N5 Tokyo July


Hello everyone,

Timothy here,

I am planning to do the N5 in July. I bought all the books and im doing wanikani next to it.

Ive been studying grammar, listening, vocab and reading from the n5 books.

Got some tips in how to prepare for it the best way possible? Did anyone do one of those tests. Ill be doing it in tokyo. I dont need to do it for my job or anything, it is just a good way to stay motivated.



By “the books”, which ones do you mean? There are lots of book series tailored to JLPT levels. I recommend also doing old tests, and being serious about timing yourself for them.

I never took N5, but I’ve passed N4 and N3 and am currently preparing for N2 in July.

Genki Study Buddies - 「皆さんはGenkiを勉強しています」

I passed N5 in December. I’m not sure how far you are into your studies, but with the test only 3 months or so away I’d recommend focussing on resources other than Wanikani for now. While it’s great for learning kanji, it won’t teach you the vocabulary necessary for the test, and can be a bit slow and time-consuming (you need to complete level 10 to have seen 95% of the kanji for N5). I took a break for a few weeks before the test because I needed to focus on cramming grammar and filling out my vocab.

My favourite resource was memrise, as it’s well designed and uses SRS in a similar way to Wanikani (it’s also free!). I learned most of the grammar points for the test from there, although I had a solid grounding in the basics already.

Anki is also a popular SRS system, although I personally don’t like it. I think it may have more comprehensive grammar decks than memrise though, so it might be worth looking at.

As Leebo said, past papers are the best way of passing tests (once you’ve learnt the material). Often questions are designed in ways that you don’t expect, but are generally similar year-to-year. By doing previous questions you’ll be able to see patterns of question types, and understand what the examiners are looking for.


@tametie, I passed the N5 last December 2016, percentile rank 92.7.

Most of my textbook study was Japanese for Busy People (1 and 2) and Genki 1. Self taught N5 kanji. About a month before the exam, I started to use the following materials. I did timed practice tests in the two weeks leading up to the exam.

My weak point is listening so I spent more time on listening practice tests. Here are the materials I used:

  1. http://www.tanos.co.uk/jlpt/skills/grammar/ The grammar document for N5: I checked that I knew every grammar point on this list.

  2. Practice test on the JLPT web site: half length test. Easier than the real one. Do that one first so that it gives you a feel for the question format.

  3. Try! N5: blue/yellow cover. revises grammar, has nice tables for reference, exercises for every grammar point covered. practice test at the back of the book.

  4. 短期マスター 日本語能力試験ドリル N5 (日本語) blue/white cover. practice questions for each section and practice exam at the end.

  5. 日本語能力試験 完全模試N5 (〈1〉) (日本語能力試験完全模試シリーズ) (日本語) Paperback – May 27, 2013: teal green/white cover. three complete mock exams. I did these against a clock to mimic a real exam.

  6. 日本語能力試験N5 予想問題集[改訂版] (日本語) 単行本 – October 26, 2015 - orange/white cover. practice questions on vocab, grammar, listening. Most difficult of all books.

  7. 実力アップ!日本語能力試験N5読む(文字・語彙・文法) (日本語) 単行本 – April, 2010 Green Unicom book. It has a lot of practice questions for grammar and vocab. I did not use it much because I ran out of time and the the print was hard (for my eyes) to read.

You can copy/paste the book titles into Amazon.co.jp to search for them. If you have any questions, please reply to my post.

Has anyone tried the Try! textbook series?
Resources to be avoided at all cost
Resources for JLPT N5 (Exspecially Listening)

Also, there’s a full-length practice test you can download for free here: http://jlptbootcamp.com/2012/10/the-official-jlpt-n5-practice-workbook/
(scroll to towards the bottom of the article for either one zip file or the test in pieces)

Taking something like the J-CAT test (search J-cat in the forums, either of the “Post your J-Cat Score” threads will tell you more about it) early can give you an idea what area(s) you’re weakest at, so you can focus on it/them more before you do the N5. (It’s a free test, too.)


Wow helpful!


Sounds like you did a lot of practise, out of curiosity what did you get on the test? Honestly, being in grade 11, I feel like that’s the amount of effort I should put into study… but I don’t.


@FoodLover195, my N5 results were

Language Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar) - reading: 85 / 120
Listening: 43 / 60
Total score: 128 / 180

Percentile Rank: 92.7

Reference Information:
Vocabulary: A
Grammar: A
Reading: A

A = number of correct responses is 67% or higher.

Percentile Rank = only for examinees who passed outside Japan. “Approximate position (percentile rank) in all of the examinees who took the six latest tests…”

Prior to the exam, I had attended Japanese lessons for two years. I started working with the practice materials about one month before the exam.


Awesome sounds well deserved :slight_smile: Congrats on such a good mark.