Test Your Japanese Might

I know some of you have wanted this for a while. A way to figure out your exact level. I’ve provided you with some general guidelines in the past. But you want it down to a finer art.

Test Your Japanese Might

This is not an easy task, which is why I’ve waited this long to create this post, deciding if it is really possible to make an accurate test. I’ve seen online tests. You know my views on the JLPT. The difficulty lies in testing your understanding naturally, not artificially. Which is why this test will not include:

1. Multiple choice: ever notice how you can study how to take a multiple choice test to do better on the test?
2. Fill in the blank multiple choice: in real life you aren’t limited in choices. You will use the way that you know how to say something most naturally or one of the dozen alternatives.
3. True/False: I doubt these type of language tests exist, but it would be amusing.
4. Putting similar kanji/similar words together where you have to guess which one has the correct reading or kanji: this reminds me of spelling tests in elementary school, where you knew how to spell the word correctly until you suddenly see two very close candidates.
5. Reading comprehension paragraphs: tests not only your Japanese, but your ability to not lose interest while reading a boring excerpt of something you don’t care about enough to answer silly multiple choice questions on it at the end that are aimed to trip you up.
6. Anything timed: I’m aware that without a timed test, the concept of a test really can’t exist, but real life isn’t timed (or is it…?)

So what kind of test can I possibly give you? How about a test that reflects how you actually study Japanese, and even better, how you actually use it.

Level Blocks

The JALUP test is separated into level blocks. Start at level 1, regardless of what level you think you may be.

Three Comprehension Lines

Each level block has three comprehension lines. Each line either contains RTK keywords in English/Japanese (for the beginning levels) or sentences. Since not everyone uses RTK (seriously, what are you thinking?), I’ve chosen English keywords that are pretty obvious what kanji is the right answer, regardless of whether you’ve been through RTK. Also each English keyword is paired with the Japanese keyword that goes with it.

– Your goal for the keywords is to be able to write out by hand in kanji the part of the word that is in hiragana.
– Your goal for the sentences is to understand them.

Passing a Level Block 

Learning experience and materials you’ve used are varied. Your easy Edo history conversation is not my easy legal conversation. So to make this fair, in addition to trying to choose fairly neutral sentences, to move on to the next level block, you only need understand 2 out of the 3 comprehension lines. This also solves the problem of people who don’t study how to write kanji.

What Does Understand Mean?

By understanding 2 of 3 lines, you must be able to either:

1. Write the kanji correctly (in the case of keywords), or
2. Read the sentence(s) out loud and “comprehend” 90% of what you’ve just read with the ability to respond to the sentence(s) as if you heard it in a conversation. It does not mean you can translate it into English. This is irrelevant. Ask yourself this. Could you continue this conversation with the other person? Not sure if you can? Try saying something in response.

Failing a level block. Where do you stand?

You passed the level 10 block and failed the level 20. So what level are you actually? Take the level block you failed and see how much you knew.

– Understood one line fully, and some of another line: you are closer to level 17-19.
– Understood one line completely, but none of the others: closer to 14-17.
– Understood a some of one line, but nothing of the rest? Closer to 11-13.

Or more simply, take what percentage you understood of the 3 combined lines and add that to the previously passed level:

80% understood: level 18
40% understood: level 14
10% understood: level 11

And for those super beginners out there: if you fail level 1, you are level 1. We’ve all been there.

If you’re judging your own ability of comprehension, how accurate can this test be?

Very. How accurate do think a test that is designed for the “average Japanese learner?” You know yourself better than anyone else. You will be your best judge. You will be honest to yourself. And while this test may look like just random sentences thrown together with increasing difficulty, a lot of work was put into this to make it both engaging, interesting, and as precise as possible.


Level 1: Newbie

1. Four (よん), Two (に),  Day (ひ), Month (つき)
2. こんにちは、おはようございます、おやすみなさい
3. アメリカ、ペン、アニメ

Level 5: Beginner

1. Old (ふるい), In (なか), Child (こ), White (しろ)
2. わたしはにんじゃじゃありません。かっこいいさむらいです。
3. このひとがこわい。

Level 10: Elementary

1. Fish (さかな), Sell (うる), Country (くに), Meeting (かい社)
2. みじかいマンガが好きです。かわいい女の子も好きです。でもアイスクリームを食べるのが大きらいです。
3. ナルトをもっと見たいですけど、時間があまりないです。東京に行きます。

Level 20: Intermediate

1. Both (りょう方)、Limit (げん界)、Face (かお)、Island (しま)
2. タイムマシーンがほしい。あったらお金持ちになって世界の王様になる。それに美人と結婚する。
3. 全然できない!最悪な悪夢です。もうやめようかなと思っている。どう思う?俺でだめかな?

As you can probably guess by the sudden abrupt end here, this will be continued in two more parts. Made it to intermediate? Congratulations. You are going to have to wait till the next post to see how high you can climb. Didn’t fare so well? Don’t worry. You will soon.

To all those taking the test, I would love it if in the comments section you could list your:

1. Test results level
2. How long you’ve been studying Japanese for (both length of time and frequency).  Ex: 2 years at 4 hours a week. Or 6 months at 20 hours a week. Include both passive/active hours.
3. What method(s) you are using

This will help those who have taken the test have something to compare their results to. If you pass all levels tested in Part 1, save your information for the comments section of either part 2 or part 3.

– Do not read the comments until you’ve taken the test, as they contain spoilers to the answers
– I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about how you did, but first read through all the comments and responses I gave to others, as your question will probably already be answered.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese. On a quest to become 日本語王 (king of the Japanese language).


Test Your Japanese Might — 103 Comments

  1. Hello! I’m so excited! The test is finally in progress!

    On Level 20, I did not know the word げん界. I also did not previously know the word 悪夢, but I guessed that it was “nightmare” based on the combination of the kanji “悪い” and “夢”. I looked in the dictionary and found that I was right. Which would mean, if that word was said aloud to me, I would have to ask what it means. But, if it was typed, I could continue the conversation. This would still be passing, right? (If not, let me know, then I will post my information here.) Excited for the next part!

    • If those were the only 2 errors on level 20, then that is passing. Congrats! That’s why I included the 90% guideline, because most people vary with very minor information gaps (like understanding what the word is by the kanji but not knowing how to pronounce it).

      • Are the first lines there to test the ability to write kanji as well? I didn’t think of this until reading どうして’s comment. This might change my results.

        I can understand the meaning of and pronounce all these kanji in a text (except for 限界). However, when it comes to writing, today I could not write from memory 顔 or 島. What does this mean? There are times that I can write a certain kanji, but if I haven’t used it for awhile, I’ll forget it (which is why I started using Anki this winter). I used to be able to write these, as they were part of tests of a Japanese class. But because of lack of use, I forgot how to write them.

        By this, I would say my ability to write kanji is in the low 20s. While reading kanji and understanding Japanese in general is above the 20s and probably somewhere in the 30s (as I’ll find out in the next part).

