Hi, I will be taking the JLPT for the first time this July (N3). I’m not really one who is keen on spending money on books, but for the more experienced ones, do you recommend buying JLPT Textbooks and Workbooks? For those who have them, how useful are they? Thanks in advance.
That really depends on you. I’d maybe go to a library or borrow a book or something just to get a feel for the test. Even if your Japanese is fantastic, knowing what instructions to skip, or just what exactly you are supposed to do can help.
Im sure they can be helpful but you may also be able to find free and legal resources to practice with
The Shin Kanzen Master series teaches you the material you need to know and provides plenty of practice assignments in the JLPT question format. It really helped me prepare for N3. I highly recommend it.
I also got JLPT sample test books. It’s pretty much a neseasity if you haven’t taken JLPT before. Doing a test run is very important I think so that you know exactly what to expect from the test and how to use your time.
Passing any test is not only about know the material but also about knowing the question format and a having a test taking strategy beforehand.
What have you used to study up to now? Are you self studying? Have you done a practice test to see where you stand?
I did N3 with Minna no Nihongo shokyuu 1&2, WK level 30 something, and a lot of classroom hours. Then I did N2 with still more classroom hours and some Minna no Nihongo chuukyuu 1&2. For the run up to N2 I tried to use JLPT studybooks I was able to borrow from my boyfriend, but it didn’t really suit my study methods. For N1 I did go all out and but the Shinkanzen Master series, and I like the method, but haven’t been consistent in working out of them.
I’m guessing for N3 the various youtube playlists will be enough to familiarize you with a lot of the grammar that might (not necessarily will) appear on the test. Then practicing a lot will reinforce it all. N3 grammar is all pretty much ubiquitous, none of it is stuff you rarely come across, so you can get a lot of it through exposure as well, but it’s nice to have read and understood an explanation if you want to take a test on it.
I’m self studying every day with 1 hour into learning and applying grammar, 1 hour of reading and 1 hour on WK. I have tried the practice tests on the NHK Easy News application and I usually get about 110-140, with my weakest component by far being the word/phrase synonym subsection and the adverbs subsection in the grammar section.
In regards to the Minna no Nihongo and Shinkanzen Master series, which aspects of your Japanese did they greatly help with?
Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check the series out at the local Kinokuniya tomorrow.
As I said, I’ve hardly used the Shinkanzen books yet, but I like the summarizing tests they provide.
As for Minna no Nihongo, it’s hard to say how much of it is because of having a good teacher. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it specifically for studying for the test, but it builds a logical progression through the basics of the language. I like that it’s al Japanese, and no romaji at all (unless you get the romanized version of their first beginner textbook). The only conjugation you don’t get in the beginner texts, that you do need for N3, is the causative-passive. But that shows up early on in the intermediate textbook. You would need to buy a separate grammar book for the explanations in English (or other languages), though. My teacher translated all the grammar to Dutch, and fleshed it out a lot more, so I can’t tell you how good the original explanations are.
I don’t know how these compare to the actual JLPT, but if they are sretty close, then I would say 110/140 is probably good enough.
There’s practice tests?!
I think it might be the iOS version that might have it?
Ah. Thanks for the detailed explanation!
I really liked the Shin Kanzen Master series
What’s the app called?
I used both Shin Kanzen Master and the Nihongo Sou Matome books to pass N3. They’re the only thing I used (in addition to wanikani) to study for the test. Since you’re level 39 in WK, don’t bother with the kanji books as you already exceed N3 in Kanji ability. I also can’t recommend the listening books either because I didn’t use them. I listened to a sample N3 listening section on youtube and found it to be pretty easy so I didn’t buy listening materials. I did the Sou Motome for vocab, but I don’t think it’s the best way to learn vocab as it requires you to memorize a new list of 30 or so words everyday.
I think the two that were most helpful for me were the Shin Kanzen Grammar and Reading Comprehension books. The grammar books don’t have the most in-depth explanations, but all the practice questions really helped. I think the Shin Kanzen reading comprehension book is the best out of all of them. There are so many passages to read and practice with. On the test you’ll have the advantage if you are used to the format of the reading questions because of the time limit. It also boosted my reading level a lot in my personal life and was excellent kanji practice.
NHK Easy News by TODAI on the Play Store
I would really love to take a look at the Shin Kanzen books but when I went to Kinokuniya yesterday there were none in stock . Mind taking photos of a couple of pages as a sample? Thanks in advance!
I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t have the books anymore. I only have the N2 one which is quite a bit different because it doesn’t include the english/chinese/vietnamese explanations. Could you see a preview of it on Amazon or with a google search?
I am probably just parroting what others have said…
I would get past papers over textbooks and workbooks. It is important to get a sense of the format and patterns. Also, there are lists of grammar point for N3 online. From the lists there are youtube videos like 日本語の森 and so on.