Looking to take JLPT - workbook suggestions?

Hi guys! I hope this is in the right place (as opposed to in campfire or something). I haven’t posted in a while, but I want to take the JLPT in July (either N5 or N4, as I’m not sure exactly where I’m at in their terms, hopefully somewhere between the two). I’d take it in December, but the applications are full up.

Anyway, I wanted to ask if you knew what the best workbooks were for practising for the test? I’m looking at Goukaku Dekiru Pass!! as it has one that covers both N4 and N5, but I’d like to find out if you guys have any recommendations

Not too knowledgable about this stuff, but I’ve heard before that doing Genki 1/2 will pretty much teach you everything you need to know for N5. WK level 10 teaches you almost all the vocab, with the exception of 書, しょ (write), so its pretty much just grammar you need to learn outside of WK. BunPro also offers grammar lessons based around required JLPT level, so thats something to check out if you have $3 per month to spare

If anyone knows a bit more feel free to correct me

If you want the closest thing to the actual test:

日本語能力試験 公式問題集 N5 by 独立行政法人 国際交流基金


Minna no Nihongo book 1 will prepare you very well for N5. You can pass it if you understand up to chapter 19, but with a better score if you know the whole book (25 chapters). You wouldn’t be studying specifically for the test, but it has a good grammar progression and lays a good foundation for more complex grammar. The second book gets you to N4 level (I did the test around chapter 42). There are 50 chapters spread out over the 2 books.
If your self-studying though, you’ll have to buy a separate grammar explanation guide in English or your native language if available.


Check out the workbook series titled 新完全マスター. They are split by JLPT level and by skill (reading, grammar, vocab).

I’m going through them every day in preparation for the JLPT this December.

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Where are you with your Japanese studies? If you just started, I would recommend just studying Japanese and not for N4/5. If you have been studying for a little bit, what have you been using? With Genki I & II you can pass N4, not sure about the other Japanese textbooks. If you want to study specifically for the JLPT then 新完全マスターis a really good set of books for the test.

I do not think they are needed for N4/5 though, you can pass just by studying Japanese in other ways.


The Shin Kanzen Master and Sou Matome series are two of the most popular. SM is a bit simpler but more practical to me, whereas SKM seems more technical. I’ve only played with the n2 level books, though, so I can’t speak of any details of the lower levels.

I’ve heard good things about Genki, plus I’ve also been recommended Marugoto.

I know pretty much all the kanji for N5, and got to WK6 or 7 before I fell behind and never managed to regain momentum, so decided to reset my account.

I haven’t heard of 新完全マスター, but I’ll give it a look. As for the official JLPT book, I was considering it, but was worried it wouldn’t have enough questions for more than one practice test.

Has anyone used Goukaku Dekiru series?

This site has sample questions from N5 to N1. Go to For Examinees: Let's Try Sample Questions! | JLPT Japanese-Language Proficiency Test.

There’s a second book:
日本語能力試験公式問題集 第二集 N5

(I fixed the link…I think.)

I highly recommend working through the 新完全マスター series.


I started with the Genki series, and after finishing the first Genki book switched over to minna no nihongo and found it to be a little better than Genki. That is just an opinion though, best to see what suits you. These textbooks do not target the JLPT directly, but will give you a great foundation to build on. After I finished minna no nihongo I moved onto the kanzen master N3 books and have really enjoyed them. They really hone in on specific grammar points and have questions designed like the JLPT. That being said, I think I personally would’ve really struggled had I started on kanzen master from the beginning. Hard to build without a solid foundation.

Thanks for the help guys! I’ll look into the books you suggested - Minna No Nihongo and Kanzen Master look pretty good. I’ve also seen a book called N* Essential Vocabulary (replace * with relevant level) which looks good too. So many books to decide from xD

I’m using Japanese for busy people (not aimed at the JLPT I’m sure, but good for getting a grounding) and Japanese the Manga Way currently, but I’m hoping to get one or two of these other books soonish. Not sure when yet.

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