I learn new words really easily, and I recognize words with kanji easily, but I can't seem to memorize 4 kanji 'on and kun readings' without forgetting the 1st once I learn the 5th. This is coming from someone who went through all of highschool without even being able to memorize her timetables (but did great in her final math tests because they allowed a calculator). I just don't think I'm someone who's good at memorizing - I'm good at learning, but not memorizing.
I know this is a topic people seem to feel really passionately about, but here we go - can I just learn kanji by learning how it's said in common words? Or just learning it's most common readings?
The reason I see most people give why you can't is 'if you see a word that you don't know, you won't know how to read it', but I've also heard that A. there's apps that if you take a picture of a word/kanji it'll tell you how to say it and B. the readings are irregular too often to be confident in it anyway. Right now I'm literally just trying to learn the FIRST PAGE of the Grade One Kanji on Jisho (http://jisho.org/search/%23grade%3A1%20%23kanji), and I'm already stuck with:
上 above, up
Kun: うえ、 -うえ、 うわ-、 かみ、 あ.げる、 -あ.げる、 あ.がる、 -あ.がる、 あ.がり、 -あ.がり、 のぼ.る、 のぼ.り、 のぼ.せる、 のぼ.す、 たてまつ.る
On: ジョウ、 ショウ、 シャン
Okay, let's say I memorized this. And then I saw it in a word. The chances of me even guessing the right reading is super low. Look at all of that! It definitely doesn't look like a surefire way to know how to pronounce every word you run into.
I really want to pass the JLPT5 (my goal is actually to pass it this year), and I want to know – do they ask you all of the kun and on readings for the kanji on that test? Or do they just want you to understand and be able to read the words the kanji make and how they're usually read on their own?