Comprehension, N1, N2, N3

Tackling N1-N3 Comprehension questions



Recently, i read this post on moving towards comprehension and found it quite interesting. I find that a lot of people have different ways, effective and non-effective ways of reading
For us Singaporeans, especially for Chinese, i think we have the advantage of knowing Kanji, as compared to the other guys in the other countries (not to mention mainland Chinese).

Today, i’ll like to share on tackling N1-N3 Comprehension questions.

There are generally quite a few reading techniques when tackling N1-N3 comprehension questions.

P: Passage, Q: Question
A: Answer

1) P->Q->A->P->A

2) Q->A->P->A

3) Q->P->Q->A

4) P(read faster)->P->Q->A

5) P->Q->A

Which is your reading technique that you use for tackling comprehension questions?

To tell you the truth, every type of question, be it a 短文、中文、長文, 総合理解、情報検索 questions, you cannot apply the same reading technique. I found out after buying a reading guide written for Japanese 中学生 and 高校生. In that guide, the book presents 15 ways of answering different types of passages.

1) P->Q->A->P->A (The traditional reading technique)
In this reading technique, you will read the passage, read the questions, read the options available, read again parts of the passage to find the answer and then answer the questions.You will find that you will spend quite a lot of time reading and understanding the passage. This reading technique is not desirable, unless you have a lot of time to spare (which in N1 and N2 exam, this is seriously impossible)

2) Q->A->P->A (The reading technique taught in some language schools here in Singapore)
In this reading technique, you will read the questions, read the options available, read the passage, then answer the questions. This reading technique is quite good. But it has its flaws too. If you are reading a 長文, you will find that you will tire yourself out very fast. Cause you have 3-4 questions in your 長文 and after reading the whole 長文, you might not even remember what options are available. This reading technique should be used when doing your 中文。In some cases, using this reading technique for  短文 is also quite good, unless you find that the 短文 is too hard to comprehend.

3) Q->P->Q->A (Funny reading technique)
In this reading technique, it’s quite funny isn’t it? Reading the questions first, passage, question again and answers. This reading technique is surprising good for 情報検索 questions. In 情報検索 questions, there isn’t any lengthy passages to read. If you think about it, does it make more senses to read the question first to find out what they want, read the ad, then the questions again and answers straight away. =)

4) P(read faster)->P->Q->A (長文 Killer)
In this reading technique, i call it the 長文 killer, cause i often use to tackle 長文. Of course it doesn’t really work all the time, at times i had to often refer back to the passage. The first time, you will read the passage fast to get a gist of what the passage is all about. After you have read it, the idea here is to 想像 what kind of questions you think the questions will ask (while reading, ask yourself, if you are the examiner what kind of questions will you ask)  Then read again slowly to understand what the author is trying to say, read the questions, and answer.

5) P->Q->A (短文 Killer)
In this reading technique, my students love to use this for 短文, thus, i call it the 短文 Killer. Very good for tackling 短文。 (^_^)
I really have the joy of having my great students to help me test out all these answering techniques in the exam and sharing with me what works and what doesn’t. In the next article, I will share more about time allocation for 読解. I hope i have time for that cause i am going to Japan again! (^_^)


N1, Self Study

Self study Japanese Lesson 8: Telling time /Trains Part 2

Dear all,

Lesson 8 is on telling time and trains part 2.

Sometimes you might wonder, how to ask the train station which platform to take your next train. Below is a good example.

Station Master: こんにちは (kon-ni-chi-wa/Good day)

You: __________(place that you want to go)へ いきたいですが、何番線ですか。 (__________(place that you want to go) e i-ki-tai-desu-ga, nan-ban-sen desu ka.)
I want to go to __________, which platform is it?

Station Master: ____ばんせんです(_______ban-sen desu)
Platform _______.

or sometimes he/she may say… depending on the time the train departs.

Station Master:  _________(time) はつ(ha-tsu) ____ばんせんです(_______ban-sen desu)
Departing at _______, Platform ___________

Station Master: こんにちは (Kon-ni-chi-wa/Good day)

You: 新宿(しんじゅく)へ行きたいですが、何番線ですか。 (Shinjuku e ikitai desu ga, nan ban sen desu ka/ I want to go to Shinjuku, which platform is it)

Station Master: 3番線です。 (3 ban sen desu/Platform 3)

Don’t forget to thank the station master.


You may also hear words like 「のりかえて/no-ri-ka-e-te」 which means change at ____________


しんじゅくでのりかえてください (Shinjuku de no-ri-ka-e-te-ku-da-sai)

Please change at Shinjuku.

Don’t forget the numbers.


無料のN1クラス (Free N1 classes)


無料のN1クラスは8月12日から始めます。 N2に合格した方に限ります。

申し込みは↓ のテンプレートを使って、こちらまでお送りください。

時間: 毎週日曜日、19時-20時







日にち: 8月19日 (日)
場所: Wilkie Edge (一番近い駅: Little India)



N1, N2, N3

N3文法リスト完成+最後の試験ポイント (N3 Grammar list+ Last min exam tips)



Password: ichigo

I will be more posting more stuff from 11.30pm-1.30am tonight. Especially for N1-N3 exam tips. I can’t guarantee that you will pass, but if you have done your necessary revision and pay attention to my tips, you should be able to pass. Do watch out for updates. The posts will be removed at 2am. =)




いいニュースです。生徒達の依頼に応えて、来年N1の準備クラスを開きます。 (^_^)

このクラスのサイズは8名です。 申し込みはお早めに~ ! (^_^)


2012年 9月-12月: 自習フェーズ
2013年 1月-11月: レッスンを受けるフェーズと復習フェーズ


Touching testimonial from student

Just received a touching testimonial from a student who’s currently studying in Waseda University in Japan. Despite his busy schedule, he still wrote such a touching testimonial for me… <泣>

It reads like this.
I’m currently studying in Waseda University as an Undergraduate. I’ve been taking Can’s classes for about a year and have to say by far, Can’s the only Teacher i’ve known who would do his best to help his students without a second thought no question ask.  When the need arises, the previous phrase ‘do his best’ does not give justice to Can at all, as I would’ve to say Can would go beyond what is normally expected to help his student should an emergency were to occur just to help out as a teacher and as a friend as well.

Can’s teaching style is pretty flexible and allows me to learn various things not normally taught in normal Japanese classes and to be able to mix and match to fit my needs.

Thanks to Can, I’m now able to progress smoothly during my stay in Japan and in a Japanese University.

By: Terence Kong
Ex student from Private class