        • Oh, and I kind of blanked out on how to write the kanji for 売る and 魚 as well. <(-_-). I can write them now because I typed them and recalled their radicals immediately. So, my ability to write kanji is probably in between the upper 10s and lower 20s. This shows me what I need to work on. I should use anki more and perhaps start writing some snail mail and diary entries. Typing makes me real lazy, ha.

          • I think I’m going to start writing a lot more as well. I used to know the kanji well, but doing this test, I realized that it took me much more time and effort to recall them than it used to — which leads me to naturally think that I may lose the ability if I don’t keep it up, like I did with the one kanji I just couldn’t recall — and surely several others. I haven’t really written any kanji in about 3 months though… so I should really start up with it again.

          • Sorry I’m commenting so much. I hope it helps with the development of the test. I just looked at ジセリ’s response and realized something else.

            So if you fail a block, then you go back down to the block below that? That makes more sense. So, I knew how to write 1/2 of the kanji from level ten, and could write the other 1/2 after reminding myself of the radicals (and today, I still remember them). I consider that passing level 10’s kanji. In level twenty, I could write 1/4 of the kanji. So, I’m not level 20 at all when it comes to writing kanji. So maybe I’m around level 15 when it comes to writing kanji?

            Is it possible to be at a lower level in writing kanji and then at a higher level for other areas? Or should I see it as I need to catch up with my kanji before I can reach level 30? What if I can read those kanji, but can’t write them?

            Oh, and I just wanted to comment before using Anki this winter, I was around level 7 with writing kanji. So, to see that it has improved to level 15 is still an accomplishment for me, even though my level in general is higher.

            • Not everyone practices writing kanji, which is one of the main reasons I made it 2 out of 3 lines to pass. This means that if even if you completely fail the kanji comprehension line, you can still pass if you know 90% of the other 2 lines.

              The kanji writing by keyword is to test the people who also used RTK or practice writing kanji, but at the same time not to harm those who don’t focus on that.

              Even if you didn’t use RTK or focus on writing, since you got 90% of the 2 reading lines, you passed level 20 and move on to the next test. I wouldn’t separate your kanji level and your regular level. Just as a regular Japanese person your age, some people practice and are good at kanji, and others don’t.

              Levels 30 and up will not test kanji writing.

  2. I didn’t know the word 両方, but I guessed the kanji because of the keyword. I couldn’t remember how to write the kanji for 限界, but I know the word and can read it easily enough. So I didn’t pass the kanji line.
    I initially pronounced 美人 as びじょ、but I quickly caught myself, and guessed the correct pronunciation and meaning even though I wasn’t familiar with the word.
    I wouldn’t be able to produce some of these sentences, but I was able to tell what they meant. I could respond to each of them, but my responses might seem kind of trite at times.
    If this isn’t passing, I’ll post my info as well.

    • Only missing one word is fine to keep the 90% rate, and you even did better since you were able to guess the pronunciation and meaning.

      Trite is fine, as long as it is a correct response to what you just heard and understood.


  3. This test was so helpful!

    On level 10 I didn’t know how to write sell or meeting. But I knew 魚 and国.
    I understood the sentences.
    On Level 20 I didn’t know how to write any of the kanji.
    I understood 90% of the first sentence and 5% of the third.
    So I think I’m between level 11~13 ^^
    It’s right about where I thought I was at. (I thought I was at lv 15)
    2.Been learning for about 5 years.
    3.I use immersion method, and a self-studied.

    Thanks for doing this Adshap!

  4. After doing this test I think I’m higher up the levels than I’ve given myself credit for. I cleared all the questions without hesitation. Until I do the other tests I would probably place myself near level 40 instead of 25+ as I earlier considered myself. I do think I have knowledge that you would expect someone nearing 70 would know due to the way I study, but I have waaay to many holes in my knowledge to place myself anywhere near that level (I basically tend to learn words I come across without paying much heed to whether it’s common or not, thus missing out on too many common words to consider myself high level).

    I started learning Japanese around the second half of 2008, with various breaks since then, one of which lasted around a year, and several study-free months scattered.

    Except for the one course I took where I learned how to say りんごをひとつください and これはなんですか?, I am completely self-taught.

    I found this a very useful tool for me to compare myself to a concretely established level, instead of an abstract personal estimation of what “Intermediate” and “Proficient” means. And as you said, I know myself better than anyone else, and you’re only fooling yourself if you overgrade yourself in a test like this (unlike academic tests) :).

    Thanks, and looking forward to the next ‘set’!

    • Thought I should add a few of the methods of learning I found useful during my journey.

      What I ended up using for learning kanji, wass after a fair amount of experimentation a mix of Heisig, Kanji Damage, and influences of JALUP. In Anki, I have kept the keyword from Heisig, but I use 1 or 2 example words where the kanji is used, and turn the kanji in question into kana (漢字 would become かん字, along with the heisig keyword).

      For learning words I use two separate decks, one deck that is setup by someone else, and one I made myself from words I encounter. The reasoning behind this was basically to have a deck to fall back to if I haven’t been adding a lot of new words to my own deck, since that in itself takes some work.

      Hmm, feeling like I need to leave out a fair bit of information in the spirit of not soiling/replacing your wall with my own wall (of text) ^^.

      Maybe I should start my own blog to share my experiences… Hmm, hmm…

  5. Quick note: level 5 – #3…do you mean かわいい or こわい? Pretty sure 強飯(こわいい) is not the word you were going for…

    I’m a little confused by your instructions…each level block has 3 “problems” (1 kanji writing, 2 comprehension). Then you say in order to pass you need to understand 2 or the 3 comprehension lines…but there ARE only 2 comprehension lines. Did you mean just to be able to understand 2 out of the 3 per block (eg: the kanji line and 1 comprehension line)?

    Anyway passed thru level 20, waiting for 30 and up!

    • Thanks for pointing out that error! It actually was originally かわいい, but I noticed I used the word again in the Level 10 block. So I intended to change it to こわい and completely made a 凡ミス!

      I was including the kanji line as being considered as one of the comprehension lines. So yes, 2 out of 3 per block.

      I rewrote the post so many times that it made sense in my head at the end, but obviously still had a few ambiguities.

  6. Couldn’t write 両方、限界、and 顔。Couldn’t understand the sentence あったらお金持ちになって世界の王様になる。Didn’t know the reading for 美人, but understood it. Couldn’t read 最悪 and 悪夢 but understood their meanings. Didn’t understand the phrase もうやめようかな。

    It was a fun and engaging test. Look forward to trying more, though I believe my level is more a long the lines of level 18.

    I embarrassingly began studying Japanese 6 years ago. There wasn’t much frequency because of boring classes, lack of self study, using horrible studying tools like JFBP, and not dedicating time in the first four years. The last 2 years I have returned to more engaging classes and using better studying materials (anki, Genki, Lang-8) with dedicated time; however, I have become a self learner and began using RTK along with Anki and Genki. I have changed the language setting in both my iPhone and Mac. I am slowly making the switch to Japanese-Japanese with the yahoo dictionary and an app I use as well. I don’t speak Japanese as often but text my Japanese friends in Japanese all the time. To make my listening skills much better, I passively listen to podcast and actively use Shadowing in Japanese everyday. I watch anime and Drama without subtitles and understand whats going on but don’t understand what is being said most the time.

