What is the JLPT, and how can I ace it?
How to study?
So…how should I study? There are a huge variety of textbooks available (you can find them in bookstores in Japan, or online via Amazon and other websites) to drill grammar, vocabulary, listening, and reading comprehension for the various levels of the test. There are even official practice tests issued every year, which you can self-time. It is a good idea to take one of these at least once before taking the actual exam, to get an idea of how long it will take you to complete each section.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider using some kind of flash card system, particularly for kanji and vocabulary. These can be paper or digital, and there are many free online options, like Anki, or Quizlet, to which users can upload and share their flashcards. Here, you can take advantage of some of the other JLPT-related decks that others have uploaded. Lucky you!
In addition to these options, there are a growing number of smartphone apps to drill with on the go. Why not fill that five minute wait for your bus—or the ride itself—with a little self-study?
On the day of the test...
Make sure you get enough sleep and have a good breakfast. It’s best not to try cramming on the day of the test, or the night before. By then, for the most part, you know what you know, and you’re best off making sure that you’re as sharp and ready to go as you can be!
Study a little bit every day in the months leading up to the exam. Even studying for a very short amount of time in a day is important. Expose yourself to as much Japanese as you can, and be sure to include reading, grammar, and listening—don’t over-focus on one thing.
When you take the test, remember these tips:
● Don’t leave blank answers
● Use context! Don’t panic if you don’t understand all the words in a sentence: use the ones you do know to help you narrow down your answer choices.
● Bring along a snack for the break!
Once you’ve finished the test—otsukaresama! JLPT results take a fair while to come out, so for now, take a rest. You’ve finished!
In a few months, you’ll hear your results, and hopefully, in another month, you should receive your passing certificate! Good luck!