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About Japanese Language Proficiency

What Japanese companies  require from international students most is the “Japanese Language Proficiency.”

The demand of Japanese Language Proficiency in those companies is relatively high. About 60% need language skills with the ability to prepare documents and reports, communication skill and business conversation skill. The most desired level of Japanese Language Proficiency is the business level or native level.

When foreign students get a job in a Japanese company, Japanese Language Proficiency are considered to ensure that the students are able to work. It can be said that these abilities are all necessary to smoothly communicate and cooperate with Japanese employees in actual business circumstances.

Therefore, most of Japanese companies demand at least the level of N2 of Japanese Language Proficiency Test from foreign students.

About “Japanese Language Proficiency Test” for foreign students

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test was established in 1984  jointly by two organizations of Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services as a test to measure and certify the Japanese language proficiency of non-native Japanese speakers.

In the first fiscal year, the test was started with about 7,000 examinees in 15 countries all over the world, but in 2011 about 610,000 people took the test in 62 countries/regions. The Japanese language proficiency test has been developed into the largest scale of Japanese test.

<N1 to N5: About criteria of certification levels >

There are five levels established for the Japanese language proficiency test: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5, and the easiest level is N5 and the most challenging level is N1.

The criteria of each level are indicated by levels of language behaviors: “reading” and “listening.” Each level requires language knowledge to ensure the language behaviors of the relevant level.

Level N1

An ability to understand Japanese used in a wide variety of scenes.

Level N2

As well as the ability to understand Japanese daily conversation, and an ability to understand Japanese used in a wider variety of scenes to some extent.

Level N3

An ability to understand Japanese used in daily scenes to some extent.

Level N4

An ability to understand basic Japanese.

Level N5

An ability to understand basic Japanese to some extent.

For more information visit: Japanese Language Proficiency Test JLPT (English site)

Procedure (for examinees who take the test in Japan)

  1. Check the website of Japanese Educational Exchanges and Services for the test schedule.
  2. Register My JLPT on the website of Japanese Educational Exchanges and Services (acceptable at any time) or obtain the test guideline (application) at bookstores, etc.
  3. Apply for the test and pay the fee on the website of Japanese Educational Exchanges and Services. Or after reading the test guideline, fill up the application form, pay the test fee and send the form to the center by post.
  4. Receive the test result from Japanese Educational Exchanges and Services.

For more information visit: Japanese Educational Exchanges and Services (Japanese site)

Examinees are evaluated for respective levels, and the fail/pass notice will be sent to all of them. To those who have passed the test, a certification of Japanese Language Proficiency is issued. Examinees who have applied through the internet can check their result by logging in MyJLPT.