I finally wrote the JLPT (日本語能力試験）today. And I’m glad I did. It was such a lovely experience. Since there is only one centre in the city I was able to see a lot of people who are just like me. Learning Japanese instead of any of the European languages can make you the strange one among friends. But here I was surrounded by people who were interested in the same language as I. I was even more surprised to see school kids at the centre and they were writing for N3 certification! Amazing!
I wasn’t prepared for the exam. I hadn’t bought listening tapes or solved model question papers. I wasn’t aware of the types of questions expected in each section and to tell you the truth, it didn’t matter. I did stumble a bit in the listening section though.
How did I do today? Hmmm, I can’t really say. The vocabulary section was easy enough. The time period of 30 minutes was more than enough to go through 35 odd questions. I was really surprised by my reading speed though.
The grammar section was a little overwhelming. Lots of reading to do and it was a race against time. In this section I found that I couldn’t read a lot of Kanji. Some looked familiar, most didn’t. Instead of letting that stop me, I kept reading until the end of the passage while trying to understand the context simultaneously. It makes it easier to answer questions later.
The listening section was the worst actually. I should have expected it. The conversations were simple enough but I couldn’t follow them. I was told later by another candidate that watching anime helps with listening. It is one of the things I’m planning incorporate in my study plan for this month.
I don’t think I’ve learnt anything new by writing this exam. My listening needs work and my reading speed needs work. My comprehension is slightly better after preparing for N3. What I want the most is to get started with speaking Japanese. I will focus on these aspects for the coming months and depending on my results I’ll decided whether to rewrite N3 next July or not.