Japanese, JLPT N2

miracle.

JLPTN2

I didn’t even realise scores were out until I logged on here. But yeah! It is what it is. To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting to pass because I just simply didn’t prepare for the exam, despite my best intentions. On the flipside I settled into uni life a bit better and sorted out some new jobs. But I still decided to take the December N2 to gauge where I was at ‘au naturel’.

Language knowledge has always been a weak spot, as seen in my previous N3 score. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my grammar was the better of the two – I just expected both vocab and grammar to be equally miserable. But I didn’t feel too badly about the grammar during the exam so I guess it shows.

I honestly thought I would be able to do better in reading – I previously scored 100% on the section so I expected my global comprehension to not be half bad. But I guess my lack of vocab knowledge fed into my reading skills.

I was super shocked by the listening section though! It’s practically on par with my N3! I seriously felt like I had no idea what was going on in the exam room and I had trouble staying focused during the long dialogues so either I am a very lucky person or I am not as terrible as I thought. It really was my saving grace.

So where to from here? To be frank, I think I’d like to take it again to improve on my score. There is now an impetus you see! If I could lift all sections into the 40s I would be very happy. I have gathered lots of resources, which I will probably eventually discuss here, and have been attempting a study program of sorts and making the most of my holidays. Before I went back to my part-time job I was aiming for 3 hours of work a week (4 x 45 min sessions) but now that I’m back to work 3-4 days a week, I’m lucky to get in half of that amount T.T But I have been trying to bolster my learning with some ‘quick study’ on Memrise, which I find very engaging! One of my New Years’ resolutions is to complete my three decks before December and it looks like I’m on track so far…

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So that’s it from me – I’ll keep plodding along as I always do. I hope you guys all got the JLPT results that you wanted too! See you next time ^.^

 

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Cooking, Food, Japanese, JLPT N2, Miscellaneous

twenty.

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I remember not long after starting this blog that I wrote a post celebrating my 18th birthday…how time flies! I had just gotten my exam results and I was celebrating about how my marks would get me into a good course of my choice. And now here I am, going into my third year of university next year! Why did I ever grow up T_T

We don’t really do much by way of celebrating birthdays in my family (although they really should, why would you not want to celebrate me guys pls) so I baked my own birthday cake. But I sort of wish I didn’t because I only had one cake tin and thus the three layers and frosting etc. took me the entire day >_< It tastes delicious though! It’s a matcha cake with white chocolate whipped cream frosting and I made a separate green tea ganache to go on top. The flowers I picked from the garden ^_^

I recently returned from a week-long family holiday so it’s been a lazy couple of days. I did do the N2 exam before I left though and it was a pretty…yolo experience. As in I didn’t work very hard for it and I’m pretty sure the results will reflect that. So I don’t really know where that leaves me now. I’m pretty sure that the listening was a disaster. But the vocabulary and grammar section, which I struggled with during N3 , didn’t feel as bad. So maybe with some work I can slay next time 😀 But I’ll keep working and studying my languages while I have free time these holidays.

Do any of you guys bake? If you do, please share cake recipes with me! Because birthday cake duty usually falls to me in this house 😀 And did any of you take the N2 as well? How did you find it?

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Japanese, JLPT N3

合格した~!!!

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Checked my JLPT N3 results last week and err…yeah I passed guys! I’m really happy with how I did, and because it’s the first JLPT exam I’ve ever taken, it serves as a good diagnostic tool for N2 and N1 in future (if I indeed wish to take them T.T). Well…I’m pretty sure I’ll want to take N2 at least. Looking back to the post that I wrote straight after exam, it seems that my predictions were spot on in that reading > listening > language knowledge. The total mark is about right too because practice papers are always easier (so practice tests usually mean about 10 more marks). I’m pleasantly surprised that I got full marks for the reading section though! There was one article where I literally had no idea what was going on =.=”

I have a good feeling what caused my shortcomings in vocabulary and grammar = LACK OF REVIEWING MECHANISMS in my learning regime. I use Anki, and I know that it works for me when I do use it, but the problem is…I just can’t be bothered with it. I use the shared online decks (so I don’t have to make my own) and Anki does all the review period calculations (so I don’t have to organise that myself) BUT I STILL DON’T REVISE MY ANKI CARDS REGULARLY ENOUGH. Idk, I just find it…boring? And I think it’s a vicious cycle because then all the Anki cards pile up and that makes me feel even less willing to use it T.T Does anybody have any other suggestions for learning vocabulary and grammar? I feel this is kind of ironic though, because although my vocab and grammar is apparently not too good, I’m able to read Japanese texts well? I guess global comprehension is a bit different.

Well, that’s about it from me. I hope all you other JLPT test-takers got the results you wanted as well! You must let me know how you did ^^

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Japanese, JLPT N3

First JLPT experience! (N3)

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So I finally took the JLPT N3 last Sunday!! Obviously, due to the Japan Foundation’s misconduct rules, I can’t really say much about the test itself but I feel that it went quite well and it was an enjoyable experience! The one thing that bothered me was that since the Sydney test location was a university, we had to do the exam on these tiny lecture theatre desks =_=

The language knowledge section was a little bit hard. Otherwise I think everything was quite manageable, especially reading. So I predict my section scores to be: reading > listening > language knowledge. I was also grateful for the breaks in between the sections, otherwise my concentration would have been 0000000000%.

