JLPT July 2022 Experiences

So yesterday was the JLPT here in Japan. How did everyone think they did? I took N2 and while the vocab, kanji, and grammar seemed much easier than expected, the reading portion seemed MUCH more difficult in comparison to the practice tests I took. Listening also seemed more difficult than the practice tests. I’m leaning towards failing, but only by a few points.

Nothing exciting happened in our room. Although a bunch of people were talking to each other before the first part of the test even finished.

Anything interesting happen in your testing room? Any red cards?


Lovin the form, excited to see if there was any interesting test experiences across Japan.

I took my N3 test in Okayama, nothing at all interesting to report from my testing room. No red cards, no yellow cards.

One thing that I want to say, I studied all my kanji for the N3 using WaniKani. I’m only at level 23 so I knew going into it that there would be huge gaps in my N3 kanji knowldege. But to my great delight, by luck of the draw maybe, it was predominantly kanji I knew. Would love to know if anyone had similar or opposite experiences!

That being said, I will likely be close to the pass/fail point. Still a hard test y’all.


I’ve been working through 新完全マスターN2 and there were quite a few words I remember thinking were “obscure” and, sure enough, they were on the test. 発芽 was on there which was surprising; I remember reading it and thinking “I’m never going to use this” and there was a whole reading passage dedicated to it.


Doing the test in such a huge conference hall seemed like such a bad decision. Firstly the organisation of the thing was very poor, the delay to start the test and finish while they were doing who knows what, was really frustrating. And the listening conditions were not ideal at all. The echo was extremely distracting, and the speaker system really muffled the clarity. Also, because the sound system was located in the ceiling, it was like listening to two gods having a conversation in the heavens :joy:

No I idea how I did, but I always have the feeling there is every chance I got every single question wrong in the reading and listening portion. But somehow I can always pass those sections.


I did my N1 again yesterday and DEFINITELY failed. I couldn’t concentrate all the way through. As soon as I started to concentrate, my mind immediately started to wander. I’m not that bothered, since it’s not really going to affect my career where I am at the moment, but after 8 years of study it would be nice to finally have it as something like a badge of honour.
As for the experience, there was a bloody great thunderstorm happening outside during my test…


First time taking the JLPT, my plan was (and still is) to take the N5 now to understand how it goes in preparation for a N4 at the end of the year

It all went smoothly at first, but my heart wasn’t ready for that listening phase. I had a bit of confidence in it, but 30 minutes straight of listening without any chance to repeat something I might have missed sounds pretty insane for N5 imo, this is definitely where I’ll be focusing on in the next months

Something funny that I already knew, but I studied so much kanji that I’m finding myself unable to recognize the vocabs when they’re written in kana only lol. Probably related to my listening issue mentioned above, so now I’ll need to figure out what to do about it if I wanna have any real chances on a N4 in six months


First of all I am very annoyed. I had done practice tests and had passed them all with no real issues, so I wasn’t as nervous as I was last year.

Yesterday I did N2 and I felt like it was all such a waste. Most of the sections I struggled a lot on. With me having no clue what the answer even could be.

It didn’t help that in my room someone’s phone rang twice, people left to go to the toilet, someone argued with the invigilator about whether they were talking or not. Only the person who’s phone rang twice was removed from the test. Also, the listening I couldn’t hear the audio properly. It was a small CD player and not very loud, and with people coughing and pages turning I couldn’t hear much.

Overall not too happy. Seems like I might have failed again for a 2nd time. I don’t even know what I can do to improve as I did so well on the practice tests that I have done.


@Gorganite sounds pretty dramatic… I’m almost jealous that I didn’t have a big drama like that in my test.


I would have rather taken the thunderstorm then what I had aha.

They also handed my row the wrong tests. So our names were wrong. And also started the listening section 10 minutes later.
Just a mess overall :sleepy:


I think if you want to pass then you really have to look beyond the materials of the level you are trying to pass. For example, I could breeze through most of the Kanzen Master N1 books but when it comes to the test, it’s always a lot of more difficult and barely anything in those books appears in the test. So the books only really serve as a gateway by getting your level above the 20 point threshold for each section. I don’t think they’re enough for the test. To actually pass, you need to think of the N2 test more like N2+ or even approach it as if it’s N1.


I am toying with the idea of trying N5. It was too late for this July as it was fully booked by the time I put thought into actions. I’ve tried the sample questions on the website and completely agree with you on being thrown by use of hiragana… Kanji with furigana would be much more preferable. 30 minutes of listening comprehension is putting me off along with other’s comments about the audio quality, as I’ve poor hearing.


