Hey I finally passed 2kyu. We took the test (using 1996 problems) the other day. Not bad, considering a couple months back (one which was of break time without class) I only got a 50% on the 2kyu-based assessment test. If I pass 1kyu this year, it will be thanks to the school--and I hope I do this year; it changes format next year!. I have to do a lot of vocabulary studying on my own time, but really, this place helps.
So speaking of which, I've decided to re-release some anki decks. Before, I've used a mega deck (like 9000 words), but recently I split off the 1kyu and 2kyu words and grammar. Another thing that is new is that I have modified a ton of the entries. Mostly, it's me putting suru (in romaji) next to suru verbs to help me remember and identify in context, but I corrected some definitions that I didn't like. I also put na, teki, and the occasional sei in romaji where appropriate too. Also, under some words I put, in italics, phrases or larger words that incorporate the head word. My goal is just to be familiar with these supplemental phrases; I don't count them for or against my judgment of how well I memorized the card.
I can't guarantee that all the cards are modified at this point (I think I've seen them all once, but...), and I will continue to modify cards, especially grammar cards. My understanding of grammar points gets a little better all the time. I may re-release again some day, but you should make decks your own. And perhaps most importantly, I deleted a lot of words I thought were too simple/knew by heart, so keep that in mind. Also, I understand there are a lot of decks to be found on the anki site; I am using a names deck now.
After the test in December, I think I will start converting definitions to Japanese, and maybe even start using a vocabulary technique in one of my many books. It goes like this: when memorizing a word, memorize the plain definition, the antonym, a simile, and an exaggeration. the plain def is the only one in English (or even not, if you are gung-ho). If you forget the plain definition, you have the others to rely on.
Also, when I was condensing knowledge from the JET translation books (and putting it here), I discovered I learned a lot from using comparative statements, like, "what is the difference between くれる and くださる", or, "what is a more polite way to say ～?" So I think I will start doing that with grammar points. I may make questions like, "what does 極めて follow?" or "What particle is needed before たえない?"
Aoi Yu is one of the most モエ girls in Japan. Here's an article she wrote.