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Jul 17, 2011

What is the JLPT?

The JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test, is a standardized test designed to certify the Japanese ability of non-native speakers. Up until 2010 the test comprised of four different levels, which denoted the various levels of Japanese competency. Currently there are five levels, ranging from N5 to N1, with N5 being the level of lowest comprehension. An N1 certification means that you are capable of advanced language abilities.

So what is the importance of this test?

If you don't live in Japan or don't want a job using Japanese, then the test has no real importance at all. However, if you are looking to gain employment with Japanese, the JLPT can help to open some doors for you. In looking for translation jobs, most companies list a JLPT certification of N2 or higher as a requirement for applying. Some companies will administer their own proficiency tests in place of the JLPT, but it does seem easier to take JLPT and gain a universal certification. So if you're wanting a job related to Japanese, the JLPT may just be worth taking.

How does the test work?

The material tested depends on the level of test which you register to take. This table from the JLPT Wikipedia page is the easiest way to display how each level varies.

What kind of questions are on the test?

The JLPT website has sample questions for each of the test levels and for each of the different section types. The best way to get an idea for what is on the test is to peruse the sample questions and try your hand at them.

When can I take the test?

The test is offered twice a year - once in July and once in December. Those seeking to take the test need to plan ahead and register online to get a seat for the test. Take note that there is a fee to take the test.

How do you register to take the test?

The main JLPT website has a section dedicated to this. Those currently in Japan and wishing to take the test should visit this page to complete the process. Those seeking to gain the certification from overseas can visit this page for a list of institutions offering the test in your country. Be sure to read the details for registration for your area, as there may be a short application period during which to send in your materials.

How much does it cost to take the test?

While the specific price varies based on the region in which you are testing, $50-$70 appears to be the normal range that I have seen. Be sure to take note of where the test is being offered in your region, as you may also have to pay for travel in order to reach the testing location.

That about covers it for the basics of the JLPT. Be looking forward to additional posts regarding the JLPT!

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1 comment:

  1. I don't know when I'll be ready to even consider taking this test. Thanks for the information about it. I have a better understanding of what this test is about now.