October 11, 2007

How to study for the JLPT--some ideas

I am starting to feel like I can actually pass 2kyu! Here is how I think you could achieve it too (you can adjust/search around resources I will provide you with for other kyus).

1. Use Anki.
It's free. You can adjust the scheduling. Tip the guy if you pass, or just on principal. I have been covering around 300-500 words a day for the last week or so. I got through all the words, and am now concentrating on the sticklers.

2. Use online resources to populate your Anki deck(s). Some I have used include:
grammar and other grammar
I supplement this with a good book, cause these grammar sites be missing the nuances that make grammars corrects.
The nice thing I discovered about Renshuu.org is that the compact lists have tabs (spaces Anki can understand) built in. You can cut and paste these to a text document and then import it into Anki. I check words (to make sure I am not studying unnecessary words) against this online list, and tag cards I don't currently need with "suspend"

3. Suppliment with Kakitory-kun.
Note: Kakitori-kun is not real study per say, but quite useful for remembering the differences between similar kanji. I skipped ahead to the sixth grade after finishing the 1st grade (I only do 熟語ドリル).

4. Test yourself to know your weak points.
All three aspects of the JLPT can be self-tested here. It helps you know how far along you are (my kanji is currently in passing range, the other aspects not so much, but I know I have time to bring them up).

5: Study for about 15 minutes at a time.
Fellow mac users, I recommend the timer feature of Alarm Clock 2 (freeware).
Then do some exercise between study sessions.
BTW, this program is really cool. It can get you up on time on test day to the itunes song of your choice.

6: Get out.
My head is swimming with Japanese right now. I need to see people, just like on the TV shows that are so popular these days.

7: Collapse your feedreader.
View your feedreader in collapsed (list) view to save time. Internets love to stealses our precious timeses!

8: Don't blog too much.
Especially don't waste your time making lists.