How fast can you learn N1/N2

Hi everyone!

I am quite new here, only been using WaniKani for about 2-3 weeks. I taught myself hiragana and katakana already and got to Level 3 on WaniKani. I am currently doing my second year in college, so I am 17 right now. I really want to go to a university in Japan, but instead of an English speaking one, I was thinking of going to one that teaches in Japanese and not in English. I am learning Sports Science and I really want to go to Japan to continue this or anything that is sports related. I looked up some universities that teach sports science but I don’t know what the requirements are. I tried to use google too, but as much as google helps sometimes, it didn’t really do much as it was saying that you need N2 for most, but sometimes even N1 to be able to get in. I am also doing a third year in my college so I am able to learn Japanese for another 1 and a half years. I learn Japanese on a daily basis, around 8-9 hours a day. Does anyone know what the requirements are for universities in Japan, or the best thing to do is to contact them? Would it be possible to learn N2 or N1 in this amount of time (18 - 20 months), even to get into a Japanese university? If so, are there any other helpful websites for learning Japanese like WaniKani, or any other best ways of learning Japanese?

I am very thankful for any help or even if you only read it through! Hope you have a good day, and good luck with your Japanese! :slight_smile:


Some of your question was

For Japanese, from beginner to advanced, it is N5 - N1.

If you already know N5-N3, then it is possible.

However, right now on Level 3, you have learned about 50% of N5, so it will be hard to reach N2 or N1.

If you continue your streak of 50% of JLPT level for three weeks, you should be able to reach N2 in about 4 months.

I believe that you will need to do the exam for each JLPT for the university to recognize that you know that JLPT level.

I am very sure that you will be able to reach N2 and/or N1 in about 18-20 months, probably less!
I would recommend you to find a website or buy a book on Japanese grammar.

Good Luck!


Studying for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for a year is 2080 hours. If you’re able to keep up that pace and use those hours in a meaningful way, it’s possible to hit N2, possibly N1, depending on your innate ability. I’m assuming you’re fairly gifted since you’re a sophomore at 17.

Curious, is there a reason you must attend a uni that only teaches in Japanese? Is just for a personal challenge? If so, nothing wrong with that. Intrinsic motivators are often the best.


It is within the realm of possibility to be sure, and it’s a wonderful goal to shoot for, but I honestly feel like even if you were pushing yourself hard enough to attain that level of fluency at such a rapid pace then your actual major and other classes would suffer.

Personally I think you’d be better off not attempting this. Still, even if you miss the stars you could still land on the moon! Good luck if you decide it, and here’s to hoping you’ve got the stamina of a dwarf!

Also, as far as resources, here is a huge list to choose from!


WK only really teaches Kanji so definitely look at resources ^ posted.

It is possible for sure I think but you’d have to be extremely dedicated and give up all free time probably :flushed:


Thanks for the very quick reply!

To answer your question, I want to live in Japan so I thought I might as well go to school there too. And also as Japanese education is much better quality than English (that is what I know). To be fair, I think the earlier you start the better it is, as people tend to say that you can learn the language much quicker when you are young, so if I can go to university in Japan then why the heck not so?! :smiley: As the lessons would be taught in Japanese, it would be much easier to get a job, because I wouldn’t have to learn the key words and phrasings from English to Japanese, which would be a pain in the butt (I’m Hungarian, and I moved to the UK when I was 12, so most of the key words I knew were basically in Hungarian, so just thinking back to how many individual words I had to learn is just a nightmare).
I also like the culture and Japan really seems like the future if I’m being absolutely hones. It would be a dream to live there :slight_smile:

Thank you for your reply!

I will definitely give it a shot, as I don’t see any negative sides of it. The worst thing that can happen is me going to a university that teaches in English instead of Japanese, but then still, I will be able to speak the language and that feeling will be the best!

Thank you for the resources, for your motivating words, and I hope we will land on the moon together someday :smiley:

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Thank you for the reply!

Yes, I looked at their “ranking” system too, quite weird as this is something I haven’t really seen before. As for the JLPT, I saw that most universities actually make you do an exam just before you attend to see if you are capable of reaching the level needed for the course.

