I’ve had some people asking me about the results of my JLPT (Japanese test). For those who don’t know, I took the N3, or the middle level. Beth and I were the only Miyazaki JETs to take it this time around. Two of my friends, Jen and Ellen, have both passed it, (Ellen has passed the highest level) and I use both of them as motivation. “One day, I want to be as good as Ellen at Japanese, but first, I have to be as good as Jen.”
Still, I did not study as much as I should have. I did not practice as much as I should have. Life and work got in the way. I had other things to do, or at least, I pretended that I did. I would work through five chapters one day and then none for the next few days. I always focus better in a classroom setting and I’m missing it now more than ever. You can probably guess what happened:
I kind of expected to fail, honestly. I knew going in that I would fail, but there is always that small part of me that goes, “You know, maybe you will pass.” I let that part grow too much and let it make me overconfident. I failed badly.
If there was a speaking portion of the test, I think I would have done a lot better. Still, I was pretty surprised that my listening was so low. Listening is one of my better areas, but apparently it was not good enough. That being said, I am already planning on retaking the test. And I will continue to retake the test until I pass the N3. (My ultimate goal is the pass the N2, but I am running out of time.)
I will pass the N3 before I leave Japan. I have ten weeks to fill my head with as many redundant grammar points as I can and try and learn all the new vocabulary. The most effective method I have found was one that Jen told me about. She took all of the bazillion papers that end up in our mailboxes and translated each one. As time consuming as it is, it’s clearly an effective method.
I’m meeting with my tutor most weekends between now and the test, with the exception of the weekend before the test (when I’ll be traveling with my dad). With any luck, traveling will allow me some practical vocabulary learning time. Fingers crossed.