If you are studying Japanese, then you might agree with me that Kanji (the Chinese characters used in written Japanese) is interesting but also very difficult. The same character can have many different readings, and sometimes it’s impossible to guess the reading even though there are several general rules on how to read Kanji. In fact, Kanji is challenging even for native Japanese speakers, so do not be panic if you cannot remember all the Kanji you have learned in class today. Learning takes time, right?
At Rikkyo University, we have separated classes for each language skills such as grammar, speaking, etc, but we do not have a class specifically for Kanji. Instead, we have Rikkyo Kanji Certificate Examination (RKCE), a test designed to evaluate students’ knowledge of Kanji (reading, form recognition, and meaning). The test is optional, held 4 times a year, and the result does not affect the student’s grade.
The RKCE has 3 different levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. Each level is further divided into 6-7 groups, which each contains about 80-120 Kanji focused on a certain topics. Students can freely choose which group to take. If you pass the test by scoring the sufficient points, you can receive a certificate of accomplishment. If you do not pass, then you have to retake the same level the next time you sign up for the test.
So, I signed up for the test in September, took it in late October, and received my result today. And, I passed (YAY!!!).
Now I need to study for the next test, which will be held on December 16. The result will be out in January, but since I have to return to the US at the end of December, the school say they will send me my certificate (only if I pass, of course) to my U.S. address. Taking the test is optional, but if you are studying Japanese, then why not? ^^