Thursday, February 15, 2007

This May Reflect More Poorly on JLPT than on Me . . . Then Again, It's Hard to Say

dore dore, what did I get? Ooou! Oooooh!

Well, it says "Passed" in English, so that must mean I passed, eh? Now, 70% is the pass mark. My arithmetic skills aren't much better than my kanji skills, so I'll get out my Japanese electronic dictionary and use the calculator function. Let's see, 100 divide by 400 multiplied by 280 = 70 . . . that would be 70% So if I had gotten one more question wrong, I would have been forced to face the test again next year, just like I deserved, and maybe I would actually have studied for it this time.

However, as it is, that second chance to redeem my honour will never come, so let us look more closely at the scores that I am stuck with.

Writing/Vocabulary 32/100

I haven't done that poorly on a test since elementary school. Back then I was used to it, but nowadays it makes me kind of sad. However, this is the section of which I said in a former post that I didn't know the answer to a single one of the questions. With this in mind, and taking into consideration that they were multiple choice questions with four choices each, one would have expected my score to be 25/100. The other 7% must have been sheer luck.

Listening 93/100

There is really no reason why I couldn't have gotten 100% on this section, but during the question about the two men and a woman on a flying trapeze I was either busy picking my nose or else doing something less gross but equally distracting. My score represents 7% worth of attention deficit.

Reading/Grammar 155/200

Apart from the Writing/Vocabulary section mentioned above, I had never done that poorly in a test since officer training in the army reserves. I wasn't a very good officer. Anyway, this section provides a fairly accurate picture of my level of competence in Japanese. My grammar is pretty decent, but I can't read because I have a kanji allergy. The only thing that enabled me to answer any of the questions correctly in spite of the fact that I could read none of them was my amazing (cough, just kidding) analytical skills.

So what does all of this tell us? First, that I am a very unbalanced person. Second, that not everyone who passes the JLPT Level 1 is fit to do the things that JLPT Level 1 qualifies people to do . . . such as matriculate at a Japanese university. Third, that when I have a knife to my throat I am able to function at the level of a semi-literate high school student who is smart enough to say things that may or may not be worth saying, but not smart enough to write them down or read them.

However, in my daily life in which I seldom have knives pressed against my throat, I remain a relatively articulate but fully illiterate source of amusement to the local population----the henna-gaijin who lives on the hill.