Sunday, December 03, 2006

JLPT done I can now forget everything I have memorised over the last 6 months :-)

I won't reveal any details of the test as it still hasn't started in some parts of the world.

The day started rather inauspiciously with someone deciding that now was a good time to jump in front of a train. I guess if you are going to bring the network to a halt, early Sunday morning is one of the less disruptive times to do it, but there were still plenty of us up and about at that time. Fortunately I had given myself plenty of time, so after a brief panic I got a bus to Ofuna and still arrived at the exam site with plenty of time. It was interesting to note that (a) there were probably something like 1000 people, just for the 2 kyuu exam in the Yokohama region and (b) many (most? all that I heard speaking in Japanese, which was quite a few) of them were really pretty fluent in Japanese. I suspect I would have been in the bottom 1st percentile for that, but it's not a spoken test!

I think the first couple of papers went about as expected. I was pleased to overhear a couple of people talking about the aural exam just after it finished, confirming that a couple of my "probably right" answers were in fact correct. I came a bit unstuck in the middle of the third paper - reading comprehension and grammar, which is always a bit of a desperate race against time - but finished with an easy reading section (3 questions, 15 points) which means it can't have been that bad overall.

The exam didn't seem particularly hard compared to the practice tests (and last year's exam) which means I should have passed by a modest margin. [For reference, that means that this book of practice tests which I had struggled with is clearly way too hard, and this one is much more realistic (although in contrast to the first book it doesn't explain the answers, and it also has a few misprints).] But I will have to wait and see. Since the answers are marked on a multi-choice machine-readable card, this will only take.....more than 2 months. Yes, there is no typo there. It's like getting reviews out of GRL :-) Probably they have to arrange a line of OL's bowing and making cups of tea while a Shinto priest waves hs magic wand at each answer sheet. And then arrange an meaningless interview for each exam sheet that passes the 60% threshold, which no one can give any plausible explanation for (sorry, in-joke there).

Pass or fail, I don't plan to take 1 kyuu next year. I guess I could probably just about make it if I really tried, but slogging though another 1000 kanji (and the rest) would test my patience. Rather, I would prefer to aim for "has the ability to converse, read, and write about matters of a general nature" which nominally describes a 2 kyuu candidate. Yeah, right. A language exam that doesn't actually test either speaking or writing ability is a strange (and rather badly designed) beast indeed. Still, studying for it has certainly enhanced my ability to read and comprehend Japanese.

1 comment:

Kiwi Particle Physicist said...

Congrats. Good to hear it went okay. Make sure to let us know how you got on when you get the results.