Engrish of the Week: TIME SPARK & The JLPT


Recently pictures of totally awesome 100¥ watches started showing up on Facebook. Why would anyone want such a super cool watch, when most people tend to just use their cellphones to keep time these days? For the JLPT!

Those of you who have taken the Japanese Language Proficiency Test know that not only are you not allowed to check your cell phone during the exam, you can’t even leave it on silent or “Manner Mode” as it’s called here. Even a single vibration is supposedly enough to get you kicked out, or perhaps given a ‘yellow card’ warning depending on how strict your proctors are.

The rooms where the test is given don’t necessarily have clocks on the walls, so some of my friends picked up these stylish timekeepers.  Luckily my classroom did have a clock, but on the back wall, so people kept turning around to look. At one point the invigilator announced that people should stop turning around, so of course I instinctively turned around the moment she said it, before my brain processed the part where she said “don’t.” Luckily I didn’t get carded!

The card system really amuses me, by the way–if I ever do get red-carded while taking the test, I plan to slide tackle someone on my way out the door. I really want to earn that red card!

Did anyone else take the JLPT this weekend? I’m not sure how I did, but like I said on Facebook–I’ve reached the happy Zen place of not worrying whether I passed this exam, because at the very least it motivated me to study pretty solidly, and get back into good habits. Thus, the overall experience has already been a success. POSITIVE OUTLOOK, I HAS IT.

Thanks to the fabulous Keith tor this awesome picture!

About superhappyawesome

Living in Japan!
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6 Responses to Engrish of the Week: TIME SPARK & The JLPT

  1. Alana says:

    I took N4 last weekend. I find the yellow card/ red card system kinda funny. Apparently, cellphone rings/vibrates during test: yellow card. Except, during the listening part: that’s a red card. My classroom had a clock last year, so I didn’t bring a watch this year. It seems weird that the room wouldn’t have one. But, I was writing mine at a university.

    Funny story: you always wonder, who is actually going to break all these rules? My friend wrote N1 and a girl continued writing after time was up. The proctors told her to leave, but she was pleading with them and refusing to leave the classroom. Yikes.

  2. shizen008 says:

    Wow… Carded like soccer!

  3. MerEdith says:

    I did 🙂 Didn’t have any watch though. Somehow made it on time ^ ^

  4. Jason H says:

    I took Level 2 way back in 2005 and my friend from Scotland, knowing about the chance there wouldn’t be a clock, pulled out a big, side-table alarm clock, with the two bells on top, and plonked it down on the desk. None of the proctors seemed to mind. He passed by the way – I missed it by a hair, but haven’t tried to re-take it since.

  5. jaydeejapan says:

    I took JLPT twice, 3 and 4 years ago. 4 years ago, I just barely failed level 3. 3 years ago, I passed it. The first time didn’t bother me, as I hadn’t prepared enough and didn’t expect to pass. I used the test as an excuse to push myself to study. I then took it again the following year with a huge improvement in listening especially. Haven’t really studied enough in the past 3 years, though. I will try for N3 next year, though.

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