Well done all of you, best of luck with the results.

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I’ve said it before, but I’m still not gonna sit any JLPTs without actually hauling myself to the audiologist to get physical paper proof that says “yeah this guy’s hearing is busted”, so I can get some kind of allowance for it. I’d like to shoot for N3 when I do end up getting to apply though.

Best of luck to all with the results! Sounds like it was a particularly rough round this time…


I always find funny the “relaxing music” to take a break at mid listening.

I can tell you it doesn’t have any relaxing effect on me at all.


Very similar to experience to you, Devenu, N2, pretty sure I’m very close around 50%. Hope I’ll be lucky and on the right side of that :smiley:
I underestimated the necessary reading speed, listening skill, and vocabulary size (mine is ~9000, I’d estimate ~14000 would be necessary for the 50-100 words I didn’t know). I was surprised, because I’ve read somewhere that ~6000 words are enough for N2. No way.

I ran out of time with around 17 long texts/questions still to read, so I had to random guess for those. You have no time to double-check answers or regularly think about the meaning of a word for 2-3 seconds. I had a false sense of security after the first few questions which were quite easy and fast to answer.

But my main goal was just to check my progress towards N2 and have something to learn for.
All in all it was an interesting and worthwhile experience :slight_smile:


Advice from someone who’s a bit further in the JP learning process: Never think that you’ll “never use this word anyway” just because it didn’t pop up in your conversations or reading/listening material you consume until now.

In english, “to sprout” is actually a common word every child knows. It’s true, that it’s not among the super-common words you use every day (to buy, to eat, to drink, to walk, to go etc etc), but think a bit: I’m 10000% sure that you’ve had conversations where you were talking about sprouting plants. Maybe at the time you were a kid an planted your first plant, or when discussing when to harvest grandma’s tomatos etc etc.
The thing is: A lot of JP learners (and yes, I do include myself in this criticism too) make the mistake that they disregard a lot of words as “useless”, simply because their vocabulary is actually to limited to even start a conversation about this topic. If you don’t even know what “to sprout” means in japanese, how you ever gonna proactively start a conversation about this topic? So the word seems “useless” and “superfluous” , but in reality it isn’t.

English isn’t my native language. I don’t even live in an environment where english is spoken a lot. But did I use the word “to sprout” in my life? Of course I did. So why wouldn’t I use 発芽, too?


The 模擬試験 I wrote for N2 was easier than the real test. I think I did alright on the grammar section, but reading seemed particularly difficult. Before the listening test started, the proctors realized that the tiny boombox they were using wasn’t going to cut it volume-wise, and it took no more than seven people to figure out how to set up the microphone in front of the speaker. The hot, humid weather made listening a test of endurance. If I do end up passing, it will be by the smallest of margins.

Having written the N4, N3, and N2, I’m getting fed-up a bit with the JLPT as a test. The grammar questions seem so few, the reading passages’ topics and styles are so stale compared to the native material I’m able to read in magazines or online, and the lack of any output testing (interview, answering written questions, etc) means the test is testing only half of my Japanese ability.

I think the JLPT is very useful as a goal for studying, but I really wish there was another Japanese test out there - in particular, one that included an interview. If I passed that sort of test, I’d feel more accomplished in my Japanese skills.


It’s not necessary to pass JLPT to be good at Japanese. It’s just a test and fairly esoteric one too in the sense that scoring system can be really manipulated to your advantage. These days I just take it and forget about it. N2 and N1 are really just tiny steps to overall fluency and literacy anyway.


I tried N1 for the first time. As I expected, the main issue for me is just time management because I like to be careful and think a lot about every question.

I did the vocab questions, skipped the grammar questions to start the reading section, then ran out of time with 5 reading questions remaining and had to fill in random answers for those 5 reading questions and all of the grammar questions except for 6. Everyone has said that the grammar questions were easier than usual so I regret skipping them, I should have just quickly done them for extra points.

Checking the answers after the test, I got about 3 vocab questions wrong, and out of the reading questions that I actually did, I only got 2 wrong, so even though I ran out of time, maybe it will be okay as long as my listening score is decent.

But, for the listening section, I have no idea how it will go. There was a girl sitting near me who kept tapping her desk and clicking her pen during the test and it was extremely distracting for me. I got 58/60 for Listening in N2 but this time I might even fail the listening section, I can’t remember it at all.


This was a thematic issue I was hearing about for this year’s test, about noise in the testing room. Because of this I’m going to start doing my listening practice while watching YouTube street fights so that I can get accustomed to tuning out random dumb stuff :slight_smile: