Kanken Result 2009
As can be seen from the above certificate I passed 9th grade in the Kanken test. やった！
I was reasonably confident however. Although I can be a little proud of my achievement it only puts me on a par with a below average seven year old, with knowledge of 240 common kanji. However I can say that the knowledge is native level. I can read the onyomi, kunyomi and tokubetsu readings and write them by hand, not just put an English keyword to them.
You get a lot for the £23 exam fee. There was the test itself that had to be hand marked and this morning I got a packet with
- my certificate to go on the wall
- two certificates that I think are for a school or work file
- an answer sheet for the test I took
- a marking sheet showing the answers I got correct and incorrect
- my ranking relative to the average score on a spider diagram
- an serial number and password (also in 3D barcode for a phone) to log in to the kanken site
- comments and advice
And the time frame for the result is pretty good after all. I took it on the fifth of November, it was awarded on the 24th, presumably then sent from Japan and posted onward from London yesterday.
So in the end I got 136points out of 150. 120 was the pass mark. My reading was a bit below the average though. Mind you the average was between 95 and 100 percent in all the areas.
So onwards and upwards towards level 8 (440 characters) next year, hopefully in the summer rather than to have to wait a whole year. My medium term goal are the 1006 grade school kanji at level 5. Maybe above level 2 would be a lifetime goal difficult even for Japanese. The ultimate level, level one, for instance tests 6000 characters. I doubt I shall ever see such giddy heights.
I think this test is a good adjunct to JLPT. Although primarily about kanji, as it is aimed at native speakers and is all in Japanese it will test your reading and writing abilities to their limit and you can be sure they are on a par with Japanese students at the same level.
I heartily recommend this test to anyone who can find an exam centre. Unfortunately that usually means Japan. But if you cannot find one maybe you could see if your school or college would offer it, I don’t think it would be that difficult for them to apply to to it. It might also be possible for them to get assistance from the Japanese embassy’s cultural attaché.