Tuesday, July 06, 2010

JLPTのN1の余波 (The aftermath of N1)

Well, took the new N1 test on Sunday, and I have to say, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be. That said, this may be due to several factors:

1. I've now taken the first level 3 (4?) times. I'm used to the general shape of the test.
C. JEES, the test's maker, really hyped the new exam as being harder than past tests. While this may be true for the second level, which was shorn of most easy questions in order to make the new third level of the test, I doubt this was the case with the first level.
47. I have a habit of finishing tests off in an optimistic frame of mind. Guess I'm a hopeless optimistic.

For those of you who took the test this summer, I'd love to hear some observations. Here are a few more of mine.

  • 壊される was on the 漢字 section of the test. WTF? That's some kiddie stuff.
  • Although lots of folks say Chinese are rampant cheaters, in the 7 or 8 times I've taken the tests, I've never seen this.
  • My eyes were hurtin' for certain after two hours of 言語知識 and 読解. That's just too long to be continuously staring at those small letters. I need glasses.
  • The break -- only 40 minutes -- between 言語知識 and 聴解 sections was fine. Not too long, and not too short. But I was glad I bought some food before the test. My stomach started growling toward the end of the first section.
  • In the listening section, they pulled their old "pretend-that-the-answer-is-obvious-then-suddenly-and-unrealistically-do-a-complete-reversal" answer on several questions.
  • On the multiple-choice 返事 part of the listening section, several choices were nonsensical, and kinda funny. Listen for people chortling, and you will know that that response is not the correct answer.
One more thing, I'll still try to work my way through the grammar book, as I had been doing prior to this post, but may take a short, post-test sabbatical. Hope to see some comments!


the_greatest_pip said...

A felt like the test was much easier this time around, aside from the vocab questions, which used several words I just haven't come across before. The listening section was much more practical and level-appropriate than before, and the reading and grammar questions were about the same as always. This was my third time taking the test officially, but I've taken three or four practice/previous tests as well. All in all, I'd say the new test is definitely an improvement, though I am a little worried about the grading. I am pretty sure I did really well on reading and listening, but I'm pretty sure I bombed the vocab, so... it will be fun waiting until September for those results.

the_greatest_pip said...

A felt? ...I can't even imagine how/why I wrote that.

Bobby Judo said...

Took it too. I thought the shape of the test was pretty different from years past...

Also, the 壊す bit wasn't in there to test the recognition of the kanji. It was to test whether or not you could choose between 壊す、潰す、and 倒す for demolishing buildings. Know that I look them up, it seems like 壊す is the best answer, but they're pretty close in nuance. I had a hard time with that question.

I hope you passed! I highly doubt that I did :(

jljzen said...

Good point on 壊す, but I don't think there were any other readings than that one, were there? Can't remember. And 倒す is more often read as たおす, I thought.

Did you see the links from the Chinese company that someone spirited out a copy of the test? I;ll have to find a link somewhere.

I highly doubt I passed all three sections with 70%. But I think I might have cumulatively gotten pretty close.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the cheating by Chinese: the current test (with answers) is already up on the Chinese warez sites:

Simply web search for 日本語能力試験 and do an advanced web search to narrow the results to those in Simplified Chinese.

What they used to do for the pre-N1 era is take advantage of timezones: they'd post and analyze the test taken in Japan etc (GMT+0900) so that people in the west coast of the U.S. (GMT-0700) could get the questions in advance.

jljzen said...

That's true. I meant that I, personally, have never seen anyone, Chinese or others, cheating. Maybe I'm just too preoccupied with finishing the test.

BTW, I think the thing that's going to hurt me and a lot of folks with this new test is the fact that you must pass each section individually and all sections cumulatively in order to pass the entire thing. Whereas once you could shirk your listening study and kick ass in grammar/reading, now you've got to get all sections down, pat.

Anonymous said...

Reading and Listening were pretty straightforward - Kanji/Vocab/Grammar were a bit tougher, especially the section where you have to choose the most appropriate use of a word in a sentence.

Thanks to our Chinese friends, I can confirm I screwed up 手薄、発足、綿密、ひとまず、and the question about the train being empty on a holiday (はずだ、not に決まってる)

I agree there were some easy marks, like readings for 壊す and 契約...come on!

I liked the new listening section where you had to give the most appropriate response to a statement. Guy's talking about his terrible day - the machines broke down, boss yelled at him, wife ran off with the milkman, etc.

Woman's response:

2)それはよかったね。(Was that meant to be sarcastic?)
3)毎日これだったらいいのになー。(Man, she must really hate this guy!)

Ah, jlj did you change your keitai? If so, please post your new contact details here on the internet.

(Not really, I'll get in touch)

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