Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Strategies and How to Manage your Test Times for the JLPT N2


For the JLPT N2, the test time limits are:


  • Language Knowledge - Vocab / Grammar, and Reading: 105 minutes, 120 points
  • Listening: 50 minutes, 60 points

I just took the N2, and here are some tips:

1) Bring a watch, an analog one is preferable, since alarms /sounds are prohibited. 

2) The number one problem is running out of time for the Reading section. Therefore, I suggest keeping the vocab / grammar portion under 45 minutes, preferably under 40 minutes.

3) You have to FLY thru the Kanji and vocabs. If you don't know the meaning, you will never know it, so if unsure, don't leave any items blank, just guess and move on to the next. There will be no more time to go back and review your answers.

4) For the reading, keep it within 60-65 minutes.

5) For the reading, I suggest starting with the last 2 reading passages first. That's a total of 4 questions I believe. Why? Because I think those have higher points given (based on the scoring sample in the Moshi to Taisaku reviewer which is an excellent reviewer you can buy here or here in Japan), and these last questions are relatively easy, especially the information searching part.
Then, you can go back to the start / answer it from back to front which have lower points.  

4)  For the reading too, look at the questions first before reading the passages. That way, you can skim for the information, keep in mind. However, I still recommend reading the whole passage before answering any questions because sometimes, you will see some statements at the beginning of the passage refuted / reversed by the author by the end.

5) For the listening, there is no time to go back, once the CD stops, the test stops. Therefore, if you did not get the previous question, just guess and move on - be prepared to listen to the next question immediately. It can be distracting and cause a cascading effect of not understanding anything if you're still thinking about the previous question while listening to the current question.
Anyway, the minimum score to pass is 19/60, and the listening is fairly easy, especially the middle part where there are only 3 choices, giving you a 33% chance of guessing correctly.


TIPS FOR EXAMS

This can apply to any exam, be it the JLPT, TOEFL, board exam, etc.


1) Bring water and snacks, avoid bringing and eating strange foods on the day of the exam.
Also, bring emergency medicines in case your stomach gets queasy or you have a cold / headache.
2) Arrive at the exam site quite early (not too early, but not rushed)
3) Get a good sleep the night before.
4) You can study until the night before.
5)  Prepare an exam bag a week before - make sure your test voucher, pencil, eraser, sharpeners, pens, IDs are there.
6) Bring your last minute-reviewer or your Anki app on your phone, sometimes you can take advantage of short term memory for some things you might forget, it can also calm you while waiting to enter the test site, etc.
7) Try to relax, it can be hard, but you can listen to music, be sure to bring headphones / earbuds, or in the case of JLPT, some Japanese podcasts that are quite interesting or can make you laugh.
8) Some exams are strict about watches with alarms. Make sure to turn them off, or just bring an analog watch.
9) Turn off all alarms of your cellphone before the exam / turn it off / remove the battery. 
10) Take a bathroom break before the exam. Bring tissue paper in case the it's not available in the test site bathroom.
11) Bring a jacket.  Some exam sites can have really cold airconditioning.
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