Monday, 27 February 2012

I FINALLY received my JLPT results...


Well, I have FINALLY received my JLPT results, the exam that I took in December, on Friday so at least I know how well my studies have been going. And after much anticipation I can reveal to you....

I failed.....

However, as bad as it may sound I am not as downtrodden as you would expect. The thing is, I booked the exam expecting to fail as I have never had any formal classes for Japanese (I learn through books and online courses, such as so was not 100% sure of my level in Japanese. One of the reasons I wanted to take the test was so I would have an idea of my Japanese level, and just how good I may be at it.

The scorecard also breaks down your scores into levels, only A, B or C. For an A you need to get over 67% of the questions correct in that section, for a B you need to get between 33% and 66% of the questions correct, and for a C you need anything less than 33%.
For the Vocabulary section of the exam I scored enough marks to get an A. This I am very happy with, as it shows to me that at least this studying is paying off to some extent as I can memorise the words, and read them in Japanese, and put pencil to paper to choose the correct answer.
For the Grammar section of the exam I earned enough marks to get a B grade. This I was kind of expecting, as grammar is not really my strong point at the moment but is one of the areas I am working on the most. Thankfully, I must have done well enough in it though to actually get a B grade.
Lastly, in the Listening section of the examination i earned a C grade. This, unfortunately, was the hardest part of the examination in my opinion, and I think the answer might be because of my method of studying. Where I do not attend a formal class, mainly because there are no lessons anywhere near me, I do not get to talk Japanese as much as I would like, and therefore my listening skills will not be as up-to-scratch as most other Japanese Language students.
I am now trying to rectify this by talking to a couple of people in Japanese (one of them is at my TaeKwonDo class and is very helpful, teaching me new words or correcting me before our class begins). I even spoke to a couple of people at Hyper Japan 2012 in Japanese, albeit a very small amount (just ordering food in Japanese, but at least they understood me and complied, although I did ask for a Calpis in Japanese at the Japan Centre stall and, although the person understood, never actually put the drink in the bag nor charged me, but now I really crave it!) including....Natusko Aso! (Although, again, it was a very small amount as I was a little star-struck, i only managed こんにちわ and どもう ありがとう as the rest of the words, both English and Japanese, just melted from my brain!)

Although I have been slacking a little recently with my Japanese, I have decided that I will now swap all the time that I play computer games (PS3, PSP, DS and on my Android phone) with Japanese study. This way I will be studying for about 2 hours a day at least, and hopefully learning a lot more vocabulary and grammar will make me more confident to speak Japanese, and then all of my studies will reach a new level and I will be able to pass the JLPT when I take it in December. At the moment I would be happy to just re-sit JLPT N5 and pass it, but I am aiming to sit JLPT N4 this year and pass that instead.

Did any of you take your JLPT last year and get your results? If so, leave a comment and let us know how you did, fail or pass it doesn't matter, as long as you realise what you can do to get better and improve that is all that matters.


  1. Yes.....i gave JLPT N5 last december and got A in all sections. I score 137 out of 180 marks overall. I scored 47 out of 60 in listening and 90 out of 120 for the vocab and grammar, combined.
    Will give N4 this july.
    Best of luck.

    Rajat Mehta.
    New Delhi, India.

  2. Congratulations! I did a lot worse than you obviously, otherwise i would have passed, but good luck with N4! I am hoping to take N4 at the end of the year if i can improve enough for the December exam.


  3. I happened to find your blog on accident, and I have some advice for studying:

    First, if you have a DS (regular, not region locked like the newer models), I would highly suggest switching your game play to Japanese. Depending on your level, some games may be too hard right now, but I actually learned a lot of useful vocabulary from easier games like Pokemon. Even better, the last couple of Pokemon games have had an option for kanji or hiragana for the main writing system, so you don't have to worry about not being able to read it. Once your vocabulary gets higher, visual and sound novels are also really great ways to study (and sound novels often have both sound and text, so you can read along with the dialogs). Chunsoft makes a lot of mainstream ones, but there are others (Higurashi no naku koro ni is one of the more popular ones) as well. They're hard for the first hour or two (for me, anyway), but once you get used to the vocabulary it gets easier. Games tend to reuse a lot of the same terms, so once you catch on you're pretty much set.

    For listening, I'd suggest podcasts directed at native speakers. NHK news has free podcasts, and if you just look up ドラマ on iTunes, most of the ones with anime pictures are like radio drama. I can't say I'm a fan of most of them, but for casual conversations it's a good (and free) way to practice listening. Listening also seems to be the easiest skill to boost once you can surround yourself in it, so I'd highly suggest getting some of the free native-directed podcasts out there. Study-specific stuff is alright, but the reason that people living in Japan do so much better on listening than other sections on the test is because we are constantly hearing people talk at work and school, on trains, on TV... You can't escape listening.

    It might seem like a lot to handle at first, and it definitely is. But immersing yourself as much as possible will pay off a lot better than only relying on textbooks will. Even if you don't understand most of it, getting used to how people talk in daily life will get you used to listening more quickly, and you'll be able to better pick out words and phrases once you take the JLPT again.

  4. Hi there,

    I've been studying Japanese for about four months now - planning on taking JLPT-5 next year and will hopefully be moving to Japan in 2014 ... like you (Brit Otaku) its been mostly self studying (used a couple of games on my iphone to learn hiragana and katakana, have been listening to podcasts from Japanese Pod 101 on my commute each day ... and recently been catching up on the Meet and Speak? programme on NHK channel) and very recently, I've started having lessons with a Japanese tutor who lives near me.

    I'm definitely not ready for JLPT-5 this December ... my vocabulary is probably less than a hundred words ... but I do seem to get on quite well with learning the sentence patterns and verb congregations etc. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and wish you well for taking JLPT in the future.