JLPT 2022 thread(Results out now!)

It’s actually possible, but it will by no means be easy. It depends on your motivation though. You need to work through Genki I at least and cram the N5 Tango book. Additionally you would need to get some supplementary listening done to pass the listening part of the test.

Kanji will be the smallest of your problems. Even just level 8 on Wanikani should be plenty enough for N5.

Given the time to the test (roughly 3 months) I personally would plan like that:

  • 2 1/2 months for Genki 1 + Workbook wich means roughly 5 chapters a month.
  • 2 1/2 months for tango N5 or roughly 13 new words a day.
  • Roughly one Kanji a day or slowly working to Wanikani LVL8.
  • Some youtube with easy Japanese listening just to get used to the sounds.

Half a month before the test I would do the mock test on the official site and see where my weak points are and take the last 2 weeks to iron those out.

You would probably need to spend 3/4 hours a day to realistically do it and it won’t be much fun I assume. So if the test motivates you that is good but be sure not to burn out because you aimed for a high goal.

Totally depends on your personality if it is worth it. I personally would take it slower and try to have more fun with the language but to each their own.


Awesome! Thank you for your insights! I checked online what the last date of application would be for the test in Copenhagen and it’s the 10th of October, so I got like a month to see if I made any significant progress. But I don’t know if there might be some application limit and it would be better advised to register now. Would do you think?

A bit offtopic, but this just happened to me:

The Kanji got downgraded even though my answer was correct. Looks like a bug to me :confused:

Have you fumbled the reading of the kanji? If you miss one or the other the whole kanji will be downgraded. Otherwise a userscript might have interfered if you use them.

I can’t speak to the copenhagen registration question maybe someone else has any experience with the test location?

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I don’t know with fumbling the reading. It required the meaning of the kanji and it even recognized it as correct. Ohhh now I think I know what you mean, I got the Kanji wrong by entering the wrong kana and the grading of the kanji does not finish until I also get tested for the meaning of it. Is that what happened? I messed up part one but got part two right but overall I get a downgrade? That would make sense!

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Yes, exactly! you got it.


Another option that I’d strongly recommend: go read Japanese teaching sites in Japanese. Of course, feel free to stick to your favourites in English for a basic explanation, but I find that the explanations given by Japanese teachers in Japanese are extremely precise, and yet ridiculously concise. They provide details we don’t get in common JLPT prep site English translations while taking you less time to read. (Granted, you have to be able to read Japanese, but it’s generally not too hard if you have N3 grammar knowledge, and it’s good reading practice. You can always look some stuff up in English if you’re stuck!) Some of my favourites:

The last one’s really great because it includes illustrations and short comics that demonstrate how structures are used, so you don’t have to rely on your Japanese reading ability alone to figure out what’s going on. :slight_smile:

My timeline would be different, but I’ll preface this by saying that I’m almost definitely an exception to the general rule: I’m a Chinese speaker (i.e. almost no unknown kanji in everyday conversational Japanese, and I know 80-90% of the kanji I see in newspapers, but I face plenty of unknown readings), and I’ve already studied a language aside from English and Chinese (my native languages) to the point I pass for native (French). Still, see, I used a textbook in the beginning as well (containing 98 lessons), and it doesn’t work like Genki (or Minna no Nihongo) at all. At the (recommended) rate of one lesson a day, you get:

  • 49 days to finish the first half of the book (pure input, no attempts at output – not because it’s forbidden, but because the book doesn’t ask you to do any practice beyond reading aloud)
  • 49 days to finish the second half while translating the first half from [native language] into Japanese (sort-of-output via translation practice from memory, which also helps with revision)
  • 49 days to do the rest of the translations

Total time taken: 147 days (i.e. 5 months)
Time per lesson per day: about 1-2h if you really want to look up the meanings of tons of words beyond what the book’s translations say (like me)
Time per lesson translation per day: about another hour at worst?
(Honestly, if you’re less detail-obsessed than I am, you’ll probably only take 30-45min per lesson per day: that’s what the authors expect, and I did finish the first 21 lessons – which were shorter – in three days, so… yeah.)

Final level reached: a solid N4, and probably even mid-N3, if you ask me

For reference, I took 7-8 months with a horribly overloaded schedule of 30h+ of uni classes per week (excluding the time needed for studying and homework afterwards). If you’re less overloaded, you’ll probably have an easier time.

