The Japanese Language Proficiency Test, or JLPT for short, is a language test to demonstrate proficiency in Japanese. The language certification was developed by the Japan Foundation for non-native speakers and can be taken at recognized language institutes and test centers worldwide.
Levels of the JLPT
The JLPT certificate is divided into five different levels, the easiest being N5 and the most difficult being N1. However, there is no official information on the extent to which these examination levels can be compared with the CEFR levels, i.e. the Common European Framework of Reference for Language Testing. However, the individual levels of the JLPT test correspond approximately to the CEFR language levels from A1 to C1 due to the respective learning effort involved.
Target Groups of the JLPT
The JLPT Language Certification is aimed at all those who are interested in the Japanese language and want to prove their language skills with a certificate. The JLPT certificate is suitable for job applications and is a prerequisite for studying at a Japanese university.
Advantages of the JLPT
After successfully passing the JLPT certificate is valid for an unlimited time. Similar to the TOEFL test for English and the DaF test for German, the JLPT test is issued and designed centrally. This makes it a good basis for comparison in terms of language level and is recognized worldwide due to this objectivity. There is no obligation to attend a language course before taking the test. Of course, some language skills are required to pass the JLPT test, but these can also be acquired independently of a course.
Goals of the JLPT
The individual learning objectives of the JLPT test vary for each level. However, each level requires a certain basic understanding of Japanese, without which the test cannot be passed. The lowest level, N5, requires 800 words and 120 Kanji characters to be able to express themselves in everyday situations such as small talk or shopping.
As the level increases, so does the language ability expected of the test takers. At the intermediate level N3, the student should have a vocabulary of about 3000 words, know 650 Kanji characters and have learned certain basic grammatical structures to be able to hold conversations in Japanese.
If you want to acquire an N1 certificate, you should be very well versed in Japanese and be able to express your own opinion or thoughts in order to be able to conduct in-depth conversations. As a guideline for the N1 level, a vocabulary of 10,000 words and knowledge of 2,000 kanji characters is recommended.
The JLPT certificate is divided into different areas. The sections at levels N3, N4 and N5 are on the one hand listening and reading comprehension, but vocabulary is also tested. Whereas the vocabulary and listening comprehension sections each take 25 to 40 minutes, the reading comprehension section takes about one hour.
For levels N1 and N2, the vocabulary check is not necessary. The listening comprehension test must be completed within one hour, the reading comprehension test within 105 minutes and the listening comprehension test within 110 minutes.
Costs for the JLPT
The fee for the JLPT certification is 60 Euro regardless of the exam level.
Registration for the JLPT
Registration for JLPT certification is done directly with the certified language schools or test centers. There is one test period per year in winter and one in summer. Since the number of places available for certification is limited, the application should be made as early as possible.