JLPT2: The 2kyuu

I passed the 2kyuu in December of 2007 after four months of self study preparing for the test. For more details on that experience, see my article How I passed the 2kyuu.

Hints for the 2kyuu

  • Learn the kanji first. If you don't know the 1000 or so kanji required for the test, you don't stand a chance.
  • Focus on reading more difficult material. Conversation ability won't help you much with the text. The JLPT is better thought of as a literacy test than a speaking ability test (although your speaking ability will help you on the listening section).
  • You only need 60% to pass. That's an F at many American schools. So even though the test is difficult, don't worry too much.
  • If you don't know, guess! There's no penalty for guessing, so you should answer every question.
  • The reading/grammar section is worth 50% of the points on the test. So, it's important you do well on this part. Many people run out of time because the section is so long. I found it helpful to do it this way:
    1. Skip the reading questions and go directly to the grammar questions. Answer them as quickly as possible. If you don't know, just guess and move on. These questions are worth one point each. Finish all the grammar questions within 20 minutes. If you can't, just guess and move on.
    2. Now return to the reading section. I found it helpful to do the reading section in reverse order. The reason is that the questions are arranged from longest reading to shortest reading, so if you go backwards, you can work your way up to the harder, longer passages. Each question here is worth 5 points-- 5x as much as the grammar questions-- so this is where you want to spend most of your time.

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