90 Days of Memrise - JLPT N3 Vocab

I am excited to be making this post about my recent journey with Memrise!! 

Memrise and I have a love-love relationship, I use them pretty exclusively to study Japanese flashcards because I love their gamification system and leaderboard. Anki is another very popular resource for SRS based studying but I personally feel that Memrise suits my learning style a little better. 

I've tried to be as consistent as possible with logging in every day and doing my reviews and I started this personal challenge at the very tail end of June (about June 29th). I decided that I wanted to complete this course before the end of this year, and since I'm coming to a close on this course I decided to make this post now and just detail what I've gained from this experience and what I plan to do moving forward with my new knowledge.

The Course

In my previous post about Memrise sets for August, I mentioned that I was doing a JLPT N3 course. I'm using a course that was designed by the user TL RobWalsh. Here is a link to that course.

I checked out his other courses and he does teach JLPT N2 vocab course that I'm interested in. I might be using his course for my next round of studying because I like the way he's formatted levels. I found that I'm very particular with course format because if it doesn't feel organized I won't feel motivated to continue the course. 

My one gripe with this course is that it has a significant amount of words that I feel were placed in the wrong category. 

For example, when I was doing flashcards for words that I considered to be pretty abstract I came across the word ごめん and さようなら. I will be upfront say that I did ignore a large amount of words because I felt like a lot of words were misplaced from N4 and N5 but then again you have to keep in mind that there's no set list of words from the JLPT that are 'guarenteed' on the test. These study sets are made by arranging words from previous tests, so with that said I wanted to make it known that I did ignore a large amount of words that I knew already.

The course is broken up into 2 main types of level: 

A level that lists the word in its pure kana form, as well as the English meaning

A level that lists the Kanji for that word, with the English meaning.

I really enjoy this breakup because I feel like it gives me double the value in one course. I get the vocabulary word as well as the corresponding Kanji right after. It's a really great method that I chose to adopt into my own courses as well!

The Study Process

I started this course back in June, but my current Memrise streak for this course is 31. Why? I had a streak going for a while, but then we moved my sister into college. It was a pretty stressful day, and when I came home I had to take a nap, which turned into a full night's sleep by mistake. When I woke up in the morning, the damage was done. My Memrise streak was gone!

I was deflated, but I knew I had come too far to give up the course, so I kept pushing and started a new streak. My current longest streak on Memrise is about 54 days, so I hope that as I keep reviewing my words I'll make a new personal record.

I averaged about 135 reviews every day, which I always complete first before I start new material. I set my Memrise to give me reviews in intervals of 50 to make this a faster process, which is a tip I can't recommend enough. After completing all my reviews, I would start new words. I didn't have a methodology for how many new words I learned a day, but I would typically only learn new words for 30 minutes a day. I feel like after 30 minutes I couldn't retain information as well as I could have if I started with a fresh mind, so I would end for the day or continue later if I had free time.

The Test

I don't plan on taking the N3, but I do want to assess my level with a test, so I've decided to take the JCAT to gauge where I'm at with my language learning journey. The last time I took the JCAT was 1 year ago when I was preparing for Waseda, and I received a 202. I wasn't too happy with this score, but it just pushed me over the threshold to make it into level 4 at Waseda. 

My goal for this year is 250+. Anything about 250 would feel like growth for me, and show me I've made a lot of progress. The chart shown above doesn't list the N5, but I think if we were to update it to reflect that then I would have probably placed in the 'studying for N3' level at 202. There's a pretty big jump between 200 and 250 (Level 2 to Level 1??) that I'm hoping to make this time around.

Now that I have some experience with the test and I know how fast paced it is, I hope I'll feel more prepared this time around. I'll be doing a post about my JCAT results, good or bad, once I take the test!