JLPT – Hitting the Wall

With only two and a half weeks before the JLPT for July 2015 some of you may be feeling a number of things. Stress, anxiety, boredom.

Keeping yourself motivated is something I’ve written about in the past but I feel like at this point it would help to go over some points, and bring forth some new ones specifically for the JLPT.

First of all DON’T PANIC
You’re probably behind schedule and have found another 100 things or more that you need to study, but first thing is not to panic. Panicking causes stress and anxiety which begins to interfere with your studying and memorization ability, which causes the knock-on-effect of getting behind on work and stressing out more.

Take a deep breath. If you’re behind, it can’t be helped right now. Just keep going on what you can when you can.

You may have hit the wall
I’ve found that after 57 days of straight studying my brain feels like it’s not taking anything in, I’m tired, bored, I’ve basically hit the wall.

Many of us hit this wall at some point during out studies where we just can’t be arsed anymore. It’s boring and frustrating that you HAVE to do it, but you just feel like to can’t.

My main advice for getting over the wall is do something else!

Tired of drilling kanji and vocab? If they’re not going into your brain anymore, stop for a few hours and move onto something else.
Such as:

  • Listening practice – through Nihongo somatome books, or go for a walk and listen to J-pop or NHK news, watch some Japanese TV/anime/news (try not to put subtitles on).
  • Put on your favourite J-pop and try to sing along. Try and remember the lyrics, but also enjoy the music and dance about.
  • Go for a run/walk, or (if you’re like me and hate going outside), watch an inspirational anime or listen to up-beat music and punch the air (seriously try it).
  • Basically have a break!

Try and do something that will give you brain a rest, but will still be exposing it to Japanese. Try and make it something that gets your moving. Moving about will get your blood flowing, endorphins released and help you feel refreshed. You don’t even have to move for very long (15-20mins), but do try and give your brain a rest for longer.

Go back to what you need to do later when you feel like you’ve had a sufficient break (this could take a few hours or even a whole day). But never stop exposing yourself to Japanese, especially if you stop for a day and not do anything. If you do it will become harder to pick up the pace again (a bit like running long-distance).

Re-motivate yourself
Another thing you could do (but don’t do it too much) is watch some videos on productivity and motivation, such as the ones below! Try and re-inspire yourself using the opinions of others and use the advice they provide!


Finally, how much you work and how you work is up to you. Not everything is for everyone (you may even disagree with my tips), but in the end it’s a matter of keeping yourself mentally healthy, trying your best, having fun, and doing what you can in the exam.
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