If you’d like to know if you should sit the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, then do it.
It would provide a somewhat focussed study plan and give you a SMART goal.
It is the only qualification recognised by companies in Japan, to my knowledge.
Sorry, did you ask what I think of the test?
It’s as good as any examination system in Japan…
It’s formulaic, so it operates on patterns, based on previous exams.
If you want the knowledge, learn the hard way and pat yourself on the back for your progress regardless of your exam result.
If you want a certificate, learn by the book. Find the best ‘JLPT for Dummies’ you can find, and swot section A & some of B. Test and test to prepare.
On the day, answer every question.
If you have no idea, ignore the longest and shortest answers, eliminate the next most complex answer, and the remaining answer will be the correct one, the majority of the time.
But TBH, is JLPT-1 as good as a foreigner can get in Japanese? Now that I have level-1, should I just smile and crack funny puns?
Most Japanese have never taken the exam, so it’s like those funny English exams would seem to a native English speaker.
If you want to impress Japanese people, do the exam they know: Kanji Kentei.
If you can pass pre-2, you’ll get a nod, pass level 2 and you’re revered, though it’s only the standard kanji (Joyo Kanji)
The legendary Bu-sensei (Brett) got pre-1, then level 1. He is your Kanji God.
Whatever DO you choose, it’s what you learn in the process that will abide with you.