To be fair, as you progress, your skill overcomes those stupid parts. Like if I did the N3 listening now, in doubt I’d get any wrong, even though the stupid things are still there. I only got a few things wrong on N2. I’ll be pleased with anything over 50% on listening for N1 from the other day.
I don’t disagree, but in real life if you mishear someone you can stop and ask for a repetition/clarification. If you’re listening to something on tv/radio, you can ask someone else about it (or listen to it again). Here, once the sentence is gone, it’s gone foreverrrrr…
Obviously practice helps, as does preparing your mind to take a test, but I was mainly just agreeing with you in wishing it wasn’t SO unforgiving - to the extent that encountering that conversation in real life would be easier heh…
Yeah, that was my main point in why those parts are stupid… Like, when will you ever have to listen to two natives speak to determine what one of them will do next? That’s a whole section on listening. Sure, if you can listen to two natives speak and fully comprehend their entire conversation, that’s not a bad thing, but it’s never going to be critical to your own performance in an office or anything.
So relieved that so many people, both here, on reddit, and on twitter, struggled with the N4 listening part and it wasn’t just me.
I’m not even going to bother checking my results online in February, I know it’ll say I failed.
You should check though! Who knows how the scores will shake out after the “scaled scores” thing is applied
Considering I’m fairly confident I got 0 since I wasn’t sure on any of them, I doubt even scaling will help. I’m pretty ultra pessimistic.
My other half will probably convince me to check though.
EDIT: Nevermind, just remembered the cake question, I definitely got that one right. I think I may have gotten three others too - asking a flower’s name, somebody running late to a meeting with a friend, a bloke asking another bloke to go sking.
Huh that is a good point.
I was wondering what the use was to put it in the plastic bag and then in your own bag
Exactly the same thought when entering N3 Listening section! lololololol.
I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking N3 listening was a total mess…
Re: Listening: Beyond format and beyond speed, I feel like the single biggest difference between those problems and real-world scenarios is that, in real life, people will go out of their way to make themselves understood, while in listening questions (short answers and general topic selection questions aside), they go out of their way to obfuscate what they’re selecting or telling other people to do.
That said–maybe N1 gets more heinous–but at least through N2 it still feels like a reasonable test of your ability to quickly glean information from spoken conversations. It’s just harsh.
Yeah, that’s especially bad in the final section, where one person gives a set of choices, and then two people discuss those choices without ever directly referring to them. No one talks like that.
A better way to do it would be to have those people actually talk about the things directly, but just use different ways to phrase stuff. Then you could make the options for the answers even a 3rd different way to phrase things. Then you are demonstrating that you understood what was talked about without just picking out words that appeared in the dialog.
-What number car shall we ride?
-Oh well, I guess you should go with the third thing you said. As for me, I want to be in the car next to yours and, since my horoscope says my lucky numbers are multiples of 3 today, I guess our choice is obvious."
I swear I’m barely exaggerating.
I find the format of that section of the listening portion to be frustrating as well, but to play devil’s advocate, they are testing your listening ability which is different from your ability to understand what someone is telling you.
In other words, when you’re having a face to face conversation, it’s communication with you playing a part. But if you were a spy listening to a bugging device, trying to figure out when the indecisive terrorists were planning to bomb the embassy, you’d need to be able to follow the twists and turns of the conversation. That’s what they’re testing. (Or perhaps being able to follow a manzai routine). Maybe they should test for a Japanese version of Who’s on first?
I also really do feel the same thing. It is much more harder than listening book n shinkanzen and sou matome and also the official JLPT N3 workbook :’)
For N3 listening what option did you choose for:
- The image where 4 things were shown: Picture, Food (?), Overalls/dress, shoes
- The question about how much money the guy paid at the restaurant
- Why has the number of gaikokujin increased at ryokan
These were the questions, I had to completely guess since the sound was echo-ing and was not able to figure them out completely at the beginning.
Note that I have no confidence in my answers!
I think I picked the picture and the shoes.
I think he payed 15000円.
And the last one, I didn’t even guess what it was about. Ryokan, eh? So I just guessed. I think I picked option 4 for like 4-5 in a row.
Yeah I think I picked the Picture + Shoes and 15k too. I remember the girl saying that they couldn’t cancel fees for the person who wasn’t going to attend(?). It was too messy for me to recognize.
For Ryokan, I initially picked (or more like guessed) the 4th option, that was opening a place where they teach you Japanese cooking (?) but for some reason i went back to erase it and change to option 3 or whatever it was about changing Tatami. That was probably the wrong answer I guess.
Also regarding same options following another, I get nervous sometime when I see a series of 2 for 3 questions for answers. Really messes with my head lol.
On the one hand, the listening format is absurd in a sense because (as others have been saying) there shouldn’t ever be a “need” to eavesdrop on people and pull out some small, specific detail. On the other hand, it’d be awesome to reach that level of mastery, but I just don’t see a quick & easy path to get there— WK’s got vocab covered, 文プロ is shaping up nicely to serve the same function for grammar, and actual reading practice is easy to come by either through video games, visual novels, light novels, or even real novels…
I guess the takeaway though is that my listening comprehension just isn’t worth much if I’m outside of familiar settings. I have a few ideas to address this, but I’m not sure what would be most effective:
- Practice listening with Terrace House or slice of life anime (Japanese subs, or no subs?)
- Listening to podcasts (but which podcasts? Are the “easy” NHK ones even worthwhile at this point?)
- JLPT practice listening exercises (but my goal is to genuinely learn the language, not just to pass tests)
The biggest trouble here is that I don’t know A) how much time to dedicate to this, or B) how focused I should be when I do it. Does “passive listening” really make marked progress? At least SRS clearly defines how much to do each day, and what counts as “done.”
I also haven’t enjoyed watching TV since high school, and have never bothered with podcasts before, so I feel like my chances of finding something that would hold my interest are slim… and that’s even when I can understand 100%
I think the best practice would be to wiretap criminals. Then you can actually hear people talking in coded language and try to pick out the important details.
Maybe I’ll just play the new Yakuza game instead.