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Among East Asian languages in India, the Japanese language is most popular in India followed by Chinese and Korean. There are various benefits of learning a new language in India. For majority of candidates across India, career options in foreign languages is the utmost important reason.

Many students want to choose translator and interpreter as a career option whereas others opt for teaching. However, if you’re not sure about which foreign language you should learn, then I would personally suggest you to go for Japanese as it is one of the best option thanks to a wide array of career opportunities across India and even the world. 

If you are planning to build a successful career or thinking for adding Japanese skill in your CV, then JLPT – Japanese Language Proficiency Test will add feathers to your resume.

The JLPT (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test) began in Japan and has been offered since 1984 in countries all around the world including India. JLPT is a standardized criterion-reference test to evaluate and certify the proficiency of Japanese language of non-native learners of Japanese language.

It covers complete Japanese language knowledge includes reading and writing abilities and listening skills. It has been administered by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) in Japan and the Japan Foundation administers the test overseas.



The JLPT originally comprised of four levels (N1, N2, N3, N4). The revised exam pattern which was implemented in 2010 had new standards for the exams and a fifth exam level was added. N5 and N4 replaced the old N4 and N3 level of exam respectively. N3 is a new exam and its difficulty level is pitched halfway between the old N3 and N2 level of exam. N2 and N1 are mostly the same as the old N2 and N1 level of exam. In todays time the JLPT consists of five levels (N1, N2, N3, N4, N5). The lowest and easiest level is N5 and the highest and difficult level is N1. They are valid for lifetime and awarded and recognized all around the world.

(i) N5 – It is especially designed for beginners of the language. Candidates need to learn Hiragana, Katakana, approximately 100 Kanji (Chinese characters), their various readings and pronunciations and around 400-500 words of Japanese and the basic concepts of Japanese grammar.

(ii) N4 – Learner is able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in day to day life and normally understand their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly. One should know around 300 Kanji and 1500 words of Japanese.

(iii) N3 – Learner is able to listen, read and comprehend coherent conversations in daily situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and are able to understand their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved. One should know 600 to 700 Kanji and 3000 to 4000 words of Japanese.

(iv) N2 – Level 2 requires that one should know 1000 kanji and 6000 words. People who qualify level 2 are largely considered to have conversational Japanese ability and this gives weightage on their resume.

(v) N1 – Level 1 is the highest and most difficult level in Japanese. Students who master this level should know 2000 to 2500 kanji and around 10,000 Japanese words.



JLPT exam is of 180 marks. It is of 3 hours. In India, it is held two times every year on the first Sunday of the month of July and December.

In N1 to N3 level test questions are subdivided into 3 different sections : (1) Vocabulary & Grammar (2) Reading (3) Listening and for N4 and N5 level there are only two sections : (1) Vocabulary & Grammar and Reading (3) Listening.

For passing the exam, you must meet two criteria: (1) the minimum overall score which is N5-80, N4-90, N3-95, N2-90 and N1-100 (2) the minimum section score which is 19/60 or 38/120 in each of the sections for individual passing.

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