I wish to take the JLPT series of exams and would like advice on where and how to start.

Which are the best courses and in what order should I study them?

Should I start with a course on hirigana and katakana, if so which?

Thanks in advance.

Here’s what I usually recommend: [Course Forum] Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy (SGJL) course series


Thanks for replying.

There are a lot of courses there but which ones are JLPT 5 specific?

First half of the courses (1-7) should do the trick.

These courses are fairly specific to JLPT N5, and they’re all done by the same guy, JLPTBootcamp.

If you do end up doing these courses, then I would recommend that you do them in this order. You can choose to do either just vocab or readings, they’re the same course, just done slightly different. I personally did both of them though. Also, if you’re on PC, then use a Japanese IME so that you can type in Japanese. Not only will this clear up some issues with romaji on this website, but it will also really help you remember and improve your kana reading ability.

I’m not sure if you can actually pass a jlpt n5 test with just this though. You might still fail the grammar part of the test, but maybe you could still pass, idk. There’s lots of good videos on youtube that explain grammar fairly well though, which is what I did to help fill in what I never learned here on memrise.

Also, the SGJL courses do seem pretty good. I’ve never done them(I plan to eventually), but they might be an even better way to learn overall. The list of courses I just posted were just simply specific to JLPT N5.

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Personally study with textbooks and use Memrise and Anki as supplement.
I study vocab with Memrise and Grammar decks with Anki
Did both Memrise course and Anki deck for RTK.
I used JLPT books for revision.
I wouldn’t count on Memrise alone to teach me the language.

I think Genki is the safest bet for an absolute beginner. If you aren’t into textbooks then follow SGJL.

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I can’t seem to find any books to study with as I am forced to use Amazon.cn. No luck at the local bookstores either. I will go to Shanghai on the weekend and find the biggest book store I can but I still don’t like my chances.

I am determined to take the JLPT exams so Genki is out of the question.

Yes, thank you. I found these courses but I was a little put off by their structure.

My way of thinking is that Hiragana should be learnt first and then all vocabulary using both English and Hiragana as answers. I do not like the idea of being tested on romanji at all. I really do not see the benefit of it.

I agree, but it was only the first 3 levels of introduction to Japanese that used romaji, and they can be answered using kana. The rest of everything else never uses romaji. Introduction also teaches hiragana. Basic Japanese course does too(I forgot about that because I skipped all kana and only did the grammar part of it).

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Try! JLPT series is my recommendation for lower levels, you can also use Unicom Preparatory Course for N5:

At N4 level you can also use Nihongo Sou Matome Challenge N4, which covers both N4 and N5.

Personally I don’t think N5-N3 is worth preparing specifically for, one should just focus on improving their Japanese, I also think it is unreasonable to limit oneself to JLPT specific books.