JPLT Vocab List Question

This may seem like a bit of a weird question but I’ve seen lots of vocab lists and kanji lists for each level of the JPLT. If something is on the ‘vocab’ list does that mean it’s not necessary to know all the kanji reading for those vocab words on the test?

Or is it that the vocab words are composed of kanji you already will know that are on that level’s kanji list. For example - all N3 level vocab is composed of N3-N5 level kanji that you’ll know already if you are level 3.

Does that make sense? It’s something I’ve been curious about every time I see a vocab list for the JLPT but it’s honestly never been clear to me. For context, I haven’t studied for the JLPT or anything so I genuinely have no clue.


The kanji used to write words and the words themselves have different “levels” as far as the JLPT is concerned.

めがね is a level 5 word. It’s likely to show up on the test.

The kanji used to write it, on the other hand, are much higher, probably level 1.

So if someone tells you 眼鏡 is a level 5 word, they’re just talking about the word, and certainly not about the kanji or their other readings.

The opposite is also true. Just because 土木 (どぼく civil engineering) can be written with level 5 kanji doesn’t mean you need to know it for level 5. It’s a high level word.


To add to what Leebo said, you will not be asked to produce readings for kanji in isolation - it always happens in the context of a given word. There are some tests online to serve as examples, so you can see what kinds of questions they ask. IIRC you get a word in a sentence that’s written with kanji, and you need to select the correct hiragana writing, and there are also questions where the word in the sentence is written in hiragana, and you need to pick the correct kanji. But it’s not that they show you a kanji without context and ask you to select a reading for it.

Therefore it’s a really good thing to know the vocab well :slight_smile:


賑やか (にぎやか) means lively,busy
I am learning it through kamesame Jlpt 5 vocabulary list. Though the kanji isn’t N5 kanji (or even in wanikani)

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Okay got it! It was confusing because a lot of the vocab lists I’ve seen for levels have the kanji reading of the word next to it as well, even though those kanji are not on that level ‘kanji’ list.

That makes a lot of sense too. Context helps to trigger vocabulary better than isolated text.

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