Last night I sat down to start the JLPT 2003 1級 文字・語彙 paper. What a shocker!

When I tried the 2004 paper most of my answers were guesses at best, or using educated guesses to piece together kanji compound words etc. Still, I managed just over 50%. Not as bad as it could’ve been, I thought at the time.

The 2003 paper shows how bad it could have been… I battled through the paper, guessing my whole way through, even more so than the 2004 paper. I scored a dismal 38%! Perhaps I was dreaming to think I might score higher than 50% in the real exam. We’ll see.


  1. Don’t worry, i’m doing just as bad… and i’m just starting my studies today.. ack!
    I just finished my university exams today.
    Kanji and Vocab is also my weak point so i’m gonna concentrate on that for a few days too.. If you can get a copy try use the kanzen master kanji book for 1kyuu. I bought that and it has been good, but i’m barely even a quarter the way through… ahh! it’s so thick!
    Anyway, good luck with the study!

  2. Hi there Tim. Another soul battling with the JLPT!
    I haven’t got the Kanzen Master Kanji book for 1級 but I haven’t even used my 2級 one…
    Keep in touch to let us know how your studies are going.

  3. I am currently 40-50% of the way through the level 1 kanzen master kanji book. I have finished all the verbs, and adjectives, and now am slowly progressing into all the nouns. Actually i think there are more adjectives to go but anyways i’m going through the kun yomi for the nouns. I hope to progress into the on yomis soon.
    I think i am just going to study the vocab in the kanji book and hope that is enough to get by the kanji section. In the end, all i’m gonna study for is kanji and grammar.
    I dunno if it’s enough but just studying the kanji alone is likely gonna take all week.. 🙁
    I’d like to also know how you are progressing too.
    Also if you are interested you can visit my japanese blog.

  4. はじめまして。

  5. あ、ごめんなさい。

  6. Tim, I didn’t realise you had a Japanese blog. 頑張ってますね!全部日本語ですね…!