The JLPT has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1.
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.
The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.
The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree.
The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.
The ability to understand basic Japanese.
The ability to understand some basic Japanese.
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.
*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
The JLPT can be taken at various locations around the world.
JLPT applicants cover a wide age range, from elementary school pupils to working adults.
Source: Official Worldwide Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Website (http://www.jlpt.jp/)