A Guide to the JLPT // Everything You Need to Know

Discover Everything You Need to Know About the (JLPT)

The JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test, is taken by Japanese learners at every level, from beginner to advanced students.

A Guide to the JLPT

The focus of today’s post lies in providing you with a guide to the JLPT.

Typically being a language school, we get a lot of questions relating to language exams so we hope to answer some of those for you today.

It will answer questions like:

  • What is the JLPT?
  • When should I take it?
  • Why should I take it?

So without further ado, onwards we go!

A Guide to the JLPT #1 | What is the JLPT?

A Guide to the JLPT #2 | JLPT Test Levels

A Guide to the JLPT #3 | Why Take the JLPT

A Guide to the JLPT #4 | How the Exam Works

A Guide to the JLPT #5 | Test Dates and Registration

A Guide to the JLPT | FAQ’s

If you want to study for the JLPT, check out our 24/7 Flexi Classes

A Guide to the JLPT // What Is The JLPT?

The JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test, is a test administered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services which aims to measure the abilities of non-native speakers.

Lex the Lion

The test measures your listening and reading comprehension, as well as your kanji recognition and grammar and vocabulary skills.

When students start out studying Japanese, typically they will aim towards these levels to measure their success.

Whilst of course, an exam certificate doesn’t define ones absolute ability in a language, in many instances, proof of your level can be a big help, especially in areas such as:

  • Job applications
  • University applications
  • Improving your CV

Gaining a JLPT gives you the chances to focus on a benchmark and work towards it, giving you a clear sight of your targets. This is also always a benefit when learning a language.

A Guide to the JLPT // JLPT Test Levels

JLPT LevelHours of In-Class StudyingKanjiVocabularyReadingListening
N5150100800Typical expressions and sentences in hiragana and katakanaConversations about daily life and classroom situations spoken at a slow speed
N43003001,500Passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanjiConversations about daily life spoken slowly
N34506503,700Materials with contents concerning everyday life; newspaper headlines; slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situationsCoherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed
N26001,0006,000Materials written on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines; materials on general topicsCoherent conversations and news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed in everyday situations as well as in a variety of settings
N19002,00010,000Writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, materials with profound contents on various topicsCoherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings
Want to learn the country names in Japanese?

A Guide to the JLPT // Why Take the JLPT?

Learners take the JLPT for a variety of reasons.

Maybe someone wants to get a job in Japan, so they take the N2 or N1.

Or perhaps they want to measure their progress and have something to work towards, so they’re aiming for the N5, N4, or N3.

Or maybe they want to attend a Japanese university while studying abroad, so they take the N1.

The JLPT can be useful for job hunters, study abroad students, and motivated learners, but it’s not for everyone.


If your only focus is on spoken Japanese, it will not be a useful test, as it only measures reading and listening skills.

Additionally, if you don’t need official certification of your Japanese abilities, it’s also probably not particularly helpful, since you’ll have to study unnecessary things.

So, in summary, if you need official certification, you should take the JLPT.

If you want to measure your progress and the test motivates you to study, go ahead and take the JLPT.

But if you don’t need the certification and the thought of taking a standardized test makes you shudder and sounds wholly unappealing…

Don’t worry about taking the test.

It’s not necessary for everyone.

Weigh up your own situation and take it from there.

The Top 6 Resources for Learning Kanji (Online & Offline, Free & Paid) Thumbnail

The Top 6 Resources for Learning Kanji (Online & Offline, Free & Paid)

This post contains info on some of the most popular and effective resources for learning kanji, including their advantages and disadvantages.

A Guide to the JLPT // How the JLPT Exam Works

So, you’ve decided to take the test, but you still wonder – how does it even work?

First, some basic facts.

The test is offered twice a year, in July and December, on paper only.

The key facts to know are these:

  • It’s multiple choice.
  • It only measures reading and listening comprehension, with grammar points, kanji, and vocabulary varying by level.
  • Not all tests are offered at every date and location. For example, some test sites will only offer the N5-N3, or N4-N1.
  • You can only sit one test per test date, so it’s important to choose your level wisely. Practice tests are key.
  • Some locations only offer the test once a year. For example, in North America, it’s only offered in December, but in Germany, it’s offered in July and December.
  • Sitting the exam takes between 1 hour 45 minutes at the N5 level to 2 hours and 50 minutes at the N1 level
Japanese Reading Practice // Resources for Starting to Read in Japanese Thumbnail

Japanese Reading Practice // Resources for Starting to Read in Japanese

So you want to know about resources for starting to read in Japanese? You’re in the right place! We’ve for the best Japanese reading practice resources.

A Guide to the JLPT // JLPT Exam Dates 2022 and How to Register

Test DatesRegistration OpensCost
July 3rd, 2022March 2022$60 USD
December 4th, 2022August 2022$60 USD

The table above shows the test dates and registration times for the 2022 JLPT.

The JLPT official website is where you must register, and contains more detailed instructions.

There you go – that’s everything you need to know about the JLPT!

I hope you found this article helpful. Please don’t hesitate to comment or ask questions below.

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A Guide to the JLPT // FAQs

What is the JLPT?

The JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test, is a test administered by the Japan Foundation which aims to measure the Japanese abilities of non-native speakers.

How many JLPT levels are there?

In total there are 5.

N5 is the most basic level and these levels run through to N1.

If you pass the N1 you should have very little problems with Japanese, if any!

How much vocabulary do I need to know to pass the N5?

You will need to know 800 Japanese words to pass the N5.

This will also include 100 kanji as well.

When is the JLPT offered?

Once or twice a year, in July and/or December, depending on your location.

Should I take the JLPT?

It’s up to you – if you want to measure your progress or need official certification for university or employment, then it can be quite helpful.

If you are just learning the language as a hobby, or focused on speaking, the JLPT isn’t wholly necessary.

Which level of the JLPT should I take?

Please take a look at the provided chart to get a sense of where your abilities are according to each level. Practice tests are also helpful for gaging your level.

Can LTL help me prepare for the JLPT?

Yes! LTL offers Flexi Classes for the N5 and N4 levels that are excellent preparation for the JLPT.

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