…over for at least this year anyhow.

My expectations were that:

①I’d do bad-fair on the vocab/kanji test, depending on luck.
②The listening would prove easy and boost my overall score.
③My grammar would be good-v.good.
④The reading section would be bad-fair, depending on luck.

My experience was:

①I got a licking on the vocab/kanji test.
②My trump card, listening, turned out to be difficult in places.
③The grammar was v.good.
④The biggest reading passage confused me, but following sections were fair.

Overall, I was dissappointed with how it turned out, particularly with my ‘trump card’, listening. This was the 4th real listening test I’ve attempted and by far the hardest.

Thanks to those of you who have given me good advice on the reading sections. I did much better than I was doing a couple of months back, but not good enough, unfortunately.

If I had done the 2004 paper last year with my current knowledge I think I might have done better. Still, if you are going to score around the 50% mark then there are obviously huge gaps in your knowledge and you shouldn’t be too disgruntled if this culminates in a couple of poor papers on the day. I can’t complain… next year!!


  1. You know, after doing the test I realized that for the grammar part at least, it is fairly straight forward. Most of the L1 grammar that appeared were in the 完全マスター textbooks. I’ll have to study these texts more carefully next year.

  2. For me, I think did:
    Good in the kanji vocab section,
    Good in the listening section,
    Good in the grammar section,
    Bad in the reading comprehension.
    I also had trouble with the long passages and therefore, I felt i was guessing the answers rather than actually finding them in the text. :(.
    By the way, i disagree with using the Kanzen master books for the grammar, they don’t group by similar meanings and therefore make it difficult to learn the grammar and it’s differences from other grammars.
    I found that the どんな時、どう使う 日本語文型500 was the best book for grammar. The reason being that it groups the grammars together and also includes all the level 1 and 2 grammars allowing you to compare between both.

  3. Tim, good tip. I always wondered about the grouping of the grammar. It seems like there is no logic to it. I’ll check out the book you recommend.

  4. Yeah, grammar is easy to score points on because you just have to make sure you go through the book (although there are always a few points which come up which I know are not in the Unicom book).
    I have the Unicom and Master Series books, though I’ve had time to use the Unicom one. I thought the points were based on similar meanings…?
    The Unicom book does have cross-referencing to similar grammar points in the 2-kyu book and has small sections at the bottom of each page to highlight key differences.
    As for the reading sections, I just need to learn more kanji, as I feel my exam technique isn’t too bad.