Anyone have experience with Japanese classes?

Referring to classes taken at or through a college.

I’m in the position of having an unfulfilled foreign language requirement.
However, Japanese isn’t offered at my current college.
In order to gain those credits without taking classes I don’t want to, I have to prove my proficiency, and I’m thinking (alongside advisors) the easiest way to do that would be the JLPT. Which (finally) leads me to my question.

What level should I go for? Roughly what JLPT level would two formal semesters of Japanese classes get you to? N4 at most is my best guess, but as I will only have the one shot I want to be certain I’ll pass it. Can I get away with N5? Does it matter? Anyone have any experience with this?

1 Like

I took the BYU FLATS test for Japanese for credit when I was in school.

1 Like

I’d never heard of that, but it looks like it could be just what I need. I’ll definitely look more into it. Thanks for the link!

Here you can find JLPT practice tests for N5 and N4 (official link here).
You could take them and see if you are more or less at the level.

I passed the N4 after two semesters of Japanese, but I was the only one in my case. The others all took the N5, which was the teacher’s recommendation. (And it took me a fair bit of extra work)

I think it would depend a lot on the intensity of the program and effort put forward, but my ballpark guess would be that two semesters of Japanese would probably put you somewhere between N4 and N5. Looking back I can remember how slow and clunky my Japanese was in my first few semesters of studying it formally–I remember being scared as hell to talk in Japanese with my Japanese professor (a Japanese man) outside of class because my conversation skills sucked so bad, my vocabulary and grammar were so limited etc.

1 Like

Aye, I took N5 after two semesters at uni as well (also the teacher’s recommendation). I’ve no idea if anyone was taking N4 at the same time, though when I was doing N3 after my third year, I do know that some of my classmates were sitting the N2.

1 Like

N5, the first 2 semesters you’re really still at beginners level.

1 Like

Like others said, 2 semester is generally N5 level. At the universities around my area, 2 semesters is N5, 4 semesters is N4, 6 semesters is N3, and 8 semester is N2, but of course people can pass higher level exams with additional studying.

I would recommend checking with advisers to see exactly what level is required to bypass your foreign language requirement.


So far N5 seems the general consensus, which is kinda what I was hoping for, so I’ll probably be looking into that if I decide to go this route. Thanks guys!

No worries! I’m working on it. The problem is my school’s foreign language department isn’t exactly “extensive,” so I’m having to go through a few others to figure this out. I just thought I’d see if anyone has any first-hand experience with this. Thank you for the info!

At my school, they recommended N5 level after one year of classes (two semesters) so that is probably what I would aim for. N4 might be doable depending on your individual experience and effort. I currently live in Japan and my friend managed to pass the N4 without taking any classes and just learning from experience and self-study while living abroad after one year. I would suggest getting a study guide for the N4 or N5 and see how much of it you already know. It might help you judge your level better and you can make your choice from there.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.