Wednesday, November 09, 2011

AccessJ's JLPT Anki Decks

Due to a lack of decent Anki decks for JLPT examinees that aren't riddled with mistakes, filled with ads, or home to controversial vocabulary choices, I have made some.

In this post, we give instructions for finding and installing our decks, one for each JLPT level.

In addition, we now have some incredibly thorough decks for every book of the Nihongo So-Matome N3 series.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Anki, it is a free flashcard application which stores progress and shows reviews at timed intervals (based on some complex psychology) for optimal recollection. It works. I use it every day. Check it out. It also has an online version, which is perfect for studying on the move. There's also has a nifty, if pricey, iOS version.

The AccessJ Anki decks use the JLPT vocabulary from, which is the most widely referenced list.

The default display for my cards looks like this (note that the Nihongo So-Matome series decks are quite different, although the basics are the same):

Any one of these elements can be moved or removed. Should you wish, you can display no kanji, only kanji, no English translation, etc etc.

I have also included the kanji reading in two different fonts, which I've never seen anyone do before, but which is vitally important - the tendency to learn only one font's representation of a kanji leaves you ill-prepared for real life! You can of course change these fonts to harder/easier to read varieties. The closest font to the official JLPT one is 教科書体, which you can download near the bottom of this page. That's used in N5, N4 and N3. N2 and N1 use MS Mincho.

Since the current incarnation of Anki doesn't allow external linking to online decks, you'll need our little guide to download them.

  1. First, download and install Anki
  2. Now, open Anki and select "File > Download > Shared Deck"
  3. Use the keyword "accessj" or "JLPT N(your level)" and you will find our decks. Click download.
    1. Now the decks will permanently be in your Anki window when you start it up. Your progress will be automatically saved.
  4. To change the layout, select "Edit > Card Layout" during review

Step 2
Step 3

Step 4


    1. thank you for those decks! I was looking everywhere and could not find anything useful to prepare for JLPT N3!

    2. You're welcome :) Good luck!

    3. I went one further and added some calligraphy fonts since those are so hard to read, it would be nice to have some exposure :)

    4. The 「この本には、くれしい説明は書かれていません」 sentence is wrong, I think the word is supposed to be 詳しい(くわしい)not くれしい which isn't even a word. Cheers though!

    5. Thanks, Anon. I'll fix that. If anyone notices any other errors, do let me know.

    6. Can't figure out how to sync and upload decks from the software to the online version? Any advice on how to do it? Thanks

    7. I've had trouble with that before. You need to be logged in to your online Anki account, then click File > Sync when a deck is loaded. If for some reason that doesn't work, check the Study Options/Deck Properties under Settings.

    8. When I use this on my Nexus 7, it shows the Japanese kana twice. A larger top row and a smaller second row. Any idea how to make it only show the words once?

    9. Anon: Some entries will do this where there is no kanji used (either at all, or at that specific level of the JLPT). If it is showing the kanji twice then that is entirely deliberate. Different fonts can change the appearance of kanji, which is why I designed the cards to use two quite different ones for comparison.
      However, if you want to turn that off, go to "Card layout" while studying. Remove the text "span style="font-family: MS 明朝; font-size: 30px;"{{{text:Expression}}}" and the closing /span tag

    10. Thank you so much for this! I'm just wondering how do I get rid one one of the texts? The double text is really distracting for me. And I have the n3 version, but n2 kept getting an invalid file error.

    11. These decks are no longer available. If anybody has these decks, re-uploading these would be super super helpful

    12. I believe they were uploaded here.