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Japanese Language Proficiency Test 1

Japanese Language Proficiency Test

Japanese Language
Proficiency Test

Certificate of Proficiency awarded for passing the Level N1 JLPT conducted in 2010.
[1] [2]
International exam sites

East Asia

 Republic of Seoul, Incheon, Suwon, Seongnam, Anyang, Cheonan, Cheongju, Daejeon, Gwangju, Chuncheon,
Korea Gangneung, Busan, Gimhae, Yangsan, Daegu, Gumi, Andong, Masan, Jinju, Ulsan, Pohang, Jeju

 People's Beijing, Shanghai, Changchun, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Tianjin, Harbin, Xi'an, Chongqing, Jinan,
Republic of China Wuhan, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Hohhot, Luoyang, Suzhou, Qingdao, Changsha, Chengdu, Nanjing, Hefei,
Shenzhen, Nanchang, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Ningbo, Wuxi, Guiyang, Ürümqi

 Hong Kong Hong Kong

 Mongolia Ulan Bator

 Republic of Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung

Southeast Asia

 Indonesia Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, Padang, Denpasar

 Cambodia Phnom Penh

 Singapore Singapore

 Thailand Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Songkhla, Khon Kaen

 Philippines Manila, Cebu, Davao

 Brunei Bandar Seri Begawan

 Vietnam Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh

 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Kota Kinabalu

 Myanmar Yangon

 Laos Vientiane

South and Central Asia

 India New Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai

 Sri Lanka Colombo

 Nepal Kathmandu

 Pakistan Islamabad, Karachi

 Bangladesh Dhaka
Japanese Language Proficiency Test 2

 Uzbekistan Tashkent

 Kazakhstan Almaty

 Kyrgyzstan Bishkek


 Australia Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide

 New Zealand Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

North America

 Canada Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton

 United States Atlanta, Chicago, Fayetteville, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia,
Boston, Washington D.C.

 Mexico Mexico City

South America

 Argentina Buenos Aires

 Paraguay Asunción

 Brazil São Paulo, Londrina, Belém, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Brasília, Salvador, Manaus

 Venezuela Caracas

 Peru Lima

 Bolivia Santa Cruz, La Paz


 Italy Rome, Milan, Venice

 United Kingdom London

 Greece Athens

 Switzerland Bern

 Spain Madrid, Barcelona

 Denmark Copenhagen

 Germany Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Berlin, Hamburg

 Finland Helsinki

 France Paris, Lyon

 Ukraine Kiev

 Hungary Budapest

 Bulgaria Sofia

 Poland Warsaw

 Romania Bucharest

 Ireland Dublin

 Russia Moscow, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Irkutsk, Saint Petersburg

Middle East and Africa

 Egypt Cairo

 Kenya Nairobi

 Turkey Ankara
Japanese Language Proficiency Test 3

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験 Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken), or JLPT, is a standardized
criterion-referenced test to evaluate and certify the Japanese language proficiency of non-native speakers. It is held
twice a year in East Asia and once a year in other regions.[3] The JLPT now has five levels, with Level N5 the most
basic and Level N1 the most difficult. From 1984 to 2009 the test had 4 levels, with Level 4 the most basic and Level
1 the most difficult – see kyū. But a new level was inserted between 2 and 3, meaning N5 corresponds to the old
Level 4. The Japan Foundation estimates that approximately 150 hours of study were necessary to pass the Level 4
exam and 900 hours of study were required to pass the Level 1 test,[4] although the figures may be significantly
higher for native English speakers. In 2008, the Japanese government announced a plan under consideration to use
the JLPT to screen applicants for long-term and permanent resident visas.[5] The test is held on the first Sunday of
July and December each year.

History and statistics

The JLPT was first held in 1984 in response to growing demand for standardized Japanese language certification.[6]
Initially 7,000 people took the test.[7] Until 2003, the JLPT was one of the requirements for foreigners entering
Japanese universities. Since 2003, the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students
(EJU) is used by most universities for this purpose;[8] unlike the JLPT, which is solely a multiple-choice exam, the
EJU contains sections which require the examinee to write in Japanese.
In 2004, the JLPT was offered in 40 countries, including Japan. Of the 302,198 examinees in that year, 47% (around
140,000) were certified for their respective level.[9] The number of candidates continued to rise to 559,056 in 2008,
while the percentage of candidates certified has fallen below 36%. In 2009, when a revised system was introduced in
which two exams are held each year in East Asia, a total of 768,114 people took the exam.[10]

In Japan, the JLPT is administered by the Ministry of Education[11] through the Japan Educational Exchanges and
Services (JEES). Overseas, the Japan Foundation co-proctors test administration with local cultural exchange and/or
educational institutions, or with committees specially established for this purpose.[12] [13]

