I am back…!  JLPTとI4の試験を終わった!嬉しいです。

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been mugging for two Japanese tests.  The JLPT N4 test and separately, an internal placement test conducted by my Japanese language school.  Both tests require a substantial amount of preparation, and regretfully, I did not dedicate the time and effort to do so.

Anyway, the tests took place yesterday, and yeps, I am officially free from Japanese classes for a while.  Until I decide to proceed to the next level in my language school.  I am not quite sure if I should.  It feels quite daunting, really.  My foundation in the language at my level is still too shaky to move on to a more advanced level where the syllabus focuses on conversational Japanese.  I can imagine myself squirming in my seat in class, hemming and hawing, stuttering un-grammatical sentences in broken Japanese, and feeling utterly embarrassed.

In the last couple of weeks, I had been frantically shovelling as many Kanji, vocabulary, verbs, verb conjugations, etc, into my brain as I could.  That piece of muscle in my head has definitely shrunk, or worse, turned into fats, as it has demonstrated itself to be incapable of performing any “hard-core” memory work.

Clearly, I have gone past my shelf life for doing any sort of studying.  I wonder how some people manage to do their Masters, MBAs, MPAs, etc, while holding down a full-time job and for others, juggling family commitments with everything else.  So I harbour no ambitions to be a part-time Masters student.  I know my limitations.

Any mugging that I did was done almost half-heartedly.  I was battling a gazillion distractions everyday.  Reading novels, Facebook-ing, playing Sims Social, watching dramas, etc.  Generally anything and everything that  prevented me from doing any kind of serious revision.

Some things about people just don’t change, no matter how old they get.  Studying for these tests reminded me of the sort of student I was twenty years ago.  Fidgety.  Very short concentration span.  Disorganised.  Also, I am a ‘morning person’.  Which means I do my best work in the morning, especially between 0800hrs and 1030hrs.  So it is no use trying to hit the books at night after I get home from work.

I have never been a “last minute crammer”, because my brain just won’t take that sort of crap.  It will go into a deep freeze whenever it detects that I am trying to pile it with tons of data at the eleventh hour.  So there I was two days before the exam: in a semi-panicked state, tons of material left “un-memorised”, a frozen brain and an de-motivated spirit.

Experiencing the pre-JLPT test jitters was a little nostalgic, as it brought back memories of those long-ago school days.  The JLPT exam was held at the Singapore Management University, in one of its seminar rooms.  Wow, I felt young and like a student again.  But no, I had absolutely no urge to return to my undergraduate days.  Especially when that meant commuting to Boon Lay everyday.

I arrived at the exam venue early, and found myself a spot at the study areas, where hordes of exam candidates (young, no doubt) were doing their last minute revision.  I had already given up studying so I just sat on a bench, sipping a cold soya bean milk, quietly observing the iPod-plugged in folks around me, and reminiscing my old school days.  (Nowadays, universities have food kiosks, such as the likes of Jollybean, on their campus.  Good life.)  The scene felt surreal to me.  It seemed only yesterday when I was in a similiar pre-exam scene in NTU.

So how did the JLPT go?  In short, it went very badly.  Nothing I studied for came out in the test.  Which means that the reverse holds true as well.  Almost everything that came out in the exam, I did not know, or had prepared for.  When the results are released next March, I am pretty sure I have to re-take the test in July.  I need a miracle here.

How did the internal placement test go?  Slightly better than the JLPT. The questions were at least comprehensible to me. Anyway, I received my results today and I passed.  Not with flying colours, but I passed.

So I am back to the question that I started out this post with.  Do I move on to the next level, or not?

Decisions, decisions, decisions!


Death By Conjugation
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