Issue 15: J-Book Review
Studying for JLPT this year? Then you would want to use these〜!
re you studying Japanese and planning to take the JLPT this upcoming summer or year’s end? Whether it’s for a job, your own satisfaction or just showing off, passing that JLPT is what everyone’s hoping for. And working towards that goal isn’t something that happens overnight and requires a lot of dedication to your study not to mention long nightly hours over books accompanied by gallons of extra strong coffee. We’ve all been there (I even did what a lot of Chinese students do, go out during the snow in mid Januari and study at the 暖かい 24/7 McDonalds at 2 am in the morning, your clothes with smell lovely like french fries afterwards). So how do you actually prepare yourself then in order to increase your chances of passing the Japanese proficiency test?
Studying for JLPT
If you’re studying for that JLPT, one of the best ways to prepare yourself is by doing tests of previous years or drill quizzes.『にほんご500問』are a set of three books for JLPT quiz drilling. The first book is aimed at people planning to take JLPT N5-N4, book 2 is for N3-N2 and the last book aimed at N1 test takers. The book let’s you drill『文字』,『語彙』and『文法』and are set up in a handy and straightforward (no fuss, love that) way.
The book is designed to be used over a course of four weeks. Each day you do a set of 15 questions, 5『文字』, 5『語彙』and 5『文法』questions. Each page is divided into 3 sections and features one『文字』,『語彙』and『文法』question each. The answers can be found on the following page including detailed explanation like kanji meanings, word usage and grammar points for each of the sections. You can also put a right or wrong mark after you’ve checked each question. Till day 6 you will have finished a total of 90 questions, and on day 7 you do a mini test of 12 questions, covering material from day 1-6.
After this you count the number of correct marks and fill in a score card found at the beginning of each week. This let’s you keep track as you can do the questions again, mark the correct answers again, compare and see if you made any progress. If you feel like you’re lacking in the vocabulary or grammar department, you could choose to drill only just that particular section.
Apart from English and Chinese explanations, the book also features a list of Portugese and Korean translation of the questions found at the back of the book. A kanji list with stroke count for all kanji appearing in each book is also included as well as a word list (grouped conveniently by kind such as nouns, adjectives, verbs etc.). Finally, another list featuring grammar and sentence patterns nicely ordened by kana can also be found.
Anybody looking to do some JLPT style drilling will find these books very handy. Not only does the slightly-larger-than-handbook size let’s you read it anywhere (I often grab it when I do no. 2, for real), the layout, the clear explanations and just 15 questions per day doesn’t make it feel like a heavy load in terms of studying. Clearly a lot of thought and detail went into the books and its clever study system makes it a complete package for those wishing to strengthen their『文字』,『語彙』and『文法』skills. Finishing the book over the course of 4 weeks leaves you plenty of time to study other things till the upcoming JLPT. Anybody also thinking of taking this year’s proficiency test, 一緒に頑張りましょうか！
• title: にほんご500問 (book 1 初級 • book 2 中級 • book 3 上級)
• pages: book 1: 296 • book 2: 310 • book 3: 293
• dimensions: 20.8 x 15.2 cm
• extra: n/a
• language: Japanese – English – Chinese – Korean – Portugese
• publisher: ASK (www.ask-digital.co.jp)
• order: http://www.whiterabbitpress.com
• ISBN: book 1: 978-4872176889 • book 2: 978-4-87217-699-5 • book 3: 978-4-87217-708-4
• special Chokochoko rating: 90%