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JLPT Study Guide and Mock Test Books


JLPT Study Guide and Mock Test Books

I've been thinking about taking the JLPT for a while now because the official certification for my self-learned Japanese should come in handy if I ever work in Asia or at least for a company that has branches in Japan. I still haven't done so yet because I'm not too confident about passing and I have to go all the way down to London to take it.

I told my Japanese penpal who is a voluntary teacher for foreign students in Japan and she kindly sent me these two guide books costing around £10 each.

JLPT Study Guides

Both come complete with answers and audio CDs for the listening comprehension questions.

Audio CDs.

The white book on the left, パターン別 日本語能力試験2級徹底ドリル claims there are patterns in the tests and that once you know them, you'll know the answer right away... It's filled with drills that focuses on these patterns in each unit.

There are patterns?

But I still think it's down to vocabulary in the end.

Not sure if it works.

The other blue book あなたの弱点がわかる! 日本語能力試験 2級模試 contains two full mock tests with a comprehensive answer and marking scheme at the back in English, Chinese and Korean. It even gives you study strategies to improve on your weaknesses. This book is probably more helpful and practical out of the two.

Nice detailed answers.

Putting my one year's worth of learning Japanese to the test , I found the reading comprehension questions quite straight forward - With a few mistakes. I ended up reading the particles and words together which got me confused.

Listening was the toughest because you're only allowed to listen once and some of the conversations don't give you a direct answer. Instead, you have to listen closely to pick out the important hints and then using those, you have to work it out. - Well, at least from these mock questions anyway.

I doubt watching Anime will help pick up

For example, "What time is it overseas?"

A: Do you call your overseas relatives sometimes?

B: Yes, once every fortnight.

A: It can be pretty hard when their time is different from Japan isn't it?

B: It is. I have to count forwards in time. For example, it's 7pm in Japan just now. Over there it's 8  hours slower so...

I "like" the short music they stick in just before the second part of the test which has no picture aids. Now I know what I'm in for for the listening comprehension part.

So, will I still be taking the test? I managed to score around 70% (287/400) in the mock tests so I think I might go for it anyway since you don't have to pass each section individually.

Interesting to see they're adding in a fifth level this year and re-adjusting level one for higher level students.

Why not take a break?

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Xcomp Author

That's the plan... Still not sure if I'm going for it to be honest. It's quite hefty when you add up the travel expenses and application fees so I must be fully confident I can pass first ^^;




My sister once told me that a friend of hers passed Level 1 thanks (in part) to frequent karaoke sessions.

Apparently, reading the furigana'd kanji in the onscreen lyrics helped her out a lot. (True story - says my sister, at least.)

From my experience (and I speak as a low-leveller, so my advice isn't worth much), anime and J-pop won't help with grammar but might - just might - help with vocabulary, and for some (myself included) it may even be useful in honing one's listening skills. I enjoy listening to Japanese dialogue so I tend to break apart and analyse lines as they're spoken, very briefly mulling over new words (with subtitles as a useful glosser) and paying attention to patterns of speech. My Japanese skills are not very high, but I know enough to recognise exaggerated language (of the kind writers and seiyuu might use to give characters distinctive speech traits) and sidestep it in favour of word choices, patterns and accents that seem to mirror actual speech.

Anyway, I've said too much already; I just hope you'll find something that works for you. My very best wishes on your attempt - and I hope I'll earn my Level 2 stripes at the same time!

(Unless you're aiming straight for Level 1, that is. I'm assuming Level 2 based on those reference books.)




I studied it at college, even though I can't say I'm very satisfied with the language level we reached there - wouldn't be enough to pass 2kyuu for example.
Most of the practice I did in the past few years was just playing games/watching anime/listening to drama and radio/reading books or manga ^^;
For jlpt2 I did use a grammar book (http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4883190889) which proved quite useful, because there were some grammar forms that I didn't know in it, and they actually came out in the test.

I have to look for textbooks for jlpt1 now though, because I don't think I have any hope unless I study properly this time D:



Xcomp Author

Nice. How have you been studying the language?




I took JLPT2 last december and the listening section was easier than I thought.
Some of the comprehension questions are annoying though because they want you to pick answers about things that aren't really that clear from the text - stuff that I would have doubts about even if it was written in my first language ^^;

Would like to try 1 this year before they change it but it might be just too hard DX Gonna need lots of studying for it :/