JLPT Exam: Dates, Format, Questions & How to Pass [2022]

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JLPT stands for Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, a standard test for certifying your Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers. If you speak Japanese and want to get your skills certified, this is the test you need to take. It covers your knowledge of the Japanese language and your ability to read and write in Japanese. You can take the JLPT exam two times a year in Japan and a few selected countries. People in other regions can only sit through this test once a year. 

What is JLPT Exam?

The JLPT exam, developed in Japan in 1984, is available worldwide, including India. It is a standardized criterion-referenced test; it assesses and verifies your ability in the Japanese language as a non-native speaker. 

The exam is very popular worldwide. In 2004, JLPT was available in 40 countries, and there were around 3 Lakh candidates. Around 47% of them qualified. In four years, the candidates appearing for the exam raised to over 5 Lakh. However, only 36% of them qualified. After the syllabus got revised in 2009, the number of test-takers increased to over 7 Lakhs. In 2019, a whopping 16 Lakh people took JLPT test. 

The Japan Educational Exchanges and Services conducts the JLPT exam. While the administration of the JLPT exam in India is through the Japan Foundation. 

JLPT Exam In Indian Cities

The Japan Foundation conducts the JLPT exam in India through various organizations across the country. You can take the exam in one of the seven cities shown below. The table also shows the corresponding organizations conducting the test there. 

New DelhiMombusho Scholars Association of India (MOSAI)
PuneJapanese Language Teachers’ Association, Pune
KolkataThe Indo-Japan Welfare and Cultural Association
Chennai Bangalore Nihongo Kyooshi-kai
Mumbai Teachers Association of Japanese 
KarurJapanese Language of Teachers Association

JLPT Exam In India Format

The test consists of various N5 to N1 levels; N1 is the highest level, and N5 is the lowest. Each exam level tests your proficiency in multiple aspects of the Japanese language. Read on to get an idea of how each exam level will assess your Japanese language abilities. 

  • N5: you can read and understand common hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji expressions. You should be able to listen to and understand necessary information from short day-to-day conversations spoken slowly. 
  • N4: You must understand basic Japanese. Qualifying this level means you can read passages related to everyday topics. And you can follow daily conversations spoken slowly. 
  • N3: This is the intermediate level. You will only clear this if you can understand written materials. Your abilities must include figuring out the summaries from written information. After qualifying for this level, you can also read slightly tricky content. You can understand The language spoken at around regular speed at this level. You can also follow the oral content well and understand the relationships between the speakers. 
  • N2: This level tests your ability to read articles on various topics with comprehension. You can also grasp the writer’s intent at this level. After qualifying JLPT N2 exam, you should be able to understand oral presentations at a regular speed. You also should have the ability to understand the essential points of the spoken materials and the relationship of the content with the speakers. 
  • N1: This level is the highest. You can only qualify for this level if you can read and understand any type of topic. You can also understand completely unfamiliar written materials of the highest order. With your listening skills, you can now grasp essential points, their relationship with the speaker, and the logical structures presented in lectures, news reports, etc. 


The test uses item-response theory to calculate scores; it does not use raw scores to determine whether the candidate qualifies directly. The authorities convert the raw scores into a standard scale. It ensures that two people with different skill and experience levels performed equally will score according to their proficiency. 

JLPT Exam Dates 2022 India

You can give JLPT exam in India two times a year. This year the dates for JLPT exam 2022 in India are 3rd July 2022 and 4th December 2022. Usually, there are two JLPT exam sessions: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and 2:00 to 5:00 pm. 

For up-to-date information, you must visit the JLPT website. 

JLPT Exam 2021 Format

The test format for various JLPT exam levels is below. The N1 test being the toughest to crack, takes the most time. You have 170 minutes to complete the exam. However, according to the JLPT n5 exam pattern, it only takes 90 minutes. 

