Do you speak Japanese? (日本語ができますか？) Find out your exact level when you take the Japanese proficiency test.
This guide will cover everything from the benefits to the syllabus, 2021 dates, fees, and JLPT exam centers in India.
In an increasingly connected and evolving world, learning a foreign tongue is considered a necessity.
One compelling reason is careers involving languages.
If you’re still not convinced what language to pick, you can unquestionably consider Japanese as it will set you apart from the crowd.
It is one of the five most taught foreign languages in India.
Among Far East Asian languages, Japanese is considered the most valuable addition to your C.V., followed by Chinese and Korean.
There are endless perks of learning Japanese.
The vibrant culture, traveling, study abroad, several career options in Japanese across the planet earth are some of the biggest motivators that attract language enthusiasts from far and wide.
You may be wondering whether you should take the JLPT test in India or not if your goal is to study or work in Japan?
Perhaps, you want to build a successful career as an interpreter or translator or add Japanese skills to your profile.
In all such scenarios and more, the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) will add both feathers and wings to the résumé.
Table of Contents
What is the Japanese Proficiency Test (JLPT)?
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) was developed in Japan and has been offered since 1984 across the world, including India.
It is a standardized criterion-referenced test to assess, verify, and confirm the ability of the Japanese language of non-native speakers and Japanese learners.
It covers Japanese language knowledge, reading comprehension, and listening skills.
Importance and Benefits of JLPT exam
1) You can earn extra points for preferential treatment for immigration to Japan.
You can gain 15 and 10 points for JLPT N1 and N2, respectively, under the government’s “Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.”
If you have a total of 70 points or higher, you will get preferential treatment at immigration.
2) JLPT in India offers a way to test your Japanese language skills and evidence of achievement comparable with other Japanese learners around the country and the world.
3) JLPT N1 is compulsory for medical practitioners licensed overseas who want to take Japan’s national exams for medical practitioners and other professions.
4) Want to study at Japanese Universities?
N1 is sometimes accepted in place of the Japanese university admission exam for international students who wish to study at Japanese universities.
Besides, the Japanese-language test is waived for examinees of foreign citizenship who pass JLPT N1 or N2.
5) JLPT is a yardstick for many businesses from Japan seeking to hire Japanese language specialists. N2/N1 certification is beneficial and provides many career possibilities in India and abroad.
JLPT Exam in India
If someone wants to get a high-paying language job in MNCs or any Japanese company as a Japanese expert, the position requires they must be proficient in the Japanese language.
To prove their expertise, the students need to pass JLPT, which requires considerable command of Nihongo.
If you want to make your career in Japanese, you should aim for N2/N1. I’ve rarely seen a lucrative requirement of any JLPT level below the N2/N1 except for entry-level jobs.
Levels (N1, N2, N3, N4, N5)
The JLPT originally comprised four levels (N1, N2, N3, N4).
The revised exam pattern was implemented in 2010 when new standards were set for the exams, and a fifth exam level was added. N5 and N4 replace the old N4 and N3 test, respectively.
N3 is a new addition. The difficulty level is pitched halfway between the old level 3 and 2. N2 and N1 are pretty much the same as the old level N2 and N1 exam.
Today, the JLPT comprises five levels (N1, N2, N3, N4, N5).
The most manageable and lowest level is N5, and the most challenging and highest level is N1. They are valid for life, awarded and recognized worldwide.
Syllabus and Course Content
(i) N5 – It is specially developed for beginners. Candidates are expected to learn Hiragana, Katakana, around 100 Kanji (Chinese characters), their readings and pronunciations, and approximately 400-500 Japanese words and the basic rudiments of Japanese Grammar.
(ii) N4 – One can listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly. You need nearly 300 Kanji and 1500 Japanese words.
(iii) N3 – One can listen, read, and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations at near-natural speed and typically follow their contents and grasp the relationships among the people involved.
You require roughly 600 to 700 Kanji and also approximately 3000 to 4000 Japanese words.
(iv) N2 – Level 2 represented an even more notable jump up in requirements. At this level, the demand surges to 1000 kanji and 6000 words.
People who attain level 2 are acknowledged to have upper intermediate Japanese conversational ability and can say so on their resume.
(v) N1 – Level 1 is, was as you would expect, the highest and most sophisticated level.
Students who passed this advanced level would have to master 2000 to 2500 kanji and more than 10,000 words.
In short, you are a Japanese expert, and proficiency resembles near-native!
Exam Format, Sections, and How to Pass JLPT?
JLPT exam is of 180 marks. For N1 to N3 – Test questions are subdivided into three major sections.
(i) Vocabulary & Grammar, (ii) Reading, and (iii) Listening, whereas, for N4 and N5, there are only two sections : (i) Vocabulary & Grammar and Reading, and (ii) Listening.
To pass, you must meet two criteria: (1) the minimum overall score and (2) the minimum section score.
You have to score 19/60 or 38/120 in each of these for individual passing.
One of the significant drawbacks of the JLPT is the fact that it has no speaking segment.
It may be because speaking can have many different answers and has to be graded by hand, whereas JLPT uses an MCQ multiple-choice computer-scored answer sheet.
JLPT 2021 Exam Dates
The JLPT is held twice a year (on the first Sunday of July and December) in Japan and selected countries, including India, and once a year in other regions (on the first Sunday of December).
The application period is usually around early March until late April for July’s examination and around early August until late September for December’s exam.
Similar to July 2020 and December 2020, they have canceled the 4th July 2021 test at all testing centers due to COVID -19.
The next possible 2021 JLPT test dates would be 5th December 2021 (Sunday). I will update the information as and when it will be available.
JLPT 2021 Exam Centres in India
You can take the JLPT test at various locations around the world.
The number of applicants had exceeded 1 million examinees in 2018. It has become the most widespread Japanese-language test across the globe.
Besides the 47 prefectures in Japan, the exam is conducted in 249 cities and 85 countries worldwide.
The statistics show that it is becoming a widely popular test of Japanese.
There is a total of 8 JLPT centers in India.
- New Delhi – MOSAI (Mombusho Scholar’s Association of India) – Link
- Pune – Japanese Language Teachers’ Association, PUNE (JALTAP) – Link
- Kolkata – The Indo-Japan Welfare and Cultural Association – Link
- Chennai – ABK-AOTS DOSOKAI, Tamilnadu Centre, Chennai – Link
- Bengaluru – Bangalore Nihongo Kyooshi-kai (BNK) / JLPT Test Adm. Committee – Link
- Mumbai – Teachers Association of Japanese (TAJ) – Link
- Santiniketan (W.B.) – Visva-Bharati – Link
- Salem (T.N.) – Japanese Language Teachers Association – Link
* The test is held once a year at Salem and Santiniketan.
Registration Fees (per Applicant) is between Rs. 1,000 to 1,600.
The fee for the 2021 JLPT Exam in India is payable through the online process through the websites of respective centers.