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Dec
07

Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Chicago

Posted on Monday December 07, 2009 at 9:18pm in ,

On Sunday I was scheduled to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 2 (日本語能力試験). The test is only offered in a few cities in the US, so I had to go to Chicago to take it. Mostly it was just to see if I could pass the test, but I will probably be able to use the certification if I pass from the test in the future. On Saturday, my dad and I drove down to Chicago. Here are a bunch of pictures from the trip:

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Driving towards Chicago.

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Arriving in Chicago.

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Willis Tower from the interstate (formerly the Sears Tower).

We arrived around 7:00pm and checked into our hotel. This was taken from our room on the 6th floor:

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Also from the hotel room.

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The Willis Tower is lit up in green and red.

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This was our hotel.

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Chicago streets.

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River. The trees are decorated for the holidays.

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Opera House.

When we got done walking around Chicago and seeing the city a bit, we went back to the hotel to study and sleep.

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Chicago in the morning from the hotel.

We got up a little early so we could walk around and see more of Chicago. We started walking towards Willis Tower.

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Willis Tower. See those four clear boxes extending from the very top of the tower? Those are skydecks.

The Willis Tower Sky Deck is a new attraction that just opened in July. They call the boxes “The Ledge,” because they extend four feet out from the building. The walls, ceiling and floor are completely transparent so you can see straight down from about 1,300 feet up.

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Union Station.

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Union Station was also decorated.

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We made it to the tower.

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This model of the Willis Tower is constructed entirely out of legos.

We went to the very top of the tower and here is what the view was like:

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Here is The Ledge:

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Stepping out onto the glass.

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Dad standing on the ledge.

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Me standing on the ledge.

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My feet.

Unfortunately, we never got to go to Millennium Park which I wanted to see. But, maybe next time.

When we got back down from the tower it was about time to go to the test site. There wasn’t much time to eat, so we just had a sandwich at the grocery store before checking in. The test was about 3 hours long, but it seemed to go by fast. I can’t talk about the content of the test, but it was very very difficult. Out of the two hundred new kanji that I studied:

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What 200 kanji look like.

about four appeared in the vocab section. I don’t know if I passed or not, it could go either way. The listening section was the easiest I thought, but the other two sections were pretty hard. If I don’t pass level 2 this year, I will take it again next year. On the other hand, if I do pass, I doubt I will take level 1 for a while (I will need to study a lot more before it).

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