Hi there! I´m planning to go for the jplt n5 or n4 this december (I´m not sure yet), and I was searching for a Textbook to go through all the grammar and so on. I heard a lot about Soumatome, Kanzenmaster series and Try!; but couldn´t decide which to choose. Do you guys prefer one of these or could someone tell me the biggest difference between them?
It depends on how you like to study. I go between So-matome and Kanzen Master.
I find that Kanzen Matster is good for covering each point you’ll need. I also like that the practice problems are genuinely challenging, so that the test difficulty wasn’t shocking.
So-Matome is great for studying a little bit every day. And it’s great if you like to learn via repeated exposure and constant application.
I also learned a lot of grammer for the N4 via YouTube teachers. I especially love Japanese Ammo with Misa. I did writing and role play practice with Genki I and II. This along with the rest was enough for me to pass the N4!
I never tried Try! (Hah), but am curious. I hope you find what works best for you!
What bothers me about soumatome and kanzen master is that you have several books for one jlpt ._. do I need every book, or should I just go for the grammar ones?
I felt the same way For the N4, I only bought the Kanzen Master Grammer and Reading books. Both were insanely useful.
Especially the reading one, since reading is arguably one of the largest challenges in the JLPT because of the lack of time. The faster you can read accurately, the easier your life will be. And it of course reading helps literally everything else like vocab, kanji and grammer.
I didn’t buy the vocab, kanji or listening books and did just fine. Wanikani and YouTube seems to have covered all that.
Now that I’m studying for the N3, I realized there are a ton of words that don’t have kanji that I need to know… so now I have the vocab books from both Kanzen and So-Matome. It’s made a huge difference for me.
If you want to go the one book route, I think Try! is probably the better option as it incorporates grammar, reading and listening. It’s really only weak on teaching kanji which you’ll have covered through WK. I say this having used SM and Try! for N2 So I can’t speak to kanzen but IMO SM really is written to be a supplement that reinforces things you’ve learned from other sources, while Try! is a bit more textbook structured, with a long passage which incorporates the grammar points you’ll learn, then explanations of all the grammar points in that passage with example sentences and some review problems, and then a set of JLPT test questions using those points.
Edit: You’ll probably also need a vocab supplement as mentioned above for non-kanji words, but Try! uses a variety of vocab in their examples so if you make lists off that you’d probably get pretty far.