Time management pre JLPT

I am thinking of giving N3 this july. I have japanese classes once every week till June. (Grammar and listening for N3, role play practice and business japanese basically)

But recently I started finding it very difficult to give time for japanese (outside the one hour class once every week) because of work. I get around 2 hours or less per day post work and I put that into my guitar practice (Cant avoid), And around an hour of 休憩時間 during work which I plan to spend on JLPT studies.

To those who have prepared for JLPT N3 with time constraints, any tips that I can use for making a time table ,やるべきこと for the next 3 months or even things I should be focusing on right now to clear the exam, 宜しくお願い致します。


It’s tough, but you are free to prioritise your activities as you see fit. If you think that JLPT is more important than guitar practice (at least until July), then you can reduce guitar practice. Otherwise don’t worry too much. You’re level 31 and have learned 90% of JLPT N3 kanji.

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That gave me some confidence :smile:. I think I can handle the kanji section and I read a lot of emails and news articles in Japanese so reading section is also fine. I am worried about vocabulary and listening. Any resources that you could recommend here?

[In general, the amount of vocab for JLPT levels make it seem impossible to learn when I see the numbers]

I kinda like Nihongo Sou Matome. They have separate books for vocabulary, listening, etc. Another alternative is Shin Kanzen Master.

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I’m in the same boat as you!

I found that my weakness is vocabulary (that doesn’t have kanji attached), so i started making flashcards of words I don’t know well and reviewing them just once a day. It doesn’t take a lot of time to review them, and I’ve noticed my accuracy has gone up really quickly.

As for listening, I try and watch a Japanese show with Japanese subtitles, or the news in Japanese every day for just a bit. To get more out of that time, try shadowing what everyone is saying to the best for your ability. It trains your ears to pick up more actively. (Also I hear that the listening for the N3 isn’t much harder than the N4… We’ll see tho!)

Will be curious to hear if anything otherwise works for you! Let’s do our best :sparkles:


I second what @plantron said about test prep books. I’ve also been using the same Nihongo So-Matome brand’s 4週間「新にほんご500問 」book and enjoying it.


Based off my experiences attempting to speed run N2, I usually recommend spending most of your practice time on reading and next to none on listening.

Listening is some dumb easy stuff. Question are out of four (sometimes three) answers - knock out 1/2 obviously wrong ones and you win that section. Just put some 雑談 streams on while you work so Japanese doesn’t sound like a garbled mess by the time the test comes around.

Vocab/kanji is something you should be practicing regularly, but whether or not you know the words/kanji that actually show up on the test is a complete dice roll imo.

Which leaves reading, I guess. Reading speed (not just accuracy) is very important on the test. The ability to be able to reliably scan is also very useful, but that requires a certain amount of proficiency that you wouldn’t have unless you tried to have it.

I’m not sure if they have it on the N3, but in N2 they give you questions that involve scanning stuff like charts and event flyers - if you haven’t developed the right skills, you can’t do it in a timely manner which takes what should’ve been a free question into something taking time away from the long passages.

Kanzen Master has good reading materials. Alternatively, if reading essays is too painful, you can spend your practice time doing prose (children’s novels etc.). I’d recommend rereading stuff a lot, otherwise you get caught up in all the vocab/grammar you’re encountering for the first time and don’t spend enough time actually developing speed.

Just my two cents


I’ll also recommend Sou Matome. For the N3, I skipped the Kanji book and passed just fine. I would also look at some practice tests online, it helps to know the format.


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