N5/N4 Listening Sections?

Hello there, I’m preparing to take either the N4 or N5 exam in December (dependant on time I may just go for N5) and was wondering a few things:

  1. How much harder is the listening section in the N4 than the N5 exam?

  2. What are any resources (podcasts, books with cds, youtube videos, etc.) that can specifically help me prepare for the N5/N4 exam listening sections? and

  3. Any advice you can give on the listening section in particular since I’m the least comfortable with this section?

Thank you!

Hi, I can only help with one part of your question. you may already know about this…but if not, there is an app on google play store called JLPT Full- Learn Japanese. it has all the sections of the JLPT for practice, if you want to take a look at it.


Did you have a look at the example questions?

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I didn’t know this!! I’ll download it right away, thank you!

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Not yet, I was mainly just worried as to if the speed was faster on the audio or not

It is. You’ll see that if you have a look at the examples

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Thank you!

Interestingly, the introduction blurb can be used to get a rough idea of how fast the speakers are trying to speak at each level.

Each time they say the same thing, with one exception (in levels N2 and N1, they say かまいません instead of いいです in line 3).

日本語能力試験 聴解 N[#]

And here is how long it takes them to say this for each level.

N5 - 46 seconds
N4 - 42 seconds
N3 - 35 seconds
N2 - 31 seconds
N1 - 31 seconds


I had no idea, thank you!

There’s this site that has lots of tests for all N levels, including the listening part.


Biggest one: the listening passages always include all of the incorrect answers as well as the correct one, so don’t just cherry-pick the first multiple choice option you hear.


You might want to try out the JCAT (which is totally free) to guess your place. You can do it once every six months. It uses the old system N4-N1 only, so N4 = N5, N3 = N4(now), and after that I think they’re shared/split. Possibly even a teensy bit current N3 stuff in N3. Anyways, the JCAT has listening sections too.

There are a few threads with links to it and people posting their scores.


It’s kinda disappointing that level 2 and 1 have the same text. They could have put in 差し支えません just for variety.

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