Japanese JLPT Test 2024 – An Ultimate & Complete Guide (2024)

Are you learning Japanese or planning to move to Japan? Chances are you might consider the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

Besides the positive reasons you should learn to communicate in a new language, you have many phenomenal benefits of studying Japanese.

Taking the JLPT test makes sense if you decide to take Japanese to the next level or are uncertain about your current strength.

By doing this, you can discover your competency level. You will simultaneously earn the official certification that is accepted and recognized globally.

This guide will cover all the authentic details you need about the JLPT examination.

I will also cover the 2024 registration procedure, question format, test structure, levels of of understanding, marking system, preparation, and information about test centers, dates, and fees.

Table Of Contents

  1. What is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test?
  2. Advantages of JLPT
    • 1. Study in Japan
    • 2. Work in Japan
    • 3. This opens various career opportunities
    • 4. It helps you get scholarships.
  3. Everything About JLPT
    • What are the JLPT levels?
    • What are the eligibility criteria?
    • A Breakdown of the JLPT Exam Structure
    • What are the passing marks for JLPT?
    • How to Apply?
    • 2024 JLPT Test Dates
    • JLPT Test centers around the world in 2024
    • When do they announce the Results?
    • What is the validity of the JLPT score?
    • What is the examination fee?
    • How to prepare for the JLPT?
  4. Most Common Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Should you take the Japanese JLPT Test?

What is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test?

Japanese JLPT Test 2024 – An Ultimate & Complete Guide (1)

Inaugurated in 1984 in Japan, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a standardized international exam to measure and certify the Japanese ability of non-native speakers worldwide.

The JLPT test assesses the candidate’s Japanese knowledge through writing, listening, reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary sections during the 1.5 to 3-hour examination.

Recognition & Acceptance

JEES (Japan Educational Exchanges and Services) administrates the exam in Japan. In contrast, the JF (Japan Foundation) operates overseas tests with the help of local institutions.

JLPT is the most well-known test for Japanese language certification. Most businesses, public and private educational institutions, and governments trust it since the test design is explicitly for non-native speakers.

Advantages of JLPT

There are many clear advantages of JLPT. Here are the topmost ones.

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1. Study in Japan

Suppose you’re planning to study in Japan. In that case, JLPT can be an excellent add-on to your profile while applying to Japanese colleges.

While the condition varies, many Universities want you to pass a certain level of JLPT.

Sometimes, they also accept N1 by international students instead of taking the Japanese university (EJU) admission exam.

2. Work in Japan

Japan is truly a monolingual country.

For most jobs in Japan, you require an outstanding grasp of the Japanese language. So, if you accomplish N2, it will play a significant role in finding employment in the country.

And if you hope to work as a nurse, caregiver, doctor, or in the medical field. Then, JLPT N1 is often necessary to take Japan’s national exams for nurses and medical practitioners.

After clearing N2 and N1, you will receive 15 and 10 points under the government’s “Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.”

Your application will also get priority at immigration if you score 70 points or higher.

The documentary record of the Japanese skill test, added to other requirements on your CV, will set you on your way to a positive interview process in Japan.

3. This opens various career opportunities

JLPT, an international certificate, is reliable proof of Japanese ability. Therefore, most companies, government establishments, and professionals seeking candidates with Japanese language competency accept it.

The scores help them understand prospective employees’ language skills and personalities. Thus, this can enhance your job probabilities for the positions required to possess Japanese language skills.

As more careers requiring Japanese are opening up, JLPT’s importance has grown dramatically in many years.

Are you planning to seek employment possibility as a Japanese language specialist?

Then, JLPT can add both features and wings to your resume.

4. It helps you get scholarships.

Japan offers many scholarships, fellowships, and grants to deserving international students, and JLPT test scores are essential for many.

This scholarship consists of a monthly stipend and other perks throughout your stay in Japan. Thus, you can get a quality education in Japan at affordable or nearly free cost.

