JLPT N2 is History

Hi everyone! How was the big test today? Did everything go well? I just came back home half an hour ago, and boy, this was some experience. Before I tell you about my experience, I will tell you the story of my big day. I got up at around 5 o’clock, punctually, drank an espresso, made myself ready to leave, checked that I got everything, and when I was done, it was about high time to leave for my train. After arriving at my local station, the first shock, because the train would arrive 10 minutes late! And so it was. The time was ticking by, and I was nervous, unnecessarily so to be honest.

Once the train arrived, being late and all, I got into my first class compartment, and soon the two hour ride started. To distract myself a little, I continued reading Murakami Harukis 世界と終わりのワンダランド, but not for very long. I rather enjoyed the scenery, and then another bummer. I sat in the wrong compartment. Although it was first class, it was first class business, but I had luck. The controller, once seeing my ticket and noticing the mistake, asked me if I wanted to continue to sit there. Which would normally make 15€ extra on the bill, so I told him, if it was the wrong place I would just leave and go to the regular first class car. But he told me, you can stay, and I didn’t even have to pay for the extra. How cool is that? The service was very friendly, and before I knew it, I arrived at Meidling in Vienna.

I ordered a Taxi for the day, asked the driver to pick me up at the platform, but there was no one there. Well, no one except me, a huge crowd of people, and no one from the taxi company to be seen. Since I haven’t had any time to loose, it was close to 8:20 with the test going to start at 9 o’clock, I took my chances and left the station to look for a taxi myself. Not knowing where they are, this was a little problematic, with such a big station and all, but I found it, jumped into the taxi, gave the driver teh address, and I was on my way. One eye on my watch, one eye on the taxi-meter, and in between on the traffic situation. Vienna being a big city, even on Sunday there is lots of traffic at that early time, and many traffic lights have been turned red. Lucky me, I thought, here I sit in this taxi, and the time is running shorter and shorter. So I did all I could do in that situation, I said my prayer, and whatever might happen would happen anyway. Though, my driver was good, he knew his way around and even though it was a long drive, we made it and I had as much as 15 minutes time. Lucky!

All that was left to do was to pick up my voucher in the office, and to find my room, which was rather easy to be found I must say. For such a large building that the test was held in? Arriving in front of the door, I saw some of the other test-takers, and the test managers. It was 9, the doors were opened up, and closed again. That was when I learned that the test wouldn’t start at 9 o’clock, but at 9:30. Then … why the hell did they write on every paper, you have to be at the test center at 9:00, because this is when the test starts. Would I have known about it, another thing wouldn’t happen, which will cost me a little bit of money in the aftermath.

So, I was waiting there for the test to start, relaxed as if the last couple of hours just didn’t happen. We were called to hand out our Vouchers to the guide, a Japanese woman in my case, and to enter the room. Then it got serious pretty quickly. We were told about the procedures of the test, and we got our test papers handed out, along with the answer sheets for both the grammar and listening tests. This been done, we were to fill out the spaces with our names and Voucher numbers. Silly old me, of course started to fill out the answer sheet with the necessary information. Just a little fault, and the guide didn’t say anything, just told me. Some of the other test-takers in my room already sat another JLPT level, so they knew their way around things.

And the test began, finally, open up your test-paper, and the 105 minutes marathon started. Being 31 pages long, which isn’t very long at all, and even though having read what was tested, how many items there are, and that sort of information, I still was surprised. Even more so, that I had a surplus of time of about 20 minutes after the first part, to check and double-check some of my answers. Which was necessary in 3 to 4 cases, were the answers have been 50:50, and I had to decide which one’s the better option. After this very long first session, I thought by myself, this was it? This was, what I had been learning for, hours upon hours, day after day? Really? No joke? I mean to say that the amount of things I learned in the last 3 years, and up until the test, was enormous! You know how much it was if you read some of my older entries on here.

I don’t say that it was easy, the reading sections have been somewhat difficult, not to read or something. Just, well, there were three to four questions that were a bit difficult to pin down on just one option, so much so that either of 3 could be correct. The other difficulty for me was to stay concentrated, and you can imagine that it doesn’t help to get a text and questions being asked about it, that aren’t interesting at all. But I got done with it all in time, and no part left out, so there is a good chance of having a pass on the sections, needed for a pass on the overall test. Overall that section of the test wasn’t bad and I felt rather good for the most part.

Following was a short break of 30 minutes. Just enough time to get together on the street to smoke, and have a little chat with some other test-taker. Him having lived and been working in Japan for some time, had some interesting stories to tell. He studied Japanology, but, unfortunately in his company in Japan all they spoke was English. I told him about my plans of staying there for some time, to improve my Japanese overall, and he told me that it mustn’t necessarily work out that way. Of course I do believe someone who has stayed there for so long, but I still will have to see for myself, once the time has come. He has taken the N4 today.

Being back in the room, wheezing a little from walking three stories up, I was ready for the worst. Some test-takers didn’t show up for this part of the test, and some were a little late, but this was no problem. The listening comprehension part of the test. This one was a so-so case, and I don’t believe that all my answers were correct, but who knows? The one I found most difficult was the long texts, which involved taking memos on the test sheet, which I did. Even though I wrote in one of my latest entries I wouldn’t, and that I felt it wouldn’t be necessary I decided otherwise and kept writing shorthand to get the main points, and this worked out rather well. If anyone actually looks at it, and the pictures I drew for one or two of those questions, they wouldn’t get much I guess. The 50 minutes were over very fast, and with that, and a short instruction not to give away anything about the contents of the test, it all ended.

