A Message to My Fellow JLPT-Takers

Well, JLPT results are being posted soon…and suddenly I’m not sure I want to check my page to see if I passed…

Wait, no, remember why you took the test, Liz, (and everyone else!).  You took it because you wanted to learn, not because you wanted to pass a standardized exam.  It was just one of many, many motivators to help you on your Japanese-learning journey.

What matters is the journey you took because of the test: the language you learned, the new ideas you encountered, the new people you met and learned from.  The sum of your journey and progress has infinitely more value than the passing of any test.

Fellow JLPT-takers, regardless of your test results, I hope you find great pride and happiness in reflecting on how far you’ve come, and great anticipation and excitement for the next leg of your journey!

Much love,


New JLPT Materials Published!

The folks that publish the JLPT have put up some useful documents on their website, including a guidebook to the new test as well as sample questions!

For those of us that were panicking that they might not publish any information on the new format or grammar/kanji/vocab, this is a huge relief.  Sort of….

Here’s one of the Q and A’s from the Guidebook on their site:

Q8 Why aren’t the“ Test Content Specifications” going to be published?A8 The goal of learning Japanese is not to memorize vocabulary, kanji , and grammar,
but to become capable of using them as a means of communication. The new
test is to measure both “Japanese language knowledge, including vocabulary and
grammar,” and “the competence required to perform communicative tasks using
language knowledge.” Therefore, we determined that it is not appropriate to publish
“Test Content Specifications” which includes the lists of vocabulary, kanji , and

What a huge leap in the right direction for language testing! I think that, for many students, this will help them learn and study more effectively and naturally than if they have access to lists of vocab and kanji.

I had started AJATT after this December’s JLPT, and it’s been going amazingly well.  This lack of lists makes me feel so free in my studying.  I was worried that I couldn’t AJATT and prepare for the next test.  (I know it shouldn’t make a difference, but if you’ve studied for the JLPT, you know how intimidating and stressing those lists can be if you let them get to yah.)

How do YOU feel about no “Test Content Specifications” being published?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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