Thursday, December 2, 2010

How My iPad and iPhone Will Help Me Pass the JLPT

Sunday is the day of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), a measure of the skill level of non-native Japanese speakers. Administered by the Japan Foundation, the test is used to evaluate students of the language as well as people employed by Japanese companies.

I'm not sure why I'm taking the JLPT because I don't exactly like the challenge. It's stressful, and studying for it sometimes makes me feel dumb. Despite that, for some reason I'm curious to see how I measure up to the test organizers' expectations. But I've found two apps that are going to help me pass Level N4: JLPT Study ($3.99 on iTunes) for the iPhone and KanjiBox ($4.99 on iTunes) for the iPad. (There is an iPhone version of KanjiBox that sells for a dollar less.)

JLPT Study
You can choose to practice either vocabulary or kanji.


Then select the level of the test you are taking.


You'll see a word written in kanji with its hiragana equivalent.
Or, you'll see a word in English. You have four choices.


If you're right, you get a lovely green light.


If you're wrong, you'll see a harsh red light. You'll get the correct answer, too.


KanjiBox
Once you choose your level in the Settings tab, you can choose to study kanji, vocabulary, or reading.


There are four ways to study kanji in this app.


You're given a word in hiragana, katakana, and/or English, then you chose the correct kanji.


Here you choose the missing kanji from the compound.


The quiz is basically the same as the drills, except it is timed.
Feel the pressure!


I haven't played with the Flashcards too much, but they look great on the iPad.


The vocabulary portion is much like the kanji, but with more phrases.


You have to read quickly during the Vocab Quiz.


With any luck, I won't see this in the spring after my test is graded.


Of course, nothing beats actually studying for the test, and I'm listening to CDs and taking sample tests from workbooks as well. I must thank my sensei for being tremendously patient with me throughout this process. I'm down to my final days of preparing for the JLPT, and Sunday I'll take the D train to the Bronx and Lehman College, where the test will be this year. Wish me luck!

Are you taking the JLPT? How are you studying for it?

3 comments:

Empathy Art said...

I just took the level 5 and te grammar was much harder than I thought an the Listening was easier than anticipated. The app I recommend is JAPANESE its the best I seen so far and gotten the most use out of. Also check out tofugu.com

shrinecastle said...

Empathy Art, I agree! The listening section was much easier than I expected in N4. Despite studying the vocabulary, there were a few words that I simply couldn't remember. :(

I just searched JAPANESE and found three apps with that name. Who makes the one you use, codefromtokyo ($5.99), rakudoor ($1.99), or Levitate ($0.99)? The one by codefromtokyo looks the coolest. What else did you do to prepare for the test?

I love tofugu.com, although I don't read it every day. It's hilarious.

Thanks for your comment, Empathy Art. I hope we both passed the JLPT!

nancy john said...

Of course a good certification program should teach most or all of these topics, and it's common for schools to give an orientation before teaching starts.

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