JLPT 2024!

Depends largely on how much study time you have in that year. Did you get a good pass on N2 and are full time studying Japanese? Totally doable. Did you only just scrape an N2 pass and are studying only in what bits of spare time you can find while working an exhausting job or bringing up young kids? Probably not doable.

The quoted JLPT “average study hours” are I think usable at least as a rough guide to the gaps in between the levels (though I would take them with a massive pinch of salt as absolute figures): for no prior kanji knowledge students studying Japanese full time, average study hours for N2 were 1600-2800 hours, and for N1 3000~4800 hours. So that suggests that time/effort to go from N2 to N1 is probably about the same as the time/effort to go from absolute beginner to N2, or maybe just a little less. You hopefully have an idea how much work/time it took you to get to your current N2 level, so you can make an estimate based on that for N1.


I think this is a bit difficult to answer, because it very much depends on what your level was when you took the N2 and how much time you spend with the language in that year. I passed the December 2022 N2 with 147/180 and the December 2023 N1 with 136/180. I only went down 11 points despite all my study having been reading 24 light novels that probably couldn’t be less relevant for the N1 and mining ~1000 words from them. Other than that I only did my reviews every day and listened to a few audiobooks. I even had a couple months were I did no Japanese at all besides my reviews. In the 3 years since I started, it’s definitely the year I spent the least amount of time studying.

I think @Myria even passed the N1 immediately after the N2? So… 5 or 7 months later? :thinking:

Having said all that, I think all this shows is that it’s a very individual thing.
Since I followed no kind of curriculum for N2/N1, I assume I already knew a lot of things that were relevant for the N1 when I took the N2, despite still missing some N2 material. How familiar you are with N1 grammar/vocab/kanji doesn’t really show on your N2 score, so going by that alone is a bit hard.

A made up scenario of someone being very familiar with the N2 material but knowing barely any N1 material because they did very targeted study, combined with being a bit lucky on the test, resulting in a high score on the N2 and then failing the N1 a year later doesn’t seem impossible.
On the other hand, someone that likes to read novels that randomly contain a lot of N1 material being a bit unlucky and getting a low score on the N2 and then a year later crushing the N1 doesn’t seem impossible either.

If it wasn’t such a drag I’d say just take a practice test. That’d give you the best idea of how realistic it is for you personally c:


I think getting that much reading practice in any form is pretty relevant for the N1 – reading fluency is really important for it.


Yeah I did N1 right after N2! My N2 score in July 2018 was 163/180 and the N1 score in December 2018 was 111/180.
I took N1 again for a better score in July 2019, getting a 140/180. So, looking at your scores @GrumpyPanda , you probably could have passed N1 after just 6 months as well :slight_smile:

Back then I wasn’t really a novel reader, but I agree reading speed is very very important. You need to be comfortable with the allotted N2 times (having 15-20 minutes to spare on N2 will go a long way for N1), because for N1 your reading speed needs to be even faster.

I did a lot of targeted vocab grinding (using a random “N1” vocab deck with 3300 “N1” words) and grammar book grinding (Shinkanzen Master, TRY!).
I was also in university doing a bachelor’s in Japanese studies (the Japanese classes were a bit below my level at the time but the exposure to at least 5 hours of Japanese classes surely didn’t harm me in any way).
During the summer break I was in a language school (including homestay) in Japan for one month in-between N2 and N1, which means more exposure to textbooks and targeted reading/speaking/writing lessons for several hours a day, while being surrounded by Japanese at home.

So I definitely took the focused textbook study route and it worked out for me :smiley:


Just a quick question to those who’ve taken the test before - in the listening section, is the dialogue repeated? Or is only played once and if you don’t catch it you’re doomed? :joy:

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From what I’ve read I think it’s only played once


Only played once! Definitely get some practice in beforehand, there are a lot of great mock tests on youtube to help you practice and get used to the format.


Especially since it’s only played once, you need to be able to focus your attention in the listening section. A lot of questions (at least through N3) are a similar format: often they are like "a man and a woman are talking; what will the woman do next?'.
With that example, it’s worthwhile to note on the question sheet which person the question is about, so that you know who to focus on in the following dialogue.


For sure, practice is vital! When I was talking to other people in the testing centre, a lot of them were really thrown by the fact that almost every option they list for a given question is mentioned, e.g., if your options are “is 男の人 going to the bookshop on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday”, chances are all of those days will be mentioned in the track before the guy eventually decides on a day. I’d done a lot of practice tests so I was expecting it, but if you didn’t know that was going to happen I imagine it might send you into a panic.


Perfect, thanks for the confirmation!
I’ve already been doing some listening practice with mock tests so I’m used to the format, but definitely handy to know that I’ll only get to hear it once!

Ha yes that’s really the worst, especially when you lose track of the conversation :sweat_smile:


Hello all! I’ve decided to do JLPT N5 on Dec 1 - I would do it sooner but, 1) I don’t think I’d be prepared, and 2) It’s not even offered in my city (Toronto). I’m curious, is anyone else using MaruMori to prepare? I know it’s quite new. But I decided to drop the $275 on it (lifetime) to motivate myself to actually study.

I’m hoping that motivation of spending the money on MaruMori lasts until registration for JLPT, which is in Sep for the Dec test right? Then being registered would be further motivation, haha. Also when I register, I will probably get Bunpro on a month-to-month basis until December.


US registration dates for the December test have dropped :fairy::magic_wand:

Looks like they got rid of the Atlanta test site but opened a site in Vermont

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If you found yourself eyeballing your local test site, go do some mock exam questions right now :eyes: