Jlpt 2018! (Results are now online!)


I took the N4 yesterday! It was my first JLPT. It was basically just as difficult as I expected it to be – but like a lot of people the listening section was by far the hardest. If I don’t pass it will definitely be due to that section.

Yeah, I took it at MIT in Boston, and not only was I surprised at how lenient the proctors were, but I was dumbfounded at how unprepared many of the people taking the test were. Multiple people forgot to bring pencils ! And the proctors had a bunch of extras that they were just handing out. (and there I was, worried that because I didn’t bring an eraser separate from my actual pencils that I might not be allowed in :joy:).

They also had a timeanddate.com clock projected for everyone to see.

Hey, I took the JLPT at MIT yesterday too. :slight_smile: I took the N5 and I agree that the listening section was by far the hardest, but my friend who took the N2 felt like listening was way easier than the reading section, which they don’t give enough time for. Apparently they also didn’t have the timeanddate.com projected in that room so it must’ve varied by proctor. :man_shrugging:


Afaik, Dec 2017 JLPT results came out on 23rd Jan (or earlier/later depending on your timezone) this year.

Also like Leebo, since JLPT is over, I’d also add…

Who the heck adds 卒業, 相談 and 確か as vocabulary questions in N3? Like I had to check my 問題用紙 front to see I was sitting for N3 and not N4.

Also, luckily in both the tests I have given for JLPT, one thing I have never faced is the problem of time. I have always comfortably finished the sections 10 mins before withe enough time to revise and look over questions I had doubt about.

Whenever I sat for the test, I’d just mentally remind myself how many questions are in the paper. And every few questions, I’d check my wrist watch to see if I am not spending too much time on them and move on, if that’ s the case.


My average level up time is 15 days or so, but I spent 60 days on level 31, which I just finished a couple of days ago. I think that says it all!


Thanks for that info. Wishing you the best for your N3 result!


Oh thank goodness lol. Thanks for clearing that up! :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s funny that the main proctor in my room was extremely strict about cellphones and watches and anything else that could be distracting, but then during the first two sections, the proctors went around the room detaching the perforated sheets on empty desks making lots of loud distracting noises, and then during the listening section, one of the proctors dropped something heavy on the floor in the middle of an audio file. I didn’t hear any distracting noises from the other students though.

  1. Our proctors were lenient as heck. We could have forgotten pencils, people were given the ability to switch desks, he stopped a section to explain to us after it had started because we all looked confused, we were allowed to come in up to ten minutes late to any section other than listening. Etc etc. And there was a clock and warnings.
  2. Like the person above, the proctors were distracting during listening and I was already struggling enough.


I totally bombed it, though. If I pass, it will be by mere chance.

I say that because I literally had to just bubble in whatever for like the last 1/3rd? of the grammar section due to time and I mis-bubbled the listening sheet, which was really difficult to attempt to correct mid-test while also trying to still listen and figure out questions. The listening section booklet was just weird to me (and others). But I don’t know that I would’ve been great even if I hadn’t had the answer sheet mishap.

Just as I’ve suspected since I first planned to take it in 2016?, I probably need accommodations.

There were five students with accommodations (you could tell if you paid attention to the PDF with classroom numbers and times of testing), one of the N3 students got 25 extra minutes for the grammar section. They also got extra time for listening, which I suspect means they got to hear it twice or slowed if needed.


Interesting. I wonder about the procedure for getting accommodations. I have a hearing deficit (deaf in one ear) so I wonder if I could or should apply.


You should. There’s a very short window (as far as I can tell) in which you can apply for accommodations, so you should have any doctor’s appointments set ahead of time. Like I think once applications close, so do the requests for accommodations, with few exceptions - like calling the individual location to ask if they have wheelchair desks… or something. I’m not sure if you can prepare docs ahead of time, but I know there’s something you have to fill out specifically from/for them.


My problem is I don’t have a particularly diagnosable problem. I have ADD, so I could use that as one justification. I have memory problems my doctor has noted. And so those combined with some sort of listening issues = it’s hard for me to focus on things like that and just “get it” the first time. But also, I don’t know what I can do about the slow reading part. I don’t think I have anything where I can go “I’m diagnosed with reading-slowly” in English, let alone Japanese.

@Sezme maybe a separate thread asking anyone if they got accommodations and if so, how? (and how hard to get?)


Yes, you can retake the same level. I did that for N5, which I barely passed the first time around, and so I retook it.


I took the test in here in Portland. The proctors were very disorganized and distracting. Started 10 minutes late, and for the first 2 sections they talked louder than whisper-volume.

Luckily, it was silent during listening section. Not that it helped me very much…:joy:


Now I’m curious: What are your real reasons?

I think my reasons are that I want to be generally able to read stuff people write (e.g. there is a Japanese photographer I follow on Instagram, and I want to be able to read his descriptions of his pictures) and especially books (last year I read 1Q84 in German and it was already so beautifully written in German that I’m really excited to read it in the original language), and I want to be able to talk to people. So basically I need tons of vocab and a lot of kanji and grammar, plus listening skills. Which kinda equals the stuff that’s required for JLPT, so why not take the exams while I move along.

I can totally relate to that! I was really burned out when I took N5 for the first time (after only 5 months of studying Japanese altogether) and I had to take quite a break after that. So please don’t let yourself get confused by my aiming high :wink:


That’s actually what I keep hoping for, too, after I read that I was not the only one struggling :joy_cat:


Sure, you can take any level you want at any time.

I really think the listening section is stupid, and it’s not because of the speed. It’s because half of it is designed in such a way that if you miss just a small portion of the whole thing you will get the answer wrong.

The only two sections I like are the 3rd section, where they ask you what the person was generally speaking about, and the 4th section, where you have to choose the appropriate response to the various utterances.

The reason I think the other parts are stupid is because I think it’s nothing like what you need to use listening skills for in real life.

The speed was not the fastest I’ve ever heard people speak Japanese, but I think the issue is that they maintain that speed for unnaturally long stretches. They don’t sound like normal conversations.


This has been my main criticism of the JLPT’s listening section (as well as many other language tests’ listening comprehension tests). I know that it’s difficult to measure listening comprehension in a standardized way, but what they test for and the actual skill people exercise when using the language are two separate things.


That and the lack of a speaking section… :eyes:


Everything that’s been said about the listening section is such a relief to hear (lol). I took N4 and found it much harder than the JLPT practice test listening section or the Shin Kanzen Master listening comprehension book. Sometimes I’d understand a lot of what was going on in the dialogue but I’d miss what I could tell was the key line that changed the whole answer.


This is so true. I’m not anywhere near N1 level yet, but this particular point is easily the most stressful thing in the listening section, and it is further exacerbated if you mishear or don’t recognize a word and your mind lags behind the rest of the conversation because of it.