Monday, September 28, 2009

Take the fourth step to Ace the JLPT - Race your strengths

Ace The Japanese Language Proficiency Test At Any Level - Step Four

Race your strengths - the fourth step in the series Ace the Japanese Language Proficiency Test goes hand in hand with the third - train your weaknesses. Today we'll learn why it is just as important to acknowledge your strengths as it is your weaknesses. I'll show you how to excel where you can and not beat yourself up over the things you can't do very well.

Zabriskie rocking
Zabriskie rocking by Frank Steele, on Flickr

A good time-triallist will hold back and stay relaxed during sections of the course where they know they'll lose time. When sections come that suit them best they'll be able to let loose and make ground. This helps them conserve energy and make the most of their innate abilities.

This may sound like the antithesis of everything you've learnt about sport, but like a zen koan the strength and weakness must be considered as a whole if you are to come to the right understanding.

If you have an extensive vocabulary, one that never leaves you short of a word, It's very tempting to put more energy here in training. If you love ramping up repetitions on your favourite flash card site to prove something to yourself, don't. Let it go.

Save your best for test day.

Use the things that give you confidence to get started when you don't feel like studying, but don't do any more than that. You can't get any more than 100% in the sections that you're good at. Big efforts here don't mean much, it's the law of diminishing returns at work.

Resting on your laurels will free up precious time for the things you really need to work on. I guess you never expected to hear me say "don't study" did you? It's all about being honest with yourself, and not focussing too much on the things that are easy for you.

When you have put your demons to rest, and you've left some in reserve you can then focus on staying fresh.

I go into more detail about test taking strategies in the online video seminar 5 Steps To Ace The Japanese Language Proficiency Test At Any Level on eduFire. Subscribers to the Rainbowhill Language Lab newsletter get great study tips throughout the year. If you need some good tips on preparing for the JLPT, please read on.

5 Steps To  Ace The Japanese Language Proficiency Test At Any Level 5 Steps To Ace The Japanese Language Proficiency Test At Any Level is a Free Online Seminar at eduFire
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