Number of JLPT attempts and self learning strategies

I agree and disagree with this. There is an element of learning the test and learning how to quickly parse test passages for potential test questions. But I also don’t think the way I went through dry test passages is all that different from the way I’d scan a lot of work documents, or flyers, etc., unless you’re really out to savor every word.

So I guess what I’d say is, if you practice increasing your speed on test passages, yes, that does have some useful real-world spillover.

The listening passages are pretty far removed from reality or necessary real-life skills, though, since everyone speaks in a way that obfuscates important information, as opposed to real life, where people generally try to be pretty clear.


I would love it if the conversations were in the same vein as the skits of ざんねんないきもの事典 on Netflix. That would be a hoot to listen to. And you can still keep the difficulty level because people love to meander when they talk.

But I also like the story idea.

1 Like

True, I probably spent too much time on the grammar, too. I’m not used to tests where you don’t have time to think and should just move on. In school we always had ample time to take them. I tend to get stuck on a question and be unable to move on. In JLPT the star questions really trip me up and get on my nerves. Such a stupid question type.

I’m not sure if I’m going to take the JLPT in the near future :smiley: I used it mostly for personal motivation and I feel like I’m over the bump of the hardest part. Now that I’m able to consume native material like podcasts and books with all the base grammar, and not to mention converse with Japanese, I may as well do that instead of studying for the exam. Going through the bunpro N2 so I can understand when I stumble upon it, but not really hammering it for ‘test ability’ works for me. I’ll let the immersion handle the rest.

We’ll see if I feel like it later, or need the certification for something. Taking the test in Japan was so excruciating (the bureaucracy dear god), too, so no fond memories there either :smiley:


Simply the worst thing ever right!!?

1 Like

I’ve taken it in America and Japan… What was so bad about Japan?

I’ve never taken JLPT but from the samples, I’ve found out reading the question first before reading the whole passage is enough (at least on what I have seen, N3 and lower). I’ll just skim the text then find my answer and there they are. I do the same thing for my English and native language exams. It feels like cheating though…

I’ve taken in UK and Japan, Japan is WAY more stressful and bureaucratic. All instructions in Japanese but some people seem to have zero comprehension, because they say “put your cell phone in the envelope and put it in your bag and put your bag under the desk” about fifteen times. It just seems so rigid, and so different compare to London which was relaxed af, to the point where they didn’t explain things well enough imo.


I passed N5 on first try and then failed N4 four times. I think I passed it this time because my reading seemed much improved. That was due to a lot of practice reading. I’m starting N3 study now for next year and will be using Kanzen, Tobira, and JOI classes (and WK of course). I was depressed for a while last year after failing for the fourth time and almost quit studying altogether. I decided I didn’t want to lose the time invested and really wanted to advance, so got back into it and studied harder and read more. Wish we didn’t have to wait months for our scores.


thanks for your story, Japanese is such a frustrating language to learn, so many highs and lows. I think native reading is really gonna boost your learning and comprehension which filters into everything else, vocab, kanji, grammar etc. That’s what i’m going to start doing solely next year as my learning goal. It’s good you’re sticking with it, the more I fail, the harder I come back and study. Ironically, i’m studying harder now i’m not in Japan anymore.

I guess that depends on the proctor you get. I remember it being fairly strict when I took it in Boston.

But I guess I didn’t think of that as bureaucracy. I was thinking of the sign up process or whatever.

1 Like

This happens every time, at every level, and every time, I have no idea why those people are even there.

It’s like, one of the mysteries of the universe.


Had to be there like 30 min early even though nothing happened, and before every part they checked our faces with photos again lol. That took forever, so much time wasted. And they also said the same things like ten times and had to check the same id number like 5 times.

This so much. And people could not understand not being allowed to “touch your pen”, which is also ridiculous. Also you had to have your papers on the table in some specific place.

JLPT back home was so laid back compared to this.

1 Like

Well… one of the two places is doing it the way it was… intended to be done :slight_smile:


And that way is ridiculous! :smiley:

I guess “laid back” is not a descriptor I imagine for test taking.

Having never taken the JLPT before, but planning to take the N2 in July, now I’m nervous about the reading comprehension part. How fast would you say you’d have to read/comprehend the material in order to pass?

Personally I had to read just by skimming the most important points in N3, but reading was my weakest suite. But generally there’s not that much time to think.

1 Like

Couple of minutes per question max, after the vocab/grammar part you’ll get to the reading comprehension part of your enormously thick question booklet and probably have around 35-45 minutes remaining (or more if you’re quicker). I can’t remember how many questions there are but maybe 25 or so spread out over a variety of reading subjects. You need to get in and out, and on to the next one as fast as possible. The faster you get through the test, the more time you’ll have on the reading of course.

1 Like

:clock12: June 2017: Started learning Nihongo
:tada: December 2017: Passed N4
:tada: July 2018: Passed N3
:broken_heart: December 2018: Failed N2 by 4 points
:tada: July 2019: Passed N2
:broken_heart: December 2019: Took N1 (Didn’t prepare. Highly likely to fail)

My JLPT technique has always been to maintain my reading ability and Kanji proficiency since JLPT is reading oriented more than actual conversational skills. Add some listening practice and you’re good to go.

1 Like