JLPT Kanji Study Resources: what should I do?

Hi everyone.

I’ve been sifting through the community posts on study resources. I’m still not quite finding what I’m looking for.

WaniKani is an awesome resource. I’ve been studying Japanese for several years, which started in college. So, I’ve hit a lot of kanji and vocabulary I already know. That’s ok with me, because whatever I “relearn” on WK is actually sticking with me in a different way thanks to the mnemonics. However, it takes a very long time to progress. I’ve finally taken it more seriously over the past, 6 months or so, and have inched forward, which is good. But, I need something supplementary.

I’m currently learning N3 material. I want to find a way to study kanji in a similar way to WK because I find it to be so effective. However, I need to target the kanji needed for N3.

I have used Memrise for vocabulary, but the kanji courses are honestly NOT for me. They have completely separate “levels” for meaning and reading, and that’s an extremely ineffeficient way to learn (for me). The combination of both reading and meaning is far better.

However, I’m not finding anything like it. I checked out Torii, and while it looked cool, it has furigana for the vocabulary words, and I want to be tested on readings in addition to the meaning. Also, the N3 list was “vocab”, which leads me to believe that it includes vocabulary and the kanji for it, even if its reading isn’t tested at this level.

Another issue is this: I’ve found N3 kanji lists online, but study courses are often labeled vocab lists. Vocab and kanji are two separate things for JLPT, correct? I keep seeing these huge vocab list study courses WITH kanji, but I know there are many more vocabulary words which you DON’T need to know the kanji for in addition to a list of kanji which you need to know the reading and meaning of.

I’m not sure this makes sense, I hope it does. I’m looking for a way to study kanji (preferrably in a way that teaches through vocab) that is only targeting the kanji I need to be able to read for the purposes of the exam. I don’t want to set myself up for some impossible 1,500 word list of all kanji and die. If I am misunderstanding the difference between vocabulary and kanji and what is necessary for JLPT, please help me understand.

Does such a resource exist? Is WK the only thing that really operates like WK? And is there a list/course that could help with what I am looking for? Thank you for reading my lengthy, confusing post.

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I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Some words on the exam will have furigana or be written in hiragana, even if in the real world they might be written in kanji.

You can learn all of the N3 kanji in WaniKani in due time. What’s the rush to learn them now? Assuming you plan to take the N3 in December, that’s plenty of time to learn most N3 kanji on WaniKani. Based on https://www.wkstats.com/v2/charts/jlpt, you’d know half of them by level 16, 75% of them by level 23, and 90% of them by level 31.


The rush is, I sort of spontaneously signed up for N3, hah. My friends all convinced me since they were, too. I know it pretty much will be cancelled without a doubt. But, still wanted to prep just in case.

Right, some words will have furigana or be in hiragana. I want to make sure that the kanji I study is for the words that are strictly in kanji. Does that make sense? It’s hard to find something that does just that.

You’re absolutely right, I know that I’ll get to them in due time with WK, and that’s my ideal method of learning them. Hands down the best method I’ve used for learning kanji and vocabulary. But, wanted to try to cram some in addition.

Frankly, I think cramming for a test (especially one likely to be canceled as you said) is a waste of time and will result in you learning less Japanese. If anything, I’d just do some practice tests to see how it feels. I don’t have any specific suggestions for kanji/vocab resources since I’d already completed WaniKani by the time I took N3 and didn’t need to worry about kanji or vocab.


That’s a good idea for sure. I’ll try some tests to see how it feels. That’s also crazy you finished WK by that time! I appreciate it though. I don’t disagree. I’m not “pro-cramming” by any means.

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based on what you have said here, i would recommend kitsun.io

it is very user-friendly and works like WaniKani: you have lessons, reviews, and learn both the meaning and reading. but, you can pick prebuilt sets (including all the n3 stuff), make your own sets, and take extra lessons if you want to move faster. it would allow you to learn like WaniKani, but study exactly what you need and move faster if you feel like it. however, i don’t think they have mnemonics, so you may need to make those up as you go.

edit: i didn’t realize this was such an old post oops ;-;

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