Monday, July 4, 2011

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) July 2011

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is an exam that tests your knowledge and understanding of the Japanese language and its usage. The new JLPT has 5 levels, namely N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5 with N1 as the most difficult and N5 as the easiest level. The exam tests different areas of your Japanese language knowledge and is divided into the vocabulary, kanji, grammar, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension parts.

Yesterday, July 3, 2011, I took JLPT N3, which is the newly-added level to the former 4-level exam. N3 is of average difficulty, not too easy, not too hard. From the JLPT website, "N3 tests your ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree."

For N3, the vocabulary and kanji is one set, which is composed of 35 questions, to be answered within 30 minutes. Grammar and Reading Comprehension make up another set of 39 questions to be answered within 70 minutes. Finally, in its own set is the Listening comprehension, composed of 28 questions to be answered within 45 minutes. Everything is multiple choice.

To prepare for N3, I have been studying Nihongo for about 6 months and I think it was just enough, with a little extra time for review. As far as the exam I took yesterday is concerned, almost everything I have studied came out. For the kanji and vocabulary exam, it was easier than what I had expected. However, I cannot say the same for the grammar and reading comprehension part. I didn't do bad. I just have a lower confidence about my score in that section, especially in Reading Comprehension. My favorite part of the exam, which is also the part that I find the easiest, is the Listening comprehension. The conversations are interesting and I feel accomplished when I could fully grasp what the conversation was all about. This part, however, requires a lot of concentration and quick thinking as you do not have a chance to change your answers or to think too much about it because the tracks are played continuously. There is also no time for review because as soon as the last track is finished, the exam is also finished.

The results of the exam will be mailed by early September and while waiting for that, I am now starting my preparations for N2, which I will be taking this December. I feel that I really have to exceed my best in order to prepare for this because I heard that the questions in N2 are more tricky, in addition to being more difficult.

Also, even though I am quite confident about my results in the N3 exam, I am still unsatisfied with the level of my knowledge in the Japanese language. True, I may be good during exams, but I know that I still could not converse fluently in Japanese. I already know a lot of words, but digging them up in my brain in real-time is really difficult and I always find myself at a loss for words. It's rather disappointing.

Japanese is a difficult but interesting language. It is very particular with respect and is full of hidden meanings. All of these cannot be tested by the JLPT because it is a limited exam. The real test of your knowledge in Japanese is your ability to use it in your everyday life to connect and build a good relationship with your Japanese neighbors.


  1. gikulbaan na ko kate karon pa lang...waaaa

  2. Nice kate... makaibog imo experience jud.. :)

  3. learning any language will definitely open doors. good luck in this endeavor! :)

  4. they say that compared to other languages, learning nihonggo is relatively easier. is that true?

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