Taking the JLPT N2 in December 2022! 📚 ✏ 😵‍💫

Hey Everyone.

I am aiming to take JLPT N2 in December this year and I am really nervous.
I have been studying Japanese for 7 years and can speak it really well. But my reading and writing are not that great.

I studied abroad in 2015-16. I took JLPT N4 at the end of my study abroad trip and passed. I then just kept in touch with my host family for a couple of years and only used Japanese for speaking. I then took Japanese at university and it ended up being my major. We mainly used Genki texts and then used Tobira for more advanced classes. Graduated in June

Right now I am using Wani Kani, Anki decks, Satori reader, Kanzen Master, and Sou-Matome series to study.

What are your study plans looking like?
What have been your experiences so far with studying Japanese?
Do you feel confident? Why or why not?

We got this!!


You do ALL of them? You’re gonna have organ failure

unless it’s all you do all day. then you’re just gonna get burned out a little


That’s how it feels sometimes. I study an average of 4 hours a day. Luckily I have a job where I am just paid to be present and can study during work.
I do my Wanikani and Anki reviews in the morning and at night. I also do the Sou-Matome series casually and then to Kanzen master more seriously. I also read Satori reader pages before bed as my nighttime reading.

But I do worry about burnout…I wonder how I can maximize my reading speed, New kanji, and new vocabulary retention…while also not burning out… :weary:


Maybe (and this might be the worst advice you’ll ever hear, so take it with a tablespoon of salt)
Don’t worry too much about it? Take your time to do things, and if you fail, just take the exam next year? Unless you need it for a job, it’s just a fun thing you can do to say “my nihongo is this much jouzu”, so don’t study to a point of burnint yourself out for it?


Tobira is up to n3 roughly. As I experienced myself there’s a bit of gap there between it and the n2, and it’s kinda hard to bridge that in such a small amount of time. Not only do you need a decent grasp of the material, there’s not much time for each question.

Definitely read a lot and try to up your speed in addition to building your understanding.


Writing ability is not a concern for the JLPT. The real question is, how’s your listening ability?

My listening ability is pretty solid.


I’m doing it for work that’s also why I’m putting so much effort in. That and I have a big knowledge gap to cover if I have a shot at passing.

I just got done with school so I’m honestly used to studying more than this. I just hope what I am doing will be effective. Because I know the brain can only handle so much of the same information at one time.

At uni I was studying multiple subjects so that helped with the burnout.

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There’s a lot of good advice in the other jlpt thread, but if you’re doing this because you need it for work then my suggestion is to make sure you take advantage of the way the jlpt rewards good test taking strategy. That is, get hold of mock/sample tests, take them under timed conditions, identify where you most need to improve and concentrate on that. Time management is really important at N2 and N1, especially if your reading speed is not fast, so you want to find out how fast you need to be going now, not in the real test :slight_smile:


I’m also taking the N2 in December. I’m finishing up WK, using Anki every day and I’m almost done with the Shin Kanzen Master series for N2. I’ve been reading Hoshi Shinichi’s short-short series for extra comprehension and kanji/vocab as well. I feel like my biggest challenge on the test is to manage my time properly and answer everything.


I plan to take N4 in July 2023 although I am just finishing up with N5 grammar. My tutor and I plan to do some quizzes for N5 before moving onto N4. I should be getting my 2 first Japanese Manga on Saturday, Dragonball and Yotsuba, as I want to start with manga reading before doing more text reading next year. I am trying to improve my listening comprehension through beginner podcasts but thats slow going and ofcourse speaking will come through being in the environment now overtime, I hope anyways.


I am gonna keep reading, listening, speaking, and maybe occasionally write until I think I can pass the N1 with ease. That’ll probably be in a few years though. I get too caught up in passing and not just proving my knowledge, so I want to just “be” the level I am taking, not try to “prove” the level I am taking, if that makes sense.


It’s too late for me to take it now but good luck to everyone taking it this December!


Honestly, unless you feel like you’ll burn out, there’s probably no point worrying about it. What I mean is this: are you enjoying studying, or are you forcing yourself to do so? You’ll obviously feel tired at the end of a study session, but do you feel drained and frustrated, or satisfied with your progress and fulfilled?

When I was studying French at the C1-C2 level (so at a level equivalent to the N1 for Japanese, and then higher), I’m pretty sure I read newspaper articles 3hrs a day almost every single day. I was having fun. I got tired after a while each day, but I was very happy with what I had learnt. I never burnt out, topped my year nationally for French at high school graduation even though I skipped class (with authorisation) for half a year to save another academic subject, and now I’m in France doing an engineering master’s degree in French while fairly consistently scoring well for the essay-writing humanities modules I’m required to take.

In short, I’d only worry about burn-out if you feel the toll of the effort you’re making much more than you feel the satisfaction of achieving whatever you do.

The introduction/preface to Tobira says it’s meant for Level 2 of the old JLPT (up to 2009), which the N2 is supposed to be equivalent to. However, I’ve definitely seen plenty of structures labelled ‘N2’ that I didn’t see in any of the 13 chapters of Tobira I did. (I didn’t feel like doing the final two because I felt Tobira wasn’t helping me learn productively anymore.) Therefore… I think it might still be slightly above N3? But not by much at any rate, and there definitely are other things one needs to learn on top of that.

Most of my N2 grammar knowledge comes from looking things up while watching anime, honestly (and just for the sake of credibility with regard to the JLPT, I’ve just passed the N1). Maybe OP might want to consider doing something like that? (It’s also called ‘sentence mining’, if we want to sound cool, but yeah, essentially, I find it easier to learn things in context than by cramming using short examples from books.)


Burnout can and will happen. The question is when. I recommend the best thing to do is just listen to your body and do what you want when you want and as much as you want. BUT in the case of the JLPT, set long term and short term goals. For example, I need X number of Kanji for the test, so by these dates I need to have studied this many. Make sure they’re reasonable too because its not every day you can go 110%. Those burst happen but they don’t last.


Yeah, when I really got into visual novels, I was working my brain so hard for hours a day (on top of wanikani full speed and my degree) that I literally ended every day with brain fog and raw mental exhaustion. But every day I went to bed at a reasonable time and would get plenty of sleep because I was already looking forward to getting to do it the next day and wanted to make sure I was in peak form so I could do it for as long as possible and as well as possible.

Burnout is correlated to time spent on something and the amount of work you put in, but not caused by it.

Burnout, in my experience is usually just unsustainability. Like a build up (or wearing down) that eventually reaches a tipping point. If you have no negative emotions being built up and no joy being lost, I don’t know if it should be a worry.


Thank you this is really good advice. I do feel tired after study sessions but I love the feeling when I have those “ah ha” moments. Even though I am doing this for work I know I won’t regret it even if I fail. I have learned so much already pushing myself this much!


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