Caveat: if you want to master the 900+ kanji used in the book beyond just recognising them for reading, you might need to review them on your own or consider buying their companion volume for writing. (Readings are provided for most of the book, even in rōmaji if you want, so don’t worry about not being able to pronounce things. That goes on literally until lesson 70+, beyond which only a few furigana for new/rare kanji remain.)

Otherwise, however, it’s a good course in which you learn by guided immersion. (Yes, I made that term up, but it’s a good description: tons of fairly natural, coherent texts with full translations – literal and natural – and explanations for key points. You get a revision lesson every seven lessons – once a week – to explain things in greater detail.) In any case, you don’t need anything close to 900 kanji for the N5, so it doesn’t even matter.

If you want to know what this course is, take a look on the publisher’s site:

I’ve yet to find a print version of it in English (it exists in French), but the e-course is cheaper anyway, and at this price, you’re paying less than half of what Genki I & II (or MnN I & II) cost combined. Their other Japanese books in English are here (only two other ones though):

Anyway, the number of times I’ve shared this course is getting ridiculous at this point, and some people might say I’m pushing it too hard, but I can sincerely say that I’ve never learnt a language more efficiently than with Assimil (I’ve studied six), and it costs so much less than all the mainstream English-language courses anyway, so what’s there to lose? Also, no, I’m not getting a commission from any of this – the most gratitude I’ve ever got from Assimil is a follow on Twitter on a few likes. No discounts, nothing.

I know you’ve already ordered Genki, so I’ll just leave this here FYI, but I strongly suggest you check out the trial lessons for this course just to see if you like it. (You’ll have to create an account, unfortunately, but they don’t spam you at any rate, trust me.) Some people find the grammatical explanations too short – they were mostly good enough for me, and easily supplemented with a little googling when I wanted much more information – but if you’re hoping to learn fast with no fluff while really appreciating the structure and logic of the language instead of relying on phrase memorisation (I mean, you have literal translations – what other beginners’ textbook tells you お げんき です か breaks down as ‘[politeness] health-and-energy to-be [question]’?), then I strongly recommend this course.

PS: Using this course doesn’t mean you have to forgo Genki – you can always delve into Genki for more focused explanations, for example, or extra practice. However, if you don’t have the time or desire to read long grammatical explanations and would much rather have people show you how things work instead of going on and on about theory, well, this is the course for you. It all depends on how you learn.


That is interesting! I have not heard of Assimil before and I have done a lot of research on what books to get. The number one textbook recommended by far was Genki, so I got those.

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It typically is, and I did have a look. I think it’s pretty good, and one thing that’s nice about Genki and other books by its publisher is that they tend to include lengthy culture notes, which helps you get a better idea of what certain Japanese customs are actually like, especially on a social level. It also does provide full translations for certain texts, especially dialogues. However, in my opinion, like most traditional textbooks, it overestimates the value of exercises (these are very good for some students because practice can aid retention, but for others, especially those who rapidly learn consistent rules once they are explained clearly – and Japanese has a lot of nice, consistent patterns – these things tend to be over-drilled) and focuses too much on letting the student figure things out without immediate explanation, possibly with the help of a teacher. I mean, Genki is designed for classroom use.

On the other hand, Assimil has been a self-study course publisher since its inception in France (in 1929, if I remember correctly), and its courses are designed to be used without any outside help. You can get as much of that help as you want, of course, but it’s not required. The authors assume it’s their job to teach you everything they think is necessary, and they do it as simply as possible, though perhaps a little too simply for some. The idea is that you ‘assimilate’ (hence ‘Assimil’) the language by reading, listening, repeating and understanding how the language works with the help of explanations. It doesn’t suit everyone, but it’s worked pretty well for me, so I like it. And like I said, one thing I can definitely vouch for is that basically no one else attempts to teach people using literal translations. For that matter, I think I’m one of the only people who explain things like that in my offline social circle, and I’ve never seen qualified teachers of any language teach things that way either. (For the record, while I don’t want to boast, my classmates in language classes regardless of country or culture regularly tell me they prefer my explanations, so I think that speaks for the effectiveness of this approach.)

