Breeze Through JLPT with Shin Kanzen Master Books as Your Ally

Since 1984, the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has been a reliable means of measuring, evaluating, and certifying the language proficiency of non-native Japanese speakers. It has also become a necessary certification to have if one is planning to study or be employed in Japan by measuring communicative competence. The JLPT requires linguistic competence in terms of language activities, such as reading and listening, and language knowledge, such as vocabulary and grammar.

You need tools to ace the JLPT, and one of the tools that we are talking about is textbooks. There are actually a lot in the market that can help you with the JLPT. But one stands out, in particular—the Kanzen Master Books.

Most popular Shin Kanzen Master books


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All About Shin Kanzen Master


The Shin Kanzen Master is a series of language books made particularly for students who are about to take JLPT examinations. It contains discussions and lessons on important grammar points depending on the level of the test that will be taken. It has a collection of books intended for those who will take N1 to the N4 level of JLPT. However, there is none for the N5 level. Those who are just starting to learn the Japanese language may have to choose other textbook series for this one might be too advanced for them.

The Kanzen Master books cover five areas of language skills—grammar, vocabulary, kanji, reading, and listening. In order to learn grammatical rules, the Kanzen Master books will help the student by letting him or her learn the grammar form first and then get a detailed explanation on the meaning and function of such structures.

The vocabulary is developed by giving the students’ practical training that helps the student learn vocabulary in different situations and themes. After this, the student will undergo mock tests which share the same format with that of the JLPT exam. The Kanzen Master book will also let the students practice kanji by helping the student gain practical knowledge and identify situations where specific characters are best used. For the reading comprehension aspect, the students are able to grasp a long-form text in Japanese to help them learn about comparisons, rephrasing, metaphors, and interrogative sentences.

Finally, the books will also help the students improve listening comprehension by letting the students gain an understanding of a particular situation and letting them think about how they are going to solve a problem at hand.

Learning materials


The N4 Level—Elementary Japanese

The Kanzen Master, N4 level books, are Mostly intended for those who wish to reinforce their beginner’s knowledge in terms of understanding the Japanese language.

The book on grammar focuses on the primary verb and adjective forms and how to use them correctly in a sentence. It also aims to teach students the subtle differences between similar grammar structures and how to choose the correct grammar structure and word form. The practice questions are structured just like real JLPT questions to give the student the confidence and knowledge that they can use so they can perform their best on the day of the examination.

The book on listening helps one become accustomed to distinctive Japanese sounds and teaches techniques on how to accurately hear words like taking note of the speaker’s accent and intonation. This book also trains the students on verbal expressions and the importance of context, how to process information and respond faster to a conversation, finding the relevant information, and catching the right meaning of a word.

The reading comprehension book is one of the new releases in the new Kanzen Master series. It is recommended for those who want to familiarize themselves with techniques on how to read Japanese texts and to learn to understand different kinds of texts written in different styles. Specifically, the reading comprehension book teaches the basics of reading texts in Japanese, including the difference in spoken and written Japanese; how to approach reading passages of different structures and what to pay attention to in order to understand as much, as possible; and skim through paragraphs.

Lastly, the N4 level kanji book is recommended for those who already have an N5 level kanji and want to get a deeper understanding of how kanji work and how to read and use them correctly, based on context. Specifically, the book will let the student learn kanji in the statement and understand how it is used in the actual expression. It will also explain the theoretical aspect of kanji.

The N3 Level—Intermediate

The listening book introduces the different types of questions that the student needs to master in order for him or her to prepare for the JLPT exam in the best way possible. It will also familiarise him or her to the distinctive sounds and the techniques that are useful in reducing misheard words; techniques to improve comprehension of context; practice speed in listening and speaking; process information from longer segments and listening to and understanding an entire conversation; and understanding the critical point of a sentence or a conversation. Lastly, it teaches how to interpret the intention behind what a person says, as words and meanings do not always match, and a word may mean positively or negatively.

The grammar book, on the other hand, teaches about sentence structures and word positioning. It will also explain how to properly read Japanese sentences to gather the most crucial information and when and how to use conjunctions.

The current kanji workbook is already a revised version of the original. This is designed to teach students which reading to use when there is only a single kanji. It also explains the importance of studying the meaning of each individual kanji and how to study unknown vocabulary when a word consists of more than one kanji. Aside from that, students will also learn kanji and vocabulary related to politics, economy, society, education, culture, and lifestyle. Lastly, there are also lessons on kanji with many different readings and how to get two or more of them into a single sentence.

The reading comprehension book, on the other hand, familiarizes the students with long sentences, inferring the meaning of unknown words, understanding text structure, and reading different kinds of texts. Explicitly, the book will teach students how to get quicker at reading texts and analyzing documents and understand its meaning without even knowing all the words.

The vocabulary book does not only enrich one’s vocabulary but their intermediate skills, as well.The contents of the book have been carefully chosen from references and past tests, thus, ensuring concentration on words which have a higher chance of appearing in the examination.

The N2 Level—Pre-Advanced

The kanji workbook with CD lets students learn how to write kanji by listening. The accompanying CD contains the practice exercises that you have to listen to and write down the exact sentence which you just heard. It is quite a bit of a challenge as it requires a number of skill sets such as listening comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, and, kanji knowledge.

The grammar book in this series focuses on grammar in texts and in connecting sentences without sounding stupid. It also reviews sentence building rules that are easily forgotten or committed. The book is recommended for someone who wants to learn the differences between similar grammar structures and to learn to connect sentences better.

The vocabulary book is divided into two parts—the Jitsuryoku Yoseihen, the part that introduces new vocabulary, grouped in terms of themes and situations and the Mogi Shiken, a mock test that helps the student identify his or her strong and weak points.

Meanwhile, the reading comprehension book contains reviews, explanations, and essays that will help the student understand sentence structure and learning to find the right answers to questions. It also teaches them how to identify the general topic of a text and search for specific information within the document.

Lastly, the listening book trains the student in answering the six types of JLPT questions that generally involves instant response, task comprehension, point comprehension, general comprehension, and integrated comprehension.

The N1 Level-Advanced Japanese

The book on kanji helps the student gain practical knowledge of kanji and how to use them. There are 40 kanji in three chapters, and a student will have to practice all of them before they can test their knowledge using a double-page test that is included in the book.

The grammar book introduces students to the JLPT grammar question format and to the strategies on how to answer them. It also presents the three types of grammar test questions. A mock test is also provided so that the students can identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

The book on listening comes with a companion CD providing practice exercises for the student to further develop his or her listening skills. On the other hand, the vocabulary book contains 945 sample questions, and the lessons revolve around understanding the use of vocabulary in terms of themes, situations, parts of speech, and usage.

Lastly, the reading comprehension book helps a student learn about comparison, rephrasing, metaphors, and interrogative sentences. Passages have been selected from various materials such as advertisements, pamphlets, informative publications, and business documents. It also discusses how to read and identify critical points in the text and how to select answers in multiple-choice questions.



Quick recap of what is JLPT made of


There are five levels of linguistic competence under the JLPT. One who is under the N1 level has the ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances. Those who are under N2, on the other hand, have the ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of events, to a certain degree.

People in the N3 level has the ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree. Meanwhile, those certified under level N4 are able to understand basic Japanese, and those who are in the N5 level are able to understand some basic Japanese.

The N4 and N5 levels measure a person’s level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in a class. On the other hand, N1 and N2 levels measure the level of a person’s knowledge of the Japanese language that is frequently and commonly used in a broad range of scenes in actual everyday life.

Meanwhile, the N3 level is a bridge between levels N1/N2 and N3/N4.

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