~ JLPT 2020 ~

Like I said in my post last September, I’ll be braving N1 in December 2020.

So far my preparation is just:

  • Wanikani

But the responses to my post imply to me that I should also seek out study materials to up my kana-only vocabulary. Not sure how to do that besides lots of reading and vocab list creating! Any helpful links or tips would be appreciated.


That means skipping N3 grammar in my case. I’m currently working my way through Kanzen master N3 grammar and I still come across content I don’t know. Which is probably why I only scored 27 points on that section on the test. I could ignore that book and just work on N2 grammar, but then I’d really just be learning for a test.
I also learn vocabulary through an SRS system like wanikani and I can’t just brute force that. I learn at the pace I’m at.

I’m not looking at my test results, I’m looking at the way I felt during the test. I couldn’t understand half of it. That to me, shows more than the results. Because yeah, I could do the N1 tomorrow and pass it just by sheer luck of guessing correctly. That doesn’t mean I know what it said. JLPT to me is just a guiding system on the way to fluency. It kind of holds my hand in terms of what I should be learning to progress. Without it, I’d feel lost.

I’m not going to do N2 in July, because the jump in knowledge is just too high to learn in 5 months. For me at least.


I am an absolute beginner in Japanese and I am planning to take N5 this December in Seattle, Washington. I am currently on Lvl 3 in WK and I am doing pretty well so far. I have started seeing anime with English subtitles. I am not sure how or when to start grammar since the grammar books will have a lot of unknown Kanji. Should I wait till I reach a higher level to start grammar? Also, what are some really easy podcasts/youtube channels to listen to improve my listening skills? Thanks :slight_smile:


You should probably start grammar now. Wanikani will definitely get you there for vocabulary, and if you pick up Genki 1, it shouldn’t have unknown kanji( other than what it teaches you).

However if you don’t supplement your wanikani, you wont make it. You’ll get out of your test what you put in.

I’m thinking about taking the N2 in December, but I haven’t studied any Japanese for a year and a half (since I moved back from Japan). I might not actually take the test, but I think having a tangible goal in mind with help me study more often.

Kanji: Wanikani
Vocab: Torii (the N3 and N2 lists without Wanikani content is what I’m thinking about using)
Grammar: I have Minna no Nihongo Chuukyuu 1, but I’ve finished that book. I was thinking that I’d review it and watch Nihongo no Mori N3 and N2 videos. I’m trying out Bunpro, but not sure how well it works for intermediate learners
Listening: Not sure yet, any advice would be appreciated
Reading: Tangoristo, maybe the intermediate book club


Here are some listening recommendations for beginners:

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wkstats.com says I’ll know 95% of the Kanji for N5 (level 10) in… two years.

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Thank you so much. It’ll be really helpful for me as well.

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Genki 1 for grammar then! Thanks a lot!

I took the test at level 8 or so, however, I have genki 1 experience. I took two semesters of Japanese in junior college. I got an A on vocab and a B on everything else. My score though, was atrocious.

I didnt study grammar much, nor listening. I thought I did well on the listening, but got a 24/60.
WK isnt enough to score well. I only scored less than a third of the total points possible.

You don’t need to be level 10 to pass, per se, but that’s coming from “I already knew that.” and I had to guess on what some of the words meant because I hadn’t learned them.

I guess it really isnt different.

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I didn’t plan on taking the jlpt again anytime soon but I kind of changed my mind. Having a jlpt to work towards to really influences the way I study and how motivated I am. Since I don’t have any clear goals in any other field of my life atm, I think it’d be nice to have one for Japanese at least :joy:

I think I’ll take the N1 in Japan this July, but I don’t expect to pass. I struggled through the N2 and although I passed with around 120/180, I think I could’ve done better. I couldn’t concentrate well and felt really disappointed afterwards. This time, I have a plan to avoid the same situation of disappointment! Passing is not my main goal, but I want to feel like I performed to the best of my ability.

My weaknesses are general comfort in the language, probably bc I lack grammar and vocab knowledge. Hopefully reading loads and actively studying grammar will help me take the test more comfortably! For me, this is also a completely new way of studying Japanese, so I’m curious to see what my weakest areas will be this time.


Start your grammar journer (as soon as possible) with Organic Japanese with Cure Dolly (start from Lesson 1) on YouTube. The person explains the grammar in the best and the easiest way possible. They sound a bit creepy, but with the English subtitles you can do it.

And practice your listening a lot from the beginning. The real exam will be much more difficult than all practice tests together (at least it was like this for me).

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Anyone planning on taking the JLPT in London, registration opens on 17 March for July and the fee just went up to £100 :scream: :sob: :scream: :sob: :scream: I think in light of this I’m going to wait until the December test so I stand a very good chance of passing N4, as I don’t want to be taking it too often at that price!



£100?! I was upset enough when it went to £85! Guess I’ll give it a miss in July I can’t afford it. ^^;;;

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holy shit, that’s expensive :see_no_evil: I hope they don’t rise the price in germany


Wait, how much does it normally cost? I’m taking it in Washington DC in December :fearful:

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So expensive! :open_mouth: In the Netherlands it’s also 100 euro, luckily I can take it in Japan this year, where it’s a loooot cheaper…


It used to be £75. :sob: How much is it in Germany? :slight_smile:

@Haiena JLPT in UK used to be £75 then I think it went up £85 in 2017(?). The Japanese JLPT site says 5,500円 for Japan… such a huge price difference. Hopefully it hasn’t gone up for you!

@NathaLire Wow that is expensive as well! I read in Japan it’s 5,500円…huuuuuuge difference! I wouldn’t feel so bad if I failed for that cost. :sweat_smile: Best of luck on your test! :smiley:


It was $60 for this past December in the U.S.

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Considering, you’re already level 51, how much do you think you need to work on vocab? Do you think reaching level 60 is enough or is more required?

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