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三級 or nothing!??!

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三級 or nothing!??!

Postby keya » Thu 08.24.2006 11:56 am

Hello,

I am in a bit of a quandary as to whether I should try the JLPT 三級 this year. I have been studying at a Japanese language school almost everyday (09:30 to 12:30!!!) since May this year, but the school I am at follows a completely different method of teaching, and their materials are also not the usual Minna.. or Japanese For Busy People thingie. I have very little time left, and would really have to pull my socks up if I have to get thru 三級. I said 三級 or nothing, coz living in Japan, it really makes no sense giving 四級. Thing is, if I DO attempt 三級 and NOT pass, I will just die of....whatever. Anybody in a similar situation and/or with suggestions as to how I might go about this? Application end dates loom very close...and I am more than a bit nervous.
Cheers,
Keya
PS: one option is attempting past papers. And thereby risking a sinking heart from doing miserably in them. I watched in shocked silence as my confidence flew out the window a couple of weeks ago, when I saw all that needs to be done..... :(
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby paul_b » Thu 08.24.2006 11:59 am

Past papers are an excellent way not just to tell how well you are doing but also to practice. When I was buying textbooks past papers were also among the cheapest sources of suitable listening material.
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby Justin » Thu 08.24.2006 12:17 pm

Like Paul said, I would really recommend just heading out and buying last years 3/4 test booklet, time yourself just like the real thing, and see how you do. If you've never take the JLPT, or even any form of practice test, you could easily be setting yourself up for some un-needed hardship.

One thing people tend to forget is that the JLPT is...well, still just your normal multiple-choice test. Learning how they test you, and then conforming to that, is just as important as how much Japanese you know. I'm not for sure how 3 kyuu is with being pressed for time, but I've known plenty of people who defiantly had the Japanese to pass either 1 kyuu or 2 kyuu, but ended up failing as they didn’t manage their time correctly, and never actually finished the reading section.
Last edited by Justin on Thu 08.24.2006 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby clay » Thu 08.24.2006 12:56 pm

You still have time to cram! Past tests are great. Look for Unicom's grammar book for 3 kyuu (orange cover). It is excellent and has two CDs for listening practice (although not for the listening sections, just reads the grammar example sentences).

Make sure you know all 350 (or whatever) kanji and the 3 kyuu grammar points. I think the kanji and grammar have the most weight.

Don't worry if you fail. It only comes around once a year and lots of people don't pass. Just do your best! Who knows, you may just pass.
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby keya » Thu 08.24.2006 1:22 pm

ok! tomorrow, I own a few past test papers. the thing is, I invested in a minna no nihongo (only part one) coz I thought I might be able to supplement my school material with some 'recommended' JLPT material. I only ended up making a mess of what I knew, as the 学校 I go to has a completely different text book and concepts are introduced and explained very differently. But either ways, 毎日学校のほかには勉強しなければなりませんね。。。(is that even a correct statement?!) I know about 200 Kanji or so, and I haven't been counting vocab, so I'm not so sure. I don't think its too bad as I have lived here for 4 (YES FOUR!!) years, and have been bombarded with 日本語, and think I have picked up a respectable amount before joining 学校 (yes, realised a bit late in the day that some proficiency might be a wise thing...I mean..who knows! work や business...you never know!
Thanks all...
Any more suggestions always welcome.
PS: Anybody else had the b*lls to wake up so late for their 三級??? And still gone ahead and done it? And PASSED?
(respectably?)
Cheers,
Keya
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RE: Mayyy JUUUUUUst

Postby keya » Thu 08.24.2006 1:38 pm

clay wrote:
Who knows, you may just pass.

Hmm...thats about as optimistic as I am, Clay-さん.
But that sinking heart feeling I want to avoid with a barge-pole!
So I either chuck it all this year and go grab the 二級 bull by its horns next December...Or bite this 三級 bullet (and study like mad!)
By the way, Clay-さん, the grammar pages you have obviously taken great time and effort to make are truly scintillating! Refreshing too. Shall use much of that, thankyou!
It says at the end that some stuff needs to be added still....よろしくね!
Keya
Last edited by keya on Thu 08.24.2006 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 08.24.2006 1:41 pm

Justin wrote:


One thing people tend to forget is that the JLPT is...well, still just your normal multiple-choice test. Learning how they test you, and then conforming to that, is just as important as how much Japanese you know. I'm not for sure how 3 kyuu is with being pressed for time, but I've known plenty of people who defiantly had the Japanese to pass either 1 kyuu or 2 kyuu, but ended up failing as they didn’t manage their time correctly, and never actually finished the reading section.


That's because for some inexplicable reason most of those people who "defiantly" take either 1 or 2 seem to want to practice, study, and prepare for the test in every way except building up their reading skills by actually reading Japanese. It's like training for a marathon by doing everything imaginable.....except running.

My impression of the folks I saw taking the JLPT when I did was that most of them were unprepared and desperately straining to pass a level higher than they were prepared for. They seemed not to care so much about their actual practical Japanese ability as they did snagging a by-the-skin-of-their-teeth pass for bragging rights. And no small number of people seem to have fallen into the trap so common among 英検 takers who find it more prestigious to fail a level over their heads than to pass a level within their grasp.
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby keya » Fri 08.25.2006 4:35 am

<update>

ok...I bought the application form. 三級 here I come!
also am the proud owner of some past papers... now gambarimasu BIG TIME.

Keya
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby paul_b » Fri 08.25.2006 5:33 am

Mike Cash wrote:
And no small number of people seem to have fallen into the trap so common among 英検 takers who find it more prestigious to fail a level over their heads than to pass a level within their grasp.

Well if the "level within their grasp" is level 4 then I can see their point.
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RE: 三級 or nothing!??!

Postby clay » Fri 08.25.2006 9:11 am

From what you said, Keya, I'd say go for it!

Count how many weeks (days) you have left and make a study plan. Kanji is easy to make a plan for since you have a definite number. If you have a grammar book (for the JLPT), you can do a certain number of grammar points per week until the test.

If you have lived in Japan 4 years, I would hope your listening would find for 3 kyuu.

But map out a plan to get the kanji and grammar down by test day. I actually enjoyed taking the test (only took 3 kyuu and 2 kyuu) since I had accomplished the areas I set out to study in the time I allotted for it.
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