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I’ve also put this post up as a separate page at the top of the site, under “JLPT Advice” or something. If you feel like commenting, comment there.

I’ve been plugging away at the Heisig Kanji method, and am now at 1200 kanji. I’ve got about 900 left to go- at a predicted rate of 100 a week this means another 2 and a half months of study. I’ll probably do less than this, but I definitely want to finish by the end of July.

I thought I’d use this post to share a few resources I’m planning on using to pass the JLPT Level 2, or 日本語能力試験, next December. As is my way, I spend more time browsing sites that may be of use to me than actually studying, so I have accumulated a few links. I hope this is of help to people out there in a similar position to me.

General Sites For Advice

Reviewing The Kanji– as well as being a Heisig support site, the forums on this site have lots of advice about learning Japanese in general

Japanese Pod 101 – not so useful for the JLPT, but good for general improvement. Also has forums.

Nihongo Pera Pera – a good look at the tests from someone who has taken and passed them, and uses SRS software.


First up is the kanji I need to master- yes, despite the fact that I will have finished Heisig, I still need to learn the readings for the 800-900 kanji that will appear on the test.

These three things basically do the same thing- test you on reading of kanji. I’d pick one and use it every so often to check your progress. After Heisig, its really not necessary to learn individual Kanji onyomi and kunyomi readings (in my opinion). Instead, pick up the readings from learning kanji compounds. For example, learn 突然 as とつぜん、and learn 突く as つく and 然し as しかし , but don’t learn the individual various readings of  突 and 然 per se.


While I thought I could get by with learning huge JLPT2 vocab lists from the internet, you can’t beat a good book for vocabulary, and that book is

実力アップ!日本語能力試験2級漢字単語ドリル UNICOM 2kyuu Vocabulary Definitions and Sample Sentences

It divides vocab into a way thats easy to remember within the context of the kanji they contain. I will enter this data into Anki and SRS-it to learn.

The vocabulary shortfall can be made up by studying some other lists, reading “JLPT2” material, and generally mopping up words in the run-up to the test.


If there’s any area where a textbook is almost essential, its with grammar. I’ll use at least 3, and maybe 4. These are…

UNICOM JLPT3 Grammar Book – for revision of the stuff I’ve probably confused, forgotten or partially forgotten and partially confused.

UNICOM JLPT2 Grammar Book– looks ok, but will probably use it in conjunction with…

KANZEN Master Series JLPT2 Grammar Book

どの時どう使う– looks like a very valuable reference book. As I haven’t actually bought this I might have to get it shipped over from Japan before I leave Korea.

Finally comes reading and listening…these are less specific than the vocab and grammar, but nonetheless important. To be honest I haven’t decided what to use to practice these yet, as they are a seconary concern to learning the required kanji , vocabulary and grammar. I’ll update this when I get there!