Time to apply…

As some of you may remember, in December 2007 I sat the JLPT exam for the first time.  The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) comes in 4 levels: 1 Kyuu, 2 Kyuu, 3 Kyuu and 4 Kyuu.  4 Kyuu is the easiest level, and the level that I sat in 2007.  The pass mark was 60% and I got 49% (196 points out of 400), so although I didn’t pass I did think I did pretty well (considering I didn’t know half of what I needed to know to pass!).

This year, in December, I will be trying 3 Kyuu.  I decided to skip trying 4 Kyuu again, seeing as I live here now and (hopefully!) should know a lot more Japanese after 2 more years of study.  I’m still really nervous though, and not sure I can pass. However, last time, listening was my worst section and I feel pretty confident that my listening skills have improved now!

For 3 Kyuu, they say you need to know 300 kanji, and about 1500 words.  And they say you should have studied Japanese for around 300 hours.  I have no idea how many hours I have studied for, but right now I take 2 classes a week (about two and a half hours a week) plus maybe 30 minutes minimum a day when I write my Japanese diary, but that’s not exam specific study.  Some weekends I spend a whole day studying Japanese, but that doesn’t happen often enough.  Anyway, I’m going to try 3 Kyuu and see what happens.  As with 4 Kyuu, the questions are all multiple choice (no writing or speaking involved) and the pass mark is 60% (240 points or more out of a possible 400 points).

The application period for the exam began on 28th August, so as soon as I could I ran down to Maruzen (the best bookshop in town!) and bought my application pack.


Today I filled out the form (which is a mini test in itself!) and tomorrow I will try to pass the next test: making a payment at the post office!


In order to apply (in Japan), you need to buy this pack (above), fill out the application form (double-sided white form on the top) and attach a photo, then take it all to the post office.  The white form at the back is a post office payment form.  I should be able to just give them this and my 5,500 Yen and make the payment.  I think when I took the exam in London I just paid by cheque – much easier!  Then I just put it all into the blue envelope and hand it back to the post office staff to be sent as delivery-certified mail.

Then, around November, I will be sent a test voucher, which will confirm the location of the exam and acts as my ‘ticket’ into the exam.  The exam itself is on Sunday December 6th (all over the world).  It’s a 3 part exam, comprising of writing/vocabulary (100 points, 35 minutes), listening (100 points, 35 minutes) and reading/grammar (200 points, 70 minutes).

So, what now?  Well, I have 3 months to study for the exam, so I had better make the most of that time.  A problem I always have when faced with an exam is that I end up panicking and just buying loads of textbooks which I hope will help me pass.  I’m going to try not to do that this time.  I have plenty of textbooks and a great teacher, so I will try to follow the advice she gives me, memorise the vocab she has asked me to memorise, continue my lessons and try to finish Genki II, and work through my kanji textbook, which should help me learn those damn kanji!  I’m sure I don’t even know 100 yet!  Also, I will try to use as much Japanese as possible in my life, and I will try to work less and study more!

Time to take my textbooks to bed! おやすみなさい!

4 thoughts on “Time to apply…

  1. I really wanted to take 1kyuu this December but now with baby #1 set to arrive around 13 December I wasn`t sure how they would take an almost ready to burst gaijin at the testing center! hehe.

    I took 2 kyuu almost 3 years ago now and listening was my best section- if you live here, it usually is. So I am sure you will find that your listening on the test has improved 100%! That really helps boost your score too.

    My advice is buy textbooks that are designed to help you pass JLPT as they have the kind of questions that will be asked in the exam. Practice tests from previous years are really helpful too and there is a text book available usually with the previous 2 years tests etc.

    When I took 3kyuu almost 5 years ago I used this book – http://www.thejapanshop.com/product.php?productid=17205&cat=267&page=1 (Sorry couldnt find it on amazon) – it was great because it had kanji, grammar, vocab, reading and listening practice all in the one book. I used the next level up for 2 kyuu also! As well as the Kanzen Master series which are really good also.

    Best of luck with your study!!!


    • Hi Lulu!
      Thank you for your comment and advice! And, good luck with the baby in December!! Yeah, maybe sitting an exam that close to popping isn’t such a good plan… :S
      I’ll check out that textbook – thanks! I hope you’re right about my listening…


  2. That sounds so great, you take an exam. I hope you can pass it this time!
    By the way, my boy-friend will take 4-kyu test this year, but he is not sure he can pass or not. He is studying everyday but he does not have any Japanese language class.
    I hope I can teach him well but I do not know how… and it is very difficult to teach Japanese to others because it is so different to English!


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