I haven’t written in quite a while for many reasons. One is that I’ve been spending a lot of time studying for the Kanken, or Kanji Kentei, or Japanese Chinese character proficiency test. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to some people, anyway, to put it simply, much of Japanese is written in Chinese characters, so it’s good to have proficiency in them if you want to learn Japanese.
A few months ago, I signed up online to take this test today. I actually took two tests, level 7 and level 6. The highest and most difficult is level one, the easiest is level 10. The tests are exactly one hour long, and I’m sure that this is an experience that Japanese go through untold times in their lives. This experience was quite interesting. For the first test, there were 100 test takers. Three of us were adults, the rest were all very young children, probably around 8-11 years old. In the second test, there were 80 test takers, and two of us adults. As you might imagine, it’s a little humbling to have an eight-year-old child finish a test 20 minutes ahead of you when you’re struggling to finish in time.
One nice thing about these tests is that they allow you to take the question sheets home with you, so you can check and see how you did right away. I’m pretty confident about my level 7 test, and even my level 6 test, I think I got enough answers correct. However, it might depend on if I wrote neatly enough and my characters were well-formed enough to be marked right. We’ll see. Anyways, next time, in October, I’ll at least take level 5 for sure, and maybe level 4. I am looking forward to the time when I can take the higher levels when there might be more adults taking the test. Anyway, if anyone’s interested, I scanned my test papers, and you can see them here: