Post-JLPT recovery

So, who else here just took the JLPT? 乙 to you!

How did it go? Do you feel confident about your results, or did you spend the entirety of the test berating yourself for not studying harder? Or are you somewhere in between? Whatever the case, you’ve just been through an extremely rigidly structured test, and it’s time to reward yourself for doing it. But how?

Hopefully you’ve set up a reward for yourself. Go to a new restaurant or, alternatively, your favorite place for a treat.  If you’d rather not reward yourself with food, maybe you can go buy that soundtrack you’ve been eyeing, or let yourself sleep in for once.

I thought I would share some of my own recovery tactics for a language test, in hopes that it might prove useful to others.

First, I totally go for the food reward. What can I say, I love food. A friend of mine started up a post-test parfait tradition, which I’ve been happy to help continue over the years as I slowly crawled my way from N4 to where I am now. Immediately following the test, we head to the nearest place and order something with copious amounts of chocolate. The less cornflakes, the better.

Second, I take it easy on language. I do things I enjoy in the language, rather than buckling down and immediately studying for the next thing. I read a book, I listen to music or go to karaoke, I play a game, but above all, I relax and remind myself why I went through those four hours of test-taking: to enjoy using that language.

As a sidenote, I am also studying German for funsies and the day after the test, I went to Duo and pulled up my German and oh man did it feel good to change my thinking. Refreshing your brain in another language entirely can really help you switch gears, especially if you feel like your mind has been crashing up against a wall Japanese-wise.

Finally, I try to reward myself with something that’s not food. In this case, I purchased a game I’ve been wanting to play for a while. If you’d rather not go the retail therapy route, you could try giving yourself a little self-care at home. Sleep in later than usual; watch your favorite movie; call a friend or family member and tell them all about your adventures taking the test. Write out your experiences and, if you have them, your goals from this point on.

Speaking of, at the beginning of the year I wrote out my wishes for 2017, and most of them honestly fell flat. I read 4 books in Japanese this year, not 12; I would exercise regularly for a month, then something would Happen and I’d take a break and start from zero again. The list goes on. But now that it’s December and 2018 is looming on the horizon, it’s a good time to step back and think about more realistic plans for the coming months.

I think I want to try for 12 books in Japanese again next year, but as an addendum to that I want to actually schedule my reading time so it’s more likely to get done. I also want to schedule specific times to study things like kanji and vocabulary, as that’s where I definitely fell short on the N1 test.

Other than that, though? I’ve got a lot to think about as the New Year inches closer and closer.

What’s on your mind this season? How was the test for you, if you took it? Do you have any intention of trying it in July or next December?

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