As for why Assimil isn’t well known… most of its latest courses are in French. Translation takes a while. It’s probably just not common enough in the English-speaking world, and all the most prominent users of it I know are polyglots, who are frankly – for all their fame – quite a niche group of people that not everyone cares or knows about. (I can and do call myself a polyglot for publicity’s sake on Twitter, but like I said, not everyone cares, and they’re perfectly within their rights not to. It’s not important to their life; what I can tell them if they’re studying a language is, and that has little to do with how many languages I’ve learnt.) Not everyone is into languages anyway!

Again, it depends on how you learn, but I find that being able to break down how people express themselves in their language as opposed to sticking with what I think they’re saying in mine immediately removes a lot of language barriers, including the classic ‘wait, this makes no sense in English/my native language’ that a lot of people encounter the first time they learn a language. It teaches me to stop applying my own expectations to how they speak, because then I realise they don’t speak like me (in my native language) at all!


Haha, are you sure you are not an Assimil salesperson? :smiley:
I put the book on my amazon wishlist and also took a look at the Spanish version because I have no resources for it yet.


Hahaha. I’m sure, I’m sure. At best, I’m an Assimil fan. :joy: I had just been so incredibly frustrated by how I had been studying languages in school in general (Chinese and French especially), and when I discovered Assimil, I immediately felt like I had found the way I was meant to learn all along. Finally something that wasn’t mechanical, tedious and thoughtless, and which catered to my preference to break things down. It’s obviously not going to be equally effective for everything because we all have different linguistic backgrounds and each language has its own unique set of features, but it’s the best thing I’ve found so far! :grin:

PS: To be completely fair, while it might just have been my rushing through the course and missing explanations at the end, Assimil’s courses are not always perfect. For example, I felt that even at the end of the course, I hadn’t realised that stuff like 〜ている just had this extremely broad continuous nuance that allowed it to mean both ‘something is over and that state of over-ness is still current’ and ‘something is still happening/being done’. That stuff required additional reading even though it was basic – like N5/N4 – grammar. は vs が lead me into one of my biggest stacks of online articles, though my fluent friend told me I would get a feel for it over time and didn’t really need to read about it, which was sort of true: reading helped, but I did get a feel too. Overall though, I was very satisfied.


I have a question are the n3 breaks the same as the n4 Ik they’ll send a email but Im curious :joy:.

Looks like 20 min from the mail I got last year, was it 20 min break for N4 too? Don’t know if it varies from place to place or is a standard.

Refer to the test guide for test duration, and expect to have around 20 min breaks between the sessions of the test (30 min for levels N1 and N2).

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Thanks for the response. I am happy to say that I was able to get a spot in the N5 exam.

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Looks like it varies by place, In Vienna both N3 breaks were 40 minutes (same for N4 breaks, really a bit too long in my opinion)


I hadn’t thought about looking at japanese websites. Thank you so much for the recommendation! Does the japanese course also cover more advanced grammar or is it just for N5-N4?

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I think one thing I should make clear is that the course doesn’t aim to align itself with the JLPT, so I don’t think what’s covered in terms of JLPT levels is clearly indicated. However, looking through the N3 grammar point list on JLPTSensei.com (for what it’s worth) does show me a number of grammar points I’m pretty sure were covered by the course. Like I said, my general feel was that the course would bring you to mid-N3.

God damn, I just got finished doing the Vocab/Grammar/Reading part of a mock test, and the time limit is real :upside_down_face:


yup, I ran out of time with 20 questions / big texts left to read in the real exam :smiley:
(my time management could have been better)


Oh noez :confused: I expect reading speed, next to my listening ability, to be my weak point in the test (also doing N2 like you). Vocab is another question mark but I suspect I will have improved considerably until the test since it is the part I’m focusing on most at the moment.
I expect that it takes a little longer to bring my reading speed and listenting speed up to the required level though.The pass mark this time around will be close ^^


Im going to be trying out for JLPT N5 this year. Mainly so I have something for my wall at work. Im pretty sure I can pass it no problems and could probably even pass n4, which is what I should be aiming for if I wanted to properly assess and stretch myself.

But after 3 years of slow study and really only one of good quality I just want something to prove Im making prgress. Its not much but I want it.