What would be best to pass JLPT N3?

So I have more or less 8 weeks to pass JLPT N3 this summer (unless they cancelled it). I really want to pass this, cause I need to have one B1 certificate in order to get my university degree.
I already finished chapter 3 of Tobira. I also did one N3 test and the conclusion was my listening is fine, vocabulary and kanji more or less fine but my grammar is bad.

My question is, what would you think it will be better in order to pass JLPT N3? I have two options:

Option 1: Keep doing Tobira. Maybe I could finish it in time
Option 2: Left Tobira for now and study with Kanzen master for grammar and soumatome for the other part (vocabulary, listening, reading and kanji to see the one that I hadn’t see in Wanikani yet)

I can’t study all day but I can at least study a few hours every day.

Thanks in advanced for your replies, this forum has already helped me a lot.

Edit: They finally cancelled it so… now I have 6 months and I can do both options. I will post how I feel with N3 when I finish Tobira just in case someone can find it useful.


Tobira is like a side book. They have a lot of useful stuff but just not necessarily what the JLPT wants. Kanzen Master is probably better if your goal is to pass the test in the immediate future. I’d also recommend Nihongo no Mori if your grammar is bad. Since they look comparatively at grammar it’s useful for discovering how grammar that looks similar in English is different in Japanese.


I aced N3 only doing Shinkanzan master N4 and N3 for grammar and Reading. I didn’t even finish N3. I didn’t use any other textbooks. And as for listening I didn’t do anything in particular but I had weekly classes on italki for 8 months, so I was used to Japanese speech. Kanji and vocab I got from WK (I was lvl 30 at the time of the exam).

Before the test I did a few mock exams under the same time restriction. You need to know the test structure quite well or else you’ll loose time figuring it out during the real exam.

To sum up, you only have 8 weeks, so focus on doing tons of exercises in the JLPT format. And do a mock test now. It should give you a good feel for your week points.

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Thanks, I will follow your advice and do option 2. Maybe I will publish later the results if I think it will be helpful for someone else.

That makes me want to buy Shinkanzen Master for reading, but at the same time I don’t want to spend more money and get the book in these circumstances will be hard. I hope I will be fine with the soumatome one.

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I don’t have Sou Matome reading but I do have one for vocab and grammar. I prefer Shinkanzen Master (SKM) for grammar because it’s more through in both explanations and exercises. And I also had an impression that SKM is a bit higher level than SM even though they both target N3.

The actual JLPT had fairly simple grammar points compared to what was in SKM but that can but just the luck of the draw. I wouldn’t count on it.

As for reading, from my experience getting the answers correct is not difficult. The difficulty comes from time limit. I lost all my points on the reading section because I didn’t even start the last reading question. So, if you can, practice reading. Anything will do.


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