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  1. What is JLPT(Japanese Language Proficiency Test, 日本語能力試験[nihongo nōryoku shiken])  / 2. History and statistics  / 3. Administration  / 4. Revised test contents  / 5. Test sections and Duration of each section  / 6. Application period  / 7. Results  / 8. References  / 9. External links

Previous format (1984-2009) of JLPT
   
1. What is JLPT(Japanese Language Proficiency Test, 日本語能力試験[nihongo nōryoku shiken])
 The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験 Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken?), or JLPT, is a standardized criterion-referenced test to evaluate and certify the Japanese language proficiency of non-native speakers. It is held twice a year in East Asia and once a year in other regions.[2] The JLPT now has five levels, with Level N5 the most basic and Level N1 the most difficult. From 1984 to 2009 the test had 4 levels, with Level 4 the most basic and Level 1 the most difficult – see kyū. But a new level was inserted between 2 and 3, meaning N5 corresponds to the old Level 4. The Japan Foundation estimates that approximately 150 hours of study were necessary to pass the Level 4 exam and 900 hours of study were required to pass the Level 1 test,[3] although the figures may be significantly higher for native English speakers. In 2008, the Japanese government announced a plan under consideration to use the JLPT to screen applicants for long-term and permanent resident visas.[4] The test is held on the first Sunday of July and December each year.
   
2. History and statistics
 The JLPT was first held in 1984 in response to growing demand for standardized Japanese language certification.[5] Initially 7,000 people took the test.[6] Until 2003, the JLPT was one of the requirements for foreigners entering Japanese universities. Since 2003, the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) is used by most universities for this purpose;[7] unlike the JLPT, which is solely a multiple-choice exam, the EJU contains sections which require the examinee to write in Japanese.
 In 2004, the JLPT was offered in 40 countries, including Japan. Of the 302,198 examinees in that year, 47% (around 140,000) were certified for their respective level.[8] The number of candidates continued to rise to 559,056 in 2008, while the percentage of candidates certified has fallen below 36%. In 2009, when a revised system was introduced in which two exams are held each year in East Asia, a total of 768,114 people took the exam.[9]
   
3. Administration
 In Japan, the JLPT is administered by the Ministry of Education[10] through the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES). Overseas, the Japan Foundation co-proctors test administration with local cultural exchange and/or educational institutions, or with committees specially established for this purpose.[11][12]
 
4. Revised test contents
 A revised test pattern, originally scheduled to be implemented from December 2009, has been postponed until 2010. The revised test will consist of five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5, with N1 being the highest level and N5 the easiest. This has been done to address the problem of the difficulty gap between level 3 to 2.

 In the past there have been requests for revisions to address the fact that examinees who have passed the Level 3 test often have trouble with passing the Level 2 test because of the large gap in those two levels, as well as to address the need to measure abilities more advanced than those targeted by the current Level 1 test.[13]

  ・N1: the same passing level as the original level 1, but able to gauge slightly more advanced skills, possibly through equating of test scores[14]
 ・N2: the same as the original level 2
 ・N3: in between the original level 2 and level 3
 ・N4: the same as the original level 3
 ・N5: the same as the original level 4

 The revised test will continue to test the same categories as the original, but the first and third sections of the test will be combined into a single section.[15] Sections on oral and writing skills will not be introduced.[16]

 No Test Content Specification will be published as it is discouraged to study from kanji and vocabulary lists. Only the pass marks for the N1-N3 tests have so far been announced, and the pass marks for N4-N5 are to be released in March 2011. [16]

4.1. Test content and requirements summary
  4.1.1 Scoring sections and range of scores for each level
 Test results are given according to scoring sections in the table below. N1, N2 and N3 have three scoring sections: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar),” “Reading” and “Listening.” N4 and N5 have two scoring sections: “Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading” and “Listening.”

4.1.2 Correspondence between test sections and scoring sections
 Test sections in the test and scoring sections in the test results correspond as given in the table below.

4.1.3 Determination of pass/fail
 In order to pass, (1) total score needs to be at or above the point required for passing (overall pass mark) and (2) score in each scoring section needs to be at or above the minimum point required for passing (sectional pass mark). If there is even one scoring section where the score is below the sectional pass mark, examinees are determined to have failed, no matter how high the total score he/she might have. Overall pass marks and sectional pass marks for N1 through N3 are shown in the table below.