    Awesome test

      • Oh, haha. I completely missed that too. 会議 is meeting, and company is 会社. I was kind of ignoring the English, because I didn’t understand what a keyword is, probably because I don’t use RTK.

  7. 1. I understood everything so i guess around lvl 20.
    2. I restarted RTK around january first(knew around 300 before that). So far it’s been 3 and a half months and i’ve been studying mainly around 6~7 hours for most of the time, but in march i had many tests and i could only afford to spend around 2 hours. This is only active. I don’t know how much i spend on passive, i guess it depends, but usually the rest of the day i enjoy manga, anime and visual novels.
    3. First i got through RTK, then i went through a book called Kanji Odyssey 2001. That greatly improved my reading. After that i’ve been just practicing reading a lot. A lot of manga (reading jump every week and some other manga i found interesting), watching anime and j-drama with Japanese subtitles and reading visual novels for at least 2~3 hours per day. While I’m reading, I’m sentence mining as well.

  8. Great job, once again!

    After completing the test, I guess I’m around level 18. That’s basically where I assumed I would be. I wasn’t able to write any of the kanji for Level 20, although I would be able to read them in a sentence. I completely understood sentence #2, but I didn’t get most of #3. That’s roughly level 18, isn’t it?

    As for my Japanese studies history, I first started learning the language 6 years ago! It’s shameful I’m still at such a low level, but I was always on and off, studying for a few months and then completely stopping for some time. I was more active between 2006 and 2008, but then ended up not studying at all in 2009 and 2010. Anyway, during that time, I never went past very basic vocabulary and sentences, along with some 50-something kanji (basically just from attending, self-study really wasn’t something I did).

    I seriously resumed my studies a little over one year ago (March 2011), when I also started my double major in Portuguese and Japanese. That’s what I consider my true starting point. Since then, I would say I’ve been studying a minimum of 10 hours and a maximum of 20 hours a week. My study time fluctuates a lot because of all the things I have to do in university PLUS my part-time job as a teacher. But I always follow my daily immersion and Anki routine (at least since December 2011, this was another significant moment, which was exactly when I discovered this site).

    Finally, what methods do I use? Basically, JALUP’s method, focusing mainly on Anki with my own English sentences deck + Core10K (I know you don’t recommend premade decks, but it’s very hard for me to find time to put Genki’s sentences into Anki, so using Core alongside it helps me move at a faster rate), RTK (four months and I’m halfway through the book, it’s been taking me more than I wanted, but stil…) immersion audio taken from doramas, graded readers and some very basic manga (よつばと and ドラえもん).

  9. Passed level 20 and said “Oh, that’s the last one?”, so like Taishi I probably was selling myself short on what level I’m actually on. Looking forward to the rest of the tests.

    As for methods, I did two years of on-and-off self study with no direction, followed by a year of stronger self-study, and this month it’s been a year since I started actually exploring the Japanese-learning community online and reading JALUP, AJATT etc. Prior to that I brute-forced 700 kanji, but then I stopped everything to finish all the kanji using Slime Forest paired with Anki.
    It was a lot more fun and easier than RTK, and I was willing to pay for it because I still remembered 75% of the kanji from the 300-kanji demo I tried years earlier. Worth the cost, in my opinion, but I can see why others might not be willing to pay for it.

    I don’t have a small, convenient MP3 player, so I don’t consistently do passive listening at home like I should, but I get 25 hours per week of passive/active listening at my job, and spend a lot of my time reading and playing Japanese video games.

    I’m excited for the next set of tests!

  10. Im somewhere past these levels and that feels nice(Though I skipped the writing portion of the assessment since I skipped Heisig). Been studying for 2 years and some months. But one thing about that test had to be wrong.

    -Who doesn’t like ice cream?

    • Meant to add, at least and average of around 10 hours a day, 80-85% being passive.

      Method being immersed(Mostly tv for listening, and manga/news for reading), sentences, vocab cards, brute-force kanji cards, LingQ(for a short length of time).

  11. Didn’t know the kanji for ‘in’ – I think I changed the keyword associated with it -_-. Other that that, I got the kanji up to level 10, didn’t recognize the ones from 20.
    From the basics, I never learned exactly what おやすみなさい means. From beginner, I don’t know what かっこいい or こわい means. From Elementary, there were some kanji I didn’t know the reading to, but could guess at the meaning, as well as some of the particles. I guess I’m around level 5, and a bit lopsided in my stat allocation.

    I started studying roughly a month and a half ago, going around one to two hours a day, using your RTK deck. Experimented with a bunch of premade sentence decks (I’m a bit too lazy to do sentences yet – I don’t even try to come up with my own kanji mnemonics unless I changed a RTK keyword or primitive), just recently started with the Kore 6000 which I’m planning on brute-forcing a thousand or two cards before I wipe the progress and restart with the sentences instead.

    Probably around two to four hours of passive on weekdays, listening to jpop. I ripped an anime and got ahold of the Bakemonogatari commentary tracks, plus 20 hours of voice files from a VN… but 80% of the time I don’t feel like listening to them because I’m too busy with work. I don’t think it’s too effective at this point anyway, because I allocated most of my stat points into kanji so far :P

  12. I completely understood both sentences at level 10, and 3/4 of the kanji. For level 20, i just about understood the first sentence, but didn’t know any of the kanji. I also picked out a few words from the second sentence. I suppose I’m at around level 12-13.

    I’ve been taking GCSE Japanese in England for two years now, recently supplemented with Anki reviews. Active study time: ~3 hours per week. Passive: Probably another 2 hours on top of that by watching anime.

    Thanks for the test Adshap!

  13. Level 8! YAY!

    Umm, I’ve been trying to (unsuccessfully) learn J for 20 years. (Did I have to say “infrequently”?) Learning kanji seems to tank me. I’ve never gotten past that point, and everybody says you have to learn those first.

    Your method and AJATT are the ones I’ve tried the most, as well as Pimsleur.

  14. So far, I only know a bit over 1200 漢字 using Remembering the Kanji, so I didn’t know the 漢字 for Limit, Face, or Island.

    I understood everything from levels, 1, 5, and 10 and got 95% of level 20, excluding the 漢字.

    I’ve been studying Japanese since 29 November, 2011, five months at the end of April.
    I study Japanese continuously throughout the day. I’m able to listen to Japanese music and talk radio all through my day and when I go to bed at night, so I easily get up to 20 hours of listening time every day, so my listening ability is very strong.
    I have some マンガ that I keep on my person to read when I have free time and I have one novel by 村上 春樹 (ねじまき鳥クロニクル) that a neighbour was selling at an yard sell. I’ve made little headway, but as I continue adding sentences from Genki, Tae Kim’s Grammar Guide, and All About Particles, I’m able to recognize many sentence structures and get a gist about what I am reading.

  15. I’m probably around level 14… I understood about half the worlds in the Lv20 block, but not the sentences as a whole.

