo con teppei, which is similar to yotsuba where I know what is being talked about but zero details. Every so often I get onto netflix and watch teasing master takagi san as well, which I understand slightly less than yotsuba.

I haven’t really tracked my progress in the past, but it was pretty slow (for the record I used duolingo for like 3 months), and I’m not that sure how much of what I need to really be doing even with all of my calculations on how long it should take me because I’m rather lazy. Basically that’s why I wrote this post, because I wanna hear how I should be going about this for these 3 months.

(also all of this is ignoring my kanji knowledge-I figure I’ll just take my time on wanikani because furigana browser extensions exist in the meanwhile)

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First of all, congratulations! I spent some time at a language school in Japan and I both found it really helpful for my Japanese ability and had a lot of fun there. I hope you have a great time. How long are you going to be there for, and which school?

I think a lot of language schools do a placement test when you get there – do you know if yours will?

My general suggestions would be:

  • It’s better to be solid on the basics rather than have a sketchy grasp of a wide range of stuff. This is especially true if they give you a placement test, because you’re likely going to place at ‘level just after the last stuff in the curriculum that you seem to be fairly solid on’.
  • If you have an opportunity to do some speaking and writing practice beforehand as a warmup that is likely to help. It sounds like your current study is heavily input-biased, but a language school is going to also be doing writing and speaking. You’ll probably feel like you made a better representation of your Japanese ability if the placement test isn’t the first time you tried to string a sentence together :slight_smile:
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No. However, took me about 4 or 5 months to cram everything I could and pass the N3. I passed, but it wasn’t a great score.

From my own viewpoint I guess I wanna know are you trying to get better at Japanese or pass a test?

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I’m inspired to read about your ambitions, and hope to hear about your progress.

I recently failed the N4, but intend to study for the N3 anyway. Living in the US, my first opportunity to take the N3 exam will be in December of 2023, but I’m thinking that that may be pushing things.

However, I am not a student, rather I have a full-time job, and so my pacing is likely to be much slower than what you described in your post. So, by all means, “go for it”.

(I would love to go to a language school in Japan for perhaps a whole year - but it’s unlikely that I will have the opportunity to do so anytime soon.)

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