Revised test
A revised test pattern, originally scheduled to be implemented from December 2009, has been postponed until 2010.
The revised test will consist of five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5, with N1 being the highest level and N5 the
easiest. This has been done to address the problem of the difficulty gap between level 3 to 2.
In the past there have been requests for revisions to address the fact that examinees who have passed the Level 3 test
often have trouble with passing the Level 2 test because of the large gap in those two levels, as well as to address the
need to measure abilities more advanced than those targeted by the current Level 1 test.[14]
• N1: the same passing level as the original level 1, but able to gauge slightly more advanced skills, possibly
through equating of test scores[15]
• N2: the same as the original level 2
• N3: in between the original level 2 and level 3
• N4: the same as the original level 3
• N5: the same as the original level 4
The revised test will continue to test the same categories as the original, but the first and third sections of the test will
be combined into a single section.[16] Sections on oral and writing skills will not be introduced.[7]
No Test Content Specification will be published as it is discouraged to study from kanji and vocabulary lists. Only
the pass marks for the N1-N3 tests have so far been announced, and the pass marks for N4-N5 are to be released in
March 2011. [17]
Japanese Language Proficiency Test 4

Level Overall pass Language knowledge Reading Listening

mark (Vocabulary/Grammar)
(180 points total)

N1 100 points 19 points 19 points 19 points

N2 90 points 19 points 19 points 19 points

N3 95 points 19 points 19 points 19 points



Total possible 180 points 60 points 60 points 60 points

Test sections

Level Test section Total duration

(test time)

N1 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading Listening 170 min

(110 min) (60 min)

N2 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading Listening 155 min

(105 min) (50 min)

N3 Language Knowledge Language Knowledge Listening 140 min

(Vocabulary) (Grammar)・Reading (40 min)
(30 min) (70 min)

N4 Language Knowledge Language Knowledge Listening 125 min

(Vocabulary) (Grammar)・Reading (35 min)
(30 min) (60 min)

N5 Language Knowledge Language Knowledge Listening 105 min

(Vocabulary) (Grammar)・Reading (30 min)
(25 min) (50 min)

• Note: "Vocabulary" includes kanji and vocabulary (previous 文字・語彙)

Results are announced the following February for examinees in Japan, and March for overseas candidates. Test
results are sent to the examinees through the testing organization or centre to which they applied.[18] All examinees
receive a report indicating their scores by section. Those who pass also receive a Certificate of Proficiency.

Year Level JLPT in Japan JLPT in overseas

Applicants Examinees Certified (%) Applicants Examinees Certified (%)

[19] 1級 47,761 42,923 14,338 (33.4%) 135,616 110,937 28,550 (25.7%)

2級 34,782 31,805 11,884 (37.4%) 186,226 152,198 40,975 (26.9%)

3級 16,808 15,710 8,664 (55.1%) 143,252 113,526 53,806 (47.4%)

4級 3,908 3,383 2,332 (68.9%) 64,127 53,476 27,767 (51.9%)

[20] 1級 52,992 46,953 18,454 (39.3%) 138,131 116,271 38,988 (33.5%)

2級 41,924 38,040 16,289 (42.8%) 187,482 157,142 58,124 (37.0%)

3級 22,016 20,351 13,304 (65.4%) 147,435 120,569 69,605 (57.7%)

4級 4,524 3,903 2,765 (70.8%) 65,877 55,828 31,227 (55.9%)

Japanese Language Proficiency Test 5

[21] 1級 29,274 26,578 11,738 (44.2%) 103,349 87,104 28,230 (32.4%)

2級 26,437 24,793 9,279 (37.4%) 130,753 110,266 27,543 (25.0%)

[22] 1級 46,648 41,998 12,293 (29.3%) 137,708 114,725 26,427 (23.0%)

2級 36,528 33,807 12,462 (36.9%) 176,628 147,328 41,488 (28.2%)

3級 17,703 16,675 9,360 (56.1%) 131,733 108,867 51,903 (47.7%)

4級 3,212 2,932 2,155 (73.5%) 61,995 53,041 29,529 (55.7%)

[23] N1 26,225 23,694 9,651 (40.7%) 73,863 62,938 19,402 (30.8%)

N2 24,738 23,126 13,768 (59.5%) 87,889 74,874 32,530 (43.4%)

N3 6,947 6,280 3,051 (48.6%) 42,227 32,100 12,574 (39.2%)

Application period
The application period is usually around early March until late April for July's examination and around early August
until late September for December's examination.