The applicants who adhere to JASSO’s language specifications (JLPT N2/200 points in the EJU/ CEFR B2) get preferential treatment over those who don’t have JLPT certification.

5. To know your exact level & motivate you

Let’s say you’ve been learning Japanese for a while but are unsure about your accuracy level.

In that scenario, I recommend giving the JLPT test.

By taking this language exam, you will identify your current knowledge and focus on the parts you need to improve and fill the gap. In addition, it will encourage you to plan for the next JLPT test in a better way.

It is evidence of success compared with other Japanese learners across the world.

The joy of having a Japanese certification is that you can brag about it to your friends and have tangible proof you possess a certain Japanese level.

This result is a confidence booster. It also inspires you to continue to accomplish more goals in the Japanese language.

Everything About JLPT

Of all Japanese examinations, the JLPT (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test) is the most sought-after Japanese fluency test for non-native Japanese across the globe.

What are the JLPT levels?

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Earlier, JLPT comprises four levels, 1-4. However, in 2010, the composition changed to add an extra one, i.e., the 5th level.

The test has five levels (N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5), from level 5 for beginners to level 1 for advanced students. N1 is the most difficult one, whereas N5 is the easiest level.

What are the eligibility criteria?

There are no particular prerequisites. Any non-native Japanese speakers worldwide can take the JLPT, including those with Japanese citizenship. Plus, there are no age restrictions.

A Breakdown of the JLPT Exam Structure

JLPT test is of 180 marks.

For N1 to N3 — Test questions have three sections. (i) Vocabulary & Grammar, (ii) Reading, and (iii) Listening.

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For N4 and N5, we have only two subdivisions: (i) Vocabulary & Grammar and Reading and (ii) Listening.

N4 and N5 cover an elementary understanding of Japanese, mainly what you learn in the classroom. You can read Hiragana, Katakana, and 100 to 300 Kanji.

N1 and N2 evaluate advanced Japanese used in a broad range of actual everyday scenes. You need roughly 2000 to 2500 Kanji and over 10,000 words for N1.

N3 is an intermediate level tossed halfway between N4 and N2.

You can find sample papers with answers on the official website, reference books, and supporting study materials.

What are the passing marks for JLPT?

To qualify, you need to meet two mandatory criteria:

  • (i) The minimum overall score, and
  • (ii) The minimum section score.

You require a score of 19/60 or 38/120 in each of these for individual passing.

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One of the notable shortcomings of the JLPT is that it has no speaking part, probably because answers can differ and have to be graded by hand.

The JLPT is entirely in MCQ format. It is on a multiple-choice computer-scored answer sheet. There are typically four choices, but some listening questions have only three options.

How to Apply?

Register at least two to three months in advance to take the test. Check the official website for the exact dates.

You can register by email or online only during the registration period.

To register, go to the nearest centers with a passport-sized photo, registration fee, and photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license. Then, finally, fill out the complete application form.

2024 JLPT Test Dates

The authority conducts JLPT twice a year – July and December, in various cities inside and outside Japan. However, in some locations, they run only once per year.

For example, you can take JLPT in the USA on the first Sunday of December. You can take it twice in India (July and December).

2024 JLPT test dates would be 7th July 2024 (Sunday) and 1st December 2024 (Sunday). You can visit the official test centers’ website for the most up-to-date information.

They schedule the test in two shifts — From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and in the afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

JLPT Test centers around the world in 2024

As of January 2024, 47 testing venues are in Japan, and 274 overseas centers are in 94 countries worldwide. The total number of candidates surpassed 1 million in 2017.

There are 8 test JLPT centers in India — Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Santiniketan (West Bengal), and Salem (Tamil Nadu).

In the USA, there are several authorized testing centers — Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Honolulu, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Fayetteville (Arkansas), Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Ann Arbor, Boulder, Columbus, Miami, Portland, and Newark.

