JLPT Vocabulary Tips
The JLPT vocabulary test is the first section that you will take. This section covers Kanji and vocabulary. How much vocabulary will you need to know? Well, that depends on which level of the test you are taking.
As a general rule, the first two tests, level 5 and 4, are essentially a vocabulary and Kanji test. Of course you will have to know some grammar, but I’ve noticed that people with a large vocabulary tend to do better even if they don’t have their grammar mastered. People with a smaller vocabulary that really know their grammar, on the other hand, seem to really struggle. So make sure you memorize those JLPT vocabulary words and all those Kanji.
For the JLPT vocabulary and Kanji test, take the following tips to heart and you should do well:
- Take your time to read the questions twice. Make sure you understand what each sentence says. Many people often make mistakes simply because they are nervous and misunderstood the question.
- Be careful with long and short vowel sounds. Take care to make sure you know which words have a long sound like こう and which have a short sound like こ.
- Likewise, be sure to check the HIragana and Katakana characters so that you don’t miss the “dakuten” that make the difference between similar ones like ひ and び.
- Eliminate the questions that you know are wrong. In most cases, there are two answers that are obviously incorrect. If you have to guess, you’ll have a much better chance of guessing correctly if you can narrow the possibilities down to two choices.
- If you have been studying intently, don’t doubt yourself. Often times your first instinct is correct. Nothing is worse than finding out that you marked the correct answer only to second-guess yourself and change your answer at the last minute.
- Approach the questions from a tactical point of view. Ask yourself what the main point of the question is? Are you looking for a verb, noun or adjective? Is the sentence in present or past tense? Is the subject a person or inanimate object (imasu / arimasu)?
Try to translate the sentence into English and ask yourself how you would answer the question in English. This can often shed new light onto the question and make the answer more obvious for you.