Go back to Genki II despite already passing N4?

I’ve been studying on Wanikani only (and random manga reading) so far and haven’t done any serious practice with grammar other than googling a manga sentence here or there. I already passed N4 last year and going to take N3 in July. I have the choice of starting on Genki II or going to the Tobira book.

I know if choose Genki II I’ll definitely fail N3. I don’t mind that much, I only applied for it to keep my motivation high. If I choose Tobira I guess I have a better shot at N3, but I wonder if I’ll be having gaps in my understanding… Do you think I should try Tobira anyway and stick with it if it seems I can make progress? Or do the “safer” route and go through Genki II? Are the missed lessons in Genki II things I’ll learn “naturally” well enough by reading Tobira and just continuing to read japanese?


You could try to do some of the exercices from Genki 2 on this webpage: (Genki 2 is from lesson 13 to lesson 23) Genki Exercises - 2nd Edition | Genki Study Resources
If you pass everything without an issue, then drop it, otherwise, you could consider refreshing it :slight_smile:


Ok turns out I’m real shit at Japanese and Genki II is challenging. How on earth did I pass N4 lol


A lot of the stuff in Genki 2 (potential; passive; causative; verbs of giving and receiving) is both important foundational material and also quite complex, especially when you have several of the above in combination. I think a lot of people need to circle back at some point to re-study these – I know I did, even though I thought I understood it all the first time through…


No reason to rush things. I’d say make sure your foundations are strong before moving to intermediate/advanced grammar.


I got so used to consuming japanese I didn’t realize how much harder it is to produce it…


bunpro is pretty great for that, I find.

Yeah the workbook exercises make you write a lot, but in case you are only interested in being good at understanding, you could always ignore them and judge your knowledge of the material on the rest since it’s a lot of multiple choice. Try the reading and listening comprehension too, it could give you a good indication.

I am interested in only understanding, but I am also interested in acquiring a better grasp of grammar and at some point you’re going to have to trust a process (any process) and stick to it. The grammar exercises unfortunately enforce writing a lot so they train some skills I consider lower priority (hand-writing, kanji production) but that’s just how it is.

If it starts getting really slow during grammar exercises, with me forgetting how to produce some Kanji that I would definitely recognize in the wild and slowing me down considerably, I might start abstracting those parts of the exercise. Kanji production is useful but looking up 10 kanji in order to do grammar practice about the Potential Tense is … not counterproductive exactly but definitely very inefficient.

But before making any changes I’ll try trusting the process a little bit more.

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I am not sure what grammar study has to do with kanji production or even hand writing. You can write using a computer or smartphone and the kanjis are picked out automatically, you just have to be able to recognise the correct one if more options are provided.

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In the context of this thread, it has to do that we’re discussing grammar exercises found in the book “Genki II”. If you’re doing those exercises on the physical book, you need those skills. If you’re doing the exercises on a PDF+notepad of sorts, you don’t. I am currently doing the former as I am finding that using a computer to study demotivates and distracts me lately, so I’m sticking to a physical book in a location free of established distracting routines like a computer.

Not sure if it works yet.


yeah, I do the Genki exercises hand written for the same reason. I find it shocking how hard I find the hand writing to be honest (and I even do kanji production cards with swiping on a tablet). What I’ve resigned myself to, to balance this is to just write a word in kana if I forgot in that moment how to write the kanji. Or (horror), write the romaji if I can’t write the kana. It looks terrible, but it’s just, as you say, in that moment the focus is on the grammar. Anyway, that’s how I’m keeping handwriting from holding me back (and I even tend towards valuing that skill!)


I think I’ll do the same as you, it sounds like a nice tradeoff. You still write, you know the kanji so just move it along.

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This seems more than a personal way of studying grammar (on genki or other means) than a prerequisite of studying grammar in general.

Studying grammar does not in fact require writing down stuff, and it certainly doesn’t require being able to write kanjis by hand.

I used genki and I never ever handwritten any exercise. If you don’t want to use a computer you can write in kana or rōmaji (if you really have to write down stuff) or simply recite aloud the response (or even just think it if you are in a public space and can’t speak).

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I have exactly the same perspective. I do the handwritten Genki exercises because I feel that writing it down helps me solidify my understanding of the grammar points – but I do not care about my writing skills at all (beyond knowing how to write kana). As such, I write everything in kana, and it’s really hard to read back sometimes, but I’m okay with it because it’s faster and I’m not doing the exercises to improve my writing skills anyways.


Interesting, I’m going for N4 on July and I’m about to start genki II to prepare myself, right after I finish the first one hopefully this week.

I’m hoping to finish genki II in less than two months, but for what you explain it seems that it’s not absolutely necessary to cover everything in depth.

May I ask (if you want to share, of course) how well you did in N4 and what was your background knowledge at that moment?

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