Beginner Japanese classes (Feb 2023)

Hi all,

Our new Beginner Japanese class is starting in Feb 2023.

Date: 7th Feb 2023 (Tues)
Time: 7:30-9:30pm
Slots: 6 (4 slots left)
Fees: $220 for 8 lessons
Location: near to Lavender MRT

Teacher: Jasper-sensei/Can-sensei

For enquiries, please drop us an message at


JLPT Afterthoughts (Part 1): N1



It’s been a while since I wrote a post. Today, I would like to share my afterthoughts on JLPT. This time round, I did N1. I personally felt that the difficulty for vocabulary and grammar has dropped compared to previous years. Reading was a bit more difficult. Finished my paper one with 15 minutes left on the clock.

For listening, I felt that section 3 was a bit tricky. For the rest of the sections, there were a lot of testing of N2-N5 grammar.

I would like to take this chance to strongly recommend students taking N2 or N1 to ensure that your foundations are stable before attempting the paper.

I even saw a N4 question being tested in N1. I have amended the question.


  1. とを       2. までが 3. にまで 4. をも

This question is a test of N4 concept: 使役形. If you remember that 喜ぶ is a 自動詞, so the particle in front of 喜ばせる would be a を. So the likely answer would be 4. However, the 「も」here is quite 邪魔 right? You can ignore that first.

Let’s take a look at option 1, 「とを」. 「と」will make it sounds like he’s doing the action with the 有名人, which is what we learnt in N5. With 有名人? and make 有名人? so that’s out.

Now, let’s move on to option 2, 「までが」. 「まで」sounds like “even”. Initially, I thought this was the answer, but when I saw the 「が」, it made me recalled 「は」which is the person doing the action (what we learnt in N5). This option made me exclude the answer.

Now, let’s move on to option 3, 「にまで」. If you recall in N5, you learnt the concept about 「新宿に行きます」or 「新宿までお願いします」, you would remember that it sounds quite funny to have 「にまで」in this case. You might have chose this, but do take note that the hint given at the back is a 使役形, so you must have either a 「も」or 「を」

Meaning of 「にまで」
Express area of unexpectedness. Has some feelings of surprise.

例文: AKBがインドネシアにまで進出したらしい!

As of now, this is my short review of N1.

For us in TLS, we focus a lot of ensuring that your foundations are firm before you move on to the next level. So, if you would like to know more about us, please feel free to drop us a message via Contact Us.


Introduction to Japanese Accents (free session)

Hi all,

I will be organising a free session on Introduction to Japanese accents.

Date: 23rd Oct 2022 (Sun)
Time: 2:30pm-4:30pm
Location: near Lavender MRT

This is open to all, even if you are not studying with us.

To sign up, please email to admin @ learnJapanese. sg (remove the spaces) using the following template:

Subject: Introduction to Japanese accents (Free session)

Contact number:
Current school enrolled:
Level of study: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced

New Intermediate class -Wed night (online)

Hi all,

To help those who do not have time to visit the classroom, we have created a new online Intermediate class.

Starting Date: 28th Sept 2022 (Wed)
Time: 7:30-9:30pm
Slots: 6
Fees: $360 for 10 lessons
Textbook: $70 (to be used for the whole course)
Teacher: Can-sensei

To register, please drop us an email via the contact form here.


Registering for JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) in Singapore

Updated: 19th Feb 2023
Hi all,

Note: Apart from N1, slots are taken up very fast (usually within 2 minutes)

To register for JLPT, login to your Paypal account beforehand via
Note the dates of registration:

Step 1: Go to this link:

Step 2: Fill up the appropriate information.

Step 3: Make payment via Paypal.

Step 4: Fill in the appropriate information (as fast and accurate as possible, especially the address) : (See page 26 of your test guide for the place of learning Japanese, etc.)

Step 5: Fill in the number of times you have passed or failed the various levels of the exam.

Step 6: Complete the form and submit as soon as possible, if not, it might not be counted.

Step 7: Download this form and email to JCS.

You will receive an email from JCS roughly about 5 minutes after the registration. Take note that this is not a confirmation that you have registered. JCS will send you another email 3 days later to confirm your registration.

By the way, we guarantee all our students pass their JLPT, or they get their 2nd take for free (which doesn’t happen, because all our students pass on their 1st take). Check our courses info below.

New classes: here | Existing classes: here

JLPT: Is it possible to get full marks without getting all the questions correct?

Hi all,

This post is in response to one of the persons that I have met online. She was saying that she got full marks for N3 and needed help for one of the N2 questions (which was a combination grammar from N4 and N5). Before I start, I want to apologise if my message to her seemed passive-aggressive. I wanted to put an objective view that it is possible to get full marks without getting all the questions correct. I wanted to write this to share what I know based on my 11.5 years of experience and data collected on the new JLPT.

So before we dive in a bit more into what I know, I would like to share the marking of the new system is based on scaled scores.

In the previous system before 2010, JLPT was based on raw scores marking. A raw score is a score that represents the total number of items on an exam that a candidate has answered correctly. In other words, if you get a correct answer, you would be awarded 1 mark/2 marks, etc. based on the question. Raw scores are easily interpreted by candidates and provide clarity, meaningful feedback, and transparency. 