    Let’s see… I did two college-level years of Japanese (using “Nakama 1” and 2), had a year and a half where I did nothing (thanks, マインクラフト!), and have been self-studying off and on for the past 4-5 months. Right now, I’m following a hybrid of the JALUP and AJATT methods, with some Tofugu thrown in (specifically, their “Ultimate Vocab” Anki series and the 30-day ebook). I’ve reached 700 kanji using the JALUP deck (as well as Lazy Kanji, which actually feels more effective), went through Tae Kim’s Guide, and right now I’m trying to build my vocab with those Tofugu decks.

    I haven’t really been consistent as far as daily studying (I have a weird schedule right now, between driving a friend to one college, doing club stuff at another, and modding work for Adanac Entertainment), but when I started following the stuff in the 30-day ebook (last weekend), I’ve been averaging about an hour of actual studying a day, spread over whenever I have time, plus listening to Japan-A-Radio when I’m coding (shame that audio streaming sites are portblocked at BOTH colleges, so I can only listen at home >_>). Particularly with Day 3, “Don’t Break the Streak”, I’m hoping to maintain this level of at least 1hr of Anki-type studying and 1-2hr of audio immersion a day… and so far it’s going well.

  16. Level 17 or 18.

    I’ve been studying semi-systematically for about ten months, and started some dabbling about four months before that. The amount I study beyond my anki reviews is extremely inconsistent and I don’t track it, so instead of trying to make up a typical day I’ll just try to list the significant things I’ve done in those ten months. I have 1650 sentence cards and 991 stroke order cards in anki. I went through most of Tae Kim’s grammar guide. I’ve read four and a half volumes of easy manga, the first chapters of several others, and a small amount of other stuff. Most of that I read at least twice; once for a reasonable narrative experience and once to make anki cards. I spend some time watching stuff in Japanese and listening to it on my iDevice, but haven’t made a regular habit of it.

  17. Man, part 3 of level 20 keeps tripping me up. I keep forgetting the readings of 最悪 and 悪夢, though I know what the words mean (and I think I’ll remember them now) and I can’t quite understand もうやめようかなと思っている, though I know all the words. The rest of the test so far was more or less a breeze, though. So I suppose I can place myself at level 18/19. I’ve been studying on and off for the past 1.5 year (mostly off), but up until like two weeks ago I’ve been mostly just doing Anki reps and not much more. Only for the past two weeks I’ve been trying to make a habit of watching stuff in Japanese and listening to Japanese every moment possible, I’ve also picked up on reading Tae Kim’s guide… “Intermediate” sounds really bold, I’d still call myself a Japanese noob.

  18. made it through Beginner. :) but then the kanji show up in elementary and i haven’t started learning them so i guess i’m around level 6 or 7…

  19. I’m probably at level 13 or so.
    As for study methods, I’ve been studying for around 4 months and a bit now (started at the end of January), at an average of maybe 2/3 hours day, and roughly following the anki based method suggested in this website. More precisely, I’ve finished RTK and am about 800 J/E sentences in (distributed evenly over two Anki decks, one of sentences I extracted from the Genkis, and the one you can publicly download with the sentences from Tae Kim).

  20. 1. Level 10
    2. I have been studying for 1 and a half years. A little less than 6 hours per week (using TextFugu). Haven’t been doing a lot of actual passive learning (watching naruto every week, and occasionally trying to learn from it).
    3. I use TextFugu, anki, manage my own sentences deck (500+ sentences) and watch japan vlogs, and Japanese learning channels on youtube.

    • I can recognize a lot of kanji, but i can’t write a lot of them. TextFugu teaches kanji based on their number of strokes, i didn’t learn from RTK. That’s why i could not get those sentences for level 20.

  21. I’m surprised I could read most of the basics. I’m 13, so I don’t know how I rank compared to the rest of the test if my level 1 is a level 3. I forgot how to say month, but I knew the other ones. Thanks so much for this, I think this has motivated me to keep learning Japanese and hopefully starting kanji this summer. It’s a great language to learn and this site is genius. You should become fluent in all languages, make your site, patent it, sell it to the government, and make a 1.3billion dollars. Hey, that’s a good idea. And since I thought of it, I get a cut, right? :)
    -Camryn chan

  22. I think my level is around 15 or so, based on your test. Not great considering I studied Japanese for 3 years in college (formal classes only), studied abroad for a summer, then moved there for a year! I did zero active studying while living there, and oddly enough got completely burned out on wanting to learn.

    Now, after several years of break, I discovered self-study and can’t believe how much more I’m learning! It began with listening to the Pismleur series for about 20-30 minutes a day while I’m commuting, just to refresh the basics. I don’t think it’s a great method for learning once you know conversational basics, but at the end of the second series I’ve picked up a few new vocabs and have refreshed my memory on rudimentary conversation.

    I’m about 1/4 through RTK and already know a LOT more kanji than I did after 3 years of classes! I spend 1-3 hours a day doing reviews, studying new kanji, and trying to read Japanese magazines or books. Maybe 1 or 2 hours a week spent actively listening to Podcasts or watching movies. I’m trying to up this… I have also started recording videos of myself speaking.

  23. I passed lvl 10 easy, on lvl 20 I had more problems – I passed the kanji easy and was able to understand ~30% of the first sentence and ~90% of the second (only didn’t know 悪夢, but was able to guess from the kanji). so I guess I’m ~20-21.

    I’m learning for 4 months 6 days (started February 22nd), Can’t say exactly how much per day, ~2 hours on anki reviews (just finished RtK a week ago at a rate of 32 a day, started core6K but still encountering mostly words I knew) and ~2 more on anime/manga (anime with subtitles, manga with furigana), + some random time on random sites (like this)

  24. easy. i passed with flying colors. i’ve been studying since july of 2010. my method is pretty simple: watch anime & read blogs (tofugu, ken canon, maggie-sensei, etc.). for kanji i used smart.fm at first (amazing by the way), but when it got shut down and turned into a commercial site, i began to just write down random kanji that i encounter. recently i started to use japaneseclass.jp, good so far. on top of this, when i started i knew 4 other languages and was only 13 years old.

  25. I’m only at level 6 or something.. I managed 90% of the level 5 test and the kanji and the second sentence from the level 10 part. (I’ve been through 555 vanilla RTK kanji.)

    Also, when I had German tests in school, there were in fact true/false questions! :p (We had to read through a boring german passage and answer true/false questions in Norwegian (my mother tongue). Luckily, that was only a small part of the tests. :p)

  26. Level 14 I think.
    Understood perfectly up until the first 10 question. Can’t write any of those kanji.
    The sentences were a bit easier. Some kanji I didn’t get, but then again I haven’t been studying them for that long. Only started RTK a month ago. And Anki yesterday. Been studying japanese on my own for, a year on and off.
    (not couting the class I took for two years because that only gave me a slight understaing of grammar. The numbers and maybe, three other kanji. And the repetition of textbook, hellos and how are yous. The only good thing about it was the teacher, a japanese woman.)
    I haven’t found my pace yet so I continously overwork myself and stop for a few weeks and then work myself up again, too much and then stop, again. It’s annoying as hell but the middle way has yet to reveal itself.
    All in all Most of my studying time goes into immersion. Music, games, desciphering another sentence from a book I found at the library using jisho.
    As for the response part, well damn, I can’t even do that in my own language (socially impaired)

  27. 1. About Level 17.
    2. Been studying Japanese for around 4 1/2 years, though not really aggressively (eg. the occasional vocab check; passive immersion). I attained JLPT N4 recently, though there are big gaps in my understanding and use — especially with grammar and listening/comprehension.
    3. Using Renshuu.org on and off when I can find time to do some vocab review. And listening and talking at work (a Japanese primary school) and home (wife and kids speak Japanese). However, I wish I had a smartphone so I could actually build sentences and learn more kanji and vocab — there is just no time to actively study Japanese. I want to find time to study and understand grammar and work on kanji.

