JLPT katakana

For those who attempted JLPT.
How does it test your katakana vocab knowledge?
What type of questions are there for katakana?
I’m trying to figure out how much should I pay attention to katakana vocab…
Thanks in advance!

You will of course see questions where they’ll give you four totally different katakana words. That can happen on any level. You just have to know the meanings and nuances, like for any vocab question.

On N5, I believe they also can have ones where they’ll ask for the correct katakana version of something in hiragana, to check that you know the correct shapes of the katakana too. Like they’ll give you ほてる in hiragana, and you have to choose ホテル from among incorrect options, like ホケル or ホテラ or オタレ or whatever.

And of course they can appear in other questions or writing samples where they aren’t the main focus, but they’re important for knowing what the passage means.


Learn the meanings of katakana vocab the same way you’d learn any other vocab. They get used on the test as part of other questions, like @Leebo said.

For questions that specifically focus on katakana, here’s an example from the official practice test:

The correct answer is circled in blue. I initially got it wrong because I mixed up シ and ツ, as well as ウ and ワ. So study the lookalikes!


I took a tsauu this morning.


Which level are you taking?

I think I’ll skip n5 and take n4 next summer.

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Why is there no Kanji for 今朝 in the test?
I had to think hard before it made sense to me :slightly_smiling_face:

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Because it’s an N5 test. N5 uses a lot less kanji.


N5 only tests on ~100 kanji, and most lists say they wait until N4 to test on 朝. (There aren’t any official lists anymore.) So everything containing that kanji is written with kana.

That’s one of the hard things about N5, honestly - a lot of it is just a wall of kana, even for common words.


Agree. I tried one practice test and there were a lot less kanji than normal. Too much kana. I wasn’t ready for this.

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