How to Prepare for JLPT・日本語能力試験の準備

Whether you are studying and or planning ahead even before you start learning Japanese, here are some tips, guides, and my own experience to share with. Before we go into the details, let’s check if our mind set is on the right track.

Are You Thinking About Cramming It Just the Month before?

Cramming things in few nights or in a month is not going to be good as this short kind of short memories goes away very quickly. We need to spare some time even just once to twice a week and each time only few minutes. The time spent will accumulate and eventually.

Keep yourself motivated by starting from what you are interested in first in Japanese and then expand to develop a habit of getting into it regularly.

We lose it if we don’t use it!

Why Bother with JLPT?

Well, it’s a common standard to test your knowledge at the point of time when you are doing the exam. Passing JLPT doesn’t necessarily mean you can speak perfect Japanese but gives your future employer some sort of idea of what levels of you are at. This can save some time for them and for you. JLPT certificate also helps when you’re thinking of going to Japan for post-graduate study as well.

For those who are interested in self-enrichment, it is a great award and milestone for the record of effort you have put in.

Alright! Let’s Get into It.

As previous post mentioned that there are 3 components in vocabulary/ kanji, reading, and listening. You can practice them separately. However, I suggest that you practice the things in combination to strengthen your brain association. For example, when you are practicing Kanji, you can read it out loud and write at the same time for vocabularies. So you have various senses involved in learning one thing. I found it does help you to remember lots of things. This is like learning how to do the same thing with different ways. Furthermore, find some materials that are similar to your level to practice your reading and try to make a logical guess of the missing words. You will develop better comprehension ability. There are some resources you can look into for the preparation of the exam.

To find out where you are

Can-do Self-Evaluation List by JLPT Official Website:

Sample Questions (N1~N5)

Collection of Sample Questions (2009 before the revised new levels are published)

I think it’s still worth looking at to practice as supplements.

Books worth looking at

I would say following the official guides and work books recommended by the JLPT official website would be a worth bet to start with.

Other great choices you can try are:

Shin Kaizen Masuta JLPT Series (New Kaizen Master JLPT Series) by 3A Corporation:

They should also be available from the international bookstores like Kinokuniya or Book Depository.

Online Free Audio and Videos Practice

NHL Audio Lessons (Multi-Language Interface Available):

It’s good for beginners and above.

Erin’s Challenge (Multi-Language Interface Available):

It’s good for intermediate and above. There are videos and conversation in Manga style too.


Before the Exam

1. Plan ahead and check the application deadline.

2. Study and use it regularly.

3. Test yourself with mock up and past exam materials.

4. Have and good sleep the night before the exam.

5. Make sure you drink enough water on the day.

During the Exam

1. Keep focused.

2. Read or listen to the test materials provided in full. Try not to answer questions to soon.

3. Revise at least once after you complete answers for Vocabulary/ Kanji and Reading Sections.

Good Luck!

What’s your suggestion?

Source:, Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services, last accessed 17/9/2013

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box