Did you know that you can prepare for the JLPT at Lexis Japan? The JLPT has long been the ‘standard’ Japanese language test. Read on to see if it’s time to take on the challenge!
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a standardized test designed to evaluate the Japanese language proficiency of non-native speakers. It is offered twice a year, in July and December, and is recognized by Japanese organizations, universities, and companies as a benchmark for language ability. Although there are other tests available, none have the broad recognition of the JLPT.
The JLPT has five levels: N5, N4, N3, N2, and N1. N5 is the easiest level and N1 is the most difficult. Each level has its own criteria for evaluating vocabulary, grammar, reading, and listening comprehension skills.
To take the JLPT, you must be a non-native speaker of Japanese and normally have completed at least some formal study of the language. You can register for the test at designated test sites in your country or online, or ask at front desk at Lexis and we will be happy to help.
The test consists of four sections: vocabulary, grammar and reading, listening, and writing (only for N1 and N2 levels). The vocabulary and grammar section tests your understanding of basic words and sentence structures. The reading section assesses your ability to comprehend written Japanese, and the listening section evaluates your comprehension of spoken Japanese.
At Lexis, we’re often asked ‘how long will it take me to go up a level on the JLPT?’. It’s a hard question. Of course, you’ll improve massively faster in a fulltime study classroom situation than at home with a textbook. Experts generally give the following ‘estimates’:
- N5: Approximately 100-200 hours of study. This level is the easiest, so if you have a basic knowledge of the language, you may be able to pass with fewer hours of study.
- N4: Approximately 200-400 additional hours of study. This level requires a solid understanding of basic vocabulary and grammar, so it may take longer to prepare for this level if you are starting from scratch.
- N3: Approximately 400-600 additional hours of study. This level requires a more advanced understanding of Japanese, including a wider vocabulary and more complex grammar structures.
- N2: Approximately 600-800 additional hours of study. This level requires a high level of comprehension of the language, including the ability to understand technical and abstract concepts. The N2 is generally the level regarded as ‘fully functional’ in Japanese for the purposes of work and study.
- N1: Approximately 800 or more additional hours of study are recommended to prepare for the N1 level of the JLPT. This level requires an excellent understanding of the language and its usage in a variety of contexts.
The score for each section is reported separately, and you must pass each section to pass the overall test. The results of the JLPT are usually available within two months of the test date, and they are valid for two years.
Passing the JLPT can open up many opportunities in Japan, such as studying at a Japanese university, finding a job in Japan, or obtaining a visa to live in Japan. It can also be a valuable addition to your resume, demonstrating your dedication to learning the language and your language skills to potential employers. The most common motivation for taking the test is university entrance. Generally, most universities require international students to have at least upper intermediate level Japanese proficiency, which corresponds to JLPT N2. However, some universities may require advanced-level proficiency, which corresponds to JLPT N1.
If you have any questions about preparing for the JLPT, please feel free to get in touch! Alternatively, you can read more at the official website.