Thank you for all the help! Have a great day :slight_smile:

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If you’re studying for 8-9 hours a day, then you’re basically doing what I was doing, so I think it’s possible, depends on your ability to sustain that for such a long time ^^ I posted in a couple of threads that I’m gonna link to not repeat myself :smile:

And this, of course :eyes:


If you manage to keep studying 8 hours a day then reaching N2 and N1 should be possible. There will be quite a few obstacles in the way other than the language proficiency tests to get into a Japanese uni of course, such as getting a visa, getting into the uni, renting an apartment and other money related things etc. Not that I’m trying to discourage you, your plan sounds awesome and where there is a will there is a way.

Remember you can also do exchange periods from your home country’s universities to Japanese universities. That’s what I did for a year, and that scratched the itch enough that I can manage to finish the rest of my degree back home and then think about moving back to Japan again.


Thank you for your reply and all the info you gave me!! I am happy you managed to keep up the 8-9 hours of studying a day, I will try my best too! :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your reply!

The money related stuff can wait to be absolutely honest, now is probably not the thing I am most focused on. I currently have a part time job that pays me well enough that I can save up an okay amount of money. But I am not too sure about the apartments.
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but can you not live in campus when you are in university, and pay it afterwards from the student loan? I mean if not, then learning the language will definitely help me find a job that I can do part time while going to university.

For the exchange, that was something else I was also thinking about, as my teacher took the same route and went to Germany for a whole year. I am not saying I don’t like the idea, but to be honest, it is very hard to find a university that is mainly focused on sports science and also does exchange, especially to Japan. I will definitely look into it as it is a great way of going, so thank you for the idea!

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Please correct me if I’m wrong, but can you not live in campus when you are in university, and pay it afterwards from the student loan? I mean if not, then learning the language will definitely help me find a job that I can do part time while going to university.

I don’t know that much about the renting and living part tbh. Personally I received monthly welfare and student loan from my country which allowed me to get an apartment from an affiliate dormitory of the university and pay a monthly rent for it. I don’t think they had any campuses, but this was a private university in downtown Tokyo so dunno how things go in other places.

[…] it is very hard to find a university that is mainly focused on sports science and also does exchange, especially to Japan.

Coincidentally our sports science department is the reason why my uni has a lot of bilateral programs with Japanese unis even though the rest of my uni is meh. Anyways, even if you cant find a sports science exchange program you can probably still apply to go study Japanese for example. I had a few British friends who studied in Japanese language programs on their exchange, but their degree is in politics. I also studied Japanese in Japan for my minor, major being Comp sci. It delayed my graduation by a bit tbh but I don’t care that much.

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I didn’t research how campuses go and what options there are for living there while being in university, but I was just guessing that they have them. I think the best thing would be to contact them really, but to be fair, I have quite a long time to go, so maybe I will try to do something about it, or at least find out some more information regarding the living. Actually, I just saw a video on Youtube, which was on how foreigners can live in Japan (Here is the link for the video if you are interested: It explains some ways to live in Japan, but she said that there will be other episodes covering more/other options to choose from, as she tried to gather the best and most suitable ones for this video.

There was a user who claimed to have gotten N1 in under a year by basically doing nothing but that every day. They had a cat avatar IIRC.



I knew a girl who took N2 after a year and passed. Now she works in somewhere in Tokyo.

As for me, I’m on my 3rd year studying Japanese and I am attempting N4 for the second time.

Stay motivated. Sports field? That’s awesome. Good luck with your studies. Don’t give up.


I do recall seeing a user a few years ago who claimed to have passed N1 13 months after he started learning the language. However, his language ability was still poor and he probably couldn’t have passed a course taught in Japanese. The faster you want to pass the test, the more your studying has to be tailored just to the skills needed to pass.


Among people claiming to be JLPT speed masters it does!


I think it will be possible but will require some freakish dedication and a lot of time. I passed N3 after 9 months of study and am taking N1 in 2 weeks from now (20 months of total study) - although perhaps I won’t pass lol. Last year I was in Japan and doing basically nothing but Japanese 24/7. This year I’m working full time - but am doing about 4 hours a day or however much I can manage.

Like you suggest, it will probably take 8-9 hours a day (probably 6 or 7 days a week) in your first year. Then in your second year if you were doing 3-4 hours a day I’d say it will be possible.

I wouldn’t recommend studying specifically for JLPT the whole way through. Just try and get objectively good at Japanese (eg by immersing in lots of native content once you’re able to) and then when it comes close to taking a particular JLPT do 1-2 months of targeted study prior to it. You may also want to shoot for any of N5/4/3 on your way to see how you’re going.