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Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is conducted each year in Australia. In Sydney it is held at the University of NSW on the first Sunday of December.

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a standardized test designed to evaluate and certify Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers. It is held twice a year in Australia but only once yearly in Sydney. The test is administered by the Japan Foundation and covers language knowledge, reading ability, and listening ability.

Passing the JLPT test at the Advanced (N1) level is:

  • A prerequisite for foreign medical professionals who wish to take examinations to be licensed in Japan.
  • Used to satisfy the Japanese government's Japanese language ability criterion under the "Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals".
  • Sometimes accepted in lieu of the Examination for Japanese University Admission for foreign students who wish to study at Japanese universities.

The JLPT test consists of 5 levels, N1 to N5 (highest to lowest). Passing the test requires both passing each section individually, as well as achieving an overall pass mark for the total points, based on the scaled scores.

A description of the content and marking format of each section of the exam is given below:


Level N1 (Advanced)

Represents the ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.

Reading Level

One is able to read writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, and comprehend both their structures and contents. One is also able to read written materials with profound contents on various topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers comprehensively.

Listening Level

One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations and news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed in everyday situations as well as in a variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents. One is also able to understand the relationships among the people involved and the essential points of the presented materials.

Components

Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading
Section 2: Listening

Time Allowed

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading: 110 minutes
Listening: 60 minutes

Pass Marks Required

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar): 19/60 points
Reading: 19/60 points
Listening: 19/60 points
Overall: 100/180 points


Level N2 (Upper-Intermediate)

Represents the ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree.

Reading Level

One is able to read materials written clearly on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines as well as simple critiques, and comprehend their contents. One is also able to read written materials on general topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers.

Listening Level

One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents comprehensively. One is also able to understand the details of the presented materials such as the relationships among the people involved, the logical structures, and the essential points.

Components

Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading
Section 2: Listening

Time Allowed

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading: 105 minutes
Listening: 50 minutes

Pass Marks Required

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar): 19/60 points
Reading: 19/60 points
Listening: 19/60 points
Overall: 90/180 points


Level N3 (Intermediate)

Represents the ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.

Reading Level

One is able to read and understand written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics. One is also able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines. One is also able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content if some alternative phrases are available to aid one's understanding.

Listening Level

One is able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.

Components

Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)
Section 2: Language Knowledge (Grammar), Reading
Section 3: Listening

Time Allowed

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 30 minutes
Language Knowledge (Grammar), Reading: 70 minutes
Listening: 40 minutes

Pass Marks Required

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar): 19/60 points
Reading: 19/60 points
Listening: 19/60 points
Overall: 95/180 points


Level N4 (Elementary)

Represents the ability to understand basic Japanese.

Reading Level

One is able to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanji.

Listening Level

One is able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly.

Components

Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)
Section 2: Language Knowledge (Grammar), Reading
Section 3: Listening

Time Allowed

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 30 minutes
Language Knowledge (Grammar), Reading: 60 minutes
Listening: 35 minutes

Pass Marks Required

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading: 38/120 points
Listening: 19/60 points
Overall: 90/180 points


Level N5 (Basic)

Represents the ability to understand some basic Japanese.

Reading Level

One is able to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji.

Listening Level

One is able to listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and is able to pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.

Components

Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)
Section 2: Language Knowledge (Grammar), Reading
Section 3: Listening

Time Allowed

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 25 minutes
Language Knowledge (Grammar), Reading: 50 minutes
Listening: 30 minutes

Pass Marks Required

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading: 38/120 points
Listening: 19/60 points
Overall: 80/180 points


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