Previous format (1984-2009)

All instructions on the test are written in Japanese, although their difficulty is adjusted to remain appropriate to each
test level.[24] The subject matter covered at each level of the examination is based upon the Test Content
Specification (出題基準 Shutsudai kijun), first published in 1994 and revised in 2004. This specification serves as a
reference for examiners to compile test questions, rather than as a study guide for candidates. It consists of kanji
lists, expression lists, vocabulary lists, and grammar lists for all five JLPT levels. However, about 20% of the kanji,
vocabulary, and grammar in any one exam may be drawn from outside the prescribed lists at the discretion of exam

Test content summary

Level Kanji Vocabulary Listening Hours of Study Pass Mark

4 ~100 (103) ~800 (728) Beginner 150 (estimated) 60%

3 ~300 (284) ~1,500 (1409) Basic 300 (estimated)

2 ~1000 (1023) ~6,000 (5035) Intermediate 600 (estimated)

1 ~2000 (1926) ~10,000 (8009) Advanced 900 (estimated) 70%

Test sections
The JLPT is divided into three sections: "Characters and Vocabulary" (100 points), "Listening Comprehension" (100
points), and "Reading Comprehension and Grammar" (200 points).
The first section (文字・語彙, moji, goi) tests knowledge of vocabulary and various aspects of the Japanese writing
system. This includes identifying the correct kanji characters for given situations, selecting the correct hiragana
readings for given kanji, choosing the appropriate terms for given sentences, and choosing the appropriate usage of
given words.
The second section (聴解, chōkai) comprises two sub-sections that test listening comprehension. The first involves
choosing the picture which best represents the situation presented by a prerecorded conversation. The second is of a
similar format but presents no visual clues.
Japanese Language Proficiency Test 6

Section three (読解・文法, dokkai, bunpō) uses authentic or semi-authentic reading passages of various lengths to
test reading comprehension. Questions include prompts to fill in blank parts of the text and requests to paraphrase
key points. Grammar questions request that examinees select the correct grammar structure to convey a given point
or test conjugations and postpositional particle agreement.

Exam duration
Level Kanji and Listening Reading Total duration
vocabulary comprehension comprehension
and grammar

4 25 min 25 min 50 min 100 min

3 35 min 35 min 70 min 140 min

2 35 min 40 min 70 min 145 min

1 45 min 45 min 90 min 180 min

[1] "List of Local Host Institutions of JLPT" (http:/ / momo. jpf. go. jp/ jlpt/ overseas/ e/ list_e. html). Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. .
Retrieved January 31, 2009.
[2] "List of Overseas Test Sites" (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ application/ overseas_list. html). The Japan Foundation / Japan Educational Exchanges
and Services. . Retrieved December 21, 2010.
[3] "Official overseas JLPT homepage" (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ ). Japan Foundation. . Retrieved February 18, 2009.
[4] "What is the JLPT?" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20080822215441/ http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ about/ content. html). Japan Foundation.
Archived from the original (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ about/ content. html) on August 22, 2008. . Retrieved February 18, 2009.
[5] "Japan Mulls Easing Conditions For Skilled Foreign Workers" (http:/ / www. bernama. com. my/ bernama/ v3/ news_world. php?id=310894).
Malaysian National News Agency. . Retrieved February 9, 2009.
[6] "Introduction" (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ about/ index. html). The Japan Foundation. . Retrieved 2009-05-01.
[7] "第2回 日本語能力試験改訂 中間報告" (http:/ / www. jees. or. jp/ jlpt/ pdf/ 20080525_jlpt_kaitei_report_pre01_0718. pdf) (in Japanese)
(PDF). Japan Foundation. 2008-05-25. . Retrieved May 13, 2008.
[8] "What is EJU?" (http:/ / www. jasso. go. jp/ eju/ whats_eju_e. html). Japan Student Services Organisation. . Retrieved May 30, 2006.
[9] The 2005 Language Proficiency Test Level 1 and 2 Questions and Correct Answers, JEES & The Japan Foundation, Japan, 2006, pages 88
and 99. ISBN 4-89358-609-2
[10] "2009-2nd examination results, part 3" (http:/ / www. jees. or. jp/ jlpt/ pdf/ 2009_2nd/ 08-scr-16-17. pdf) (PDF). JEES. . Retrieved July 29,
[11] Chen, Ping and Nanette Gottlieb. Language Planning and Language Policy: East Asian Perspectives, Routledge, 2001, page 43.
[12] "Japanese Language Proficiency Test guidelines, 2006 (PDF), page 1" (http:/ / www. jpf. org. au/ 03_language/ jlpt/ guidelines_english.
pdf). JEES and The Japan Foundation. . Retrieved February 18, 2009.
[13] The 2005 Language Proficiency Test Level 1 and 2 Questions and Correct Answers, page 122.
[14] http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ info/ index. html
[15] "Revision of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test: Second Progress Report, 2008 (PDF), pages 4-5" (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ info/ pdf/
2008_report. pdf). Committee for Revision of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, JEES and The Japan Foundation. . Retrieved February
21, 2009.
[16] "Points for Revision" (http:/ / web. archive. org/ web/ 20080822215452/ http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ info/ index. html). The Japan Foundation.
Archived from the original (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ info/ index. html) on August 22, 2008. . Retrieved February 21, 2009.
[17] "New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test FAQ" (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ faq/ index. html#anchor33). The Japan Foundation, JEES. .
Retrieved November 19, 2010.
[18] "Japanese Language Proficiency Test guidelines, 2006 (PDF), page 3" (http:/ / www. jpf. org. au/ 03_language/ jlpt/ guidelines_english.
pdf). JEES and The Japan Foundation. . Retrieved February 18, 2009.
[19] 2007年結果の概要,実施国・地域別応募者数・受験者数 (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ j/ about/ pdf/ 2007_05. pdf) JEES. Retrieved 5 April
[20] 2008年結果の概要,実施国・地域別応募者数・受験者数 (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ j/ about/ pdf/ 2008_05. pdf) JEES. Retrieved 5 April
[21] 2009年度1回日本語能力試験実施状況 (http:/ / www. jees. or. jp/ jlpt/ pdf/ 2009/ 00-scr-all. pdf) JEES. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
[22] 2009年度2回日本語能力試験実施状況 (http:/ / www. jees. or. jp/ jlpt/ pdf/ 2009_2nd/ 00-scr-all. pdf) JEES. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
[23] Data of the test in 2010 (July) (http:/ / www. jlpt. jp/ e/ statistics/ archive/ 201001. html) JEES. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
Japanese Language Proficiency Test 7