Yay! It was over, and it was an interesting experience, and not at all how I expected it would be. It will take some months until I know whether it is a pass or a fail, but I feel it in me bones that it is a pass, though maybe just short on or over. After the test I decided to eat in some restaurant, and do some sight-seeing. I ate Italian in a very good restaurant in Brigittenau, and it wasn’t even very expensive. Luckily this wasn’t an issue during the test, and no reason for being told to leave. The growling of an empty stomach, oh well. Then my sight-seeing tour started, and I got around quite a bit, an interesting city.

After about two hours I have had it, my legs were tired, and I was tired so I went to the next underground station. And from there, I reached the train station, the wrong one because the train home didn’t leave from there. So, hopping into a taxi, because I really had no plan which underground train I had to take from where I were, this was a save and cheap option to get to the right one. Then all that was left to do was booking a ticket, cancel the one I ordered online during the last week, and another 3 hour train ride began. And here I am now, glad that everything went well, that I didn’t get lost on the test, or in Vienna.

After writing so much, I would really love to hear your stories about the big day, so if you feel in the mood please share it with everyone!

6 responses to “JLPT N2 is History

  1. Hi, firstly I’m sorry Tod write hat short … I’m writing from my mobile, because I’m still in Stuttgart and will travel back tomorrow 🙂

    I’m glad, your test went so well 🙂 I wish I could say the same … The first part was very easy and, probably, I’ll score about 90% … Fortunately, the score of the 2nd part is added to the first part and both must be 60% in sum in order to pass the language knowledge section … It’s a bonus for n4 and n5 test takers 🙂 The second was quite difficult for me … I worked my way through the test to the end and suddenly had only about 5 minutes left for reading questions which I would never have done in time … So, I had to guess them … But, as I wrote, both sections together should be enough to pass the language knowledge part 🙂 The bigger problem was – like expected – the listening part … I was not so satisfied with the audio … For my taste too much bass and sometimes it was hard to understand … I had to guess some questions as well and to be honest, I don’t know if it was good enough … I can’t say, it was bad, but in this kind of questions, there are so many traps … We will see in March 🙂

    The day before the test, we were in the musical Cats and I enjoyed the day without working for the test … Only work and no joy makes Tom a dull boy 🙂 Today after the test we were at the Stuttgarter Christkindlmarkt … It was really big and I was very glad to see some nice things other than cheap China trash 🙂 Of course, I gave the sellers with good unique and creative goods some compliments about which they were really happy 🙂

    So, that was my experience … Still have to decide whether I continue learning Japanese and/or taking the n4 … But definitely not in July 🙂 At least I know, how I can prepare best for the next test if one comes 🙂

    • Hello Thomas, thanks for sharing your story, I really enjoyed reading it! Great to hear that you had a good time in Stuttgart, and that the test wasn’t too bad. I sure hope for you that it is a pass, and that you will continue to learn Japanese. *keeps fingers crossed* If not for the JLPT, than do it for yourself. It is very rewarding, and even though time consuming, you’ll benefit from it personally. Languages are the keys to unlock the world, and you are already picking the lock to Japanese, so why stopping half-way? 🙂

  2. I too have taken N2, I feel I’m at the borderline maybe just missing out but I’m hopeful. The reading part again was my low point in the exam again and this time listening too was a challenge for me. Haven’t studied a day for the past couple of months can be complaining. Need to get this monkey off my back.

  3. Congratulations! I am glad that you are positive about the test! This was my first time taking the JLPT as well and this was N2. I was pretty lost a couple of times, but I was able to finish the first part in time(However, I still had the very last bubble to fill in when they said to stop). One girl, unfortunately, still seemed to have a lot of questions to finish, because she was frantically trying to finish her test when someone came up and showed a yellow card. And then a red card. And then a very stern “開けない!” I was afraid there was going to be an incident.

    Overall, I am pretty sure I failed. This is based on the result of the few practice tests I’ve taken. I felt as if I had the same level of comprehension on this test as I did on the practice tests, and those were about 10 points away from passing. Oh well. There is always July!

    By the way, I am certainly still interested in your anki deck for the soumatome books if you wouldn’t mind sending them to me. I am taking classes that rely on those texts and it would be nice to have a way to drill with those specific words.

    Good luck! I hope you pass!

  4. Hello John, thanks for your last reply, and this one!

    Oh, hush, unfortunate girl. I can imagine how it must felt to her to be told that it is over, and not even remotely close to finishing the test. And on top of that being shown the red card! Fortunately no one at my site had to suffer any consequences for a violation of the rules. All went pretty smoothly.

    Thinking positive, even in the darkest of times, helps to keep moving on. And in this particular case this is all we can do anyway. As you said, pass or fail, there is always another time. I sure keep my fingers crossed that you passed! 🙂

    About the deck. I sent it to the address you provided, right before I left an answer to your comment the other day. Maybe it was blocked or rejected because of the size of the attachement? You know how it is … sometimes even 3MB can be too large. In case the mail doesn’t arrive this time, I must ask you to provide me with another. The title of the mail is The 総まとめ deck, and the attachement is called mageboy1.7z

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