Scaled scores are used to report performance on an exam on a consistent scale. In the JLPT exam, for example, if you have a set of 10 questions, it looks at 1024 answering patterns, divided from 0 to 60 marks to award the marks. For reference, look at page 16 of this document and this document.

An example is shown here.

Based on my observations and trials, it is possible to get wrong answers and you might get marks for it. How I got to know about this was because I did 2 exams to test out my theory. In the first exam (I think it was an N5 paper), I deliberately left 2 blanks and 1 question wrong. When the results came out, I got a full mark for that paper. In the second exam (it was an N4 paper), I deliberately selected 2 wrong answers for listening and got deducted 16-18 marks. I also confirmed the theory with some of my students who did the same thing. Thus, I guess it varies from batch to batch.

Also, because we do not send many students to take the exam, we know every student’s strengths and weaknesses and we collect their scores for the past 11.5 years to come to this conclusion. 

There are a few scholarly papers that I recommend all to check out if you wish to find out more.

Review of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test:

Japanese as a Second Language Assessment in Japan: Current Issues and Future Directions

Analysis of Dialogue Difficulty in Anime Comparing to JLPT Listening Tests

Should I take the JLPT?

My advice to students is that I would encourage students to take JLPT to know where they stand across the whole world. However, in the usual case if before they take the JLPT, I would give them a mock test. If they are able to get a score of 80% for the mock test, I would recommend them to take the JLPT. This also

JLPT, like other tests, is a standardised test and people should be informed of what scaled scores are. Passing or failing does not mean anything. Quoting what Hirosue Ryoko-san (広末涼子さん) said in 「ユニコーンに乗って」、「失敗は終わりじゃなくて、学びよ。」/Failure is not the end. It is a lesson. I think what is more important is the knowledge that will stay with you throughout the rest of your life.

A lot of time and effort is used to set every JLPT paper. I can tell you that because I spend time to analyse every question when I take the paper with my students. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the exam setters for setting every paper.

I hope this article has given you a bit more understanding about how JLPT works.

Good luck and happy learning.

Learning Japanese is not a race, it is a journey.


JLPT N2 Free Session

Hi all,

I am conducting a free session on how to tackle the exam questions on JLPT N2. Learn from us who have achieved 100% passing rate for JLPT N2! Please drop us an email at admin @ (remove the spaces) if you wish to attend.

You may attend either one session or both sessions.

Session 1:
Date: 28th June 2022 (Tues)
Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Mode: via Zoom

Session 2:
Date: 1st July 2022 (Fri)
Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Mode: via Zoom

NOTE: It’s only for students who are taking the JLPT N2 exam in July. Latecomers will not be allowed into the Zoom classroom.


Part 1: Attitude towards learning Japanese

(3rd May 2022: Amended with inputs from friends)

Hi all,

I am writing a series of posts on how to succeed in Japanese language learning. Part 1 is on our attitude towards learning Japanese. As some of you may know, this is my 15th year teaching Japanese. I have seen many students, those who are really serious in learning Japanese and those who treats Japanese language learning like a visit to the cinema once every month.

To succeed in learning Japanese, I strongly believe in putting in at least 8 hours a week to study, just like how I am studying psychology. The experts suggest that 100 hours of revision to be put in for each level of Japanese. My take is the following:

Beginner/JLPT N5 level: 250-300 hours
Intermediate/JLPT N4 level: 250-300 hours
Pre-Advanced/JLPT N3 level: 200-250 hours
Advanced 1/JLPT N2 level: 200-250 hours
Advanced 2/JLPT N1 level: 200-250 hours

Take my recommendations with a pinch of salt. I am merely stating a fact based on past experiences of my students and Japanese learners that I have encountered.

Here are some other recommendations by other writers: here , here, and here

Personally, I have seen students who revise at least 8 hours of study time and students who revise 1-2 hours a week. The difference is very big. Those who revise 1-2 hours of study time a week will usually get about 50-60 marks for their in house tests or JLPT exam, whereas those who revise at least 8 hours will get around 80-90 marks.

We also conducted a survey in our classes, asking students, how much time they are revising per week and in their opinion, what is the recommended amount of time to study per week. The results are listed below:

The level of understanding would also differ a lot for these 2 groups of students. In psychology, psychologists always run experiments to see differences between 2 groups of people. Although I don’t run them, through my observations over the years, those that put in 8 hours of study time are likely to understand passages and conversations better.

Apart from learning the language, I also recommend you to expose yourself to various Japanese culture. The following is a good book to understand more about Japanese people.

English version

Japanese version

It is regrettable that I only found out how to study properly after I started learning Japanese. My advice for all: if you wish to learn Japanese, please do it with a right attitude and be willing to put in the effort.

For those who find it hard to commit 8 hours to study, perhaps a good way is to get yourself exposed to some Japanese dramas, TV shows or music. You can find a lot of them on Youtube or Netflix. You can set some realistic goals to achieve 8 hours of study time a week.

Good luck to all who are learning Japanese.