I just got back from my exam, so I thought I might write this down before I forget, for the next person trying to do this by themselves.
Fairly easy, if you are working off of http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/jlpt5/vocab ... ist.N5.pdf, you are going to be fine. However, there were a couple words not on this list. I wanted 100%, but I know I missed a couple here. They attempted to make the test a little more difficult this year, and they succeeded in part by making the vocabulary somewhat mysterious. But you can use this list and feel confident. You will have to know the kanji on that list. I also recommend "Remembering the Kanji" as a supplemental textbook to just drilling these lists. It will give you a memory/retention system that actually works. I'm over 90% recall and adding every week. It's the most stunning textbook that I have.
Well this will be interesting to see how I scored here. I suspect this section will not have gone well. There were a couple points of grammar that were not stressed in my primary textbook, "Japanese Demystified." The book was incredibly helpful for getting a running start but did me no favors with grammar. Definitely need a better approach for learning grammar points.
Not too bad. The more you read before the exam, the quicker you will be. You need to be able to make up time here, because some of the passages are longer than others, and I think there were more passages than in the practice exam online. The real challenge is being able to digest content quickly.
Wow, this took a very long time! If you have never taken this exam, expect about 30 questions related to a continuously running CD in the classroom. For a non-native speaker, for this to come at the end of the exam plays on your exhaustion. Make sure that you practice with workbook listening materials and the Japanese podcast on this site. I found that both were helpful, especially for this part of the exam. Also, be aware that there are trick questions. The CD will play the words for all of the options, so you cannot go by that. You need to be able to understand the order and the particles to know the correct answers. There were some words I do not know, and they were spoken very quickly so as I could not tell you what they are now. I hope I run across these words as I continue my studies.
In relation to this site:
No doubt this site helped my score and continues to help me communicate with my Japanese friends. The JLPT section needs to be reviewed for incorrect content and needs to have some sort of guidance beyond practice exams. Drilling needs to have explanation behind it, or it's quickly forgotten under a mountain of material. Definitely need more JLPT contributions by this site. Keep up the good work!