Passed N3 Test after 1 year of Wanikani!

I decided to commit to learning Japanese early in 2016. I always sucked especially at kanji and I thought Wanikani would be a great tool to stay motivated for learning kanji at a consistent rate.

I figured I’d try and take a JLPT test to check my progress, and I had the difficult decision between N3 and N4. I thought N4 would be too easy, but N3 would be a really big challenge. I decided to go for N3, and as the test came up I realised I was pretty far behind the amount of Kanji I needed to know as I was only at about 70% of the required amount at the time.

Ended up taking the test on the day, really ended up struggling on Section 1/2, but did well on the listening component. Wasn’t expecting to pass but results came back today and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I guess all I really wanted to say is that I’m glad I decided to go with Wanikani, and I’m hoping here’s to another year of Kanji/Japanese studying progress!


congrats! I haven’t taken any, but I plan on jumping on N2 or N1 once I finish Wanikani

Congrats! What other recourses you used apart from wanikani?

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I used a textbook called Mirai 5, Mirai 6 and I also tried the beginner/intermediate/advanced levels of living languages.

Aside from that, I usually watch some anime while doing wanikani reviews =p


What wanikani level were you on when you took it?

Counting backwards, it seems I would have been Level 17 at the time. Thought I was higher, but guess not >_>

Was definitely pretty hard though, would recommend something like Mid 20s before feeling even remotely confident about going in. I was getting the reading/comprehension questions but was running out of time.


Cool, I’ll keep that in mind. I’ll see where I am when I hit the year mark. I’d like to take one of them just as a milestone.

Hello、@bmaさん!!N3おめでとうございます!It’s great to read your story because I decided to start learning Japanese at the same time as you! I was wondering if I should go for N4 or N3 this July or even on December… but I’ll go for the challenge like you did!^^

Wow! Congratulations o(>ω<)o
This is inspiring, thanks for sharing! Gonna work even harder now. :grin:

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That’s amazing, well done!

@bma Grats on passing N3. How confident are you with speaking with a Japanese native?

Congratulations! ^^ I did the JLPT N3 also last December at level 14 or 15. There must’ve been some passive kanji knowledge in my head apart from WK which helped. I somehow managed to get full marks on both reading and listening.

People really shouldn’t be discouraged to take the test just because they don’t seem to know enough kanji. There’s so much more to understanding Japanese than the kanji, although kanji is still crucial.

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Congratulations on passing the N3. I am planning to take it too but need to learn more first.

Are they asking also for Kanas? I am having the worst problems remembering the Kanas in Japanese but not what they mean in English. Kanjis are, luckily, easy for me.

Where did you guys learn the listening components. I gather they are saying sentences and not words you have to understand?

@jasonlint From my perspective, I knew there was a real chance of failing the N3 test, but since my end goal is N2/N1, it didn’t reallllly matter whether or not I passed N3 or not (if that makes sense).

But if you want to measure clear progress, going down the list one at a time could be pretty fulfilling too.

@princeuchu I’ve been focusing mainly on comprehension, kanji and reading. I imagine that in the absence of dialects I would be able to understand a high enough percentage of what someone would be saying to me. However I wouldn’t say I’m too confident a speaker at this stage. I plan to focus on this after finishing more Wanikani.

@GabrieleCK If by kanas you mean hiragana/katakana, then you will need to be comfortable with both. In one section it’s a bunch of small passages that you have to read, and there’s a mixture of hiragana/katakana and kanji. The listening component is them playing a sound recording of a passage out, and then there’s a question that says something like ‘What did X try to do: a,b, c or d’. So yeah, they are saying sentences.

@GabrieleCK, the format for the listening (ききとり) is, as far as I know, like this:

The introduction to the conversation and the question itself is always the very same boring thing. The lady slow-speaking for the JLPT exams is stuck in my head really bad. You’ll understand very soon… The thing goes like this:「男の人と女の人が話しています。男の人は、何をしますたか。」

Then you listen to two individuals talking really slow. Even if you don’t understand all perfectly don’t try to rely on just catching words you understand because If you only pay attention to nouns or whatever you consider to be key words you’ll fail —miserably!—.

This exercises are designed to test your comprehension on grammar, as well. Most of them are just “pick the correct answer: a, b, c or d”. At the end, the introduction or the question is repeated so make sure you understand it. They’re always tricky! For example, the boy and the girl in the conversation will speak about things they do and all 4 options are mentioned by them in different ways during the conversation.

So, it’s not just words but sentences… it’s a conversation. Since you will only hear it once they talk slow… very slow. So slow that it will get you angry and impatient!

As for “kanas”, do you mean Hiragana and Katakana? As for “meaning of kanas” I’m not sure what do you mean but you need to be absolutely comfortable with both syllabaries.

In 2016, I actually spent a very large majority of time on Wanikani, as it was an area that I was especially bad at. Tried to do a few hours daily, but had lots of uni stuff on too, so sometimes I’d slack a bit when assessments were coming up.


Your accomplishment in such a short time is very impressive. I took two Japanese classes years ago in college and put in a few tepid efforts towards learning more kanji after that. I can’t say I’ve been super active through all this time, but it was about 10 years ago that I started learning. You’re clearly farther along than I am in a much shorter time.

Late last September I started with wanikani and I found that the gamified system works tremendously well for me. In such a short time, my comprehension of the language has grown tremendously because of it, and I now feel like gaining useful proficiency with the language is an attainable goal.

I don’t know if your experience is the same as mine, but wanikani is definitely the thing that helped me to progress past the basics of the kana and 100 or so kanji.

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Why not try the sample questions and see for yourself.

@Leebo, holy smokes, I can’t even understand a simple word, I really have to learn a LOT more before I attempt a go at this again.

@jasonlint and @bma, I am sorry to mention Kanas, I meant Kanji’s (most of the time I mix up the two :rage:). I am luckily very familiar with Hiragana but have a :imp: of a problem deciphering half of the Katakana correctly.

With Kanjis, I know if you know their original sounds you can read words made out of 2 or more Kanjis easier, but I am having problems remembering most the Kanjis what the On’yomi is.

Before I told WK to level me to the beginning I was at level 9, that was a couple of months ago. Now I am at level 6 and even taking it slower I still have trouble with Kanjis starting at level 5. Too many こう、そう、ち to remember which Kanji is with. Does it get easier over time?