The JLPT Dilemma

I got my JLPT test voucher in the post the other day.

I applied for it way back in August before I jumped on the Heisig/All Japanese All The Time bandwagon, when I thought it might be a good thing to do. Now, I’ve paid my monies and am scheduled to do it in the nearby Big City. It’s on the 7th of December this year.

There’s been a lot of debate on the interwebs about whether or not the JLPT is any good, or whether having a JLPT qualification actually means anything. I can see that really, the Japanese is probably not all that useful in daily life. When I started out, I was using the Japanese for Busy People textbook. Once I actually started working though, I realised that the kids only use informal Japanese, so all the verb forms I had learned were inappropriate – some of the littlest ones just look at me blankly when I use the polite forms.

I can see that having the Level 1 certification could be very useful for getting a job and many universities here require it for foreigners wanting to take courses. Even though having level 1 doesn’t necessarily mean you are fluent, it will get your CV past the first round of consideration by employers.

The lower levels on the other hand seem kind of pointless. I’m a long way from level one (the highest level), I’m way down at level four (the lowest). I’m not even likely to pass level four. I’ve been plugging away at Remembering the Kanji, but I haven’t yet covered the 100 odd kanji needed for level four, never mind all the readings. I know words like riot, icicle and nitrate, but not week or station.

The other consideration is that that weekend is the only weekend I’ll have free to go snowboarding before I go home for Christmas. The weather had been pretty warm up til about a week ago (now it’s flipping freezing) so there was little snow anywhere close by, but now it’s really dumping down.

So – should I just ditch the JLPT and go snowboarding?
Any advice??


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