The JLPT exams were today
Did anyone attempt one? Or has anyone in the past? I think a million people enrolled worldwide this year (all levels combined).
I still have a handful of lessons left on the tree so I'm going to attempt the N5 next year.
I hear it's all multiple choice, though, which is unfortunate. It doesn't sound so challenging given that there's no oral exam. It probably requires more labor (money) to perform those so it does makes sense why they're not incorporated.
edit: Thanks to everyone for the responses. Glad to know that it will in fact be challenging!
I took and passed the N5 this year in July. Some of the multiple choice questions were surprisingly hard, for example having to choose the correct Kanji among really similar Kanji or questions about a text where several answers made sense.
In the end there is a listening part, where you only get to listen to each question once.
I took the N3, I think I was a little weak on the listening portion cause they try to be cute/tricky but overall it was about the difficulty level I was expecting. Fingers crossed...
The 新完全マスター books are great practice - I found that they set the difficulty a bit higher than the actual test itself, so its a great way to go into the test feeling good about what you studied.
I will definitely echo the sentiment that the time allotted for each section is barely enough - you have to be quite good at consuming reading sections quickly, but more importantly, you have to be able to ignore sentences, and that means figuring out what is OK to ignore. Read the questions first, then scan the short essay for the data. I think there were about 6-8 of the multi-paragraph reading problems in the test as a whole.
Also, I would totally recommend anyone serious about learning Japanese to take the test semi-regularly, if the test sites are convenient for you. It creates nice milestones that you can work towards and measure your progress against.
I took one waaaay back when I was in high school. And I will say this, it is much trickier than it seems. But good luck in your studies!
Also on a side note: If you have an Instagram check out the Language Diary Challenge https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25407733 and it will help keep you busy during the holiday season!
Like Lleuyaven, back in the day I thought the test was rather tough.
Even if it is only multiple choice it can still be challenging (especially if you are just starting out and are not used to the test format). It is a nice way to see what level you are at though.
Hope you can take it someday!
I tried N2 myself. I don't think I passed, but from my %-s I will know what I need to practise more.
Don't be fooled by thinking that multiple choice is not challenging. N5 multiple choices are not that though, but on N2 when you have to choose from stuff that "almost mean the very same, just have a slight difference", or from long grammatical froms, mixed with some keigo...
But to be honest, it is not grammar, kanji, or listening that is problematic, but the reading. On N2 the grammar+kanji+reading is held together with no breaks, and the time is just BARELY enough. There is no time to read the text. Instead, you need to practise how to gather the necessairly information by scanning through, looking for keywords. It's not easy. Plus you get VERY tired about halfway through because you literally can not afford wasting a second, since time is very short.
Good luck to you! And don't be afraid, N5 and N4 exams are not hard. These are basicaly the "we are glad you're studying Japanese :) " levels. (I passed N5 myself years ago only by studying alone at home, without ever seeing a teacher). The hardships start at N3. "Oh, so you want to study Japanese seriously? Then prepare yourself.".
Oh, and DEFINETLY check dummy tests online, so you get used to the type of exercises found in the exam.
It sounds like you need to practice reading more. The first time I took the N2, I failed the reading portion due to not being able to read fast enough. Then after a few years of reading manga, doujins, translating stuff, reading articles in Japanese, etc, I found my reading speed had improved. Stuff that took me an hour to read before only took 10 minutes now. When I retook the N2, I finished the reading portion with time to spare.
Learning to pick out keywords is important, but so is reading speed. Keep it up, you can get better with practice.
I really should practise reading, yes. And not just the speed but also the stamina. Prior the exam I worked my way through some N2 reading course books, and I noticed that I can read 1~2 longer and a few shorter texts before my brain shuts down. During the exam I properly read two texts, keyword-searched another two, but with the rest of the texts I literally played a (fast) guessing game =/
I study Japanese mainly at my university now. They didn't really teach us to read there in a good way. When we started, they made two groups: "total beginner" and "everyone else". With my N5 I ended up in the "everyone else" group, together with people with N2-N1. We were reading N2-N1 level texts. Not only that it was painful, but it also didn't help to improve my reading. Quite the opposite in fact. And I think this still shows =/
But to be honest, when after the exam some of my classmates who lived in Japan for years complained about the reading part, it made me feel better about me not being a super-reader :)
I think I need to find some time to read fun stuff (and I need to find some fun stuff to read) in Japanese and not just course books and studies, because in the past few years I was reading nothing else :)
Passed N3 one year ago and i can honestly say that JLPT is a waste of time unless you want to measure your progress which i did, so yeah. Anyways the biggest minus of JLPT is that there is no speaking, i have a friend who passed N2 but his speaking is like that of a child so yeah, i hope you people will have luck with your exams (for those who failed). In the end the only use of JLPT is to brag a little bit to your friends haha :D.
Not having a speaking portion is a minus, and there is definitely room for improvement, but a number of jobs and universities list the N2 or N1 as a requirement. Having passed the N2 or N1 can make it a little easier to apply for citizenship as well. One could argue the first three levels are a waste of time, and only useful for measuring progress, but N2 and N1 do have their uses.