How Quickly We Forget

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One goal for this year was to pass the level 5 kanji test (漢字検定5級). This would require learning all 1006 characters learned in elementary school (教育漢字) and related character compounds (二字熟語) and proverbs (四字熟語).

I barely passed the level 7 test, which checks 640 characters, and failed the level 6 test, which checks 825 characters. From summertime on, I have been lax in my study habits. It is amazing how fast our knowledge drifts away.

After buying my Nintendo DS Lite and the Kanken DS 2 cartridge, I have renewed my study efforts. I struggled through the level 9 and 8 tests before moving on to the level 7 test, which I have now passed; however, the cartridge tests are easier than the actual paper tests. So, I am now almost back to the level I had in June.

On the paper tests they are very careful to avoid using characters or readings in anyway that could give you a clue for answering other questions. The same characters might be used more than once, but only if they have several readings. On the cartridge, it is common to see the same character appear in two or three sections. Most likely the problems are being randomly chosen.

Also, if one slops the stylus around a bit on complex characters, the software might still “recognize” it, but the written tests are graded by hand and must be error free. (No horseshoes and hand grenades here.)

I realize that this tool is a good secondary study method and is very motivational because it can be fired up anywhere at a moments notice; however, traditional methods will still be needed for passing the level 5 test.

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One Response to “How Quickly We Forget”

  1. Depression Meds « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] Studied kanji on my DS Lite […]

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