JLPT1 2008 Results

By Michael Gakuran | | Japan, Journal | 51 Comments |

Finally! They’re here! MY JLPT level 1 results! (Actually, they were a week ago, but Love Dolls took the limelight). Three months of trepidation. Of nervously waiting by the letterbox and checking every JLPT website for some semblance of news. I kid, right..? And they arrived, in an unceremoniously bent envelope last Friday…

So, how did I do? It must be obvious from the picture and my numerous Twitter ramblings last week. I only went and passed it, didn’t I!? JLPT1 is the highest level of the standardised Japanese Language Proficiency Test (I passed level 2 last year), so allow me to selfishly relish in my own achievement for just a moment more… Woooooooo!!!!!!!

*Phew* Okay, now let’s look at the reality of the result and what it actually means. The pass mark for JLPT1 is 70% (280 marks). Here’s my score report:

Vocabulary: 67/100 = Fail
Listening: 57/100 = Shock!! and Fail
Reading & Grammar: 185/200 = Utter disbelief and an Ultra Pass…

Total: 309/400 = Pass

My chousho (長所 strong point) is listening and speaking. It always has been, as I place the most importance on being able to communicate in Japanese through tongue. Reading comes second to that, as you need it to do pretty much anything in Japan and to really enjoy life fully. Writing is my lowest priority and my tansho (短所 weak point), and my kanji writing ability reflects this, as I rely too much on electronic dictionaries and word processors…

I was dismayed when I read my listening score. I obviously have a lot of work to do. I need to listen to the news more and learn more vocabulary. I shouldn’t be too surprised by this – all my preparation for these two sections was done in 2 months prior to the exam. I crammed the entire pink kanji book from the Kanzen Master series and did a few practice tests for listening and such.

Grammar, well, I memorised the entire yellow Kanzen Master book for level 1 grammar. This makes up a huge chunk of the mark, without being superbly useful in itself. The remaining reading section will probably forever remain a mystery. On the several practice tests I did, the reading section was always the hardest section for me. I would usually pass vocabulary and listening, but fall down on the reading because I would run out of time. For some unexplainable reason, I managed to completely ace it in the real exam…

I remember quite vividly. There was 2 minutes to go before the ‘pens down’ instruction and sharp conclusion to the exam. I had just frantically finished a major question on the reading and I had one more to do… the graph question. There’s always one of these and I personally always leave it to last. You basically analyse a graph and pick out the answer which best describes it. Of course, I don’t know if I got that question right, but from chatting with my friends afterwards, I think I did.

My eyes flew over the lines and symbols, flitting from kanji to kanji, from the graph key to the scales and back to the answers: A, B, C or D? Hmm… B. No wait, that point there contradicts it. Then, is it C? But it can’t be C because of this point here. But that’s vague. Maybe D then? Yes, D. Whichever answer I put, I blacked out the answer sheet with my answer half a second before the examiner at the front of the room sternly said ‘Pens down’. My heart was pounding and sweat was forming on my forehead. Too close for comfort. But I’d done it. For the first time in my life, I’d filled in every answer on a level 1 paper, in the real exam no less…

**********

So, ultimately, a pass, but not a pass I can be happy with. I still cannot read Japanese newspapers with ease, or novels. I can’t follow television shows fully yet either, nor keep up in a heavy debate. My main problem is lack of vocab. It looks like the road to fluency still stretches ahead of me. It’s time to open up Anki once again and start sentence mining. This time, the goal is to be able to read newspapers and books with relative ease and fully understand everything around me. It’s the final hurdle to fluency. My reckoning is several years. Less, if I Anki-ise my life every day.

I can feel the fire buring again. It’s time to start 0級!

51 comments on “JLPT1 2008 Results
  1. vuthinga says:

    1級合格 おめでとう!
    あなたのホームページをはじめてみて、おもしそいねって思って、
    コメントをかきたくてたまらない。
    あ~「はじめまして」っていうの忘れた。
    私はベトナムからきました。
    google でこのホームページを偶然に読んだけど、日本のことにつてうまく書けたな~って。
    また、読んでいきます!!!
    良い記事を

  2. Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment. I just found your site and it looks really great. I especially like your theme.

  3. Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment. I just found your site and it looks really great. I especially like your theme.