I am quite looking forward to receiving my test results in March. In the meantime, I am now on the last chapter of my Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese textbook, so I am aiming to have my review ready to post next week. I also hope that my Tobira review will also be ready to post by the end of summer break.

I am currently considering some upper-intermediate / beginner-advanced materials to help me towards the start of my N2 journey. I am taking a look at Kanzen Master’s N2 Grammar text as well as Osamu Kamada’s Authentic Japanese. If anybody has used these texts or has any recommendations, please let me know, and please tell me about how you guys found the JLPT if you took it last Sunday!

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Japanese, JLPT N3

cram cram cram

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Squeezed in another past-ish N3 paper today! It’s from the JLPT’s official Practice Workbook, so I’m hoping that the level will be similar to the real thing. Results were as follows:

50/60 + 53/60 + 52/60 = 155/180

which is an improvement from my previous results of 147 and 148 that I wrote about in this post ^^ Reading is still my strongest, but I feel that everything else is getting better (probably largely due to higher retention of my Anki decks with time). However, I still seem to bleed marks in the ‘appropriate response’ section of listening =.= This is obviously a sign that I don’t know how to communicate properly in spoken Japanese…(!!!). I also sometimes make careless mistakes (as you do), so I must consider the use of my time carefully. I don’t have an issue with the time constraints of the exam so I hope that I can put the leftover time to good use to check my answers. However, checking multiple choice answers always spooks me because usually your first (instinctive) choice is correct so…hmmm.

I will keep seeing if I can track down some more papers to do before Sunday. If not, I will keep memorising my decks, especially Japanese ONOMATOPOEIA expressions because they often pop up in the vocabulary section. These are so damn tricky AND THERE’S LITERALLY A BILLION SOUNDS FOR REALLY SIMILAR ACTIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES e.g. くるくる、ぐるぐる etc and the nuance is all different in only the slightest manner and I just…>_<” But I suppose that’s what makes Japanese such an interesting language- they literally have set onomatopoeic expressions for everything, things that nobody else would ever bother dealing with, it’s so funny!

Anyway, here’s a link to the workbook and the Anki shared onomatopoeia deck (which is helpfully illustrated!).

Good luck to all my fellow JLPT test-takers and happy language learning all round ^^

EDIT:Have just found out from my Integrated Approach textbook that Japanese onomatopoeia is called 擬音語(ぎおんご)and 擬態語(ぎたいご). 擬音語 mimics actual sounds, whereas 擬態語 expresses states, feelings or manners of actions. Bless this book ^^

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Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

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I got a WordPress notification at the beginning of November saying that Polyglot Plotting had turned 1! I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. I don’t feel that I’ve learnt or achieved much. I’ve finished my first year of university. And that’s about it lol :/

I feel really hypocritical because it seems that I don’t really make too much of an effort to ingrain language learning in my life – the moment uni starts, my language learning hobby stops. And then the interest wanes. But then I still obviously want to be multilingual and improve and JDALKA;SFJLKFJKAFJLF WHY CAN’T I GET MY ACT TOGETHER >.< When I have uni / work on, the only immersion I do is either target language reading. I must make language learning more of a habit!! I think this problem stems from my procrastinator attitude in general T.T But we’ll see, especially now that I’m on summer holidays. Hello Korean is begging to be used….

In other news, I’ll finally be taking the JLPT N3 next Sunday! Are there any other fellow test takers out there? I feel pretty okay about it – I’m pretty sure I can pass…? I’m more worried about how to navigate public transport to get to the test location tbh =.= I’ll do a post about the experience as soon as I’m done next week ^^

Hope you guys are doing well and progressing in your language journeys! *waves goodbye*

PS My brother introduced me to the song 小苹果 – such an earworm but tbh if a guy wrote lyrics like that about me I’d date him.

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Japanese, JLPT N3

N3 スタート!

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“虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず。” – “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

I recently sat my HSC Japanese Continuers’ Exam, but I have decided to willingly hit the books post-HSC (am I nuts or what?!) so that I can sit my JLPT N3 exam sometime next year.  It’s really frustrating (and a bit embarrassing) to know that 5 years of Japanese high school study (according to the state curriculum) only ends up equating to the N4 exam (second easiest after N5), but I’m determined and will make this work. I see a tutor once a week, but the rest will be independent, daily study.  I am currently using the 日本語総まとめ (Nihongo Sou-Matome) textbook series, but I will also be supplementing my efforts as written below.

How I will be studying

  • Make Anki decks for kanji and vocabulary
  • Kanji writing practice (I know that the JLPT has no written section, but I find this useful for my muscle memory!)
  • Making grammar notes (explanations, sample sentences etc.)
  • Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese Textbook
  • Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Textbook and Grammar Book
  • NHK Slow Japanese News (will hopefully progress as appropriate), SBS Japanese
  • Manga and any foreign films I come across –> this counts as immersion right… 😀

If anybody else has any suggestions as to how I should be studying / revision strategies etc I am more than open to all advice and suggestions ^^

頑張るよ!

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