In the run up to the JLPT I’ve started to feel more and more that I don’t just want to set a benchmark for next year, that I actually want to pass level 1 this year.

I honestly expected to fail when applying for the test, but as long as the experience was positive and my Japanese improved I would be content. But when I did a couple of past papers and fell short by just 15% I had already surpassed my goal of scoring 50% (true, I might score lower on the real test).

So although my target is now to score over 60%, I really do feel like I want to pass the test.


  1. That’s like the Silver medal syndrome.
    Gold medalists are happy to have won and Bronze medalists are happy that they even got a medal, but Silver medalists are never content with being 2nd. In this case I would equate bronze with getting more than 50% and silver with just short of failing.
    Which would upset you more? Getting 50% or 69%?
    Personally, after doing a few practice tests and just missing the passing mark but 1 or 2 points I’m not sure how I will do. Doesn’t really matter much to me though. There’s always next year and while passing it will make me happy, failing it will just strengthen my resolve to really get disciplined next year.
    Anyway, good luck tomorrow!

  2. The Silver medal syndrome? That’s a new one to me, but it makes a lot of sense… so close but yet so far…
    Yeah, I’d probably feel far more gutted with 69% than 59%. Should I count my blessings that I won’t be that close to passing.
    Good luck Roy, even if you don’t want to pass!