  28. Level 10

    Been studying for about a month. I’ve been using Rosetta stone (didn’t have to pay for it), Genki level I and II, Heisig’s RTK, and doing some passive by watching 1 or 2 anime episodes/day. Started all of that just by doing some research on my own about the best way to do it, and then stumbled on to this website, which essentially told me to do the same thing. Started out around 1 hour a day, now up to around 3 hours/day

  29. I tested between level 5-10 so I’m probably around a seven as far as my reading goes, my listening is a bit higher as I listen to 3+ hours every day of anime while running or driving, but, as everyone knows, with the different accents and pronunciation being what it is, understanding those same words on paper is difficult. I’ve been working diligently at this for 3ヶ. I’m starting on reading よつば since its so simply laid out, and its funny too!

  30. 1. Passed all with flying colors
    2. An hour of Anki a day including Kanji, MCD’s, and Sentences. Passive hours are between 8 and 12 hrs a day. A little over a year.
    3. Immersion

    The level 20 test had me in stitches, haha!!

  31. About level 17~18.
    1~3 hours of active and 10+ hours of active per day. Started about 6weeks or so ago. Breezed through lv1,5 and 10 test easily. Did 3 of 4 kanji correctly in lv20 test. Could roughly understand the sentences(50% then 80%) due to immersion(sounds when read)+rtk keywords but couldn’t read the kanjis.

  32. 19-20. Not problem with kanji but more issues with vocab.

    About 2.5 years. Average a couple hours a day of sporatically placed active studying, mostly RTK. Can’t seem to get a strong hold on a system of for sentences/vocab… moving beyond RTK has been tough. Often times boom and bust cycles :(. But consistantly 8-10 hours a day of passive input… lots of shadowing. So basically I’m awesome with individual kanji and my accent r0x… but I can’t understand what I’m saying most of the time nor read much beyond 1st grade :P

    Mostly doing AJATT style immersion but have had trouble transitioning beyond RTK as mentioned above. I know I don’t do enough active ‘real study’.

    • That’s exactly where I am right now with a year and five months under my belt. I’m thinking about doing RTK3 just so I have something to do! I do a lot of passive study (watching movies and dramas, listening to music, listening to all Japanese podcasts…), and I have books and manga to read, but I just can’t get myself to read them and mine them! I don’t know what’s wrong with me! It’s not that I can’t get into the story, but more like I can’t get into the act of reading itself. And I love reading! D:

      Where are you now with your Japanese studies? I see that it’s been about two months since your comment.

  33. I think that I’m level 10.
    Level 1 was very easy.
    Level 5: I didn’t know the word こわい.
    Level 10: I couldn’t write the kanji, but I can recognize those kanji each time that I see them. Do recognizing kanji count, or do we have to be able to write them out?
    I understood all the lvl 10 sentences.
    Level 20 was too difficult for me.

    2. How long you’ve been studying Japanese for (both length of time and frequency).
    4 years, self-taught:
    Sometimes 3-4 hours a week, but at times I have spent about 15 hours/week. (active hours). I do very few passive learning.
    I don’t seem to make much progress.

    I have taught myself several European languages, but I have a “mental block” when it comes to learning Japanese :-(

    3. What method(s) you are using

    Genki 1, Japanese for Busy People 1, tagaini jisho for kanji; wanikani for kanji.

    I seem to have been stuck at level 10 for the last 2 years (out of my 4 total years of learning Japanese). What can I do to improve my understanding?

    • For the RTK kanji line, you need to be able to write them out. Not everyone practices this, which is why 2 out of 3 lines is sufficient.

      I know that you mention that you haven’t done much passive learning. If you want to improve your understanding, I think your answer lies in fixing that.

  34. I think I placed at about level 7 or 8, which pretty much goes along with my previous perception of myself as an “advanced beginner.”

  35. Level 8 after two months of studying 4 or 5 hours a day. My progress absolutely shocks me. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere for awhile.

  36. So I stopped understanding 金持ち in the second line of lvl 20 and I have no idea what this sentence actually means without looking up words.
    So I guess lvl 23/24? Pretty surprised about the high lvl.
    Started with Japanese about 3 months ago (March 15th 2013, the day I first looked into a japanese grammar book) with maybe 1,5 – 2 hours of learning new stuff (gramma, kanji, vocab) and another 1,5 repeating. Occasionally reading manga (at the moment Death Note) and writing a Journal in lang-8 Passive learning with anime before bed and podcast during driving, fitness etc. So with passive I guess around 6 hours a day? Most important thing for me was to learn Kanji from Day one. Kana I learned already a couple of days before I started with grammar. Katakana still gives me sometimes headaches.

    Although I already can understand some while reading and a bit while listening I totally lack the ability to speak. Somehow I can give answers, but it takes me a really long time to find the right words. But I also was more focused on understanding than rather talking, because I believe this comes automatically after some time. With the same method I learned French English and Italian. At some point it just clicked and I was able to partake in conversations.

    I use Anki, wanikani.com, textfugu.com, guidetojapanese.org, imabi.net, Memrise, Lang-8, Anime, Manga, Podcasts, nhk.or.jp, Japanese Graded Readers

  37. 俺のレベルは十九段と思います.全部ほぼ分かるが、[悪]と[悪夢]の読み方が知らない。(Thought I’d challenge myself to get at least once sentence of the below in japanese. Feel free to correct if I’m off)

    I’d say I’m level 19. I could understand it all but the readings of 悪 and 悪夢 of 最悪な悪夢ですescaped me. Didn’t think I was getting very far, but after this test I’m feeling quite happy with my progress.

    I’ve been doing RTK on and off for a good 4 years and eventually hit about 2900 before I stopped (what a mistake…) Then about 4 months ago, I pick up a couple of vocab and sentence decks for Anki. I was putting in a good 3 hours of active study, close to 12 of passive for the first month before I got a little burnt out and slowed right down to 10 new vocab cards and 10 new grammar cards a day, I’d rush through my reviews as well, so I don’t think I took in as much as I should. After a month of that, got sick of my slow pace and decided to give all my free time to studying Japanese. So far, I’ve kept it up for a month and I feel I’m still going strong.

