Today I took the J.Test (実用日本語検定) Test of Practical Japanese. This test has levels A to F. Levels E and F are on one test which has a total of 500 points. Levels A to D are on another test with a total of 1000 points. That means there are two tests and you have to decide if you should take the beginner test (EF Levels) or the more difficult test (AD Levels).
I took this test twice in 2004. In February I took the EF test and scored 400 points. I received a nice certificate for the E level. Then two months later, I took the AD test and scored 376 points. At least 500 points is needed on the AD test to get a certificate for the D level.
So now it's two and a half years later. I'm hoping I get over 600 points. Maybe 625? That would be a nice 100 points a year improvement.
This test, unlike other Japanese tests, has a small writing component. One part of the writing component was just writing the reading of a kanji word. Such as 妹 and I wrote いもと (wrong answer!). There was also 束の間 and I didn't know it either. I wrote ひがしのあいだ (wrong answer). And then the other part of it was making sentences. The test problems had three words and you have to make up a sentence. The first one was はさみ 切る 紙 and I wrote このはさみは紙を切ることができない。I hope that sentence is correct. That's probably the only problem I'll get points for in the writing section.