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Learning About the JLPT


日本語の練習 第10週 Japanese Practice Week 10

Hello everyone! Kyuusei here to teach you Japanese and show what I find interesting about Japan. With that being said, let’s continue.

JLPT (日本語能力試験)

The Japanese Learning Proficiency Test or the JLPT is an exam that occurs every year in the USA at major locations such as Atlanta Georgia and Washington, DC to name a couple in the beginning of December. However, it is held twice a year in Japan. This exam all started in 1984. There are 5 levels in this exam system. N5 is the easiest level to obtain while the hardest to obtain is the N1. However, N3 is the level where you can work in Japan.

So, why go for the N5 or the N4? I think these are best used to show that you have interest in the Language and the culture. This shows that you are willing to learn more about the language and someday progress even further in your proficiency in Japanese.

The exams consist of reading, listening, and knowledge of the language (such as grammar and conjugation of verbs and adjectives). In the past they did have only 4 levels (N4, N3, N2, and N1). Luckily, once you do get certified you never have to renew your certification. Plus, the pass mark can be easy to get over once you study and practice hard enough.

All the tests are based on a 180/180 score. You must at most approximately 56% of the test correct for N1 and it decreases all the way down to approximately 44%. That is the overall pass score. The lowest test N5 takes about 250 – 450 hours to prepare for (if you are familiar with Kanji such as speakers of the Chinese language) or 325 – 600 hours to prepare (if you have no prior knowledge of Kanji). For the N5 approximately 45% of overseas test takers passed and were certified. For some odd reason there were about 68,000 people who applied to take it but only about 55,000 people took it.

Status Update

Since I am discussing the JLPT, I would like to set the exam as my goal for this year. I have gotten comfortable with a few practice exams for the N5. However, I think that by the time the exam is available, I think the N4 would be the right pace. Then again, it is $60 to take the exam so I might want to stick with N5 first and work my way up to the next level and the level after that and so on and so forth.

Lingo Deer and JA Sensei can help out quite a lot. Then Karl Marx’s book Fluent in Japanese in 90 Days and Japanese from Zero Series can both be of help for self-learning for the N5. I am also watching a JLPT N5 playlist from YouTube channel called TalkinJapan and LIGHT for practice test materials.

On another note, I have got a lot of work to do in my Japanese. My past dialogues need to be revised because they are most likely awkward and entirely wrong. It is best for me to set a certain pace and triple check my Japanese for now on. At first when my errors were addressed to me, my first action was to drop everything I know and start from zero once again. However, that would be unproductive. So, it best to keep moving forward and study for the N5. The N5 is my goal and if I see fit, I can change that goal to the N4 when I am confident enough in my skill.

The plan for now is to try to provide simpler dialogues. That way I can still practice, and I am not leading people down the wrong path of learning this wonderful language by giving them incorrect Japanese language knowledge.

Grammar Notes



I think that this city is the most interesting.

Among these = Noun + の中で


Among my siblings my big sister is the strongest.

もっとも=most/extremely -> This is usually used for formal speech and writing


One Piece is the most popular anime.



A: ねえ、ジョン。サッカー試合はいつですか。

B: え?サッカーではありませんよ。フットボールです。僕たちはスーパーボウルを見ています。

A: え?スーパーボウル?フットボールは何ですか。

B: 。。。

A: 。。。冗談ですよ。

B: あ、そうですか。

A: 僕はフォーティー・ナイナーズは応援しています。

B: マジですか!このスーパーボウルはチーフの勝ちですよ。

A: じゃ、見てましょうか。

B: いいですよ。チーフは負けません。

アレクスとアスコ (Polite)

A: アスコ、日本語のクラスはどうでしたか。

B: ちょっと難しかった。でも、すごく楽しかった。カズコ先生はいい先生です。

A: そうですか。試験を準備していますか。

B: はい。そうです。ねえ、アレクス。

A: はい。

B: 私のアパトで一緒に日本語を勉強しましょうか。

A: いいよ。ですが、カズコ先生より僕の方が厳しいですよ。

B: それはいいだと思います。

A: じゃ、4時半ちょうどに行きます。いいんですか。

B:  いいよ。ありがとう。

A: どういたしまして。またね。

B: また。

It’s not soccer. It’s football. (Polite)

A: Hey, John. When is the soccer match?

B: What? It’s not soccer. It’s football. We’re watching the Super Bowl.

A: What? Super Bowl? What is football?

B: …

A: … I’m kidding.

B: Oh, is that so?

A: I’m rooting for the Forty Niners.

B: Are you serious? This Super Bowl is the Chief’s victory.

A: Well, shall we see?

B: That’s fine. The Chiefs will not lose.

Alex and Asuko (Polite)

A: Hey, Asuko. How was your Japanese class?

B: It was a little difficult. But it was a lot of fun. Ms. Kazuko is a good teacher.

A: Is that so? Are you preparing for the exam?

B: Yes, that’s right. Hey, Alex.

A: Yes.

B: Shall we study Japanese together in my apartment?

A: Sure. However, I am stricter than Ms. Kazuko.

B: That’s good.

A: Well, I’ll be there at exactly 4:30. Is that all right?

B: That’s fine. Thank you.

A: You’re welcome.

In conclusion, I hope that this series is helpful with your journey to learning Japanese and/or taking an interest in the country’s culture. Until then… また来週!


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