So I had my Japanese N5 test today in London, it was a little different to how I imagined it, in my head it was going to be much bigger and professional – In actuality it was in a lecture theatre with those little fold out desktop things, several people had to move because their desk couldnt support the weight of their test paper.
The variety of people in there was impressive, there were plenty of guys around my age, some older people (going into their 50’s even by the looks of it), a few very very young girls (small adorable girl in pink who looked about 10), and a few very obvious otaku.
They made us swear to not reveal any of the test information on the internet, slightly odd because im assuming they will be changing the test paper yearly anyway.
I made a stupid mistake of essentially learning the wrong shit, the android app on my phone which I was basing most of my revision from (pro I know) basically had the wrong list of what is in each JLPT category, and hence I was hit by a few Kanji that I didn’t revise, and a few words which I have honestly never heard before in my life. (The app is ‘Obenkyo’, which is great for learning and revising kanji, but not for revising particular levels of kanji apparently).
The exam is divided into Vocabulary, Grammar and Listening.
To my surprise, the vocab one gave the most trouble, with plenty of tricky questions.
The grammar one thankfully doesn’t actually contain that much grammar (although the grammar questions kicked my ass), half of this section are comprehension questions, which weren’t too bad but you really had to haul ass in terms of reading speed, I didn’t finish this paper in time and had to rando-select a few answers.
The Listening one I found easy enough, felt like free points to me, but perhaps this is because of the way ive been learning (via Rosetta Stone, Anime and Music), those who have been taught strictly through books (are there such people?) might have more trouble with this.
Overall, the test was pretty fuckin’ hard. Like… way harder than I imagined, for the bottom tier examination which is supposed to infer basic command of the Japanese language.
I kind of took the test lightly, and if it kicks my ass, it’ll be for this reason.
Im not even sure what % you need to pass, but I really hope I end up above it.
(Rubbish and obvious) Tips for others doing the JLPT:
– Your best bet for the style of questions really is on the JLPT site itself
– Ensure you know what you are expected to know (obvious perhaps? Make sure you are learning N5 Material and not simply JLPT 5 material)