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JLPT

N1-N5

Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each level

The JLPT has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1.

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N4 and N5 measure the level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in class. N1and N2 measure the level of understanding of Japanese used in a broad range of scenes in actual everyday life. N3 is a bridging level between N1/N2 and N4/N5.

Linguistic competence required for the JLPT is expressed in terms of language activities, such as Reading and Listening, as shown in the table below. While not noted in the table, Language Knowledge, such as Vocabulary and Grammar, is also required for successful execution of these activities.

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The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.

  • One is able to read writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, and comprehend both their structures and contents.
  • One is also able to read written materials with profound contents on various topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers comprehensively.
  • One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents comprehensively. One is also able to understand the details of the presented materials such as the relationships among the people involved, the logical structures, and the essential points.

The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree.

  • One is able to read materials written clearly on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines as well as simple critiques, and comprehend their contents.
  • One is also able to read written materials on general topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers.
  • One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations and news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed in everyday situations as well as in a variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents. One is also able to understand the relationships among the people involved and the essential points of the presented materials.

The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.

  • One is able to read and understand written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics.
  • One is also able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines.
  • In addition, one is also able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content if some alternative phrases are available to aid oneโ€™s understanding.
  • One is able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and is generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.

The ability to understand basic Japanese.

  • One is able to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary andย kanji.
  • One is able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly.

The ability to understand some basic Japanese.

  • One is able to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written inย hiragana,ย katakana, and basicย kanji.
  • One is able to listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and is able to pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.

Advantages of JLPT

JLPT certificates offer various advantages, ranging from recognition as academic credit and graduation certification at schools to preferential treatment at companies and acknowledgement of qualification in society.

Advantages in Japan

  • Earn points for preferential treatment for immigration to Japan
    • Those who pass JLPT N1 receive 15 points, N2 receive 10 points under the government’s “Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.” Individuals with a total of 70 points or higher receive preferential treatment at immigration.
    • For more details, please refer toย the website of Immigration Bureau of Japan.
  • One of requirements to take Japan’s national exams for medical practitioners
    • A JLPT N1 certificate is required for medical practitioners licensed overseas who want to take Japan’s national exams for medical practitioners, and other professions.*
      For more details on application requirements for national exams for medical practitioners, please refer toย the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare websiteย (Japanese).
    • *Other national exams that require a JLPT N1 certificate as part of application:
      Dentist, nurse, pharmacist, public health nurse, midwife, radiology technologist, dental hygienist, dental technician, clinical laboratory technician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, orthoptist, clinical engineer, prosthetist, emergency medical technician, speech therapist, veterinarian

  • One of requirements to take Japan’s prefectural exams for assistant nurses
    • A JLPT N1 certificate is required for overseas nursing school graduates who want to take Japan’s assistant nurse exams.
    • Exams for assistant nurses are administered by each prefecture. For more details, please contact the prefecture of interest.
  • One of requirements for the nurse/caregiver candidates under the EPA
    • Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, a JLPT certificate is required for Indonesian, Filipino (approximately Level N5 or higher), and Vietnamese (Level N3 or higher) nurse or caregiver candidates who visit Japan.
      For more details, please refer toย the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare websiteย (Japanese).
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JLPT in charts

Countries/areas where JLPT is administered (2016 test figures)

The JLPT can be taken at various locations around the world.

  • Japan: 45 prefectures
  • Overseas: 228 cities in 73 countries/areas
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JLPT applicants cover a wide age range, from elementary school pupils to working adults.

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Source: Official Worldwide Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Website (http://www.jlpt.jp/)