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Try Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

By Guidable Writers Aug 2, 2016

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) Japanese Spanish Vietnamese Chinese (Traditional)

What is Nihonngo-Nouryoku-Shiken?

There is a test for non-native speaker of Japanese which measures your competence in Japanese. It is “”Nihonngo-Nouryoku-Shiken” and is also called JLPT (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.)

Over half a million of non-native speakers per year take the test according to their each situation all over the world. In fact, the examinees of the test have increased according to the increasing numbers of learners of Japanese in the world. Why do people take the test? Let us find the answer.


スクリーンショット 2016-08-02 11.35.05(Reference: Japan Foundation)


The reason for recommending the test

At first, please answer each question;

#1: Do you wonder if your Japanese are right when you have used ones?

#2: Do you feel like getting to know what level your Japanese is?

#3: Do you want to acquire the proper Japanese grammar & expressions? 

#4: Do you have any plans for working in Japan as a doctor, nurse, care worker, or other medical worker?

#5: Do you want to make friends with Japanese at school or workplace?

If you answered yes even one time to either question, you should try the test. I have taught Japanese to several exchange students from abroad about 10 months each. From my experiences, you will pass the grade N4 or N3 test if you have studied for 10 months constantly. You can study by yourself with some textbooks every day, and might ask native Japanese speakers to practice conversation patterns together along the textbooks. Some cities or towns have Japanese lessons with reasonable tuition, so if you are living in Japan, please knock the door to the city or town office.


スクリーンショット 2016-08-02 11.35.14(Reference:


How is the level?

The test grade is from N5 to N1 as the following shows.

N5       →N4            →N3        →N2           →N1

Elementary → Pre-intermediate → Intermediate → Pre-advanced → Advanced(native speaker)

Let us try sample questions for each level to click the following Web link. Are you ready?

How was it? Did you get confidence of your Japanese? Or were you embarrassed by the unfamiliar words? And, you might have laid out a goal for the test. I would introduce the following textbooks for your self-study.

Step 1For the beginning  (for the first 8 months)

#1: にほんごチャレンジ N4N5 [かんじ]

#2: にほんごチャレンジN4[文法と読む練習] (「日本語能力試験」対策)

ペーパーバック  – November 10, 2010

#3: にほんごチャレンジN4[ことば] (日本語能力試験対策にほんごチャレンジ) 単行本  – November 15, 2010


スクリーンショット 2016-08-02 11.36.16(References


Step 2For the last term (for the last 2 months)

Here are the official textbooks by the examiner.

#4: 日本語能力試験 公式問題集 N5 (日本語) ペーパーバック  – March 31, 2012

#5: 日本語能力試験 公式問題集 N4 (日本語) ペーパーバック  – March 31, 2012

#6: 日本語能力試験 公式問題集 N3 (日本語) 単行本  – March 31, 2012

You will choose N1 or N2 of the same series of the textbooks above.

スクリーンショット 2016-08-02 11.37.09(Reference:


Where you can take

You can take the test twice a year all over Japan, and once or twice all over the world.

If you have decided to take the test in Japan, you should apply as soon as possible because some test sites have limited capacity. Otherwise you might be compelled to take the test in other prefecture than the one you are dwelling.

You can check the detail of the test by the following URL.

Be patient & relax!

Once you have started a textbook, please try to complete to fill up. The avoided way is chasing too many textbooks at the same time. If you want to try another textbook, please do only after the first one has been finished because you might be confused by the different procedure or method between/among the textbooks to lose your confidence. In addition, studying Japanese must not be stressful or boring; please imagine what you can do with fluent Japanese in the future. You will enjoy the conversation with Japanese friends, colleagues, or lover. Furthermore, you can read or watch favorite anime in Japanese, etc.

Good luck!