Once you get to a certain level in Japanese, you might want to prove your worth. So find your accurate level and earn international certification when you take the Japanese NAT Test.
How is this exam different than JLPT? Is there any benefit? What are the dates, test centers, exam format, test structure, fee, and how to apply?
Everything you need to know about this Japanese test is here. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Japanese Language NAT TEST
- Purposes and Advantages of NAT Test
- Everything About Japanese NAT Test
- How to prepare?
Japanese Language NAT TEST
The Japanese NAT (Nihongo Achievement Test) is a standard criterion-referenced exam. This is to check and certify the Japanese ability of non-native speakers.
This was first started in 1989 in Japan and other countries like China, South Korea, and Taiwan. In 2007, they changed the name to NAT Test.
Today, it is the second most popular Japanese language test. One can take the test in over 50 cities across 16 Asian countries.
Every year, over 150,000 candidates appear for the test across the testing centers.
Who conducts the Japanese NAT test?
The administration committee of Senmon Kyouiku Publishing Co. (Shinjuku-Ku in Tokyo, Japan) manages NAT Test.
They have a regional office in each country where they conduct the test. They offer the support and technical help to operate the exam.
They also have the “NAT-TEST Code of Honor” and “Fairness Code.”
This is to ensure the honest behavior of all those involved with the test. They do this to protect the reputation and integrity of the examination.
Purposes and Advantages of NAT Test
There are many obvious benefits of the Japanese NAT Test.
Here are some well-known ones.
1. Know your exact Japanese level
If you’re learning Japanese for a while, you may want to know your current Japanese language skills. In that case, the Japanese NAT test is a superb choice.
You will not only identify your current strength but will also understand your shortcomings.
This test can help you focus on the parts you need to improve and fill the gap. And all this can help you plan better for the next exam.
2. Study or work in Japan
When students plan to take admission at a Japanese university or apply for a student visa. In that case, they usually take the JLPT to assess their language skills.
Japanese NAT test follows the same guidelines as JLPT (the Japanese Language Proficiency Test). Thus, various educational institutions also accept this.
This is also valuable while applying for employment in Japan. If you achieve Q2 (like N2), it will play a significant role in finding a job in the country.
3. It opens many job opportunities
Japanese can be a key to unlock careers involving Japanese doors in many fields. This includes automobile, consumer electronics, chemical, animation, metal, steel, infra, semiconductor, shipbuilding, etc.
Are you looking for jobs in Japanese companies or organizations that deal with Japanese people or businesses?
Then, the Japanese certification makes your CV stands out in the crowd. Many firms need official certification to judge a candidate’s Japanese skills.
The documentary evidence, along with other qualifications and experience, will put you on your way in the interview.
4. A great alternative to JLPT
One of the main perks of the NAT Test is the frequency of the test.
While one can appear for JLPT only once or twice a year, depending on the country. But one can take the Japanese NAT test six times a year.
So, you don’t have to wait for such a long time to measure your Japanese ability.
This is great for Japanese learners who need recognized certification soon.
The test format and levels are comparable to JLPT. So, you will also prepare for it.
In addition, you receive your complete result report and certificate within 3 weeks. This is another incentive!
Everything About Japanese NAT Test
Let’s find out everything linked with the NAT Test (Nihongo Achievement Test).
What are the various levels?
Like JLPT, the Japanese NAT test comprises five independent levels: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, and Q5.
Q1 is the hardest one, whereas Q5 is the easiest.
This also resembles CERF to some extent. For example, 4th grade/Q4 or N4 are like A2. Still, both are not quite identical.
This is because CERF comprises reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In contrast, NAT-TEST measures only the reading and listening abilities.
The test uses the same name, total levels, standard, and formats as JLPT. Yet, the Japanese NAT test is a little more difficult than its corresponding level of the JLPT.
The Japanese NAT test gives you an excellent opportunity to practice and prepare for the JLPT.
Once you pass it, you may not need to take the JLPT test. If you still want, you can easily crack.
Levels 1 and 2 have a language part that includes reading, grammar, and vocabulary. This also has one reading comprehension and one listening section.
In contrast, levels 3, 4, and 5 comprise the language section, like kanji and vocabulary. This has another part with grammar, reading, and listening.
All questions are MCQs (multiple-choice questions).
First, choose one correct answer out of the 4 mentioned options. Then, fill in a solid and dark circle in the designated place of the answer sheets.
The curriculum and exam format
|Level||Course Content and Timing|
|Level 1 (Q1)||Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary, grammar), Reading comprehension: 110 minutes, and Listening comprehension: 60 minutes.|
|Level 2 (Q2)||Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary, grammar), Reading comprehension: 105 minutes, and Listening comprehension: 50 minutes.|
|Level 3 (Q3)||Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary): 30 minutes, Language Knowledge (grammar), Reading: 70 minutes, Listening: 40 minutes.|
|Level 4 (Q4)||Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary): 30 minutes, Language Knowledge (grammar), Reading: 60 minutes, Listening: 35 minutes.|
|Level 5 (Q5)||Language Knowledge (reading, vocabulary): 25 minutes, Language Knowledge (grammar), Reading: 50 minutes, Listening: 30 minutes.|
* The exact time for listening may vary based on the length of the recording.
What are the criteria to pass?
To qualify, you need to meet two mandatory criteria:
- Scoring over 25% on each individual section.
- A total score of 60% (in most cases) is necessary to receive the “passing” grade.