    Nowadays, I’m doing about 2 hours of study with Anki (Core 6000, Tae Kim and a sentence deck) with about 40 new items a day. How much I put into active reading fluctuates between 1/2 and 2 hours weekdays, sometimes up to 4-5 on weekend days. As for passive, pretty much 24 hours. I always have a podcast, audio recording or youtube video playing when at home, work or when sleeping. I am about to restart RTK using the deck on this site as I miss the ability to recognize at least the keyword meaning of most Kanji I once had, even if I didn’t know the reading.

  38. This test was really interesting, I do really badly in JLPT because it’s so boring.

    What I like as you moved up the levels also the sentence type changed. At first is all desu/masu but in level 20 ore is used. When I was at school in England boys were taught to use boku but no guy my age actually uses that.

    Also at first the random sentence are confusing, I could understand them perfectly but thinking of a response was hard at first because I’m not used to test being like that. But when I got into it it became very interesting having mini convos with myself.

    Can’t wait to see the next levels, I actually feel like I am improving :D

  39. Passed all really easily, studying for about 9 months. In fact the sentences without kanji are usually the harder ones for me.

  40. I’ve studied for about 2 months by now.
    First i’ve started with Polish site Benkyou.pl (about 2 weeks)
    then i took Genki 1 and studied first 7 lessons in month or so.
    I found interesting video on YT about RTK1 and i thought that i should give it a try. I’ve learned 450 Kanji from this book.
    This test up to level 10 was a piece of cake for me but…i don’t know any of the kanji for lvl 20 and unfortunatelly don’t know any senteces nor any parts of them.
    I try to listen to only J-music, in Poland it’s really hard to find japanese stuff (either for learners and for native since we don’t have so much foreigners as in many other countries) so i’ll have to buying stuff in web when i’ll be able to understand an offerts ;]
    I’m going to study both genki and RTK at the same time, and use some native novels, manga, movies as early(?) as i can.
    I know that my english is imperfect but i hope it’s understandably (maybe i should master my english skills first, since i’m barely intermediate)

    • 5th level – didnt know ,kowai’
      10th level – didnt know ‘sell’ kanji and didnt understand second part of Naruto sentence.
      20th level – didnt know ‘both’ and ‘limit’, understood over half of words of 2nd sentence but didnt get whole meaning. Didnt understand 3rd sentence.

      Seems like that test really got a lot of time and efforts to make it so simple yet effective.

      Studied 12 weeks after few years of English subtitled anime watching.
      Those 12 weeks were filled with Kanji learning with Skritter app on iPad: learned about 1000 words and 500 Kanji for about 10 hours weekly. Also started Kim Tae’s grammar, but didnt exercise any yet.

      I found interesting that I have very similar experience and learning time as Mariusz. Thanks for your website!

  41. Took two Japanese courses at university a few months months ago and decided today I’d finally restart learning it. Turns out I can’t even remember all of the hiragana/katakana, guess I’m restarting from step 1!

  42. I am about a level 6, I believe. I am taking Japanese class in college am we are using the Genki book. I have been passively learning since I was about 15 and I am 21 now and actively learning. I study about 2-3 hours a day if I get the chance. I also watch anime and listen to Japanese music and I have some friends in Japan that help me learn.

  43. I started 6 months ago doing RtK first, and then just starting out sentences, so my results were quite mixed. Kanji-wise I would say about level 17 (I’ve done all of them but of course I don’t remember them all 100% just yet so I got face and island wrong in level 20).

    As far as overall competence though, level 7 or so. There were a few words I haven’t seen yet so I had no clue how to say them, even if I knew what they meant thanks to RtK (since they were all single kanji in level 10, well those that I didn’t know)

  44. I passed up to question 2 of Level 10. I’ve been learning Japanese on and off for about 4 years. I have practiced maybe 3 hours a month for the first 3 years actively, about 40 hour a month passively. This last year, it’s been about an hour a week actively and still about 40 hours a week passively. I study actively by translating loosely (I have a friend fluent in Japanese who helps me with this) and more recently using JapaneseClass.jp. I study passively by watching anime and playing games in Japanese.

  45. 1. Around lvl 15, kinda got the meaning of the 2nd Level 20 sentence
    2. Started learning a little over 3 months ago. In average I studied around 3 hours a day while doing RTK (but there where a lot of days where I didn’t), and now I’m at around 5 hours a day. I’ve been watching anime with subtitles since 2012, and listen to Japanese music daily. I also try to read easy manga or play some NES/SNES/GBC/GBA game every day.

    3.I finished RTK using the JALUP mod at the start of February, and since then I’ve been using:
    A. The Core 2k/6k Anki deck for vocabulary – I’m at around 700 cards.
    B. Japanese the Manga Way + google to understand some basic grammar (Couldn’t stand Genki and Tae Kim’s guide put me to sleep).
    C. Sentence and vocabulary mining using rikaisama’s real-time Anki import and subs2srs for anime and songs, which I also use now for dictation – Started recently, only have 150 cards.

    I don’t think I’ll finish the Core deck, since I plan to switch to exclusively mining from native materials when I feel ready to go J-J.

  46. I’m 15 years old; Around level 17 I think. Started almost four months ago, initially starting with Rosetta Stone. Terrible mistake. It was a decent introduction but it’s SO. VERY. SLOW. I ditched that after a month (sluggish learning) and turned to Japanese for Busy People I.

    I only studied a few chapters before turning to other methods, namely, talking to and chatting with Japanese natives on Skype or Line, and Memrise. Memrise is the single most helpful thing I’ve come across for my learning. Amazingly rapid language learning.(I found it to be more polished than Anki). However, I do go back to JFBP1 occasionally to clear up some of the grammar, although the romaji is extremely annoying.

    Recently begun listening to Japanese podcasts and the occasional JapanesePod101; and begun reading Yotsubato! in the original Japanese, which I highly, highly recommend for beginners. Also started a pre-made Anki deck day before yesterday.

    I watched anime and listened to Japanese music extensively throughout.
    To date, excluding electricity, Internet, and other nitpicky costs, I have spent a total of $0.00 on all of this. God bless the Internet. (Textbook was an old one of my mom’s, and the Rosetta Stone was, ahem, not an official copy, so to speak.)

    Brilliant website, man. Keep it going, it’s extremely helpful, interesting, and motivating.

    -Ashay from Pune, India

  47. this website has been a very good find for me and it really helped show me what I need to work on been at this for about three months now and apparently
    I am some where between level one and level five I’ve been using anki decks and several free websites to learn with cuurrnetly doing nhk’s radio program and was wondering if there was a cheaper alternative to jpod 101 out their because I really like what they do but am hesitant to spend the 25 bucks per month for the services they offer that would benefit me thanks again for creating this awesome website

  48. I occasionally come back to this test every couple of months, whenever I doubt that I’m making any progress.
    Today I almost passed Lvl20, which really took me by surprise as I’ve significantly reduced the amount of study time since 2014.

    I’ve been studying for about 9 months now, although the first 3 months were exclusively dedicated to RTK. Each day I’d spend about 2-3 hours of active studying/reviewing, but for the last ~3 months I’ve just been reviewing very hastily for about 30-60 minutes a day.