  4. Kyarochan says:

    I passed narrowly in 2004, convinced that I’d failed. I should probably do it again, but… *shrugs* After quite some time in Japan I found the listening a doddle, and seemed to manage the reading by skimming and guessing. The grammar was a bit of a nightmare – apparently occasionally flicking through the book on the bus didn’t quite cut it as prep…

    Still, congratulations! It’s quite an ordeal.

  5. Kyarochan says:

    I passed narrowly in 2004, convinced that I’d failed. I should probably do it again, but… *shrugs* After quite some time in Japan I found the listening a doddle, and seemed to manage the reading by skimming and guessing. The grammar was a bit of a nightmare – apparently occasionally flicking through the book on the bus didn’t quite cut it as prep…

    Still, congratulations! It’s quite an ordeal.

  6. HELEN says:

    I found ur site through the blog of my fd..i will take the jlpt 1 this July but with no confidence in passing it (though with the advantage of being able to read Kanji~)
    英語圏の人間がJLPT試験にいい点を取ったということには、私は凄く頭を下げる~

  7. HELEN says:

    I found ur site through the blog of my fd..i will take the jlpt 1 this July but with no confidence in passing it (though with the advantage of being able to read Kanji~)
    英語圏の人間がJLPT試験にいい点を取ったということには、私は凄く頭を下げる~

  8. Revati says:

    Hi Mike san,

    I came across your blog through google search. IT is really inspiring and helpful. Congratulations for clearing 1kyu.
    I am studying for 1kyu and I visit your blog every alternate day to keep my study spirits high. Remembering goi is the toughest task for me too :-(.

  9. Revati says:

    Hi Mike san,

    I came across your blog through google search. IT is really inspiring and helpful. Congratulations for clearing 1kyu.
    I am studying for 1kyu and I visit your blog every alternate day to keep my study spirits high. Remembering goi is the toughest task for me too :-(.

  10. Don says:

    I’m studying for the JLPT 1 this year, and ran across your site, so I just wanted to offer my congratulations as well.

    I’m using my own custom-built software for studying, so we’ll see how well the results stack up at the end of the year!

  11. Don says:

    I’m studying for the JLPT 1 this year, and ran across your site, so I just wanted to offer my congratulations as well.

    I’m using my own custom-built software for studying, so we’ll see how well the results stack up at the end of the year!

  12. Jamaipanese says:

    congrats. you went so close. I am sure you will pass soon!

  13. Jamaipanese says:

    congrats. you went so close. I am sure you will pass soon!

  14. Nick Ramsay says:

    Major, major congratulations! From level 2 to level 1 in one year is a huge achievement. I bow deeply in your presence. :)

  15. Nick Ramsay says:

    Major, major congratulations! From level 2 to level 1 in one year is a huge achievement. I bow deeply in your presence. :)

  16. M-kat says:

    I’m always hearing stories about these tests and at my College, my teacher was always giving us bits of practice tests at theend of the semester. I had it in my mind I was never going to go for the tests, but I feel that I could do it.

    CONGRATS ON PASSING!!! although I know it must be crazy studying for it. You are an inspiration though as I was reading your post I was thinking in my head that I really need to crack down and get ack into Japanese. I want to move to Japan soon but I want to be able to make conversations about things not in the Japanese books.. to just talk freely and comfy with friends and others. I’m not there yet but :-) Thanks for getting it in my mind to focus!

  17. M-kat says:

    I’m always hearing stories about these tests and at my College, my teacher was always giving us bits of practice tests at theend of the semester. I had it in my mind I was never going to go for the tests, but I feel that I could do it.

    CONGRATS ON PASSING!!! although I know it must be crazy studying for it. You are an inspiration though as I was reading your post I was thinking in my head that I really need to crack down and get ack into Japanese. I want to move to Japan soon but I want to be able to make conversations about things not in the Japanese books.. to just talk freely and comfy with friends and others. I’m not there yet but :-) Thanks for getting it in my mind to focus!

  18. hiroyasu says:

    congrats, Mike! I checked JPLT out on Wikipedia, and it seemed really difficult… Kanji 2000 words and vacabulary 10000 words! Isn’t it too much? I’m not sure I can pass it and whether you are better at Japanese than me, hahaXD.
    you are really great. keep on going!;) がんば!

  19. hiroyasu says:

    congrats, Mike! I checked JPLT out on Wikipedia, and it seemed really difficult… Kanji 2000 words and vacabulary 10000 words! Isn’t it too much? I’m not sure I can pass it and whether you are better at Japanese than me, hahaXD.
    you are really great. keep on going!;) がんば!

