JLPT 2019!

this is me.

So yes, I’m also curious about how everyone reviews the material. I haven’t tried it yet, but a friend once told me she reads all example sentences out loud many times until they feel completely natural to get a better feel for the grammar items (and improve pronunciation as well).


It’s funny because I actually asked my Japanese coworker for advice and he also told me to my notes aloud. I might try that.


Seriously?? That’s such a coincidence, I should start doing it today. I’ve never tried it before but it actually sounds like it could be very helpful.


I’m also seriously struggling with consistently reviewing my material. I take about 2 or 3 grammar lessons per week, but do zero reviews :frowning:

I’ve started reading now, so maybe this still counts as review? :wink:

Some time ago, I came across an Anki deck that contains all grammar points of the DOJG books, so I’ve started to use this as my review system because SRS :star_struck: I need a bit more perseverance, though, but in principle, I do like it.

(I’ve tried to use Bunpro before but it does not serve my needs, so I dropped it.)

Interestingly, with the Anki deck, I usually read the example sentence first (it uses all the sentences from the books, with a blank for the grammar point), and quite often I already have a good idea of what grammar point should be used before I even read the explanations. This is probably the same effect as the “completely natural feeling”. (And I don’t have the impression that I know the sentences by heart, it’s rather how they “feel” actually.)

(Mind you, I’m talking N5/N4 grammar here, so I guess for higher-level grammar it might be much more intricate to tell which grammar point is the correct one…)


That’s really awesome!! It does sound like you’ve developed the natural feel.

I’m studying for the n2 now but like I said my grammar basis is lacking A LOT so it would be a good way to review n5, n4 and n3 too.

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I don’t do this but a possibly related observation: I try to study grammar on my own and I can remember some of the easy, obvious stuff. But I have only really “learned” it when I talked it through with my iTalki teacher. She explains it in her own way, I write her explanation down when I find it helpful. I try to actively use the grammar in some sentences, fail, get corrected - repeat that cycle a couple of times over the next lessons… and then eventually it sticks. I really think that talking about it helps me to remember it.

I also like having one favorite example sentence for every piece of grammar. This sentence will help me remember the usage and hopefully the nuance too. In a way, this is a bit similar to a kanji mnemonic. (for example, "この写真を見るたびに、日本の旅行を思い出します。"will always bring back the memory of how I talked to my teacher about this and why たびに is used here )

Other than that, I have some Anki decks with sample sentences (one that is based on An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese and also this one: A minimalist Anki Grammar Drill deck ) but they mostly serve as little refreshes or preview for new grammar points, I can not learn grammar via that way alone.

Finally, I made a large google spreadsheet because I was having exactly this problem:

I just felt so lost. I had all these resources and notes and in my mind, there was just chaos.

Now I have this “one spreadsheet to rule them all”. It was originally based on the grammar list from Bunpro and then I added page numbers from all the other resources that I’m using and any items that were missing on the original list. And as I study grammar points, I add my favorite explanations and example sentences to that list.

It is not perfect, especially because I can not easily paste pictures in there which I used to be able back when I was using Bear to organize my notes. But it forces me to be concise and having everything in one large list makes me believe that I will eventually be able to bring order to the chaos. I will definitely not be able to add examples and notes to everything before the July JLPT but it should be possible before the December one and I’ll just retake the test then.

Sample from my spreadsheet. Lots of typos because I started taking notes during lessons and never bother to fix them later on… :

This really helps me because I can scroll through it very quickly to refresh my memory and I fell like things have started to click better since I started doing this because I have a better grasp of which grammar points are available to study and which other similar grammar points exist.


Hihi! :smile: New poster here! I’ll be taking the December N1 in Michigan, if all goes to plan. I’ve chosen June 1st as my official study start date, but I’ve still been plugging away at WaniKani and looking into new study resources in the meantime.

Planned books for study:

  • 日本語単語スピードマスター Intermediate
  • 日本語単語スピードマスター Advanced
  • 新完全マスター読解
  • and a couple others that are in my Amazon cart

I’m determined to pass N1 this year!


He is an English teacher after all, so I trust him on language-acquisition techniques, haha.

That’s an amazing feeling I bet. I’m not quite there myself, but I do sometimes do it, like you said, with the really basic grammar points. I think that’s BunPro’s main target is to fill in the sentence just by intuition…but I always need at least the basic hint to get the answer.

Wow that’s a fantastic idea! I think organizing that will also force me to review along the way. By the way, how is loading an excel versus a google doc? I always have to split mine up after 100 pages because it get’s too tedious to load.

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Sadly, with Bunpro I never reached that point either. I only have experienced it with the DOJG example sentences in the Anki deck I found. I think the DOJG sentences are very much tailored towards clearly exposing the grammar point at hand. That helps me a lot.

Up to now I haven’t had any performance issues but I’m certain there must be a limit somewhere. Time will tell I guess.

I also have all the N3 vocab and kanji in this sheet and some charts to measure progress and it is still loading fast. I really like having this one place with all my JLPT info, it feels like „look, it is just this one file, that is all I have to learn, I can do this!“.

