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What is the JLPT?

The JLPT test is a proficiency test for non-native speakers of Japanese, and more than 400,000 people worldwide take the test. The test is administered in urban areas in Japan and other countries around the world, and is a highly reliable test of Japanese language proficiency.

The five levels of the JLPT: N1 to N5

The JLPT is divided into five levels, from N1 as the hardest to N5 as the easiest, with questions of varying difficulty for each level.

Level N1

The highest level is N1. Students are expected to be able to understand complex texts of a high level of abstraction, such as politics, economics, law, and international issues, and to be able to make presentations and discussions using specialized terminology from a variety of fields. Some questions may seem difficult even for Japanese students.

Level N2

The N2 level is the level at which you can understand daily conversation and news at a natural speed. The N2 level requires the ability to theoretically understand complex sentences in newspapers and web media, as well as simple criticism, and to express opinions on general matters in Japanese.

Level N3

N3 is the ability to understand natural conversation at a natural speed in daily life to some extent. The ability to read and write specific sentences at the level of daily life is required.

Level N4

The N4 level is the ability to understand basic Japanese. At this level, students can understand sentences on familiar topics using basic vocabulary and feelings, and can engage in daily conversation, if only slowly. This level should be sufficient for travel in Japan.

Level N5

The N5 level is for those who are able to understand basic Japanese to some extent. At this level, students can understand standard sentences and expressions written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji, and can speak and understand plain Japanese slowly and clearly. It is recommended that beginning Japanese language learners aim to pass the N5 level first.

Schedule and cities

The JLPT exam is held in July and December. Check the website for the dates:

Advantages of Taking the Test

Why you should take the JLPT: JLPT results can benefit you in a variety of ways, including the recognition of school credits and diplomas, preferential treatment by companies, and recognition of social qualifications.

Here are some of the specific examples.

(1) Points for receiving preferential treatment in Japan’s immigration control system
Those who have passed the JLPT N1 or N2 are considered advanced foreign human resources and are granted, for example, a five-year period of stay and priority processing in immigration and visa procedures.

(2) Become one of the requirements to take the Japanese national exam.
If you have a medical license abroad, you need N1 certification to take the national examination in Japan. In addition to doctors, national examinations for doctors, dentists, nurses, dental hygienists, physical therapists, paramedics, veterinarians, etc. also require N1 certification.

(3) Exemption from some examination subjects in the Japanese Junior High School Graduation Level Certificate Examination
In Japan, education is compulsory up to the graduation from junior high school, and its junior high school equivalency examination is very important. In the case of foreign nationals and other applicants, those who have passed the N1 or N2 are exempted from taking the Japanese language exam.

Levels required for each occupation

When you actually work in Japan, the level of Japanese required will naturally vary depending on the type of work. Since language is often acquired through actual work, it is important to know your current level and actively challenge yourself in an environment where Japanese is used.

The main occupations corresponding to JLPT levels


All occupations are acceptable, including office work, work dealing with Japanese contracts, hotel receptionists, hall staff at high-end restaurants, etc.


Work that requires occasional instruction or confirmation from a Japanese supervisor, convenience store clerk, restaurant hall staff, simple customer service for Japanese people, etc.


Hall staff at a buffet (all-you-can-eat service) restaurant, staff at a leisure facility such as a ski resort, general backstage work (room cleaning, washing, cooking assistance), etc.


General backstage work (room cleaning, washing, cooking assistance), line work with foreign language manuals, etc.


Backstage work (room cleaning, washing up), simple work with support in foreign languages, etc.

Free online level check test

On the TLS website, you can take an online level check test to find out your weaknesses and strengths. It’s free and you can take it anytime, so please check your level.

JLPT Placement Test

How to take the JLPT

You can check the exam schedule, register, and get an exam voucher on the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services website.

For more details, please click here.


Take a class to pass the JLPT

Toranomon Language School offers classes to help you pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

Features of TLS’s JLPT Class

  • Efficient learning

With free online tests and counseling, you can learn about your strengths and weaknesses and sign up for only the classes you need.

  • Easy to practice

Assignments, tests, reviews, and e-books are provided so that you can study as often as you like on the go.

  • Commitment

All curriculums are designed to be completed by the beginning of December, so you will be ready for the JLPT in December.

  • Native Japanese teacher

All classes are taught by carefully selected professional instructors, and professional consultants are available for your consultation.

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