Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The exam day

Kyoto University was the exam venue.
The much anticipated JLPT exam took place on 2 Dec. I had been looking forward to taking the N2 exam to assess my Japanese proficiency level but now, I am not sure I am looking forward to the result. 

While I had planned to begin my exam preparation a month before, there was simply too much distraction and too little discipline.  I ended up cramming five days before the exam, while at the same time monitoring the colours of the maple leaves.

Lesson learnt - one shouldn't be taking exams in autumn, especially not in a place like Kyoto. One should just focus on maple leaves viewing instead.

At Kyoto University's Yoshida Campus on 2 Dec. Waiting around. An hour before exam.

The exam was difficult, to my horror. I had not expected it to be easy but I had thought I should be able to handle it. In any case, the exam gave me strong grounds to believe that I no longer have the focus to sit through a 160 minute exam. I lost concentration after a while in the never-ending pages of reading comprehension passages.

Then there was the listening exam which had to happen after the mad rush through the section on reading.  By that time, my attention span was shortened drastically by the death of too many brain cells caused by the reading overdose. I spaced out for a while and lost the thread of many conversations.  Those must be the sure signs of age. I have a feeling that this trip shall mark the end of my full-time studying.

Beautiful view outside the lecture hall where I took the exam.
The maple leaves were mostly gone. The coniferous-like trees looked splendid though.
On a happier note, I did not miss the maple leaves because of the exam.  My classmates had been chiding me for "wasting my time" on the maple leaves. They had planned to go momiji hunting only after the exams. But the trees were shedding alot of leaves by that time.

I remember a friend from Singapore once said to me before I came to Kyoto, "You are not going there just to study right? You are also there to play right?" At that time, I thought, well no, I am coming here to study, not to play!

But now, I think the truth is out.

P/S: Next post shall be a momiji feature.


  1. I wish you best of luck for your exam. I hope you pass in good grades. Fall season is full of colours and maple leaves everywhere. They create lovely scenes and sights during this time of the year.

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