Duration of the test
The time duration varies depending on the level. However, it takes 2-3 hours to finish, and there is a 10-minute break between each segment.
NAT testing centers in the world
As of January 2023, there are 75 testing centers in 16 countries. All these centers are in Asia, especially in China, South-East, Central, and South Asia.
This includes 24 in China, 8 in Vietnam, 6 in Indonesia, 4 in Nepal, 3 in Uzbekistan, 2 in Myanmar, 2 in Sri Lanka, and 2 in Japan.
Besides, there is one center in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, and Thailand.
NAT test centers in India
There are 3 Japanese NAT test centers in India — Delhi, Chennai, and Pune.
1. UNICOSMOS School (Gurgaon/Delhi)
Location: Golf Course Road, Sector 55, Gurgaon, Haryana
Contact Person: Mr. Suraj Kumar
2. ABK — AOTS DOSOKAI (Chennai)
Address: No. 110, 3rd floor, Chateau D’ampa, Nelson Manickam Road, Amjikarai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Phone: 044-2374 3575 / 2374 0318
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Person: Mr. M. R. Ranganathan
3. Sinhgad Institutes NBN SSOCS (Pune)
Address: NBN SSOCS Building, Ambegaon (BK), Sinhgad Road, Pune Maharashtra
Contact Person: Mr. Pradeep Kulkarni
2023 Exam Dates
You can only take JLPT once or twice a year. In comparison, they conduct Japanese NAT exams 6 times a year.
They hold after a gap of every two months in February, April, June, August, October, and December.
|Test Date||Last Day to Apply||Levels Offered|
|1st – February 02||January 01||Q1 to Q5|
|2nd – April 04||March 03||Q2 to Q5|
|3rd – June 06||May 12||Q1 to Q5|
|4th – August 08||July 07||Q2 to Q5|
|5th – October 10, 15||September 09||Q1 to Q5|
|6th – December 12||November 11||Q2 to Q5|
What is the examination fee?
The registration fee for each level differs depending on the country where you plan to take the test.
The price is low compared to other popular European language tests like DELF, DELE, TEF, SIELE, CILS, and TestDaF.
For example, the price is ₹ 2000 in India. In China, it varies from RMB 460 for 1Q and 2Q to RMB 390 for 3Q, 4Q, and 5Q.
The cost is VND 700,000 (Vietnam), NPR 4,500 (Nepal), MMK 42,000 (Myanmar), LKR 5,500 (SL), IDR 500,000 (Indonesia), JPY 5,500 (Japan), MNT 50,000 (Mongolia), UZS 300,000 (Uzbekistan), USD 30 (Cambodia), BDT 3,000 (Bangladesh), USD 55 (Philippines), KGS 2,000 (Kyrgyzstan), BTN 2,980 (Bhutan), and THB 1,560 – 1Q, 2Q and THB 1,060 – 3Q, 4Q, 5Q (Thailand).
How to Apply?
You can apply online to the official website of your test center before the last date deadline.
You have to upload the latest passport-size photo showing your face with a white or pale background color and a government ID card.
Once they receive the registration fee, the process will be complete. Once paid, there is no refund.
Once you submit your form, they will send you the ticket to your mailing address and email 1-2 weeks before exam day. Then, if you don’t get it, you can get in touch with them.
Your name, registration number, gender, date of birth, and photo are all printed on the ticket. Take the application receipt along with a valid ID card to the testing center on the examination date.
When you get the result?
In most cases, they announce the test result within 3 weeks of the exam date.
The report card covers detailed scores, evaluations of each segment, your strength, and weakness. They also issue a “pass certificate” to successful candidates.
How to prepare?
The Japanese NAT Test adopted the same format as JLPT. So, if you’re already preparing for JLPT, you don’t need any special study.
Since Japanese is a difficult language thus, it is recommended to enroll in any formal course.
Read → (i) Japanese institutes in Delhi (ii) Japanese classes in Bangalore (iii) Movies to Learn Japanese
You can refer to the mock test, previous year’s question papers, and sample papers for JLPT to get ready for the NAT-Test.
The official site has several sample papers.
Plus, they list many reference books like (Let’s Learn Nihongo series) and workbooks (Japanese NAT test official questions) for each level. You can buy from Amazon, online shopping sites, or bookshops.
Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comment section below.
Does NAT scores ever expire? Or is last forever like JLPT?
It never expires like JLPT.
How long does the certificate valid?
I got N5 certificate in 2017, does it expire?
No. JLPT scores never expire.
If I prepare for N5 I can able to pass Q5?
Yes, as both follow similar question format and difficulty.
I am preparing to write N5 but I missed applying for that, so I’m going to apply for Q5 is there anything more I have to prepare for Q5 or if I can pass with the preparation for N5?
N5 and Q5 are more or less similar in test structure and difficulty level. Therefore, you can practice using the previous year’s question paper and samples and try Q5.
Does the structure of NAT N4 paper differ from the structure of JLPT N4 paper?
Not much. The exam format, number of vocabulary, and kanji are all almost the same in both tests.
Sir, I am interested in the Japanese language and have studied its basics for quite some time. Now, I wanted to appear in NAT-Test, so I have few queries regarding NAT-Test:-
1) Can we appear directly to the Q3 level exam without appearing in Q5 and Q4?
2) Is self-study with help of online material is sufficient enough to appear at this level?
1. Yes. 2. You can, but it would be better to join any formal course.