I have been on and off studying Japanese for 4-5years now but at a very slow rate, sometimes going months not learning anything new.
Recently I decided to make something of this, so I have signed up for the new bottom level JLPT N5.
I am taking it this December in London.
Please give me some advice for a first timer, anything is useful!
Before signing up for it, I kinda presumed I would know about 90% of it and just revising a bit and I would be away.
I started looking at old JLPT4 papers and some books and am panicking!
I know the meaning and reading of the majority of the 100 or so Kanji, and find the grammar to be really simple, however the vocab I know and the vocab in the JLPT guides do not align well at all.
I have always been slow at picking up new vocab, and some sites seem to try teach you it all as the Kanji, others as the hiragana and I am confused how it will appear in the exam and which is best to know. I am talking about the 800or so words listed as vocabulary for this level.
The only vocab I know that seems to stick, is that which I learn in a random way or "accidentally" hear a lot in music or anime or use randomly around friends who only speak English because I like the word. I often try to reconstruct something I have just said in English into baby Japanese, but because I don't often check it with anyone better than myself I tend to just presume the random sentence I made up is fine. When I use lang 8 or similar I always get so many corrections it makes me think I really suck!
Any tips on what to expect for a firs timer, how to stop panicking and how to cram all the random words that might show up?
Also why is the listening so very difficult? I can't explain how I just hear it, but understand it far too slow to answer the questions so need to listen to it back about 4times, but I know I only get one shot.
Scared I am going to fail and waste a lot of money on a stay in London now =(
I use random Japanese study books, try immerse myself with bits of Japanese tv/drama/anime/music quite often, do onlien past tests, use anki, mykikitori.com, smart.fm etc a little, but after so much I just get frustrated and more and more want to do non Japanese related things, as it is I have done no proper study in over a week!