JLPT Grammar and Reading Tips
When you first learn that you have 50 – 90 minutes for the JLPT grammar and reading test, you think that this is going to be easy. However, let me tell you, that this time just flies by. Many people even complain that they didn’t even have enough time to finish the section.
As an English-speaker, you are going into the test at a disadvantage. This test was written with Chinese and Korean people in mind, who have been reading Chinese characters their entire life.
Even if the deck is stacked against you, that doesn’t mean that hope is lost. Here are some tips that you can use to make the most of your very limited time with the JLPT grammar and reading test.
The grammar questions are probably going to be much easier for you, so give yourself a set amount of time to blast through them. About 15 or 20 minutes should be enough. The grammar questions are worth much less than the reading questions, so don’t get caught up on any one question. The strategy here is to just go for the low-hanging fruit and earn some quick and easy points.
Then shift over the the reading part. Again, time is of the essence here so you don’t want to waste a single second. Read the question before you read the passage. This is a huge time-saving tip here. If you know exactly what you need to answer the question, it helps you sort out what is truly essential while you are reading the passage. Once you are certain you have the answer, move on to the next question. You don’t want to waste any time with the JLPT grammar and reading section.
If there are words or Kanji that you don’t know, try to use the surrounding words to figure out what the word means or what sort of context it is in. Again, do this only if it helps you answer questions that would otherwise go unanswered. Don’t do this if it just slows you down. You want to make sure that you keep moving fast here.
If you don’t know the answers to a question, you can come back to it later. However, due to the time constraints, you probably won’t have the time to come back to more than two or three questions. Pick your battles carefully. For the rest of the questions you can’t answer, just make a guess and move on.
The JLPT grammar and reading test is probably the most difficult portion of the JLPT exam. Don’t become frustrated or panic, though. Take some time every now and then to just take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Start studying early and study until you have a solid grasp on the material. Remember, plenty of people have passed the JLPT grammar test, and with a little dedication and a solid plan of attack, you can too.