Help Preparing for the JLPT N5


Well, i was hoping to get some help on how to prepare myself for that exam, i have 5 months left, and i’m currently at lvl 5 on WK,i’m pretty sure that i have enough time to learn all the needed kanji for the the test but, i’m kinda scared about the grammar, since i haven’t really studied that much grammar

as you can see that’s pretty much what i’ve seen about grammar, plus sixty pages of Genki 1,so, my question is, do you think i have enough time to study the grammar needed for the test? (i have a lot of free time every day, so that isn’t a problem)if so, what parts of tae kim and genki should i focus on, or should i learn everything in each of those, do you have anything else to add to my study resources?.



If you’ve finished Genki 1, you should be all set. I passed N5 after one year of studying Japanese at university, where we used the Nakama textbook, and Genki is roughly equivalent. Just don’t forget to practice listening too.


I haven’t done JLPT 5, but I’ve done the practice questions. If I were you, I would at least finish the basic grammar section and learn some more vocab, using memrise or anki etc. Good luck!


N5 has about 800 vocabulary words, 100 kanji, and about Genki 1 level grammar. If you get to level 10 on WaniKani, you should have about 1000 words and 95% of the kanji memorized. Completing WaniKani up to level 16 will get you to 100% of the kanji and 1600 words.

Also, you might want to study Genki 1 vocabulary if you plan to take the N5. Stuff like くつ (shoes) (kanji=靴) you are expected to know, even thought the kanji doesn’t show up until something like level 27 on WaniKani.

Edit: Just remembered the listening section. For that, just go find some JLPT listening practice on Youtube and use that.


With those word counts though, you do want to be careful to make sure you’re also learning plenty of kana-only words, which WK won’t teach, but will come up frequently on low levels of the JLPT. Luckily, many are easily guessed by English speakers. I always chuckle when I see something like ニュアンス or ポリシー as a “challenging” question on the J-Test. The ones that can’t be guessed can be frustrating, but at N5 there are relatively few of those.


Probably a bit off-topic but how big a jump is it from N5 to N4?


Every jump is about the same relative to the others, in the sense that each level covers about twice the content of the previous level.

This is what they were trying to fix with the move from the old 1-4 tests to the new N1-N5 tests. It used to be that the old 3 was like the current N4 and the old 2 was about the same as the current N2, and you’d be jumping like 4 times the content.


Got it, so N5 it is this year. Don’t want to get ahead of myself and end up biting off more than I can chew, especially since it’s only once per year where I’m from.


I’m also planning to take N5 in July. Good luck to everyone!
I have one question which I wonder if anyone can help me with - in the listening section, do you get to hear the questions twice, or just the one time?


I’ve done N5 in 2016 and passed. Kanji and vocab are pretty free and you should be set by level 10. You may want to head over to bunpro and get familiar with the items corresponding to N5 there, shouldn’t take you more than a week to do it.

The listening parts are definitely the ass clenchers of the test. One tip they gave me and I’ll pass onto you: write your answers on the answer sheet as you’re doing the test, not after each section. The time constraints for each section are tight and you will not have enough time to do it on the very short allotment they give you right after.

Good luck, friend.


Thank you, and congratulations on passing N5!
(I take it then that you only hear the listening questions once?)


You only get one pass if I recall correctly, the test is on a very brisk pace. If you’re used to something like English proficiency tests where you spend four to five hours on the same exam, it can definitely catch you off-guard.


Thank you so much!


Hello WK folks,
Good day! Aside from WK, I am using Human Japanese Beginner App, and I do have Genki 1 as well, with premium subscription of JPOD101. Are these materials more than enough for me to pass N5? And how many months should I prepare? I have a 8-5 day job, practicing classical guitar and jiujitsu as well, so I really have to budget my time wisely. Kindly advise. Thanks a lot!


Quick warning: The listening test always includes all three incorrect answers in the dialogue, as well as the correct answer - it’s to prevent you from just cherry-picking the right answer out of context.


Yo. Bunpro’s a free SRS grammar site set up by awesome wanikani enthusiasts. It lists grammar by JLPT level and has plenty of example sentences. The layout is pretty user friendly


一体!How am I only hearing about this now, or is it relatively new? Looks like a great website.


Yeah i’m glad I read this thread too! Excited to start using bunpro also.


Bunpro is so fresh you could eat it like sushi. I think it came about on November of last year.

One big tip for new users is, it works kinda like WK but if you mess up, you actually have a chance to erase your answer and input another one. This is good for trading colloquial versions of answers for formal ones and vice-versa, but it looks like it only actually tracks your answer in the SRS system after you go to the next item in the review queue. So if you mess up an item, erase your answer while still in the same item, then input a correct answer, that item will count as “correct” and will add to your streak even though you messed up at first. Not sure if that makes any sense but if you want the system to work as intended, go to the next item with the wrong answer if you mess it up, don’t erase it and re-do it.

When the item comes back again in the same review session, you’re free to do whatever you want as it will already count as wrong for that session.

Edit: Also, in the lessons, you’ll get a chance to read a few sources explaining that grammar term. I thought you had to tick the checkboxes to add the item to your review queue or some example sentences related to it, but as it turns out, the checkboxes are a personal “Okay, I’ve read this source, I can keep track of that here.” thing. It’s up to you to be a good boy and read the sources explaining the grammar item you’re about to add to your review queue, but it has no actual bearing on anything on-site and you can just add the items to your review queue without ticking any of the boxes.

Edited for clarification.


Are you sure you should be correcting them? I’m admittingly not familiar with the system, but if the English translation states “that over there’s”, then wouldn’t that unambiougly be あの as the answer? You shouldn’t mark that as correct if you got it wrong in the first place. Or am I misunderstanding something.