JLPT N3 December 2021

Hello everyone,
I will take the jlpt n3 this year in december but honestly my vocabulary is too poor. Any advices to learn and remember vocabulary ? I don’t use Anki because it just… Doesn’t work with me. I tried, I tried but it’s not for me.
For grammar I study it with my Italki teacher but any advices would be welcome !
For reading I found out that video games (especially visual novel types and dating sims) seem to work quite well. And I also read NHK easy web news but it’s a bit too easy sometimes, regarding the grammar.
Thank you everyone :blush: And good luck to all if you who are taking the exam soon. By the way, it seems quite a nightmare to register in some places (such as Germany, in less than a week the registrations closed due to a high number of applicants…) but there are stills available seats for Paris so if any of you need any help with that I can try to help !


Hi there!

Here is my opinion about vocabulary. At your Wanikani level, you already know 86% of the JLPT N3 kanji, according to wkstats. Kanji is not vocabulary, but it’s close enough :wink: If you can get a few more levels before the exam, I am pretty sure it will be okay :slight_smile: (you should be okay with you current level, though?)

To pass N3 this summer, I relied only on WK for vocab and almost aced the Language Knowledge section (vocabulary + grammar). Note that my WK level is closer to level 45 because I have transferred everything to Anki for convenience, but this doesn’t change the fact that WK was enough :slight_smile:

I don’t have much advice regarding reading and listening, but I want to say how helpful jtest4you is. Of course, the more you read the news, watch anime and listen to podcasts, the better you will be. However, working through exercises that look like what you will face during the JLPT tests is precious.
(And I would like to add that the “reading” section is about finding the answer rapidly. See here about N2.)


Have you tried renshuu.org? It’s similar to Wanikani except it’s for vocab and grammar. It’s free too. They have vocab and grammar sets for different JLPT levels.

Otherwise maybe try some apps? If you have an apple phone or tablet, there’s one called Star: Learn Japanese and Kanji. It has vocabulary for each JLPT level and includes tests so you can see how much you remember.

At N3 level you might also be able to pick up more vocab by watching Japanese tv/movies, reading the news online or reading manga.


What about the regular NHK news then? Many NHK easy articles have regular versions as well. I started reading these today and there is a bit of a step-up in both grammar and vocab. Well, grammar wise it’s just slightly more complex sentence structures and fancier expressions, but more vocab is for sure a plus.

Regarding Anki, what were the main issues? Not getting the translations exactly right or too much time needed to make cool looking cards? I think even using a basic setup it gives that extra exposure for useful words which one would have to read several articles to rote-memorize :slight_smile:

But if you benefit more from reading, that’s awesome! Definitely the way to go.

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If you want easy news, but not quite as easy, I use Todai, which accumulates easy-ish news articles from various sources, and has a built in dictionary and optional furigana/vocab highlights by JLPT level. The NHK articles are by far the easiest ones on there. I use the app, but there’s also a website https://easyjapanese.net/ (not sure how similar the app and website are though) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.eup.jpnews&hl=en_US&gl=US

On another note, do any of you know of full mock exams/exams of previous years to download/take online? It seems most practice sites have questions in the style of JLPT, but not necessarily assembled into a full section/exam. Found one whole exam each on jlptsensei.com and jlpt.jp, but it’d be nice to have a source that has more than just one so I could track my progress over time.
Doesn’t have to be free either, I just don’t want to have to order a physical book just for some black and white pages that I’ll only look at once XD

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I use an app called LingoDeer which should be helpful for listening practice; it has a bunch of grammar lessons as well but now that I’ve completed all of them I only use it for the recorded conversations it has. There must be literally hundreds of them at this point and they add new one’s every few days. I think it’ll really help your listening comprehension and it’s a good way to pick up new vocab and expressions as well :slight_smile:

As for reading practice, there’s a book called 銀河鉄道の夜 that I’ve been reading which could be quite helpful for you. The first sentence is probably the most difficult out of the entire book, but if you’re able to get into it you should increase your reading ability by leaps and bounds. You should be able to find a PDF of it online without too many issues.

The app you just mentioned has a couple of full practice exams per level :laughing:
Have you tried/noticed those?
They’re timed and you get a jlpt-style result at the end. The result can’t be super accurate by definition since the real jlpt uses some sort of scaled scoring method, but for tracking progress it might still be useful?
The exams aren’t real ones though, so I’m not sure how accurate they are in terms of difficulty.

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Thank you all for your replies ! I will try to read more things to practice reading and vocabulary. For the NHK news, I tried normal news but these are way too difficult for me. I guess I try to read the easy news and then read the associated normal news ?
For JLPT practice, I actually bought a book with a full exam. It is good to see how far or close you are for the exam but can’t really practice with it since it contains only one exam… :frowning:
Anyway, let’s all do our best ! :slight_smile:


Yeah I just tried them, but either the app is slow (seems to be all online and needs to connect to the servers) or my tablet is just a bit too old (also very well possible), either way it was super slow and laggy to load. Which isn’t super useful when time is an issue XD (nope, the timer didn’t stop while the test was still loading lol) If I can’t find anything else I might just do them anyway, reduced time limit basically just means hard mode, eh :wink:
But yeah, I’m also not fussed about an ‘accurate’ result on JLPT terms. So as long as the app is consistently slow throughout all the tests it should still work to track progress. (Provided they somewhat represent JLPT difficulty/contents.)

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Yes, that’s how I would go about it as well. Depending on the theme of the article the EASY article will just be a shorter, simplified version of the main one, but the biggest difference I noticed is that regular articles use more auxiliary expressions and more nuanced verbs. The context doesn’t change much. The grammar in the EASY articles is around N4 level, maybe a little above that.

Good luck on the exam! :crossed_fingers: