It’s now the start of June and a month till July… That means the JLPT is coming up soon! For those of you who have registered, are you prepared? If not, don’t fret, we have compiled some steps in section 2 which may help you in studying for the test! For those of you new to this term, the JLPT, Japanese Language Proficiency Test is an evaluation of Japanese proficiency measuring Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading, and Listening. The JLPT provides various advantages, ranging from academic credit to certification when job hunting.

 1.  Introduction to the JLPT

The JLPT is split into 5 levels: N1 to N5, with N1 being the most difficult. According to the JLPT website, N4 and N5 measure the level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in class, while N1 and N2 test the proficiency of Japanese in a wide range of scenarios. For N3, it is a bridging level to N2. There is no need to take the tests in order. If you’re unsure of which test to take, you can check out this self-evaluation list from the JLPT website.

The tests are held two times a year, in July and December and the schedule of procedures is as such:

Release of Test Dates:
July Test: From early February
December Test: From early July
The dates will be released on the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services(JEES) website from early February and from respective tests.

July Test: From early April to late April
December Test: From early September to late September
Apply via JEES website and complete payment.

Receiving the Test Voucher:
July Test: Mid-June
December Test: Mid-November

After the Test, Receive Results:
July Test: Early September
December Test: Early February
You may check your results via the JEES website. Successful examinees will receive a Certificate of Proficiency.

For those of you looking to take the December test, the date for the test is already out (as of June 2, 2018) so do mark it on your calendar!

 2. Study Tips

So you’ve registered for the JLPT. Now what? Getting used to the questions is always a good starting point. If you have a Japanese books section in your local library/school library/book shop, do look out for practice books! The official website has a list of workbooks published by the Japan Foundation and JEES. Setting daily goals of 2 pages a day/5 questions a day depending on your schedule might be helpful!

No time to sit down and do practices? Another way is via mobile apps such as the Japanese language test PRACTICE N1 – N5, Tangoristo – Learn Japanese by reading, and Japanese Listening Practice.

Or if you have the time, you can also try out Shadowing, a language learning technique whereby you listen while repeating what is being said. You can use anything including news clips, podcasts, etc. Anything which interests you. It would be best if there is a script that you can refer to after you’ve done your practice to check the kanji of new vocabulary. I personally use the NHK News Website as it has both audio and a script of what is being said.

Final tip! The most important thing is to be consistent! One small step a day over multiple days would be more effective than cramming everything on the night before the test!

And that’s it! Best of luck to all those taking the JLPT!