  20. Yoshi says:

    Oh well, when I said Satoshi, I am talking about my friend Satoshi…

  21. Yoshi says:

    Oh well, when I said Satoshi, I am talking about my friend Satoshi…

  22. Mike says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone! ^^ I have a warm, fuzzy feeling now :p

  23. Mike says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone! ^^ I have a warm, fuzzy feeling now :p

  24. Daniel says:

    Excellent… years of hard work. When I see PASSED on my JLPT 1 certificate, I’ll be pretty excited as well. Few more tests to go before I hit that one. I wasn’t really surprised by my distribution — my best score was listening — kind of expected since my only Japanese study was through podcasts up to that point. Mind you, JLPT 4 is pretty easy.

    Great stuff!

    • Mike says:

      Keep going! Try not to think of the time it takes and enjoy the ride. The process of learning is often the most fun anyway! You seem serious, so I’m sure you’ll go far ^^

  25. Daniel says:

    Excellent… years of hard work. When I see PASSED on my JLPT 1 certificate, I’ll be pretty excited as well. Few more tests to go before I hit that one. I wasn’t really surprised by my distribution — my best score was listening — kind of expected since my only Japanese study was through podcasts up to that point. Mind you, JLPT 4 is pretty easy.

    Great stuff!

    • Mike says:

      Keep going! Try not to think of the time it takes and enjoy the ride. The process of learning is often the most fun anyway! You seem serious, so I’m sure you’ll go far ^^

  26. Satoshii says:

    Well done Mike, normally i’d be grilling you over the listening and the vocab by now (^_^), but I know it’s a *really* difficult test, so congratulations! Very proud.

  27. Satoshii says:

    Well done Mike, normally i’d be grilling you over the listening and the vocab by now (^_^), but I know it’s a *really* difficult test, so congratulations! Very proud.

  28. Yoshi says:

    Wow, Mike conglaturation! 185/200 for the grammer/reading!
    I’m impressed! You are better at Japanese than Satoshi now, hehe :-D

  29. Yoshi says:

    Wow, Mike conglaturation! 185/200 for the grammer/reading!
    I’m impressed! You are better at Japanese than Satoshi now, hehe :-D

  30. Neil Duckett says:

    Congratulations Mike, a significant achievement indeed.

  31. Neil Duckett says:

    Congratulations Mike, a significant achievement indeed.

  32. Deas says:

    Congrats, Mike! You, sir, are an inspiration. I’ll likely be chasing your results for a few years yet. I hope you enjoy your victory over the test. Even if it doesn’t mean you’re super-fluent, it’s a great mark to have passed. We’re proud of you!

    • Mike says:

      いやいや、デイズならそろそろ合格なんじゃない?俺が見た限り、デイズの日本語って結構レベル高い感じだったんだよ!

  33. Deas says:

    Congrats, Mike! You, sir, are an inspiration. I’ll likely be chasing your results for a few years yet. I hope you enjoy your victory over the test. Even if it doesn’t mean you’re super-fluent, it’s a great mark to have passed. We’re proud of you!

    • Mike says:

      いやいや、デイズならそろそろ合格なんじゃない?俺が見た限り、デイズの日本語って結構レベル高い感じだったんだよ!

  34. nanamucha says:

    マイクおめでとう!!
    それにしても日本語1級ってすごくレベル高い試験なんだね…。
    自分が合格できるか不安になってきた。

    最近改めて、日本語の勉強したいなと思ってる今日この頃なのに…

    更なるレベルアップ目指してこれからもがんばってね。

    • Mike says:

      サンクユー!

      ななさんこそ、日本語うまっじゃないですか?読んでて、俺の大学にいる友達なんじゃないかって思った。w

      ぜんぜん合格できると思うよ!お互い頑張ろうぜ!

  35. nanamucha says:

    マイクおめでとう!!
    それにしても日本語1級ってすごくレベル高い試験なんだね…。
    自分が合格できるか不安になってきた。

    最近改めて、日本語の勉強したいなと思ってる今日この頃なのに…

    更なるレベルアップ目指してこれからもがんばってね。

    • Mike says:

      サンクユー!

      ななさんこそ、日本語うまっじゃないですか?読んでて、俺の大学にいる友達なんじゃないかって思った。w

      ぜんぜん合格できると思うよ!お互い頑張ろうぜ!

  36. McAlpine says:

    congrats. I gave up on the test years ago.

  37. McAlpine says:

    congrats. I gave up on the test years ago.

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