This is an official test recognised by virtually everyone, everywhere.
- Content: Kanji-Vocabulary, Reading-Grammar, and Listening (The length of each section changes depending on the level of the test)
- Levels: 1-5 (1 being the most difficult, 5 being the easiest)
- When: The first Sunday in December, and the first Sunday in July
- Application period: July – September for the December Test, March – May for the July Test.
- Applications: You can apply online at the JLPT website and access information such as practice questions and information on test locations. You can also purchase an application booklet at a major bookstore in Japan for 500yen starting July 4th. A list of bookstores is available at www.jees.or.jp
- Test fee: Around 5500 yen(depending on the level) plus post office fees (applications must be sent by special registered mail) if mailing in a paper application. JET participants are eligible for a JLPT grant through CLAIR if they pass the N1, N2, or N3 exams. For more information ask your supervisor or consult the JET Programme website to see how to apply. Please note that you must apply for the grant, be accepted, and then pass the N1, N2, or N3 exam in order to actually receive money for it.
- Test site: If you’re taking the test in Toyama, it will be held at the Gofuku campus of Toyama University in Toyama City. CAUTION: If the Toyama University test site fills up, you may be sent to the next closest test site, which is in Kanazawa. Check your test voucher carefully well before the test.
- Inquiries: Testing Division, AIEJ, 4-5-29 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8503 TEL: 03-5220-3431 (from overseas: +81-3-5220-3431)
- Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00-17:00 (Japan time)
- Test fee: 7,000 yen
- When: about 3 times a year. Find the next test date through the website link given below.
3. J TEST
7 levels from A-F with F having completion of first term elementary studies level and A having interpretation capability. Ranges in between carry legends such as “able to cope with living and working in Japan for extended periods of time”.
- When: Every February, April, June, September and November (only Feb, June and November in Toyama).
- Cost: 3600 yen
- Application Period: Ongoing. Request a form from firstname.lastname@example.org
11 Levels – Level 1 being the hardest This test is designed for Japanese people, and many schools make their students take this test. Employers of many companies look favourably upon candidates with higher levels. The JLPT (for foreigners) level 1 is about level 5-6 on this test.
- Location: Toyama, Kanazawa, Fukui, pretty much anywhere.
- Test Date: 3 times per year.
- Cost: Depends on level taken. From 1,500 yen (level 8) to 6,000 yen (level 1).
- Application: You can apply online, or get application forms at bookstores, Lawson & 7-11 convenience stores. The test takes about 1 hour (depends on the level you are taking). To pass, you need 80% (of 200 points) on the levels 1, 1 prep, and 2 tests and 70% on the level 2 prep through 7 test. Level 8 to 10 tests have 150 points, pass at 80%.