LevelTest section (test time)Total duration
N1(110 min) Tests Knowledge of Language (Grammar/Vocabulary)・Reading(60 min) Listening170 min
N2(105 min) Tests Knowledge of Language (Grammar/Vocabulary)・Reading(50 min) Listening155 min
N3(30 min) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)(70 min) Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading(40 min) Listening140 min
N4(25 min) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)(55 min) Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading(35 min) Listening115 min
N5(20 min) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary)(40 min) Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading(30 min) Listening90 min

JLPT Exam Question Types

Below you can see a list of question types that can appear in the JLPT

  1. In the vocabulary part, you may get tested for your abilities in Kanji Reading and Orthography and word formations. You must know contextually defined expressions, word formations, paraphrases, and word usages. 
  2. In the Grammar section, you will get questions based on sentence and text grammar. Sentential grammar includes selecting the appropriate grammar form. You may also get questions that assess your knowledge of test composition. 
  3. The exam will test your reading skills by asking you to read short, medium, or long paragraphs depending on the test level. Then you need to answer questions showing your abilities to grasp information and themes. 
  4. To test your listening ability, authorities will ask you to do some tasks based on the instructions. They will also test your ability to understand essential points and summaries. Additionally, you will also get questions to test your quick response and ability to understand expressions. 

JLPT Exam Fees In India

The JLPT exam fees in India are INR 1400 to INR 2000 per applicant. The JLPT n5 exam fees in India are the lowest, and the JLPT n1 exam fee is the highest.

JLPT Exam LevelExam Fee (INR)

The exam fees may change every year. You must visit the official website to get the latest exam fees. 

JLPT Exam In India: How To Crack?

To qualify for the JLPT exam, you must study hard. There are many tutorials available online to learn. Additionally, you can take online courses to help you master the Japanese language. These courses would be structured and comprehensive enough to help you crack the exam on the first attempt. The approximate hours required to master the languages are below. 

LevelStudents having kanji knowledge (e.g., Chinese speakers)Other students(without kanji knowledge)
N11700–2600 hours3000–4800 hours
N21150–1800 hours1600–2800 hours
N3700–1100 hours950–1700 hours
N4400–700 hours575–1000 hours
N5250–450 hours325–600 hours

JLPT Exam A1 Sample Papers

Practicing sample questions is essential to qualify for the JLPT examination. They will ensure that you know the content as per the syllabus.

Additionally, doing sample papers will give you the confidence to crack the exam. 

You can get the sample questions below:

  1. N1: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/n1/index.html
  2. N2: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/n2/index.html 
  3. N3: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/n3/index.html
  4. N4: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/n4/index.html
  5. N5: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/n5/index.html

JLPT A1 Exam Preparation

JLPT A1 exam or the N1 level is the hardest of all levels. You need to master reading and listening. 

You should be able to hear and understand the Japanese language spoken at an average pace. Your Japanese listening skills must be excellent, and you must be able to infer logical structure and essential points. In addition, you must understand the information presented in a lecture.

As far as the reading skills go, you must be able to comprehend any type of familiar or unfamiliar writing. 

JLPT a2 Exam

The JLPT a2 exam, or the N2 level, is the second-highest level among JLPT exams. Unlike N1 exams, you only need to be able to read and understand articles on general topics. You must be able to follow regular day-to-day conversations and understand the information presented in news reports.

In Conclusion, the JLPT exam is a popular exam available worldwide that tests your Japanese Language proficiency. This certification is usually required for non-native speakers who desire to work in Japan. It is mandatory for students aspiring to study in Japanese universities. The test contains five levels. 

The lowest level, N5, only tests your essential ability to carry out instructions. And the highest level, N1, requires you to be able to understand lectures and read complex articles. JLPT exam test includes questions designed to test your vocabulary, grammar, reading, and listening abilities. To pass these exams, you need to prepare with utmost dedication. You can either do self-study or opt for a course. A course will have a structured syllabus and experienced instructors to help you ace your JLPT exam