JLPT 2019!


You can also just translate Renshuu B sentences to you native language(especially from chapters you’re having trouble with), write them all down with a line or teo of space between them, then a couple days later try to translate to Japanese without looking at the book or answer key. Focus on the grammar, so just write the kanji in kana if you get stuck on stroke order.

I passed N4 (174/180pts) after having done Minna up to chapter 41, so grammarwise you’ll be fine if you make it up there.


I kind of agree to wait till you’re a bit older if money and transportation are currently a problem. And the only reason I say that is that not sitting the JLPT won’t do anything to inhibit your learning Japanese, and anyway, the test itself isn’t a particularly fun experience for most people.

I don’t know what JLPT level you’re aiming for now, but even if you skip this year, you can try for a higher level later. I never wrote the N5 or N4. Last December I challenged the N3 which felt like a bit of a stretch, but I managed to pass. You could certainly do something similar.

But of course if you feel its important enough to you, maybe your parents will give in. Or you could try crowdfunding, not that I particularly like that idea.


I really want to try and take one this year! :sweat_smile:
The closest one to North Carolina seems to be in Georgia…
My current plan is to look around and see when the latest possible testing time is this year (I’ll probably go for the one on December 1st), decide whether to take N3 or really push myself and do N2, and figure out how the heck I’m gonna get down there.
I’m too young to drive so buses and uber are an option :thinking: Dunno if I’ll be allowed to leave on my own tho lol.


If you’re going to Tokyo the Bonjinsha shop is my go-to. They have a really good range across different levels, including textbooks, practice test books, dictionaries, graded readers etc etc :slight_smile:


I have particularly enjoyed using the にほんご500問 series, because it’s compact and gives a good assortment of questions on kanji, vocabulary, and grammar with short explanations.

I feel like going forward (and probably in hindsight) I should spend more time practicing both reading and listening. and that’s what I’m planning to do this year, especially once I get to level 60 here. There’s no shortage of things to read and listen to once you get to an intermediate level. You just have to find things that interest you.

Before I began WaniKani, I tried using Satori Reader and found it too challenging. But now that my vocabulary and kanji recognition has improved, I’m quite enjoying it. It provides a lot of hand-holding if you get confused by Japanese grammar. Sort of like training wheels on a bicycle that you’ll outgrow but help build confidence in the short term.


I’ve been trying to avoid too much direct translation, but trying from my native language to Japanese might help my recall, so thank you for the suggestion! I’ll try it out!


Just to tack onto that, anyone that just passed the N2, any suggestions?

I passed the N3, but not with a score I consider good (127/180). Listening was horrendous and I just struggle with studying grammar effectively (Also the reading wasn’t ideal, but I’m just too slow a reader in Japanese, so that’s pretty straight forward to work on).

I just realised that I just said that all the sections went awful. I wanna add to that that the kanji part went fine :joy:


Haha, we need a WaniKani for listening and reading.


We do indeed. Imagine the possibilities! :star_struck:


Seconding にほんご500問 as a chaser to the prep series of your choice. It’s definitely for review rather than learning, but it’s an extremely useful book line I used in the weeks and months leading up to both N3 and N2. Easy, helpful, daily review, with an extremely clean and convenient structure.

My suggestion for reading (re: above) is just to do a lot of mock test/test-passage practice (a la dedicated JLPT reading books like Sou Matome’s or larger mock tests), and read a novel. Practice going slowly enough to get to the point where you could actually translate the text yourself–which will conversely help improve your reading speed on the whole. For the test-specific reading prep, set timers so you can ease into skimming strategies.


thirding this book


I say take the N5 if you’re going to try again! I’m sort of in the same boat as you - spouse, 3 year old, full time job, long commute (no learning disability, though, so not exactly in the same boat) and I passed N5 in 2017 and N4 in 2018. The trick is mostly to not to study in huge chunks but a little bit every day or every other day. I passed N5 strictly with Wanikani & Genki I only. I pretty much only did Wanikani daily and a Genki exercise every couple of days. The Genki workbooks come with listening exercises to work through, too. It kind of sucks, but I actually had a bunch of N5 prep stuff that I never actually used and I feel bad about it.

I’m taking N3 this year and you guys have convinced me on にほんご500問 for N3. I had been waffling over it! Now I need to find a way to give away all my N5 and N4 prep stuff… any takers in the US?


How does the listening part work? Do you listen to audio clips or do real people speak? Can you listen to the same material/question more than once?


Recording. Only one chance. Also, not a ton of time between questions. Think quick.


It is how we do renshuu B in my class. It saves you having to think up your own practice sentences, too


There are sample questions on the website


I feel like the “only one chance” part is really the hardest thing about it, too – like if they even just let us listen to everything twice, I would have done much better on listening. My brain goes OH MY GOD THEY’RE SPEAKING NOW LISTEN LISTEN!!! and by the time I’ve gotten past thinking that, it’s already over.


I completely missed last question last time due to thinking about the one I just heard. Decided on my answer, then realized they were doing the possible answers part. Missed the skit entirely. Still think ‘had I been paying attention and not randomly guessed, could that have pushed me over the pass mark?’. We’ll never know.
The constant knocking sound from the neighboring room didn’t help either. Could hear question fine, but was so annoying and distracting.


I put up a profile on iTalki and sent some messages to people studying English in Melbourne. It took less than a week to find someone.



Thanks for the tip. I’ve just left Sapporo where I had a melburnian classmate in Japanese school. We might set up some 会話 in the pub when she gets back. If we do i’ll put a post up in the forums.