Why doesn't WK prepare one for the JLPT N5?

I’m well aware that WK doesn’t include grammar, listening skills, or kana only words. Which is why I was complaining about it not including words with kanji that it seemed like it should include, and not complaining about it not having all the other stuff that it obviously doesn’t have for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately this kind of thing appears to be quite common with JLPT apps. I tried downloading a few prep apps, and they all had the same exact content. :sweat:

I can’t seem to find a list of which apps are actually good. Do you happen to have any suggestions?

Edit: I realized my post can be read to be overly-general. I’m referring specifically to phone apps for JLPT test practice.


Exactly this. Even if WK tried to include everything the test changes slightly every time so WK would need to update everytime for this. Honestly it doesn’t make sense.

Regardless I think that My Test is using kanji and kanji readings for a much higher level. I passed N5 without any issues with Kanji and took practice tests and practice questions from JLPT books for N4 and haven’t seen the readings mentioned. I think the bigger issue is that N3 and N2 kanji are done in tandem. Not sure if this is leftover from when the test was only 4 levels, but it’s been a decade since that changed.

Also some of the kanji and words you learn are more useful for day to day in Japan. When I was still in the US I didn’t think it was helpful, but now that I’m in Japan I realize it helps.

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Where? Here on WK? Are you basing that on the chart on WKstats? I think that is just a coincidence. It doesn’t actually mean that the same kanji are marked as N3 as are N2.

All JLPT kanji levels in unofficial resources (and again, there are no official lists) are just guesses, and so it would be more accurate to say something like 60% N3, 40% N2 for the expected distribution of a particular kanji, but no one has any idea what the reality actually is, so that kanji just gets tagged as N3, because it’s probably most likely you’ll encounter it in N3.


I tried to do something like that a few years ago:

食う is there, 半ば just barely didn’t make it (it’s 5047th in the frequency list I used while the cut off point was 5000).


I learned both of those after I passed the N3 lol.

weeeeeell there we go

I’ve definitely had some problems with vocabulary on the N2, I had to study extra to get those in my head. I’m supplementing that with reading and listening/watching to a lot of Japanese content and that really helps :slight_smile:

At the N5 I’m sure you’ll do just fine though!! There are no official JLPT lists of vocab/kanji anyway.


I think what most of us are saying is that most of these words are fairly advanced, and so perhaps they don’t need to be included in WK? Or rather, that WK is based on SRS, so new words would need to be added to kanji entries and reviewed via the SRS. However, I don’t think WK wants to overload users, so it can only drill users on a limited number of words. Besides, I think most users already find the review load pretty substantial at the higher levels. And of course, vocab on WK is there mostly to make kanji more usable and memorable, as some other people have said on this thread. WK isn’t a vocab training system.

Well, actually, according to the JLPT site, N3 is meant to be between the old Level 2 and Level 3. The levels match up like this:
N1-Level 1
N2-Level 2
N4-Level 3
N5-Level 4
So to be very honest, I don’t think it’s any surprise that N3 and N2 kanji are mixed up. I have a textbook (Tobira) that was designed for the old Level 2, and I’ve seen it used an N3 textbook and recommended for preparing for the N2 kanji test.


I completely agree with this! Some employers even ask to have N2 or higher. However, that doesn’t mean someone can speak Japanese. I can read a lot of kanji and understand written Japanese way better than speaking it.

Although I do use the JLPT as a goal to reach certain grammar points and improve my listening comprehension skills, etc., it is by no means a good measure of how well you know and understand Japanese. It’s a multiple choice test; even you absolutely don’t know the answer, you still have a 25% chance of getting the questions correct just by guessing.


Which textbook is it? I assume it’s not the absolute beginning one.

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Thank you :blush:

There is actually a course on Memrise that teaches you vocab not thought an Wanikani. The course is called “ワニカニ拡張パック”. I’m doing that course right now and it’s pretty good. For me, this is better than some frequency list, but you gotta do what’s best for you.


When I started this thread, I didn’t realize that MyTest was so inaccurate. I assumed that they were basic words due to the fact that they appeared on an N5 practice test, but it seems this isn’t the case. Still, it would be nice if WK fit them in somewhere at the higher levels.


I didn’t read the replies but I will say that I think one of the things about WaniKani is not to teach you every single word, but rather teach you enough words so that you can guess/figure out the meaning and reading of a new word that has kanji you already know.

But in this case, WK doesn’t include any words with that reading, so it is impossible to guess based on the kanji you already know.

that’s when you use the dictionary

Or get exposure to real-world material. Before I started doing WaniKani, I learnt 生える just minutes before my N3 exam by playing 二ノ国 on my DS in the lobby outside the exam room, and guess what was literally question number one on the test.

Yuru Camp (which we’re reading in the book club) uses 食う in the first chapter.


I think I was looking at WK stats, but was looking at the 100% part rather than seeing that 90% is learned by level 30ish for N3 and then they slowly teach you the rest. Looking at it, then it doesn’t seem as bad.

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