Likely taking N5 in December...

The test - experiences, questions or comments
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Likely taking N5 in December...

Post by japanesegryffindor » Fri 09.13.2013 12:59 pm

I'm waiting to find out on a schedule conflict before I register, but it's quite a high chance I'll be taking it.

I think I've been studying Japanese for a little over a year now (I lost track). I've completed all the Genki I vocab and grammar lessons and have learned the first 115 kanji in it, and I'm working on the second lesson in Genki II for vocab and grammar. I'm also in the process of learning the kanji radicals.

Tips, suggestions, good sites to study? Will I be well prepared with what I've learned so far? I'd also like to hear experiences from people who have taken N5 before, so feel free to share. :)

There are breaks during the test, right? Are they in between each section, and how long are they typically? How does that work--bathrooms nearby, snacks and water bottles allowed? Do you stay in the exam room during the breaks? (those probably seem like silly questions.)

I know people say that N5 is mostly pointless and to take N4, but I'd rather ace N5 and do well on N4 next year than jump straight into N4 and fail.

I'm also a bit worried about something. On any kind of test, I always go in knowing everything I need to know by heart, but once I sit down and start taking the test I start getting anxious. I forget a lot of what I've learned, even the really easy things I should know. (And, of course, remember it as soon as I leave the exam room.) Has anyone else had this problem, and what do you find helps?

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Re: Likely taking N5 in December...

Post by Shiroisan » Fri 09.13.2013 4:33 pm

N5 pointless? Well if you want to go there, all from N5-N3 is basically 'pointless' in terms of applying for anything bilingual. That doesn't mean you can't give it a purpose of your own.

Genki is good ground work but next you should be combing through JLPT vocab/ kanji check lists for whatever level you're taking. Good luck!

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Re: Likely taking N5 in December...

Post by SomeCallMeChris » Fri 09.13.2013 11:48 pm

Well, I only ever took N2 (though I plan to challenge N1 in December). Honestly, I try not to worry about it, and I've never studied to the test although I -do- have new motivation to increase my vocabulary as the test draws closer. AFAIK there's no point to anything other than JLPT N1, really, although I guess you can squeak by with N2 in some job application situations. If you're not applying to work in Japan though it's irrelevant. N1 is barely enough to qualify as a translator. For the most part, JLPT is practice and self-challenge, though if you do apply for jobs or education in Japan or using Japanese, it's better to have it than not.

Anyway, do try the sample questions for N5 and N4,

That should give you an idea of what to expect.

I like to use when the JLPT is approaching... but then, I have a special beta-tester free membership. Still, I think the N5 level is free for anyone. For general vocab building, I use Anki with cards that I write myself based on the web J-E dictionaries I use (yahoo, mostly).

I found listening to be the hardest part both times I took N2, but Erin's Challenge helped me a lot, and anyway, the site is really meant for beginners (I just had terrible listening skills for my reading level). I think I may have already suggested it to you but if not, check it out at

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