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About the JLPT

JLPT application form: Apply for JLPT 2015.

Read official summary: execsummary_jlpt2010.pdf (473.1 KB)

The old 4-level JLPT has been changed into a new 5-level JLPT. A middle level (JLPT N3) has been added to ease the large jump between the old JLPT 3 and JLPT 2. See comparison

The tests are focused on Japanese that learners will use in daily life. Each exam has 2 sections; Listening and Reading (Which will cover kanji, vocabulary, reading and grammar.)

New JLPT
New test content summary
Numbers estimated from released JEES documentation.
Level Kanji Vocabulary Listening Hours of Study
N5 ~100 ~800 Beginner 150 (estimated)
N4 ~300 ~1,500 Basic 300 (estimated)
N3 ~650 ~3,750 Lower Intermediate 450 (estimated)
N2 ~1000 ~6,000 Intermediate 600 (estimated)
N1 ~2000 ~10,000 Advanced 900 (estimated)


There are five levels in the new exam. (Descriptions from the JEES)

N5

Reading: Capable of reading and understanding phrases and sentences written for nonnative speakers using hiragana and very basic kanji.

Listening: Comprehends patterned conversations, consisting primarily of phrases and simple sentences, in daily life, typical classroom situations, and other familiar settings; can glean needed information from spoken language provided it is adapted for a nonnative speaker, spoken slowly, and can be repeated.

This is equivalent to the old JLPT 4.

See JLPT N5 resources.

N4

Reading: Capable of reading and understanding written materials intended for nonnative speakers on familiar topics.

Listening: Comprehends conversations encountered in daily life and can generally follow the flow of remarks, provided they are spoken slowly and can be repeated.

This is equivalent to the old JLPT 3.

See JLPT N4 resources.

N3

Reading: Capable of reading and understanding materials written for native speakers only if they are rewritten for nonnative speakers with simplified vocabulary and kanji. Can derive a limited amount of information from article titles in newspapers intended for native speakers. Can glean necessary information from written materials encountered in daily life with the aid of a dictionary, if sufficient time is provided.

Listening: Comprehends coherent conversations spoken at more-or-less natural speed in everyday life and in some settings seldom encountered in daily life; can generally follow a particular flow of remarks as well as relationships among people discussed.

This is equivalent to halfway between the old JLPT 2 and JLPT 3 exams.

See JLPT N3 resources.

N2

Reading: Capable of reading and understanding general information manuals and other basic written materials intended for native speakers. Can read more specialized materials with the aid of a dictionary. Reads simply written materials on general topics and can both follow the progression of ideas and understand nuances.

Listening: Comprehends coherent conversations, news reports, and the like, spoken at nearly natural speed, in everyday life and various other settings. Can follow the flow of remarks and comprehend the content; understands relationships among people discussed and can grasp essential points.

This is equivalent to the old JLPT 2.

See JLPT N2 resources.

N1

Reading: Reads logically constructed writing, such as newspaper editorials intended for native speakers and can follow the reasoning; reads highly abstract writing and can comprehend configurations of abstract concepts. Reads deep-content materials in a broad range of subjects and can comprehend both the progression of ideas and specific nuances.

Listening: Comprehends coherent conversations, news reports, lectures, and the like, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings; can follow the progression of ideas and comprehend the content. Understands relationships among people discussed, logical structures, and other such details, and can grasp essential points.

This is an equivalent to the old JLPT 1, but will test some more advanced materials.

See JLPT N1 resources.

Executive summary

You can read an official "excutive summary" of the changes made to the JLPT. 12 page PDF.

execsummary_jlpt2010.pdf (473.1 KB)

Official guidebooks for the new JLPT:

Comparision of old and new JLPT

Old JLPT

Old JLPT
Old test content summary
Numbers in brackets indicate the exact number in the Test Content Specification, 2004 edition.
Level Kanji Vocabulary Listening Hours of Study Pass Mark
4 ~100 (103) ~800 (728) Beginner 150 (estimated) 60%
3 ~300 (284) ~1,500 (1409) Basic 300 (estimated)
2 ~1000 (1023) ~6,000 (5035) Intermediate 600 (estimated)
1 ~2000 (1926) ~10,000 (8009) Advanced 900 (estimated) 70%

New JLPT

New JLPT
New test content summary
Numbers estimated from released JEES documentation.
Level Kanji Vocabulary Listening Hours of Study
N5 ~100 ~800 Beginner 150 (estimated)
N4 ~300 ~1,500 Basic 300 (estimated)
N3 ~650 ~3,750 Lower Intermediate 450 (estimated)
N2 ~1000 ~6,000 Intermediate 600 (estimated)
N1 ~2000 ~10,000 Advanced 900 (estimated)