So, you’ve been studying the Japanese language hard for the last few months, and you’re feeling confident enough to test your skills. For most people, the JLPT is the ultimate exam to gauge your abilities.
The JLPT stands for The Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and it is held twice a year in Japan – July and December. The test is also held in a number of locations around the world throughout the year as well. So, wherever you are – you should be able to participate! There are 5 levels to the test; N5 – N1. N5 is the lowest level, and focuses on basic Japanese, and the exams go all the way to N1, for which you must be able to read newspapers, scholarly articles, and creative writing pieces in advanced Japanese.
The JLPT for every level consists of multiple choice questions, spread between different categories; Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading, and Listening. Not every question carries the same weight, some will be worth 1 point, while others might be 3 or 4 points. Because of this, and the fact that it is multiple choice, it’s very important to answer every question- even if its a guess!
On the day, be sure to take water and food with you for the breaks in between papers. Otherwise, you’ll end up distracted by hunger or thirst! Also, be prepared for any temperature, no matter the season. In Japan, they really like to use very strong air conditioning in summer – you might need a light jacket; and lots of heating in the winter – you might need to be able to shed some layers of clothing!
If you’re living in Japan, you can find out more information and apply for the exam via the internet at http://www.jlpt.jp/e/. You can also get a JLPT application package at any big bookstore and apply via post if you prefer. There is a fee attached to the exam of around 5000 Yen.
JLPT preparation, the ultimate guide