You are on page 1of 21

The New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

Contents
What sort of test is the JLPT? 4 key points of the new JLPT New test FAQs More questions?

What sort of test is the JLPT?


The test evaluates and certifies Japaneselanguage proficiency of non-native speakers. It has over 20 years of history since its establishment in 1984. The test has been jointly conducted by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES).

Why has the JLPT been revised?


The

number of Japanese-language learners has increased.

Their reasons for learning and using the language have become more diverse.

The old JLPT until 2009 was reviewed and revised. It became the new JLPT from 2010.

4 key points of the new JLPT


1. Increased focus on communicative competence 2. The number of levels was increased to 5; examinees can select a more suitable level 3. The scoring method was revised to ensure more accurate measurement of Japaneselanguage proficiency 4. What you can do in Japanese is easily visualized

1 Increased focus on communicative competence


Japanese-language proficiency that the new JLPT measures
Knowledge of the Japanese language:
How much an applicant knows about the Japanese language, including vocabulary and grammar

b. Competence:
How well an applicant makes use of language knowledge in practical communication

Measured through 3 test sections


Language Language Knowledge Knowledge
(Vocabulary/Grammar) (Vocabulary/Grammar)

Reading Reading

Listening Listening

2 The number of levels was increased to 5; examinees can select a more suitable level
Level

Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level

N1 The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances N2 The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree N3 The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree N4 The ability to understand basic Japanese N5 The ability to understand some basic Japanese

Level N1

Corresponding Levels of New and Old Tests Approximately the same level as the old Level 1 test, but designed to measure slightly more advanced abilities Approximately the same level as the old Level 2 test Positioned at a level bridging the old Level 2 and Level 3 tests Newly established

N2 N3

N4 N5

Approximately the same level as the old Level 3 test Approximately the same level as the old Level 4 test

Old JLPT scores: Raw scores

The scoring method was revised to ensure more accurate measurement of Japanese-language proficiency
Calculated by the number of correctly answered questions

New JLPT scores: Scaled scores

The same competency is given the same number of points


in each test The same scale is always used to calculate scores for the same-level test The highest degree of fairness can be maintained, as scaled scores never fluctuate based on the difficulty level of tests Scaled scores can indicate an applicant's proficiency more accurately than raw scores do

Example: A-sans test results in raw scores and scaled scores


A-san took N2 level tests in July as well as in December. Below are his Listening test results.

N2 Listening The number of correctly answered questions


Score per item X Number of correctly answered questions

July 10 out of 20 20 20
2 x 10

December
More difficult than July test)

10 out of 20 20 25
2 x 10

Both numbers are the same, 10.

Raw scores Scaled scores

Not sure if A-sans listening ability improved. Clear that A-sans listening ability improved.

The data shown is only an example to explain the new JLPT scoring system, not for actual score calculation.

4 What you can do in Japanese is easily visualized


Japanese-Language

Proficiency Test Can-do List (tentative name) will be released by March 2011.

Sample

Listening I can understand the general content when I hear


announcements at school, work or public places.

Speaking I can speak in detail of my hopes and experience


at interviews such as for a job or part-time work.

Reading I can understand the content of newspaper or Writing


I can write letters or emails to express my emotions such as appreciation or apology.

magazine articles about topics I am interested in.

With the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Can-do list,


Test result

JLPT Can-do List

Passed N?

I see. Those who passed the N ? test THOUGHT they could do these activities with the Japanese language in study, work and daily life.

We can better understand the test results in terms of practical Japanese-language use.

New test FAQs


Q How will the test sections and times change?
Level N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 Test Sections and Test Times
Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) Reading 110 min Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) Reading 105 min
Language Knowledge
(Vocabulary)

Listening 60 min Listening 50 min Listening 40 min Listening 35 min Listening 30 min

30 min Language Knowledge


(Vocabulary)

Language Knowledge (Grammar) Reading 70 min Language Knowledge (Grammar) Reading 60 min Language Knowledge (Grammar) Reading 50 min

30 min Language Knowledge


(Vocabulary)

25 min

Q How should I decide which test level to take? A - See the table Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level - See the table Corresponding Levels of New and Old Tests - See the book Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken

Mondairei-Shuu (New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Sample Questions) on our official website

Q How can I receive test results?


Level Scoring Sections
Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) Reading Listening Total Score
Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) Reading

Range of Scores 60 60 60 180 120 60 180

N1 N2 N3 N4 N5

Listening

Total Score

Scores are indicated by scaled scores.

Listening section proportion increased from 1:4 to 1:3.

Level

Test Sections
Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) Reading Listening

In test

Corresponding Sections

In test results
Range of scores

Scoring Sections
Language Knowledge
(Vocabulary/Grammar)

N1 N2 N3

0~60 0~60 0~60 0~60 0~60 0~60 0~120 0~60

Reading Listening
Language Knowledge
(Vocabulary/Grammar)

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary) Language Knowledge (Grammar) Reading Listening

Reading Listening Language Knowledge


(Vocabulary/Grammar)

N4 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary) Language Knowledge (Grammar) N5 Reading


Listening

Reading Listening

Q How is pass or fail determined?


A

You need to take all test sections. You need to fulfill both and below.

Old JLPT
Total Score
Level 1: more than 70 Level 2-4: more than 60

New JLPT
total score needs to be at or above the point required for passing score in each scoring section needs to be at or above the minimum point required for passing

Failure to exceed the minimum point for any scoring section will result in a determination of fail for the entire test, even if your total score is above the minimum acceptable total score. Minimum acceptable scores for the total and for each scoring section will be announced in September 2010 for N1, N2 and N3. For N4 and N5, they will be announced in March 2011.

Q Can I pass by studying the way I have been doing? Should I change the way I study? A
The way you have been studying will still work.

Please note that the new JLPT places importance not only on knowledge of the Japanese language but also on competence in using the knowledge in practical communication. Make use of Mondairei-Shuu. These sample questions cover all question styles at all levels, and they will help you prepare for the test.

Q When will the new test be held?

A Twice a year, in July and December. *Certain countries/areas will only offer the test in December and not in July. In 2010, the test dates are July 4th and
*The July 2010 test includes N1, N2 and N3
only. *From the December 2010 test onwards, all five levels will be included.

December 5th.

Q Where is the test administered outside Japan ? A See List of Overseas Test Site Cities and Local
Host Institutions on our official website. You can find cities and countries/areas offering the test. You can also see if local host institutions offer the test in July and/or December.

More Questions?
JLPT official website welcomes you! http://www.jlpt.jp/e/
Lots of information, such as the JLPT Guidebook, sample questions, Listening audio samples, FAQs and more are waiting for you.

Send your inquiries in Japanese or English from the inquiry page of the official website.
*Inquiries

regarding the JLPT outside Japan only. For inquiries on JLPT administration in Japan, please call JEES, the JLPT administrator in Japan.