Level Test section Level Pass mark and Failing mark
N1 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)
Reading
Listening
0 ~ 60
0 ~ 60
0 ~ 60
The minimum limit for failing on subject
(科落・과락)
19
19
19
Total 0 ~ 180 Overall pass mark 100
N2 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)
Reading
Listening
0 ~ 60
0 ~ 60
0 ~ 60
The minimum limit for failing on subject
(科落・과락)
19
19
19
Total 0 ~ 180 Overall pass mark 90
N3 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)
Reading
Listening
0 ~ 60
0 ~ 60
0 ~ 60
The minimum limit for failing on subject
(科落・과락)
19
19
19
Total 0 ~ 180 Overall pass mark 95
N4 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading
Listening
0 ~ 120
0 ~ 60
The minimum limit for failing on subject
(科落・과락)
TBA
Total 0 ~ 180 Overall pass mark TBA
N5 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading
Listening
0 ~ 120
0 ~ 60
The minimum limit for failing on subject
(科落・과락)
TBA
Total 0 ~ 180 Overall pass mark TBA
   
5. Test sections and test times
 The time allotted for each section may change. The time allotted for the Listening section may differ slightly according to the length of the recorded materials.
5.1. Duration of each section
Level Test section(test time) Total duration Info.
N1 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading(110 min) Listening
(60 min)
170 min There are two test sections.
N2 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)・Reading (105 min) Listening
(50 min)
155 min
N3 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary) (30 min) Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading (70 min) Listening
(40 min)
140 min There are three test sections.
N4 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary) (30 min) Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading (60 min) Listening
(35 min)
125 min
N5 Language Knowledge (Vocabulary) (25 min) Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading (50 min) Listening
(30 min)
105 min
 
6. Application period
 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 examination.
   
7. Results
 Results are announced the following February for examinees in Japan, and March for overseas candidates. Test results are sent to the examinees through the testing organization or centre to which they applied.[17] All examinees receive a report indicating their scores by section. Those who pass also receive a Certificate of Proficiency.
   
8. References
1. "List of Local Host Institutions of JLPT". Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
2. "Official overseas JLPT homepage". Japan Foundation. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
3. "What is the JLPT?". Japan Foundation. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
4. "Japan Mulls Easing Conditions For Skilled Foreign Workers". Malaysian National News Agency. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
5. "Introduction". The Japan Foundation. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
6. a b "第2回 日本語能力試験改訂 中間報告" (in Japanese). Japan Foundation. 2008-05-25. Retrieved May 13, 2008.
7. "What is EJU?". Japan Student Services Organisation. Retrieved May 30, 2006.
8. The 2005 Language Proficiency Test Level 1 and 2 Questions and Correct Answers, JEES & The Japan Foundation, Japan, 2006, pages 88 and 99. ISBN 4-89358-609-2
9. "2009-2nd examination results, part 3". JEES. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
10. Chen, Ping and Nanette Gottlieb. Language Planning and Language Policy: East Asian Perspectives, Routledge, 2001, page 43.
11. "Japanese Language Proficiency Test guidelines, 2006 (PDF), page 1". JEES and The Japan Foundation. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
12. The 2005 Language Proficiency Test Level 1 and 2 Questions and Correct Answers, page 122.
13. http://www.jlpt.jp/e/info/index.html
14. "Revision of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test: Second Progress Report, 2008, pages 4-5". Committee for Revision of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, JEES and The Japan Foundation. Retrieved February 21, 2009.
15. "Points for Revision". The Japan Foundation. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2009.
16. "New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test FAQ". The Japan Foundation, JEES. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
17. "Japanese Language Proficiency Test guidelines, 2006, page 3". JEES and The Japan Foundation. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
18. 2007年結果の概要,実施国・地域別応募者数・受験者数 JEES. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
19. 2008年結果の概要,実施国・地域別応募者数・受験者数 JEES. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
20. 2009年度1回日本語能力試験実施状況 JEES. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
21 .2009年度2回日本語能力試験実施状況 JEES. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
22. Data of the test in 2010 (July) JEES. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
23. Noda, Hiroshi and Mari Noda. Acts of Reading: Exploring Connections in Pedagogy of Japanese, University of Hawaii Press, 2003, page 219.
24. Japanese Language Proficiency Test: Test Content Specifications (Revised Edition), The Japan Foundation and Association of International Education, Japan, 2004. ISBN 4-89358-281-X
   
9. External links
・The official JLPT website in Japan(Japanese and English) - http://www.jlpt.jp
・Korea JLPT committee(Korean) - http://www.jlpt.or.kr
   
  Quick link
  1. What is JLPT(Japanese Language Proficiency Test, 日本語能力試験[nihongo nōryoku shiken])  / 2. History and statistics  / 3. Administration  / 4. Revised test contents  / 5. Test sections and Duration of each section  / 6. Application period  / 7. Results  / 8. References  / 9. External links

Previous format (1984-2009) of JLPT
 
  
  
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