Ready or not, here comes the 2015 JLPT!

Last minute studying for the 2015 JLPTThe first 2015 JLPT. Hmm… It’s happening on July 5th, which is coming up very soon (I need more time!). I’ve been struggling with sinusitis and a cold while trying to work and study at the same time. It hasn’t been so easy. However, I wanted to share my thoughts and study tips for those that are interested in the process.

Gearing up for the 2015 JLPT

I took the N1 in December 2014 and got the results in February. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass, but I have been casually studying since that time in preparation for the 2015 JLPT this year. How do I feel about it?

My ability and knowledge is in a much better place than last year. I can tackle the difficult reading sections much easier than before. However, there are times where I still become lost of the point some academic articles are trying to make. When I show some of the articles to native Japanese speakers, they tell me that the articles and questions are difficult for them too, which makes me feel better. Some people are just being polite, but others are honest about the difficulty of some of the problems.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to prepare for this year’s JLPT:

Memrise

I haven’t been learning any new material this time, but mostly reviewing the courses I was already subscribed to. I crammed a lot last year on Memrise for N1 vocab and this year I’m taking it easy.

Sticky Study Japanese

Instead of doing only Memrise, I’ve taken to using the Sticky Study Japanese app for quickly making study flash cards of words I don’t know in my textbooks. It’s really helpful because the app has a SRS feature, which makes studying more effective. I’m planning to write more about this app for another post.

Try! N1 Grammar

Many people praise the Kanzen Master books for how helpful (but tough) they are. I went through the Kanzen Master N1 Grammar book last year, so I decided to switch things up by going with the Try series. I really like the presentation and exercises that help reinforce what you just learned. There’s also a CD included because some sections include listening, which is extremely helpful in hearing the grammar points used in conversation.

JLPT Thorough Training Series

After doing the Kanzen Master series for reading, I wanted something different because I am already familiar with most of the articles in the other book. With the JLPT Thorough Training N1 series, almost all of the reading in the book is new for me, so I can practice reading new things and challenging myself to understand the content and choose the right answers.

It’s difficult to say whether I will pass or not, but I truly feel that I am more advanced than last year. I’m hoping it’s enough to get a passing score.

If anyone else is attempting the JLPT this year, I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to leave some comments and tell me how you’re preparing for the JLPT!

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