@NicoleRauch I find Bunpro and it’s collection of grammar points very useful but also never can make a habit of using it. I wrote a little Anki mode userscript for it and wrapped it so that I could also use it on my iPhone but I never managed to stick to it. There are just so many things to keep up with and I feel like WK+Anki is already the limit of what I can commit to doing daily…


I’ve signed up for N5 in July (in Singapore, so it’ll be nice and toasty). I’m easing into N5 rather than jumping straight to N4 as it’s been a few years since I last did any formal language study and grad school takes up the majority of my time. Jumping levels and knocking out a thesis at the same time seems like it would be overly taxing on my mental bandwidth. Still, if things go well I hope to clear at least N4 and maybe even N3 before I graduate.


Attempted N2 in 2015, failed by a small margin. It made me realize how much I needed to learn Kanji.

I know that JLPT doesn’t test speaking and writing but it is a certification that you get for life (unlike IELTS).

I’m hoping to make another attempt and pass N2 this time.

According to WkStats: https://www.wkstats.com/#charts.jlpt

N5 is achieved on WaniKani Level 16 and N4 at WaniKani 27 but I was able to easily pass N3 when I was like WaniKani 15.

Maybe me almost passing N2 at about WaniKani 10 and then Passing N3 easily at WaniKani 15 was a fluke? Maybe the test had been made easy to encourage more people to study.

I dunno.

I’m thinking of going for N2 once I reach 80% Kanji at WaniKani 38 (according to WKstats). It seems like a reasonable goal for N2.

There’s JLCT which is also recognized by the Japanese Embassy.

JLCT tests are modeled after JLPT and they occur more often. So, maybe someone can use JLCT as a mock test to prepare for the JLPT.

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Kanji is only a really really small part of the JLPT, you only have like 5 kanji specific questions, and it’s possible you will get lucky and only need to know kanji that you already learned. In my JLPT N2 exam last year, you had to know how to read 冷蔵庫, a word that I could probably already read when my grammar was at around N4. Also if you’ve been studying vocab outside of WK (with kanji), you might already know much more kanji than your WK level suggests.


That level number is when you get to like 95% or 100% of N5’s kanji covered. You don’t need to know 100% of the kanji on N5 to pass N5. By the time you’re level 16, you probably know 4 times as many kanji as are on N5.


I have not taken any Level of the JLPT yet, but I am hoping that I will feel confident enough to try the N5 this December. I wanted to make sure I was confident with all of the kanji that may be on there so I went ahead and reset back to Level 1 to restart everything.

The closest place to me for the test is about 7 hours away in Washington D.C. at Georgetown University. I have been using Wanikani, BunPro, Japanese Pod 101, Japanese Ammo with Misa, and the Japanese from Zero Book. Lastly personally for feeling comfortable speaking I am also using Pimsleur on Audible. I also read the Japanese Graded Readers, and am following along with the book clubs here. The biggest thing for me will be confidence. Most of the time I feel like I don’t know anything, but then I listen to a television show or something and understand a lot, or I will just be speaking to my husband and then realize that I can say that same thing in Japanese.

Anyways, I am looking forward to it, its been fun reading everyone’s stories here!


I don’t know if you were referring to this deck but damn, this is a really nice deck:

They even have a template prepared that you can use to get random example sentences. Nice little detail.
If only I didn’t have 3 different grammar decks already… but I guess a forth won’t hurt :wink:
(I’m more of a “let’s hope I figure it out by enough exposure over time” person than a “actively do exercises” person… ).

Has anyone taken the JLPT in Toronto? How was it? How was the test administered? Lots of people? Just a few?

I’m thinking of doing N5 or N4 in December (no July tests here). It’d be my first JLPT cause I missed the registration date last year.

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I think it’s more than just a small part since the only section that doesn’t use kanji would be the listening section.

I have a similar story as to his in that I was around lv 10 and took the N2 and almost passed in 2017 but that was mostly my listening score being good while the vocab section and partially the reading section was pretty bad because there were so many kanji I didn’t even recognize.

I definitely agree that there are much more “lower level” kanji on the test and you can get by, most were N3 level but I didn’t know a decent amount of those either haha.

Now that I’ve learned a lot more kanji I’m hoping that as long as I maintain or improve my reading speed it should be a breeze this December.


(Sorry, butting in. Just wanted to say that I loooove this deck! I split it up into ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ (thanks to the handy tags) and honestly it’s the best Anki deck(s) that I have ever used! I can highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t used it yet!)

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I finally figured out a study routine for the coming month!

Watch all nihongonomori grammar videos on n2 There are 3 playlists: 1 is very general, the other two describe differences between items in more detail. The two detailed ones will be watched as needed based on the practice exams I do.

Do one n2 practice exam everyday, then mark mistakes and do those again during the week before the actual test.

Read in japanese at least 1 hour a day

Watch something in japanese (with japanese subtitles) at least 1 hour a day

I made an anki deck of the sou matome n2 grammar book sentences and will learn a new ‘day’ (about 4 grammar points) every day, focus on pronunciation and grammar.