Last year before taking the N1 for the second time, I had a 5 month plan that religiously stuck to. I managed to work my way through all 4 books that I wanted to get through in that time. This is a pretty thick and useful book. The New Kanzen Master series tends to be more difficult than the exam, especially their grammar books. But, this book seemed to be just about the right level, not easier, not harder. Some of the sections, like the ones that go over the business letters seemed laughably easy to me, but then again maybe that is because I have to read a lot of business letters and things at work and at home.
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Last year before taking the N1 for the second time, I had a 5 month plan that religiously stuck to. I managed to work my way through all 4 books that I wanted to get through in that time. This is a pretty thick and useful book. The New Kanzen Master series tends to be more difficult than the exam, especially their grammar books. But, this book seemed to be just about the right level, not easier, not harder.
Some of the sections, like the ones that go over the business letters seemed laughably easy to me, but then again maybe that is because I have to read a lot of business letters and things at work and at home. Instead of focusing on phrases and vocabulary, NKM focuses more on general reading skills and how to get the answer they are looking for.
It walks you through what to do to comprehend the reading passages well. I personally use all of these on a daily basis and highly recommend them. Great explanations and lots of material. The book is divided up into 3 main chapters. The first 2 chapters cover specific strategies for different kinds of reading passages. These go over things like how to answer questions that ask for examples, or paying attention to contrasting statements in the reading. The 3rd chapter goes over real questions that are formated like the ones on the test.
Finally, there is the obligatory practice test at the end to see how you are doing. The first 2 chapters are great because it will walk you through one full-sized example before giving you more passages and questions to practice with. This is better than the So-Matome approach in some ways because you are working with a longer passages and so you can practice more general comprehension skills.
For example, you can practice skimming to get a general idea of the meaning of the passage before going back and answering the questions about specific points. I also like how each answer is explained in the answer key. So, if you get an answer wrong, it tells you specifically why you got it wrong. This really helps you to start to understand the kinds of mistakes you are making with your reading comprehension as well as what tricks the test will most likely have on it and how to look out for them.
Almost feel like the team that is writing the grammar book could learn a thing or two from those that wrote this book. The grammar book for the NKM series has virtually no explanations for why an answer is write or wrong. There is a lot of reading practice smashed into this book at a pretty good price. There are 68 reading passages with about 2 or 3 questions each plus the practice test.
I love the explanations too. Surprisingly, some of the questions in the book are just a little too easy compared to the real exam. On the real exam, the questions for these questions are quite large and wordy 2 to 3 sentences long and can take a lot of time to find the answer. A great book and good preparation for the exam. If you have to choose between So-Matome and this book to prepare for the N1, I would probably choose this one over So-Matome.
The main reason for that is the amount of material and also the amount of more general strategy that can help in every situation. The So-Matome goes over a few phrases and things that may not come up all the time, but are still pretty useful. Did you like it? Let me know in the comments. Dear Mac, Thank you for this useful article. Thank you! Mostly though, N1 is a tough beast you will probably have to do at least both, and you might have to go back through both as well or even buy another book.
Hello Mac, Thank you for your advice, I have just has a closer look at week 6, indeed it seems very interesting and can be useful for any reading practice in Japanese. Good luck to you too! I have the So-Matome for N3. I like the layout of the book but again there are grammar points without explanation.
Hi Barbara! I had kind of the same problems with Soumatome. I used renshuu. Some of the more difficult ones have comments at the bottom on nuances and common mistakes, so it can be pretty helpful. I think your method is really useful as it will stop me from simply filling in gaps but actually use the structures for myself. View Results. Mimi January 24, , am. Reply Link. Clayton MacKnight January 25, , am. Mimi January 26, , am. Barbara January 26, , am. Sorry should have said these are the grammar books.
Hannah January 27, , am. Barbara January 27, , pm. Follow Me! Most Valuable Resources. Reader's Poll What would you like to hear about? Find out more. Okay, thanks.
Shin Kanzen Master N1 Series
At the beginning, there were approximately 7, examinees worldwide. In , there were as many as , examinees around the globe, making JLPT the largest-scale Japanese-language test in the world. Over time, test applicants have become more diverse, and use of JLPT results has expanded from skill measurement to include employment screening and evaluation for promotions and pay raises as well as use as a form of qualification. Many outstanding suggestions for improvement were also submitted by a wide variety of individuals around the world. This new test takes full advantage of the most advanced research in Japanese pedagogy and testing theory, and reflects the vast wealth of data accumulated since the original JLPT was launched over 25 years ago. N1 Official Workbook.
New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 Complete Set
I told myself I was going to stick to my strict schedule of doing 15 to 30 minutes or so of listening practice every day, but that of course did not happen at all. The book was a lot like what I had expected. I went through the New Kanzen Master N2 book to prepare for that test, so this one was much of the same, only with more advanced concepts and more difficult vocabulary. The New Kanzen Master series focus more on listening strategies than vocabulary or grammar. They do, however, cover a few phrases and differences in meaning between different intonation, which is a tricky skill to master.
JLPT N1 Reading Resource: New Kanzen Master N1 Reading Comprehension
JLPT N1 Listening Resource: New Kanzen Master N1 Listening