Connect Magazine Japan #87 November 2019

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Page 28

N4 ue

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Ko be )

I was a little upset about the results. I honestly felt burnt out at that point. But がんばれ (fight), right? With the September registration date looming closer, I had to make a choice. Retaking the N5 in December would give me plenty of time to restudy, but I thrive on a deadline. Having experienced the structure of the test, I decided to push on and sit for the N4 in December and N3 in July of 2020.

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This past July, I took the Japanese Proficiency Language Test (JLPT), and admittedly, I was unprepared. Brand new to Japanese, I spent too much time sorting through online and physical resources, trying to determine which was best for my learning style. Aside from seeing a weekly tutor, I studied alone and without a clear direction. I often found myself in the library jumping from grammar practice to making vocabulary flashcards to listening practices, and not doing enough reading practice. Ultimately, I let myself get overwhelmed with the material and did not hit my stride until a month before the test. Unfortunately, I did not score as high as I wanted on the N5, which tests for only the most basic of Japanese.

“Having a plan will keep you from getting overwhelmed with the material.”

To pass the N4, you must learn roughly 1,500 vocabulary words, about 300 kanji, and be able to understand both written and verbal conversations encountered in daily life. With this in mind, I sat down with my textbooks and calendar to chart out the grammar points, vocabulary and kanji for each chapter. I also mapped reading and listening practice