Everything You Need to Know If You’re Taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
You might need to take this if you're planning to work in Japan.
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test, also known as the JLPT, is a type of Japanese proficiency exam. There are 5 levels to this test: N5, N4, N3, N2, and N1; with N5 being the easiest and N1 being the most difficult.
The 5 Levels and their Language Competency
Although some websites indicate a certain number of kanji and vocab requirement, take note that these are only an estimated number and no official number has been released.
The structure of the JLPT is simple, with the test comprising of 3 parts: (1) Language (Grammar and Vocabulary), (2) Reading, and (3) Listening. All questions in the exam are multiple-choice, and everything is machine-scored. All levels have a total score of 180 points, but the pass or fail rate is different for each level. For N1 with a passing score of 100/180, N2 with 90/180, N3 with 95/180, N4 with 90/180, and N5 of 80/180. There is also a sectional passing score for each section.
Applicable Job Opportunities When You Have a JLPT Certification
There are many advantages to doing the JLPT, especially for those who are thinking of coming to Japan to work.
Does my JLPT Certification Expire?
No, but most Japanese corporations and universities prefer a more recently attained certificate, especially compared to the former JLPT exam.
Fun Fact: There actually used to be only 4 levels in this test; however, many people have argued that the difficulty gap between the former 3-kyuu and 2-kyuu is too much. This is why the level was adjusted and N3 and N4 was developed to fix the level gap. There is not much difference between the former 2-kyuu (N2) and the 1-kyuu (N1) levels, but the newer tests have decidedly less kanji characters and focus more on grammar, to allow for a fairer result.
For more details on the JLPT, check out their official site here.
(20 June 2019)