One month till the JLPT (December 2023) How are you feeling?

Hello everyone! So with one more month until the December 2023 JLPT, I wanted to ask how are we all feeling?

Like an ambitious beginner, high on Dunning-Kruger, with 24 levels (by tomorrow morning haha) of WaniKani coursing through my veins, I signed up for the N4 as my first test. I just finished completing the Genki II textbook/workbook this week which leaves me this whole month to review. I’ve also been using Bunpro on the side to cover any missing N4 grammar points that Genki didn’t go over.

My plan for this month is to work through the ShinKanzenMaster N4 reading and listening practice material. I took one practice test and the listening section put the fear of God in me. Vocab and reading were my strongest areas. WK and Genki/Bunpro has at least given me the ability to read. But my listening practice has so far only been through the Genki workbook and just passively listening to random podcasts/native content on Youtube. I need way more focus on the exam-style questions and being able to understand almost everything on a single listen. I hope this month of practice can get me there. I find myself getting caught up on missing a word and then I end up not fully listening to the full sentence.

I debated on whether to put this in the Campfire category, but I figured why not add it here so we can all share what our current routines/materials are as well as group therapy lol.

Is this your first time taking it? What level?

What’s your current routine?

Retaking a level? What went wrong and how are you preparing for it again?

Taking a higher level? What new things did you add to prepare from previous levels?

I’m pretty nervous already, but I just need to put some trust in myself and the process. Wishing the best for all of us!


Good luck to you and everyone taking the test.


I passed N5 last year so going for N4 in December. I have been going through the Shinkanzen Master reading and listening books. I’m nearly complete with those but the listening book is not great and that is definitely my weakness. I have been listening to a lot of kon teppei and will be going through some N4 listening tests on you tube, analysing them afterwards and listening repeatedly. Hopefully I will be ok but I’m probably not going to get a stellar result. Japanese is damn hard for a 37-year-old!


I’ll keep that in mind and diversifying my practice listening material a bit more :+1:

To be honest to pass the JLPT you could just focus on JLPT questions. I’m just using kon teppei as an easy listen to get my listening better in general (not just for JLPT).

I’m in like almost the same place as you right now. Going for N4 this year, right now wk level 24. Taking a college course that would finish Genki II this semester so I am a little behind on that. I took a practice test on the other day and did well. JLPT Exam Preparation - Preparation for all levels from N5 to N1
Kanji was super easy, the grammar section not as much but I knew almost everything. Listening was a bit more tricky unsurprisingly since I don’t do much of it but also because I got mind numbingly bored and kinda checked out. Not sure how accurate that is but I was too lazy to print out the actual past exam and grade myself or whatever it is you do for the stuff on the official website. I also did the sample questions on the official website, there were only 15, and only got like one wrong. Going back and forth between whether I’m overconfident or have nothing to worry about. Like on one hand I haven’t really kicked the studying into high gear but on the other hand the bar for passing (50%?) is like so low so idk. I haven’t really switched over to preparing for the test from just my basic study routine right now.


That I forgot to sign up :joy::joy::joy:

Would be my 2nd time. N2.

Reading smutty novels, watching vTubers, playing gatcha games.

My reading speed and comprehension were trash the last time.

Hell no :smiling_face_with_tear:


Ooooh I’m feeling nervous but excited :partying_face:

I’m taking the N4. It’s my first time taking the JLPT. It’s also a bit of a solo travel adventure because I will be flying across the country and staying in Johannesburg for the weekend :airplane:

Pretty sure listening will be hardest for me, but I’m trying to listen to podcasts every day and do lots of practice questions on the Migii JLPT app. I’m getting more of a feel for the question formats but I still get tripped up sometimes.

I’m also still working my way through the N4 grammar and vocab on Bunpro… it’s gonna be an intense month :laughing: I’m at 71% of grammar learned and 30% of vocab “studied” but luckily there are lots of words in there that I do know already.

Wishing everyone lots of luck and fun and success in this round of JLPT!


I love these responses haha. The smutty novels reminds me of the guy on reddit who solely immersed in Japanese using nukige and was able to pass the N1 test. I think we can all learn something from him.


any recs on the smutty novel front? :sweat_smile:

I feel weird knowing what is meant by nukige (though never having heard of it before), but having problems with some day to day japanese vocab.
but what was the storyline of those, that he passed the N1, which has some seriously hard business vocab and, if I at least understood the text in my last N1 attempt correctly, some psychological terms.

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That devotion is key? Or that the power of horny™ is a superior learning method? :joy:

Oh sir, I just need to know your genre and/or tastes.

I think the trick was that he was grinding hard™ . So it was probably quantity over quality.

Smutty novels/games cover all sorts of genres/themes so it’s definitely possible.


Passing the N5 Test is my current goal, but I ended up just missing the sign-up date for this year, so no test for me :smiling_face_with_tear:
Sucks that the US only offers it once a year, and even then it’s difficult to get a seat. Maybe next year…

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Taking N1 for the first time, we’ll see how it goes. Ploughing my way through shin kanzen master N1 and for the most part it isn’t too bad. Hoping the test is about the same level.

Practice with Shin Kanzen, iTalki and just listening to things.

I’m no stranger to standardized language tests, and my biggest fear is misinterpreting the one off 〜ないんじゃないかと思うけど in a dialogue section.


Am i procrastinator ?Do i regret my life decisions ? Yes, jk, but seriously i’m actually quaking in my boots lol.Im definitely less stressed though so that’s a plus right about now i would probably of been crying but i’m not :slight_smile: .Im taking the n2 for the first time the last few days i’ve been doing 5-7 hour study days which is because i’m on a break from school.Anyways my study routine consists of wanikani , anki , shinkansen master reading and grammar and a random practice question book. When i go back to school its going to be similar less time but similar and my break times are going to nbe filled with me trying to read native content.みんな合格できなくても大丈夫だよ!やるだけで良いから。一所懸命勉強しましょう!


Feel like throwing up just thinking about it and I’m only taking the N5 :rofl:


I believe in you! So what about that grammar point that strikes fear? Is it where if just one component of it is missed, it makes the meaning the opposite of what it should be interpreted as?


Wrapping the English brain around Japanese’s propensity for throwing 10 negatives in one phrase to make a positive

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“Business vocab” and “psychological terms” at the end of the day are still just japanese. I’ve only read a few nukige as I tend to prefer more typical galge, but they still have various settings, characters, and conversations held within them despite the abundance of sex. Some of them I feel even tend to be harder because its made for 18+ year old hardcore otakus who read. And when you know that’s your audience you can expect them to have a much stronger vocabulary.


I agree. We tend to throw in “psychological terms” even in our everyday English conversations. For example, “defence mechanism” , “introvert” and “cognitive dissonance”.


I’m feeling really confident, I’m taking the N5 because the N4 had run out of spots which sucked at the time but I’m kinda glad now given how busy I’ve been at school with year 11 exams. I know my Wanikani level is low because I only made the account a month and a half ago, but I’ve been studying Japanese since I was in year 7 (12 years old, I’m 17 now).

My Japanese teacher said I should take N3 or N4 but I doubt I could have passed JLPT N3.

I’ll likely take N3 next year sometime, because I’ll have my year 12 exams for a month or so in October or November, and I don’t want to make myself stress more than I have to lol.