How to properly prepare for the Japanese Language Proficiency test (All levels)
Hey there student of Japanese, we have a very enlightening lesson for you today. If you are thinking about taking the JLPT, Japanese Language Proficiency Test, at any level, and would like to get some killer tips on how to prepare best for such an endeavour, we have the answer.
In today’s lesson, we are going to be giving you all of our best preparation tips along with a bit of a routine / schedule to get you feeling good about the upcoming challenge.
Tests can be scary, especially when they are in Japanese, so we want to ensure that you cast aside those fears and doubts. We are going to now break down step by step the best preparation techniques for you guys so make sure you are taking notes. Class is in session.
Setting up your study routine
Essentially there are 5 main parts to the test: vocab, 漢字, 文法, reading and listening. It is best to do them in that order for efficiency. Without knowing all of the 漢字 vocab and 文法, listening and reading will be very hard for you so that’s why its best to take down the vocab and 漢字 straight away.
It can be quite monotonous to do it in this way as you could be tempted to jump into a bit of everything. This is a bad idea, read on and we will give you some really good ways to keep things fresh and interesting.
Start by setting aside 1 – 2 hours per day to dedicate to your Japanese studies. No phones (If you can help it), no distractions, just you and your learning resources. Doing this late at night or early in the morning can be a really good time. Having one day off a week is also a really good idea to give yourself a break and a small mental breather.
If you are quite close to the test you can always up the frequency to twice a day to make sure you nail the test.
So, like we said, it’s really important to nail the vocab first. This is because when it comes to learning the other aspects you are going to be able to move through the different elements faster. You should start by getting a JLPT vocab list, either online or from a specific JLPT book, and word through that daily.
Ensure that you are using anki systems as well as offline physical flashcards to view daily. If you can also couple that up with the 漢字 learning, that will really help with the next phase.
Now we move onto the 漢字, this is extremely important when it comes to reading too as it will also help increase speed in that area. You should follow a similar process as the vocab and use flash cards / anki to get the job done.
If you don’t have a big imagination, it certainly can be draining to come up with stories to keep remembering the 漢字. Try to focus on the radicals and take it one step at a time.
When it comes to the 文法, you are going to want to combine new 文法 points with lots of new example sentences. You are only going to remember this amount of 文法 if you are using it consistently with lots of different example sentences.
Learn the new 文法 point, create sentences, and keep repeating those sentences. Then start to integrate it into your daily conversations to really bring it to life and cement it in your arsenal forever.
How to work on your reading for the JLPT
Reading is potentially the hardest part of the JLPT, you have to have a good understanding of 漢字, 文法 and vocab as well as being able to comprehend things very fast. Remember you are under time constraints, so speed is key. You can 練習 this by reading similar JLPT appropriate material over and over again. Time yourself, make a note, read it again and try and beat your previous time.
The key here is to integrate as much reading as possible into your studies all throughout the day.
How to work on your Listening for the JLPT
Now listening is the last part of the process and possibly the most enjoyable. With a good listening ability, you can dramatically improve your communication ability. To work on this you should be listening to JLPT appropriate material, every day.
Grab a podcast or YouTube video and plug it into your ears while you are on the move.
If you can put these into 練習 in the order that we’ve given, this will give you some fantastic preparation for the JLPT you are aiming to take. If you have any more questions, please do get in touch and we will see you in the next online Japanese lesson form Bondlingo.