N2 resources too difficult after passing N3

I’ve been studying Japanese on my own for the past year and a half, four months of which was spent in Japan.
I just passed the N3 this summer with the not-so-impressive score of 105/180.
I studied for the N3 with An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese, which is written in English.
However, the best N2 resource according to a few people on this forum is the New Kanzen Master, which I bought. It’s all in Japanese, and it is SO. DIFFICULT. It feels much too high for my level, and I can barely get through the introduction.
How can I bridge this learning gap between N3 and N2? I’m doing WaniKani, reading Yotsuba and watching Terrace House, but this new grammar book is so overwhelming…

Well, the kanji, vocab, and grammar required for N2 are about twice that of N3, which was already a fairly hefty chunk. So maybe just getting up to speed on vocab and kanji before you start trying to absorb Japanese grammar in Japanese will help.

Also it sounds like maybe your foundation in N3 wasn’t the greatest it could have been, so solidifying those things will help, because a big part of N2 is “it’s like this N3 point but subtly different”

EDIT: I just noticed you’re level 53, so maybe the kanji isn’t the problem, but more vocab and reading will help


I had a similar feeling starting the Shin Kanzen Master series from N2. So you’re not alone in that respect.

I second Leebo’s assessment to work on increasing the depth of your vocabulary and grammar knowledge because the test is going to try measure how well you can grasp the finer details now that the fundamentals have been covered in the previous tests.

Have you considered other all Japanese sources? Going into N2 it’s important to start getting accustomed to operating all in Japanese. It’s a steep learning curve, but eventually you’ll be feeling at home learning all in Japanese. One source you can try is Nihongo no Mori. The grammar explanations are done in Japanese and the teachers are easy to understand!

With that being said, the Shin Kanzen Master series can be a little difficult if you don’t understand the way it explains the grammar points. Perhaps you should consider getting the N3 book which has English translations next to the Japanese. This will help give you a chance to review a broader foundation of N3 points plus you’ll get used to how the book words its explanations. I know that this sounds a bit contradictory, but sometimes watching video explanations can be way easier than reading a text because good videos can present things using more simplistic language. Getting good at understanding video explanations doesn’t necessarily translate to being able to understand written grammar explanations. That’s why having the intermediary can help to bridge that gap.


Thank you! I’m glad I finally made my first post on here, because you guys are super helpful.
I’ll spend some more time on easier Japanese-language resources like Nihongo no Mori and review my (definitely shaky) N3 foundation before I dive further into this book.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.