JLPT N2: Materials and methods used

For N2, I actually took roughly 3~4 months, as I was unable to spend time on my studies every day. But the worst thing is, I didn’t score like N3 or N4 exams for which I prepared hard for the whole 6 months.

The books I used this time are Shin Kanzen master series for grammar, vocabulary, and reading.

  1. Shin Kanzen master: Bunpo
  2. Shin Kanzen master: Goi
  3. Shin Kanzen master: Dokkai

For Kanji learning, Nihongo sou Matome was used, but it has almost the same list of Kanji like N3 book. So I used the Joyo Kanji list at Kanjicards.com. I tried learning the Joyo Kanji up to the grade 6. It was hard to learn every Kanji and learning in a short period of 4 months. I did my best and then read the Dokkai books to learn the Vocabulary and Kanji while practicing the reading part.

And for listening, I practiced the mock test and preparation workbooks. This time also I used the same books that I used for N3.

  1. Gokaku Dekiru N2
  2. Pattern Betsu N2
  3. Official JLPT practice workbook

For those who are practicing for N2

These are some points that I think to be considered before appearing for JLPT N2.

  1. You need roughly a year to learn the portions for JLPT N2 and pass it in good scores. So unless you can’t spend enough time on your studies, passing N2 is difficult. If you are willing to spend 5000 yens as exam fee, it is good to appear for the exam before that. It is a great chance to evaluate yourselves and practice for the next JLPT exam. Even after the exam, keep studying. After the announcement of the result, if you have to appear for the next N2 exam the time for preparation can be well utilized.
  2. Like all other JLPT levels, you can’t set a limit to the Kanji or Goi(Vocabulary) appearing in JLPT N2. So try reading anything and everything in Japanese. I think it is better to read paragraphs. A lot of Reading comprehensions(Dokkai) will help to remember Goi and Kanji along with helping in the reading section.
  3. I felt the listening questions in JLPT N2 faster and complicated than that is heard on the mock tests CDs or practice booklets. Be prepared to admit that. Listening to Japanese radio or TV programs is helpful.
  4. Learn grammar thoroughly. It is the one and the only thing that helped me crack the N2 exam in my first attempt. As Grammar and Vocabulary belong to the same section, scoring 100% in grammar will help you score that section even if you lose the best part of Vocabulary questions. Else, learn the Joyo kanji(up to 6th grade) and related vocabularies thoroughly.

This is what all we can do, and take your test confidently. Leave the rest to luck and almighty.

Don’t be idle after passing N2

Passing JLPT N2 is enough for those searching for better jobs in Japan. But once you pass the N2 exam, please don’t think that it is enough. Keep on reading and revising the portions learned so far, especially Kanji. If we just leave it aside, one or two months is enough to erase everything you have learned so far. It’s your effort of months or years that is getting wasted. Reading Japanese books, magazines, newspapers etc., listening radio or TV programs, and talking with native Japanese people will help you remember what you have learned. Along with that, it helps in updating your knowledge of Kanji, words, and usages in Japanese. Keep on learning, think about JLPT N1 too.