    I definitely want to get back into full study mode, starting with more thorough review sessions.

    My regular study methods include: RTK 1+3, Anki with Core6k sentence deck and RTK decks and Tae Kim’s grammar guide.
    In addition to that, there are some things I use, but not on a daily basis, like: Japanesepod101 (~12$ for 6 months with the cheapest plan and a discount code), iTalki (to improve my speaking/listening), random podcasts which I don’t understand, easy Manga (still too hard for me) and videogames (unfortunately I’m a sucker for RPGs so they’re still very very difficult).

    tldr version:
    1. level 17
    2. 9 months: 6 months ~18 hours per week and in the last 3 months ~5 hours per week (active). Passive learning times are really low, I need to improve that
    3. RTK, Core6k, Tae Kim

  49. Oh this is a nice test!

    2 months have passed since I started Japanese…
    almost half-way through genki 1 (though I know only around 50 kanji )
    well I am around level 7 according to this test ^_^

  50. Level 20! But I didn’t know Limit (げん界). I’ve been using AJATT/JALUP-like techniques off and on for a couple years.

    I also like to study the vocab for the JLPT using the decks at Memrise. It’s awesome when I hear one of the words I had just learned that day in an anime or podcast.

  51. I would say I’m level 5. The only thing I didn’t know was the kanji for old but I did understand everything else. I’ve been studying Japanese for about 8 months for about 50 minutes a day for 3 days a week (college) but I didn’t take I seriously so I don’t know as much as I could. I used the Genki I book but for the past week I’ve been getting more serious about Japanese so I feel like I’ll learn more this summer than I did over the past 8 months. I also started using this website called LinguaLift.

  52. Well, I’d put myself at a 7-ish :P
    I could kind of do 10 but it was very hard, as for my study method: disorganized, disorganized and very inefficient.

    Active/passive hours: 20/too many (oh around 10000-11000 (aka over a year total) o.o)
    If this were a listening test I’d do much better… my passive hours have mostly been spent listening to audio because I can do that when doing more important things, hence my listening is my best skill in the language.

  53. Okay… based on the level guide I put myself at level 8 but based on this I’m at level 11(understood 100% of all up to and including level 10 but then kanji readings murdered me at level 20) … now I’m confused.

    • To answer your questions

      1. Level 11

      2. About 1 year. 30 mins a day during last summer, then 30 mins active and 1 hour passive (on my bus) on weekdays and 3-4 hours on weekends. Now 2 hours a day or 5 hours including passive listenig/reading.

      3. Before last year: 4 years of life-crushing amounts of anime english-subbed (actaully did teach me stuff)

      Initially: Rosetta stone, ugh

      Then: Tae Kim and Lang-8 in clumsy conjunction and reading Naruto 1 on loop

      Early 2014: Wani Kani level 1. More Tae Kim and lang 8. Jdramas no subs or jap subs. Complete japanese music takeover. Tried and hated anki.

      Spring 2014: Bought and began Japanese for Everyone (JfE) and Kodansha Kanji Learning Course (KKLC) (RTK with vocab to demonstrate readings). Read a lot of AJATT, reinstalled anki, had fun with Death Note, Zelda and Core decks.

      Now: JfE and KKLC 10 kanji a day, with all the free time on my hands I can’t trust myself to study properly with anki on my PC (took me 4 hours wto 10 cards 1 day cos I coudln’t concentrate) so I don’t. Still Jmusic only, still watching dramas and now listening back to their soundtracks as suggested on JALUP and reading manga.

      • Came back and now I’m a bit stronger in level 20. The kanji compounds in the first 2 sentences in example 3 stumped me, but I recognised the first kanji of each of those sentences and understood everything else.

  54. Hello there!

    After roundabout two years of on-and-off (more like off-and-off) Japanese, I gloriously reached level 3 :D And I am pretty glad about that.
    As training methods, I Finished the first 2 tasks of Rosetta Stone Niveau 1, am also through with ~80 Kanji thanks to RTK and got all the Hiragana and Katakana also with RTK (albeit, both the german version).

    However, I have been wondering: What chart on the right the of the page are you referring to? I even googled it, resultless.

    Best Regards

    • Hello Nuin,

      I’m glad to hear you are finally back on track, and this time for good!

      I just deleted the line about the chart on the right side of the page. A few years ago I used to list the Jalup level chart on the right sidebar. The chart just named the levels (which are named in this post series and the “What level are you” post). So it wasn’t any new info.

      But it was taking up unnecessary space so I got rid of it from there a long time ago. Sorry for the confusion!

  55. Yeah, I also packed my business partner on board with learning japanese, so I have a back-up guy -oh, and we are both gamers, which could be helpful here :D

    Thanks for the fast feedback, Adam, that was rather impressive speed!

    May I suggest you delete all the references to this chart in this and (so far) quite some of the former posts? For a newbie on this site, like me, this is really confusing and a bit sad [I hoped for a hidden interactive feature on this site… ;) ]

    Best Regards once more!

    • I try my best to remove and change stuff that is no longer relevant. It becomes harder though as time goes on and the site grows, because I try to spend most of my time moving forward and building a better experience.

      However, if you ever point out things that are outdated and are causing confusion, I will be happy to change them.


  56. I think I am at Level 7 or 8.

    The level 5 test was pretty easy.
    Level 10 was difficult, I still haven’t studied any of these kanji, and I understood half of the 2 line, but all of the 3rd line.

    I’ve seen a lot of Japanese stuff, and studied kanas before (never studied Kanji), but the serious study started 3 months ago. I have classes once a week, 1 hour, and I would say that I study around 5 hours/Week.

  57. Got through level 10 with a few issues, but mostly had it. Crapped out at level 20, but understood bits and pieces. I’d place myself probably at about level 23, maybe. 21. Somewhere in there!

    I studied for about 8 or 9 months using textbooks while working a full-time job and dealing with a difficult relationship. I quit after that to focus on my writing (I’m a writer and editor), then went back to school for the first time in 14 years to get my AA. It was then that I realized my passion for Japanese had never died, and that I still liked the idea of using it professionally somehow more than anything else I’d tried, so I got back on the horse, having forgotten a lot.

    I found AJATT and then JALUP, and did a lot of reading, and started doing some somewhat stupid things while I was trying to figure out how to go about getting back into it. I managed to realize I needed Anki (after using another pretty decent flashcard program), but didn’t realize that sentences/MCDs were vastly superior to learning disconnected vocab, much to the chagrin of the 900-card deck I’d built over the last few months. I’ve started doing lots of passive listening through podcasts and Niji Show, watching whatever decent anime and dramas I can get hold of without subtitles, and have amassed a decent amount of reading material in the form of light novels, manga (some with furigana, some without), and a decent small library of import games. I’m just starting today building a sentence deck. I did a little studying with YesJapan (now Japanese From Zero) back in the day, and still have an active account, so going through the online lessons to grab sentences. Have about 40 so far.

    Feeling a bit daunted, I grabbed the XPNAVI+Self Advisor just for fun and to support your site, since I’ve read a lot of cool stuff here and felt like I should give something back. Just started reading, which is what led me here!

