Last November I announced that I would be taking the JLPT this year in July in a bid to increase my Japanese skills and focus my study efforts, so how have things been going?
Well, I started taking private Japanese lessons in January, and they’ve been really good so far, but I have to admit I’m finding it a lot harder to get back into studying than I thought I would. With less than five months to go until the JLPT, I’ve been starting to feel a bit worried about whether or not I would be up to the challenge of N3, especially when you consider the fact that I will be in Japan for one of those months. Although I will of course be using Japanese every day whilst in Japan, it’s not the same as studying for an exam.
So, I’ve done a bit of soul-searching and had a chat with my teacher, and have decided that I’m going to take N4 instead of N3 in July. I know this might sound like a bit of a backwards step (as I passed the old level 3 back in 2009), but I think it’s a more realistic goal. If I can pass N4 with flying colours in July, it will also help with my confidence to try for N3 perhaps the following year.
On the JLPT website it gives an indication of what level one should be at for each level of the test and, when I read this, I realised N4 was definitely more for me than N3 at the moment!
As I’ve been working my way through the textbook Japanese For Busy People II I’ve found that a lot of the grammar and vocabulary is review for me – I’ve studied it all before but haven’t used it for so long that I’ve forgotten a lot. I’ve got into some lazy habits of being able to communicate without having to use correct grammar, and I need to correct that. Hopefully by the time I’ve finished that textbook and also done some specific N4 practice I’ll be up to the challenge of taking the test.