You can check the entire list on the official site.

When do they announce the Results?

Usually, you will receive the JLPT scores and results within two months from the test day. For example, for the test held in July and December, they traditionally announce it in the last week of August and January of next year.

All examinees in each level receive a Score Report. Plus, the successful candidates get a “Certificate of Proficiency.”

What is the validity of the JLPT score?

Unlike Korean TOPIK, Spanish SIELE, and French TEF Canada, the JLPT score never expires. Once you pass the test, it is valid forever.

However, many educational institutions and companies have their own set of rules. For instance, some only acknowledge if you have gained the certification in the last 2–5 years. But most consider it, regardless of when you took the test.

What is the examination fee?

The registration fee for each level varies, depending on where you plan to give the test.

The cost is nominal compared to popular language tests like DELF, CELI, TestDaF, DELE, and HSK.

For illustration, the price is $60 to $75 in the USA. On the other hand, it ranges between ₹ 1000 to 1600 and 90 to 100 AUD in India and Australia.

How to prepare for the JLPT?

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Perseverance, interest, and regular practice are the key ingredients to success in JLPT.

The first thing you should focus on is building vocabulary. Once you complete Hiragana and Katakana, your next step should be to start Kanji. You can eventually expand the number of Kanji through consistent practice.

It will later benefit you in reading, grammar, and listening comprehension. Combining everything will enhance your progress and will sound natural.

These days, various tools are readily available on the internet, especially for this purpose. For example, you can take the help of Japanese language apps, such as Memrise and Duolingo, LMS courses, YouTube Videos, Audio podcasts, J-Movies, and online study materials.

But these online tools can be a starting point, not the end. Japanese is one of the most complicated languages, and it takes enormous time to gain meaningful fluency.

Thus, taking lessons from a Japanese teacher or enrolling in Japanese courses near you would be better. However, thanks to a growing demand for Japanese studies, you will find many choices worldwide.

It bridges the gap between the skills you learned for the JLPT test and authentic conversational Japanese. It can cement your existing knowledge a few weeks before the test.

It would also be advisable to read the cultural aspects since you won’t fully understand Japanese unless you know Japan.

Most Common Frequently Asked Questions

Besides the JLPT, are there any other recognized standardized Japanese exams?

Yes, there are various Japanese tests. Business Japanese Test (BJT), Kanji Kentei, J-test, and NAT-Test are some examples.

Can one directly appear for the JLPT N4 exam without appearing for the N5 level exam?

Yes, you can skip N5 and can give N4 directly if you’re prepared. In fact, you can take any level without going one by one.

Is the JLPT test conducted online?

No. JLPT is an offline exam. Therefore, it is carried out only at the designated authorized test centers.

Is the JLPT really worth it?

Japan is a leader in the world economy and holds immense influence worldwide. And fortunately, if you speak Japanese, it opens a world of lucrative jobs involving Japanese. So JLPT test can add tremendous value to your resume.

Does JLPT expire?

No. The JLPT (Japanese language proficiency test) certificate never expires. It is valid for life.

How many times can you take JLPT?

You can take it as many times as you want. There is no such restriction.

Is JLPT hard?

The JLPT has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. The most straightforward is N5, and the most challenging is N1. Since Japanese is a tricky language, you have to prepare quite well. However, if you study with a proper plan and dedication, you can pass with flying colors.

Should you take the Japanese JLPT Test?

You may wish to check your precise level and challenge yourself. Or perhaps you need a high score for a visa application, or you fancy getting better at using Japanese for professional reasons.

Whatever may be your reason, taking the JLPT test can be a worthwhile endeavor to help you in your personal and professional life. You can show potential interviewers that you are indeed fluent, depending on the levels you have passed.

Do you have any questions for me? Let your thoughts flow like Kanji in the comment section below!

Japanese JLPT Test 2024 – An Ultimate & Complete Guide (2024)


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