  58. Thank you for creating this amazing community of learners and learning-resources! I’m looking forward to exploring the great content on JapaneseLevelUp.com

    In the test I made it to Level 10+. I’ve been stop-and-start studying Japanese for almost 30 years, since I was a kid, and even took three years at university. I’ve visited Japan three times, and each time I went I studied with Pimsleur CDs to at least be able to say some basic things.

    Now I may be moving to Japan for 6 months, so I’m studying seriously. For about 3 months (since December 2014) I’ve been studying about 2 hours a day using Pimsleur and Anki with a “Core 2000” set and KanjiDamage (similar to RtK I think). I’ve got a couple books from the library (Japanese for Busy People 1, and Tuttle’s Basic Japanese), and today I started poking around JapanesePod101, and listening to Basic Level lessons.

    I hope to get to Level 20 by July 2015 when I plan to move to Japan, and I hope to reach Level 30 by December 2015, when I may have to come back to the US.

  59. I gave myself a pass on all of it although I blanked on the 音読み for 夢. I’ve been studying 3.5 years now. My methods are totally inconsistent and inefficient but I only stopped studying completely for about 3 months of those 3.5 years. I took a break to study 韓国語 which was fun but set me back a bit. Anyway, I hope to make better progress.

  60. I think I’d be at around level 12 or so. I understood the sentences in basic, beginning, and elementary, and I only understood a small part of the intermediate sentence. While I knew some of the kanji from the keywords, I couldn’t write them except for 島. So that puts me in the elementary level, which is a little higher than I thought.

    I mainly use Memrise for kanji and vocab, I occasionally use anime for listening practice (children’s anime, mainly), and I try to read as much as I’m able to online, sometimes on Twitter and other times on NHK News Easy. More recently, I’ve written down any unknown term I come across on my Anki deck.

  61. I’m around level 15. I blazed through level 1, 5 and 10 easily. At level 20 I could write the first kanji (both) and I understood parts of both sentences. 悪夢 and 美人 I guessed the meaning of but do not know the readings of.

    I have studied on/off for 8,5 years. Mostly off. I have started RTK many many times. The first 500 kanji I have down pretty good since I’ve been through them so many times. I only recently got past that with the Lazy Kanji method where I have been through 1300 kanji. For the 夏の漢字ライダーズ challenge I have decided to start over with the RTK deck from this site and so far I’m going at a pace of 20 new kanji a day with no days missed yet.
    I have been through the JALUP Beginner deck stage 1 and 2 and plan on starting stage 3 soon. Besides that I have tried out Pimsleur, JapanesePod101 and a few other methods that I never really got into.

    I have not yet gotten into the habit of passive immersion, so I’m maybe immersing 10 minutes per day or so on average. I have watched some english-subbed anime because I really like anime, but it wears me out very quickly to watch unsubbed. I use it primarily as a fun way to do something at least a little Japanese, and recently I have begun to recognize more words when watching, which is awesome :D

  62. I’m about Level 14 – I understood everything in the first two blocks (except にんじゃ, although I was able to figure it out from context). In the third block I got everything except I blanked out on かい社. As for the fourth, I didn’t know any of the kanji in line 1, but I understood all of the second sentence. I also understood a couple sentences from the third line, but most of it went over my head.

    I’ve been studying Japanese for c. 3 years now – took a class about 5 years ago and stopped, then started studying continuously since 2 years ago. Level 14 is kinda pathetic for that, but I only got really serious in the past year or so. That’s when I started Anki, RtK, and Genki and started making an effort to interact with more Japanese media like books and music. I study for 1-2 hours a day, not enough by Jalup’s standards, but I have too much else going on in my life to

    • (Accidentally pressed post, ha.)
      spend more energy on it. I guess it’s more like 2.5 if you count watching anime. I’m through 1400 kanji and working on Genki II.

      That’s about it, I think. I remember last October when I first started up my intensified program I tested my level here and got level 6. 6->14 in that amount of time is pretty good if you consider I had to bench Japanese for 2-3 months when school got overwhelming (Not counting my Japanese class at school, which moves excruciatingly slowly) as well as how slowly I was progressing previously. Nevertheless I hope to progress even faster in my next year of study!

      • …I just realized that にんじゃ is obviously just. Ninja. Wow. I guess I had a brainfart there since I’m not used to seeing it in hiragana.

  63. Hello everyone!
    I am trying to learn Japanese but it’s not easy at all. I wanna find somebody who wanna practice JPN with me via Skype. I am highly appreciated. Thanks a lot!
    My Skype address is “thuhanu89”

  64. Started studying 2,5 months ago. Already Level 14-15

    I study by watching easy anime with japanese subs and write down unknown words that seem important. I stop for the day when I gathered ~12 words and learn them together with the old words in the evenings.

    I also work myself through ~3 pages of Genki per day, doing every single one of the exercises. From time to time I read texts written specifically for beginners. I don’t think I use the studying-time efficiently, but since I want to make as much progress as possible, I study for ~50h/week.

  65. I think my level is like 17 based on how I did on this test.
    I actually majored in Japanese in college, but I haven’t been studying these days so my brain is losing all my learned Japanese. 頑張って習った日本語を早く忘れちゃって >< (泣)(泣)
    But I'm gonna put forth the effort from now on! I love the resource I've found in this site, Adam!

    • Jalupへようこそ!

      After a few weeks you should be able to refresh whatever you’ve forgotten, and then you can move forward into new uncharted territories of kicking ass.

  66. I should be around level 11. I’ve been studying for 3 years but sometimes I stop for several months (too much work sometimes doesn’t give me much motivation and then it’s hard to move back to study mode).
    I’ve been self studying most of the time, I took some classes on italki last year and will do that again this year as the classes are helpful to keep me going and help pronounciation.
    My self studying consists on working through a textbook (Genki II at this point) and anki. I did RTK in the beginning of my studies, was around 500 before I stopped, really needed to focus on grammar and vocab at that moment.
    I do some reading but end up getting overwhelmed by the amount of vocab that I don’t know. I’ll participate in the 10 volume challenge to see if I can do it!
    Pretty bad at writing/speaking japanese, better at reading.

  67. I have been studying since mid April 2016. It is now mid August 2016, so 4 months. I am at level 10, almost on the nose. Based on both tests. I study for 3 – 5 hours a day.

    I use Fluentu, Rita Lampkin’s Essentials of Japanese Verbs and Grammar. And I am learning Vocab and Kanji with Anki. I will soon be using your Anki Decks. Like starting next weekend.

  68. I knew I had previously studied the kanji for Limit(げん方) but I wasn’t able to recollect it.
    I knew what 美人 meant but didn’t know what it’s reading was. After looking up the reading for 王様 I knew what it meant. I was able to deduce the meaning of 悪夢 as bad dream. I count four fuzzy areas. Everything else was well understood. I think I am then between the levels of 18 to 20. I want to average it out to be level 19. But maybe I can say I barely squeaked by with a passing score to be 20. Either way, I start Jalup Intermediate Tomorrow!

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