JLPT

JLPT

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has been offered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (formerly Association of International Education, Japan) since 1984 as a reliable means of evaluating and certifying the Japanese proficiency of non-native speakers. At the beginning, there were approximately 7,000 examinees worldwide. In 2011, there were as many as 610,000 examinees around the globe, making JLPT the largest-scale Japanese-language test in the world. 

Over time, test applicants have become more diverse, and use of JLPT results has expanded from skill measurement to include employment screening and evaluation for promotions and pay raises as well as use as a form of qualification. Many outstanding suggestions for improvement were also submitted by a wide variety of individuals around the world. 

To ensure the continuing relevancy and accuracy of the JLPT, the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services introduced a revised version of the test in 2010. This new test takes full advantage of the most advanced research in Japanese pedagogy and testing theory, and reflects the vast wealth of data accumulated since the original JLPT was launched over 25 years ago.

Objectives

The JLPT will be held worldwide to evaluate and certify proficiency in Japanese of non-native speakers.

Organizers

The Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services have jointly conducted the test. Outside Japan, the Japan Foundation administers the test in cooperation with local institutions. (In Taiwan,the Japan Foundation and Japan – Taiwan Exchange Association jointly administer the test.) Inside Japan, Japan Educational Exchanges and Services administers the test.

Advantage

JLPT certificates offer various advantages, ranging from recognition as academic credit and graduation certification at schools to preferential treatment at companies and acknowledgement of qualification in society.

Advantages in Japan

Earn points for preferential treatment for immigration to Japan

Those who pass JLPT N1 receive 15 points, N2 receive 10 points under the government’s “Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.” Individuals with a total of 70 points or higher receive preferential treatment at immigration.
For more details, please refer to the website of Immigration Bureau of Japan.

One of requirements to take Japan’s national exams for medical practitioners

A JLPT N1 certificate is required for medical practitioners licensed overseas who want to take Japan’s national exams for medical practitioners, and other professions.* 
For more details on application requirements for national exams for medical practitioners, please refer to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website (Japanese).

*Other national exams that require a JLPT N1 certificate as part of application:
Dentist, nurse, pharmacist, public health nurse, midwife, radiology technologist, dental hygienist, dental technician, clinical laboratory technician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, orthoptist, clinical engineer, prosthetist, emergency medical technician, speech therapist, veterinarian

One of requirements to take Japan’s prefectural exams for assistant nurses

A JLPT N1 certificate is required for overseas nursing school graduates who want to take Japan’s assistant nurse exams.
Exams for assistant nurses are administered by each prefecture. For more details, please contact the prefecture of interest.

A test subject is waved on accreditation exam for completion of junior high school level education in Japan

The Japanese-language test is waved for examinees of foreign citizenship who pass JLPT N1 or N2.
For more details, please refer to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology website (Japanese).

One of requirements for the nurse/caregiver candidates under the EPA

Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, a JLPT certificate is required for Indonesian, Filipino (approximately Level N5 or higher), and Vietnamese (Level N3 or higher) nurse or caregiver candidates who visit Japan.
For more details, please refer to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website (Japanese)

Level

The JLPT has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1

N4 and N5 measure the level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in class. N1and N2 measure the level of understanding of Japanese used in a broad range of scenes in actual everyday life. N3 is a bridging level between N1/N2 and N4/N5.

Linguistic competence required for the JLPT is expressed in terms of language activities, such as Reading and Listening, as shown in the table below. While not noted in the table, Language Knowledge, such as Vocabulary and Grammar, is also required for successful execution of these activities.

Level

A summary of linguistic competence required for each level

N1

The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.

  • ・One is able to read writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, and comprehend both their structures and contents.
  • ・One is also able to read written materials with profound contents on various topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers comprehensively.
  • ・One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents comprehensively. One is also able to understand the details of the presented materials such as the relationships among the people involved, the logical structures, and the essential points.

N2

The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree.

  • ・One is able to read materials written clearly on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines as well as simple critiques, and comprehend their contents.
  • ・One is also able to read written materials on general topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers.
  • ・One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations and news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed in everyday situations as well as in a variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents. One is also able to understand the relationships among the people involved and the essential points of the presented materials.

N3

The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.

  • ・One is able to read and understand written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics.
  • ・One is also able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines.
  • ・In addition, one is also able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content if some alternative phrases are available to aid one’s understanding.
  • ・One is able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and is generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.

N4

The ability to understand basic Japanese.

  • ・One is able to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanji.
  • ・One is able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly.

N5

The ability to understand some basic Japanese.

  • ・One is able to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiraganakatakana, and basic kanji.
  • ・One is able to listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and is able to pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.

 

 

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