So on Sunday I got up and went to SF State to take the JLPT. One of my 2009 New Year's Resolutions was to take the JLPT, note I didn't say "pass" the JLPT. lol.
You're not getting any specifics from me on this year's test. I don't need the Japan Foundation after me. I will say that I think I did okay but I don't think I passed. The grammar part was very hard for me. The vocabulary section went very well. The listening portion went okay, I did get kinda confused on one part.
I've decided to enroll in my first ever Japanese class in January at Soko Gakuen over in San Francisco. I figure I've taken English classes almost every year until college to learn grammar and sentence structure. Why not take a Japanese class?
Of course the next question is, "So did Smart.fm, not help you?"
It helped tremendously with vocabulary and kanji. I couldn't have breezed through the fist section without the kanji lists on smart.fm. But grammar is tricky to learn from a screen and even people who speak a language can't always explain why certain grammar is a certain way. Remember that the next time you get frustrated at somebody who's first language is not English. It's easy to learn words and kind of string them together, takes patience to learn to read. But modifiers, verb tenses and things. Not so much.
I'm taking a break from regular study of Japanese until January. I still have to use it and I read it almost every day so it's not going anywhere. Next year the JLPT is being reformatted so depending on how I did this year I'll either take the N3 or N4.
The old format
|Level||Kanji||Vocabulary||Listening||Hours of Study||Pass Mark|
|4||~100 (103)||~800 (728)||Beginner||150 (estimated)||60%|
|3||~300 (284)||~1,500 (1409)||Basic||300 (estimated)|
|2||~1000 (1023)||~6,000 (5035)||Intermediate||600 (estimated)|
|1||~2000 (1926)||~10,000 (8009)||Advanced||900 (estimated)||70%|
The revisions for the new format.
- N1: the same passing level as the original level 1, but able to gauge slightly more advanced skills, possibly through equating of test scores
- N2: the same as the original level 2
- N3: in between the original level 2 and level 3
- N4: the same as the original level 3
- N5: the same as the original level 4
A lot of people complain since next year you have to pass every section, this year you could just average out to a passing rate. But for me it maybe an advantage to have the reading and vocabulary section together. My vocabulary is definitely in the currently 2-3 range. And my kanji level rite now is around 250 of recognition about 180 truly learned. My grammar is below level 4, for sure but I am confident with a proper class I can pick it up, it's in my blood. But chances are I'll be taking the N4 next year unless I miraculously ace the test.
In the end I can say I've learned a lot of Japanese this year and I'm proud of myself. I've grown up with it and took it for granted but in the past year or so I made a conscious effort to improve myself and I made great progress.
We'll see in March what happened.