Easy-to-use JLPT prep material with books that focus on grammar, kanji, reading, listening, and vocabulary. With a highly-organized structure and fun illustrations, these books are a low-stress option for someone looking to study for the JLPT.
Each lesson is meant to take one day with each book organized into a week-based program. Each week represents a major topic with various subtopics. Some books have 6 weeks worth of content while others may go up to 8 weeks.
Depending on the book, each day presents a bunch of kanji, grammar points, and vocabulary to memorize. True to workbook form, the lessons in most books end with れんしゅう or practice with answers revealed at the bottom of the page. Each week is followed by じっせんもんだい or practice exercises that cover the week’s material.
It is worth mentioning that, while the content and organization in all the books is great overall, the grammar book in particular may be challenging for some learners. Rather than detailed grammar explanations that discuss the nuances behind certain patterns and structures, learners are only provided with English translations (which are sometimes confusing or just plain misleading).
Other than that hiccup, this JLPT prep series does an overall good job of teaching to the test – a controversial subject for some. If you're looking to get ready for the JLPT in a timely fashion, this is the series for you.
UPDATE: In a previous review article about Nihongo Sō-Matome, we mentioned that there was only content for levels N3–N1 of the JLPT. Since then, the creators of the Nihongo Sō-Matome series have published grammar, vocabulary, and kanji books for the N5 and N4 levels as well.
Additionally, the series has been updated and revamped – a process that began May 2022. Color has been added to the series as well as mock tests with self-timing features and accompanying audio recordings. Some controversial content was also changed and an apology by the publisher has been issued.