Posts Tagged ‘Stargate’

Preparation for Japanese Language Proficiency Test

2008年 12月 6日

Nine short hours from now I will head for the train station to make another attempt at the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT・日本語能力試験). Being sick for several weeks, tied up with special events, and teaching friends on the side; not to mention getting sucked in by the Stargate, have all kept me from studying as much as I would like. What’s the number one rule for taking tests? Don’t get stressed out.

My choice was to be laid back and have a nabe (鍋) party tonight. We ate lots of brain food, drank a bit of beer, and discussed seventh century Asian history for kicks. Hopefully, living in Japan, speaking Japanese everyday, and being well rested will carry me through the test tomorrow. Regardless, I had fun tonight.

Since I met my girlfriend in January, I think my perspective has been shifting. If I bond my life to hers, I have to be ready to spend many, many years here; hence, failing the exam doesn’t concern me so much, since, “There’s always next year.”

Also, I only failed by four percent last year and have learned a lot about approaching the test. One key is that the Reading/Grammar section is ordered to make people run out of time and fail. The first two subsections are loaded with reading for a small number of points. The remaining subsections require about one sentence of reading for each answer. These latter sections clearly carry the most points per time; a wise test taker would attack them first. Merely taking this approach should improve my score by several points. I’ll report more on Monday. Not tomorrow because, of course, I must enter the Sunday Soundcheck… and it will have a bit of a twist.

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Officially Registered

2008年 11月 19日

My name and address over my mail slot suddenly went to pot a month ago. I was meaning to get it replaced right away, but I got busy and the mailman knows where I live. A week ago I started thinking I made a big mistake. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験・JLPT) has very strict rules, one of which is that your name and address must be posted in Roman letters and Japanese characters or your test registration will be returned to the test center as undeliverable. I expected the notice in the first week of November, so I thought I was out of luck and had shot another 6000 yen down the drain.

I was getting ready to write another post about how the JLPT isn’t so much a test of language ability as it is a test of willingness to follow peculiar procedures; however, today my card finally arrived. Last year the test site was within a short bike ride at Mie University (三重大学), but this year I am registered at a university down in Ise (伊勢市). I don’t know if they changed locations this year, or if they added a site and I got unlucky. In any case, it will mean I need to get up earlier this year.

Once again, I am behind on studies and there are less than three weeks remaining before test time. If I can keep myself away from Battlestar Galactica, SG-1, Atlantis, Veronica Mars, CSI, and this month, digitally remastered Star Trek, then there should still be time to get ready to pass the test. Unfortunately during my illness, a lot of Sci-Fi in English has been my convalescing entertainment choice.