The Japanese Proficiency Test, better known by its acronym JLTP, is essential for those who intend to live and have a career in Japan other than working in factories.
Obviously, there are cases of people who have become great connoisseurs of the language and do not have this certificate. However, having it can bring great benefits.
The Japanese Proficiency Test
If you’ve been studying Japanese for a while, you may have heard of the JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Many Japanese study materials are marketed to people planning to take this exam for school, work, or personal purposes, so the acronym may seem quite familiar.
As with tests of proficiency in other languages, it guarantees your Japanese skills on paper. That is, it is a document that proves that you really know Japanese.
It’s also a handy little qualification if you want to live/work/study in Japan, or get a Japanese-related job, regardless of where you live.
But before you burn midnight abura1 for the JLPT, you should know if it’s right for you or not. In this article, I’ll give you an overview of what JLPT is, why people adopt it, and what you can expect when you confidently enter this test room.
What is the Japanese Proficiency Test?
The JLPT stands for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. It is a timed, standardized, paper-based test designed to assess your reading comprehension and listening skills in Japanese with five levels of difficulty.
The test was revised in 2010 to be more difficult — looking at you, N1 — and thus the current version of JLPT we know and love today was born. And you don’t need to be in any special Japanese classes or programs to take the JLPT; It is open to anyone who registers. Although the JLPT is intended for testing non-native speakers, native Japanese speakers can also use it. The five levels of the exam range from L5 to L1 in ascending order of difficulty, with examinees choosing which level to take.
Well, why would a foreigner be so interested in proving their knowledge of Japanese?
According to a 2018 Japan Foundation survey, foreign applicants take the JLPT for two main reasons. One reason is work – getting a job, promotion or salary increase, inside or outside Japan (33.4%). The other is simply measuring your Japanese proficiency level (33.2%).
Another big reason is joining a Japanese university, for those who want to enroll in a program taught in Japanese. This is a way to be able to reside in Japan as well as improve your CV to get better jobs.