JLPT N4 textbooks and learning resources

I’ve signed up for the N4 yesterday. Until the day I signed up, I was almost certain I’ll do the N5, so I didn’t exactly start preparing to it. I ended up changing my decision though, since the N5 seemed easy to me. Anyway, I’m not sure I’m actually prepared for the exam, so do you have any recommendations for textbooks and resources I can learn from?
Right now, the main things I use for Japanese are glorious WaniKani (kanji doesn’t seem to be a problem for the test, I’ve learned most of the N4 kanji on WaniKani already (I think) and those who I didn’t learn I can just learn independently), LingoDeer (I’m 50% in level 2), I sometimes read Tae Kim’s guide, and I also Google things, if I encounter something that I think I could learn. I’m not sure if it’s enough for N4 though, so if you have any suggestions, please share them.

I didn’t finish LingoDeer yet though, so do you think it’s enough, or are there more concepts to be learned for the N4 beyond it?

The ドリルドリル series is great for covering pretty much everything you need in the form of practice tests, broken down into each section of the test. It was the most valuable resource for me when I was preparing for the N4. I’d recommend using it along side a grammar book such as Sou Matome to easily check grammar you don’t fully understand.

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This site helped me out a bunch, but it was mostly as a tool to check grammar points I encountered on homework and stuff like that from the other resources I had. (Copies of a book I don’t remember the name of.)


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ドリル&ドリル 日本語能力試験 N4文字・語彙/文法/読解/聴解 https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4896894979/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3YPnDbWD6V48P

日本語総まとめ N4 文法・読解・聴解 Nihongo Soumatome N4 Grammar・Reading・Listening https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4866390751/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_l1PnDbY032F73
日本語総まとめ N4 漢字・ことば [英語・ベトナム語版] Nihongo Soumatome N4 Kanji・Vocabulary https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4866390743/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_I1PnDbNPKC7XX

These are the books you referred to, right? I just want to make sure before purchasing anything.
By the way, do you have both Soumatome books, or only the grammar one?

Incidentally, did you take the N4 already?

It looks incredible, thanks a lot!

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Those are the books I used to prepare. It depends on how confident you are with vocabulary. At level 17 you will definitely be fine with the kanji, but as I don’t know what other resources you have been using to learn Japanese then it’s hard for me know how your vocabulary will be. If you’ve only used WankiKani up to this point then I would definitely recommend using it if not only for the vocabulary section.

You could always start without and see how you go in the reading sections of ドリルドリル and if you find yourself struggling on the vocab, you could always pick it up later.

Yep, I have taken the N4.

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Sou Matome is a nice summary but it doesn’t provide a ton of explanations. If you don’t want to get Shin Kanzen Master (which is usually the most recommended one but it is a bit dry imo) then it is worth it considering the Try! series as an alternative.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Sou Matome but I also have a teacher and other books for additional preparation.

You could also have a list at N5 and N4 vocabulary lists eg here: http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/jlpt4/

Then you will get an idea of how mich vocabulary you are missing and whether you should study that a bit more too. There are vocabulary books eg by Sou Matome or the JLPT Tango series that you could get. Or you could go through a premade N4 Anki deck.


By dry you mean boring, right? I’ve never heard of Shin Kanzen Master before, so I’ll check it out. I don’t mind it being somewhat boring, as long as I end up understanding the taught material, so I’ll consider it as well.
And I might try Try! (I like the way this sentence ended up) also.

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Thanks for the help!

Maybe not „boring“ but Try! and Sou Matome try to lighten things up a bit with pictures and stories while Shin Kanzen Master has less of that but provides the most details.

If you don’t mind that then it is a great resource. The „Reading“ one is also really nice practice. I only know the N3 and N4 one but I imagine N4 will be similar; the other resources that I used for N5/ N4 and then for later levels were very consistent ik their quality. The only exception is Shin Kanzen Master which switches to 100% Japanese at N2 level while Try! and Sou Matome always have some English explanations.


It seems great then. Thanks a lot!
Do you think you can send pictures of the first few pages just so that I could take a look at the general contents before purchasing it?

Sure, I’ll have a look in the evening what I can find :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks for the information, if I somehow failed N4 last time I will defenitely check the material that is going around here.

My post probably won’t help much, but my 2 cents on the kanji as someone who made N4 a few weeks ago.

As I understand, the allocation of kanji to some N level is just an indication. In my test I’ve encountered N3 and N5 kanji (according to wkstats). And they asked for the readings of those kanji; they weren’t assumed known.
I’m still level 16, and I breezed through the kanji/vocabulary section. I don’t want to project too much, but I wouldn’t worry a lot about checking off the last few N4 kanji. There’s obviously no harm in doing so, but if you’re not as confident about other sections, I’d prioritize those.


I agree with @yorbon . I would make sure to know the kanji that you learned in WaniKani well and then just focus on grammar, vocabulary and practicing listening every day.

Here are some images:
Shin Kanzen Master N4 Grammar

Shin Kanzen Master N4 Reading

Try! N4

Sou Matome Listening, Reading, Grammar N4

Sou Matome Tofugu Review

For some extra practice, the 500 mon book from Sou Matome is nice.


… and one super important remark: I just realized that this is basically a “birds only” thread. :smiley: :bird:

image image image image


I didn’t know I could take a look at them there, thanks a lot! It seems great!

Edit: I referred to the books, not the birds.


I noticed it as well, but I didn’t know how to bring it up. We also have a chicken.

Edit: actually I’m not sure it’s a chicken. @yorbon please confirm.


And we also have a glorious penguin named irrelephant

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Not all sites have previews but with google image search it was easy to find some that had them. If you want to see more, I suggest to do another google image search.

But of course if you want to see more pictures of birds, google image search could also help with bird watching.