Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) 1! - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, July 4, 2011

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) 1!

For people studying Japanese the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) can be used as a way to measure your language skills, and the levels arrange from 5 to 1, where 1 is the highest. To be able to get a decent job in Japan (besides teaching English I guess) you need to at least have passed Level 2, but most places they won't employ you if you haven't cleared the JLPT Level 1.
And of course, being the highest level of the test the content of this level is particularly difficult.

After having studying kanjis and vocabulary for weeks now, I finally had the JLPT 1 test yesterday, and as expected there was a lot of hard questions in it. At least the first part of the test, where your ability to understand written Japanese is being tested, can be a bit confusing so one needs to stay focused.
I have been studying Japanese for 3 years now, but still the test is quite hard. This is partly because quite a few of the questions in the test are about things you normally don't use at all in daily Japanese.
For instance you have a lot of set phrases where you have to know the exact expression to be able to answer the question. I even asked my Japanese boyfriend about a couple of the grammar points and expressions that was written in my N1-book, and he told me he never had heard of them.

Here are some examples from one of the N1 practice books I used:
歯に衣着せぬ - はにきぬきせぬ - means to speak frankly
梨の礫 - なしのつぶて - means to not get a replay
匙を投げる - さじをなげる - means to give up (cause the situation is hopeless)
The point is, unless you are familiar with the expressions it is not really that easy to tell what the correct answer could be. A typical question would be something like "(薬 / 梨 / 花 / 衣) のつぶて" and then you'd have to pick the correct word. For some of the sentences in the JLPT I guess this is possible without even knowing the main word, if you get the context. But in sentence like these, that is easier said than done.

On the contrary, the listening-part of the test was easy. Almost too easy.. Perhaps I was being fooled or something, perhaps it was all trick questions which were meant to fool me so that I would think that the answer was easy, when in reality the answer was something completely different and my listening skills suck. The listening questions somehow doesn't seem fit for level 1, at least not when you compare them to the reading part of the test.
Personally I think that the readings could have been made a bit easier and the listening-part a bit harder for the test to be closer to natural usage of Japanese..
Anyway, the result won't be released until September anyway, so I guess I've got other things to concentrate on. Exams up next! O.o

Kyoto Daigaku, where the JLPT test was being held
There was a lot of foreigners at the University, presumably people who wanted to take the JLPT. 
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. Hard work always give a good result and you have worked hard!

  2. Thanks, you guys are so nice:)!


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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