Nihongo Tips for Myself

(Note: This website undergone a major importing issue from Multiply. Haha. This blog supposedly should reflect as posted last November 24, 2012)

JLPT N4 is sooo near.

I feel like I am going to be judged before a court.

I feel like I am going to burst into pieces.

Today, I had spent 7 hours studying new grammar patterns. I read every example and looked into my japanesejisho (dictionary) app for each new word that I have crossed  in my Kanzen master reviewer. This reviewer is the only textbook that my sensei recommended to be really ready for the exam. This reviewer is somehow my black textbook. Haha.

I have only probably moved 10 pages. It was 5 hours for that alone. I refreshed myself with the patterns I reviewed before for another 2 hours. I still have 80 pages to review! I watched and listened to 3 episodes of a japanese dorama to practice my listening. I paused and looked into my jisho every now and then to make sure I heard the sentences right.


I just realized that I don’t have to pressure myself with all of the pattern memorization because I might suffer mental blackout during the exam. I might not be able to answer those that I should know. After all, no one has really got the exam perfect as told by an advanced Japanese speaker. He is our sensei’sfriend. He told us a number of tips last Thursday and I would like to share those that really pinched me down.

a. Don’t forget to enjoy. Studying Nihongo is difficult. The only way to really learn it is to enjoy it. Study from your heart. You probably know people who are intelligent but still failed the exam. Reason? Because they do not enjoy or at least like Nihongo. A person becomes a master of something when he enjoys doing it.

b. During listening, if you do not know the meaning of a word, leave it then keep on listening. You would know its meaning once you have an idea what the sentence is trying to convey.

c. Do not study anymore on the day before the exam. Relax. Free your mind. Enjoy.

d. Don’t focus ‘too much’ on grammar pattern. Just get the logic of what you have learned and you’ll find your way to the right answer. The grammar is really for N3 takers.

e. If you read the question and know right away the answer, circle it then move on. Don’t entertain second thoughts. Usually, the other choices are there to just confuse you. Trust yourself if you are sure at the first instance.

f. Do not study those lessons that are for N3 takers. Do not advance yourself thinking that you would be more equipped. Focus on what N4 really is. Master it. Take it one at a time.

g. After exam, do not talk about the answers.  Do not divulge on knowing if you got the correct answers. Forget it because it is already done.

h. Eat healthy food. Have enough sleep. You would need strength to study more.

i. Talk in Japanese. Always. Do not concern yourself if you speak it wrongly. We learned thru our mistakes. Talk to your sensei in japanese. She will correct you and you will learn. Most of our learnings are learned when they struck us as being wrong about it. Do not be afraid to be wrong.

j. Read. Read. Time yourself.

k. Have a goal. Yeah, no one had taken the exam with perfect score but it is wise to still aim a perfect score. If you are already confident you can pass it, study more. Aim the highest goal so you will always improve.

l. Pray. If it is not His will, it will not happen.

He said more tips but these 12 tips are what I really need. Whoever will take the exam on December 2, let’s do our best! Learning a language is not a simple interest. It gives life to everyone who uses it. It defines everyone. You won’t be able to live a day without using it at the least. This is why it is naturally difficult. So be good to yourself. Enjoy it like a child learning his mother language. Give yourself a rocky road flavored ice cream when you know you just gave your best.