claydust (claydust) wrote in discuss_jlpt,


Curious about anyone else who took 2kyu. How do you think you did?

I found the kanji to be far easier than i'd expected. the only ones i remember having issues with were 方法、努力、支配、and the question about the flock of birds making a circle (丸、円、輪). but i'm sure there were others. I was just proud to keep pace with all of the Chinese girls in the room.

Listening was harder than I expected. There were lots that were a bit tricky. (I had no idea how many kids Jiro had, the table arrangement was a 50-50 guess for me, the medicine's 新しいところ、among others)

The reading... REM sleep? i thought that one was really difficult, especially in comparison to the girl's diary, and the telephone conversation.

Overally I found the whole experience to be irritating.
-My test site was 2.5 hours from where I live, a 1500yen train ride each way.
-the day was far too long. you never had a chance to get into the test taking zone.
-and sitting in the classroom waiting for the BEEP to start.
-the application process was beyond complicated.
-and now we have to wait until mid-February for the results.

I think I would have done infinitely better had I been sitting at starbucks, in a comfy chair, with a caramel macchiato in hand.

Are you planning to start studying for next year yet?

Personally, I'm thinking that the 漢字検定 will be a more satisfying venture, since it's offered more frequently.
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I agree with most of your points (I took 2kyuu for the second time yesterday). Listening is always ridiculously hard for me; I never know what three quarters of the questions are about -- I can't even narrow it down to two guesses. I would really like to improve that skill. Someday. T_T

The REM sleep reading was way harder than the diary and the telephone conversation, though I think I understood it in the end. I never got to the last two bits of reading; I just guessed random answers for those. I read too slowly, so I always do the grammar first to make sure I get to answer all the short answer questions I have a reasonable chance of answering correctly, even though point-wise they're worth less.

The kanji section was actually harder for me than last year, not because of the kanji (most of which were really easy), but because of the vocabulary. But I scored way above my average on the kanji last year, so I think that year's section was just ridiculously easy, or lucky.

Last year I passed with 64.7%... This year I'd be happy to break 70. (I would aim higher, but listening, ow.)

I would love to hear about your experiences with the Kanji Kentei, if you decide to go that route! I've been thinking about getting into that, especially since the gap between 2kyuu and 1kyuu is so huge. But I've heard that it can be really difficult because they expect you to be familiar with all sorts of odd vocabulary which is easy for a native speaker, but unfamiliar to a non-native speaker. (What five-year-old doesn't know the names of every barnyard animal and what kind of counters you use to count them?)
timing wasn't an issue for me at all. i had ages left at the end of each section... which was only a problem on the last section as i spent 10 minutes second guesing my answers.

you're right about the Kanji Kentei. As foreigners we don't even learn kanji in the same order that Japanese kids do. I've been working my way through the kanji workbooks- the sort that you can pick up at the 100yen shop here- and there were even a few 1st and 2nd grade kanji that i didn't really know. like 矢, i know what it means, but not how to read it.

the thing is, i'm not real big on the self-motivation. i'm more likely to spend the day staring out my office window, and day dreaming than actually studying Japanese. I don't think I can keep on task for 1kyu without some sort of in the middle benchmarks.
where can we take 漢検 at? Only in Japan? Or is it like JLPT where many countries hold it..
Kanji Kentei website. You'll probably have to change the encoding to view it properly.

It's offered in more than just Japan, but it's not as widespread as the JLPT.
Even within a region it tends to be not spaced-out. Like in the US you can take it in California, or the NE. I think the only European locations are London and Italy.
I just checked your user info, and it looks like it's offered in Singapore.

Also, if you can get a group of people together I think they'll make special arrangements for the group and offer it at a different testing site. (They offer the kanken at my junior high school... here in Japan)
wow nice! thanks for the site ^^ indeed singapore is one of the 2 countries in asia to offer 漢検! Now i have something to look forward to taking every year :D
I took 1kyuu, but I have to agree with you that the whole experience was irritating. I'm at school in Minnesota, so I had to fly out for the weekend for the test, which was expensive. The test is so long that I got really bad brain staring at a sentence and completely not understanding it, and completely blanking out during the listening section on several of the questions.

Kanji/vocab I expected to do poorly on since that's my weakest point, but damn...the number of questions I actually KNEW the answer was very small and the rest were more or less guesses.

Listening I found quite a bit harder than the practice questions I did, possibly due to already being tired/stressed from the first section of the test. In the practice I was scoring 90% on the listening, but on the test I think at least half of my answers were guesses.

I studied the 完全マスター grammar book front to back and really learned every single grammar point, but I think only about half the grammar questions dealt with stuff that was in there. I also ran into trouble with some kanji that I couldn't understand in the questions. I still think that overall I did the best on the grammar/reading section, though. I'm pretty confident about the short readings and the second two of the longer readings (though I always am, and then usually have misunderstood some of the questions/readings), but that first I saved it for last but did not run out of time at all...just out of brainpower. I never really got what it was about, though I attempted to puzzle through all the questions and at least guess.

I feel like I could study harder this year and pass next year, but I also feel that I could study harder this year focusing on things in relation to how useful they will be to me living in Japan rather than on how to score well on the test. As in, I think my reading comprehension and listening skills are pretty sufficient, given that in real life you can ask for clarification on specific points you didn't catch, and that in real life kanji readings and unfamiliar vocab are at denshi-jisho's reach. What I really could use is an increase in my vocabulary and kanji-reading to the point where I can read a newspaper without looking up a zillion words (I can read fiction pieces fairly easily with minimal dictionary use, depending on the reading level), and can hold my own in conversations where right now I just don't have the vocabulary (everyday sort of things I have covered, but any more specialized topic is generally difficult).

It will depend a lot on where I end up six or 8 months from now, though, since I'm getting my BA in May.

At any rate, お疲れさまでした!
that's the thing about the JLPT, it doesn't really test proficiency.

there are a few good reasons to take the exam... mostly if you want to get a job in Japan, that isn't teaching English. or if you're using it as a way to keep yourself motivated to study Japanese. it would probably be beneficial if you wanted a Japanese-related job in the U.S., and it's good resume material. and the bragging rights of passing 1kyu.

but yeah, the test isn't worth all of the hassle that we put ourselves through to take it.
Yes... I think the usefulness of the test as an overall measure of proficiency decreases the higher you go. 4kyuu and 3kyuu seem to me to be a very good measure of beginning/low intermediate proficiency, but then the gap before 2kyuu is huge, and the problem of needing different skills (grammar, vocabulary) for different kinds of reading material really begins to show up, and only gets worse with 1kyuu. I get the sense that 1kyuu is all about being able to read the financial/political sections of the newspaper, which is not my primary goal.

I keep plugging away, because it helps me stay on task, but I wonder if I'll ever actually take 1kyuu. I have a feeling that by the time I have that many kanji memorized, my goals may have diverged too far from what the test is aimed at.