Woo! I checked the published answers against the notes I took in the question booklet and I am about 99% certain I scored over 700 points! I count it as 725, but there’s always that chance I didn’t actually mark down what I thought I did.
Still my goal to just improve was shattered and I think I earned B Level, which is the same as N1.
WaniKani is certainly to thank for a large chunk of my improvement. I scored 87% on the kanji section. And it makes reading a smoother experience.
Thanks guys. Part of it is just me getting better at taking the test. Each time I get more comfortable and manage my time better. Still, I basically zoned out for the last 6 listening and last 4 reading questions… I don’t yet have the stamina to go all the way to the end.
The online results were published today and my count was correct! 725 points.
Though I was a little off in my description before. 725 points is Pre-B level, not B-level, but it is equivalent to N1 as I said before. B-level and higher are certifications that exceed the JLPT ones.
So whether or not I pass the official N1 test in July, I have a certificate equivalent to the same thing.
Took it again over the weekend. I estimate that I scored roughly 740 based on the answer sheet they published. Could be higher if some of my written sentences that I’m not sure about were acceptable, but it’s possible I won’t get credit for them.
Not a huge improvement over last time (when I scored 725), but I crushed the listening section. In the kanji reading section (where they have you write the reading in hiragana, no multiple choice) they managed to hit me with some tough kanji readings I was unfamiliar with, even though I knew the kanji. For instance 解毒 (げどく) and 面影 (おもかげ). They feel obvious now, but in the moment I didn’t guess correctly.
If I can pull my grammar/vocab/reading up to my listening level, I might be able to get the 800 point certificate this year, which is the next cutoff.
These days I don’t spend much time doing dedicated studying, though I probably should do more of that. I mostly just consume things in Japanese now. If I play a game, I play the Japanese version. If I watch a show on Netflix, I put on the Japanese subtitles. I watch Japanese TV and read Japanese books. Plus, I guess it’s an unfair advantage, but I live in Japan and have a Japanese girlfriend. So every week I get hours and hours of speaking/listening practice.
Leading up to this, I used the Shin Kanzen Master books and, of course, WaniKani. If you have other specific things you want to focus on, I could probably give recommendations for those.
By the way, how much do you practice writing by hand?
I was looking at the section 4 you posted a few months ago, and even though I KNOW what kanjis I would like to write, their appearance is too fuzzy in my head to do it properly. (That’s also one of the reason why I gave up on the idea to take the 漢検 any time soon).
I guess radicals + mnemonics are going to help with that, though, so I may be in a better position after going through WK. Who knows.
Kanji are optional in the sentence-writing questions. For instance, even though I know how to write 頑張る and 負ける, I wrote がんばる and まける on the exam on Sunday, because it is just one less thing to worry about.
That being said, I study writing kanji by hand a bunch. If you’re interested in that, you can check out my Kanken topic.
I find myself bookmarking all your posts I come across. Thank you so much for documenting your language learning journey. Did you enroll in Japanese classes at all or just self-study? (Sorry, really just in awe here)
The Shin Kanzen master books are still much to advanced for me but I will definitely keep those in mind when I finally pass the N4. I feel so naive thinking that N1 is the ultimate level. Since I’m also in Japan, I should also consider taking the J-Test.
At the very, very beginning, back in 2013, I took some classes at a local language school. I lived in Boston at the time. That probably covered a little more than N5 content. It lasted a few months. Since then, I’ve studied on my own.
I think the only key ingredient is being able to keep moving forward. Despite countless embarrassing moments, failures, and mistakes, I keep going. Present tense, because I’m still failing and making mistakes, haha.
Yeah, go for it! As mentioned above, they actually give out certificates equivalent to lower than N5, so everyone should give it a shot if they feel up for it.