[24] Noda, Hiroshi and Mari Noda. Acts of Reading: Exploring Connections in Pedagogy of Japanese, University of Hawaii Press, 2003, page
[25] Japanese Language Proficiency Test: Test Content Specifications (Revised Edition), The Japan Foundation and Association of International
Education, Japan, 2004. ISBN 4-89358-281-X

External links
• 日本語能力試験 JLPT ( (japanese), the official JLPT website
• The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (, the official English-language website by
JEES and the Japan Foundation
• JapaneseLanguage Proficiency Test (, worldwide JLPT examinees association.
Article Sources and Contributors 8

Article Sources and Contributors

Japanese Language Proficiency Test  Source:  Contributors: 03Indira, Aafrophone, Akinkokatsube, Amorette, AngelFire3423,
ApeXaviour, Arghyaganguly, Arthena, Atitarev, Atlantima, Attilios, Bendono, Biruitorul, Canterbury Tail, CarlKenner, Cheesemeister3k, Chokokokoa, Chris 73, Cless Alvein, DAJF,
DannyWilde, Dekimasu, Denihilonihil, Dimitri can, Dpr, EvilCouch, FJM, Fratrep, Furrykef, Gaius Cornelius, Giraffedata, Goh wz, Gronky, Harryboyles, Hellcat fighter, Hinohino, Hlamerz,
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NickKemp, Oda Mari, Optakeover, Orcrist, Pirtskhalava, PlaySayer, Pmt7ar, Porridgebowl, Rchopra, Realidad y Illusion, ReyBrujo, Rjwilmsi, Ryanaxp, Samwaltz, Seann, Sekizaru, Shenyea,
Sherlockindo, Shii, ShizuokaSensei, Sj, Sparky147, Speculoos, Spurrymoses, Stopthatgirl, Stshores24, TakuyaMurata, TastyPoutine, Tentacle Monster, The Japanese Flag, TheBilly, Thejerm,
ToothingLummox, Tuanglen, Urhixidur, Urzadek, Vbs, Wereon, White Cat, WoodElf, Zacharychung, Zhen Lin, Zpgni, 168 anonymous edits

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Image:JLPT N1.jpg  Source:  License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0  Contributors: User:Realidad y Illusion
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Rkt2312, Rocket000, Runningfridgesrule, Samwingkit, Sasha Krotov, Shizhao, Tabasco, Vzb83, Wrightbus, ZooFari, Zscout370, 72 anonymous edits
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Duduziq, Fry1989, Gunkarta, Homo lupus, Idh0854, Josegeographic, Klemen Kocjancic, Legnaw, Mattes, Neq00, Nightstallion, Pixeltoo, Rfc1394, SeNeKa, Stevanb, ThomasPusch,
UnreifeKirsche, WikipediaMaster, Xiengyod, Zscout370, 白布飘扬, 2 anonymous edits
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