Post your J-CAT score!

The old thread was archived so I figured I’d make a new one!

What is J-CAT

J-CAT stands for Japanese Computerized Adaptive Tests and is a short 30-60 minute multiple answer test. It is meant to gauge your ability in Listening, Vocabulary, Grammar, and Reading. It’s a good way to see where you are at in your studies, and it’s completely free! (unlike the JLPT)

You might have to wait a few days to get your password after signing up, this is normal.

Here is the summary from the previous thread

This is an online, around 30 - 45 minute test with 20 listening questions, 5 vocabulary questions, 13 reading questions, and 10 (I think) grammar questions that measures your overall Japanese level. You can take the test once every six months, so be ready for it!
They also provide a helpful little table showing what JLPT level your score translates to.
If you’ve done the test, what do you think about it? Post your scores! If you don’t have a score, registration is easy and the test is very quick!

Sign up here and post your results when you finish!

J-CAT to JLPT score conversion
As you see in the conversion table below it requires less than 100/400 points to qualify for the previous JLPT Level 4 (~N5), so if you’re considering taking N4 or N5 try this test and see how you place; maybe you’re further ahead than you thought.

My score

I guess I’ll go first in this new thread.
I just took the test myself for the first time a few days ago and these are what my scores look like.

Wanted to see if it would deem me ready for N3, which I’m taking in July. Did alright, I think. Apparently my listening skills are way better than they need to be (if I had 65 in all categories I’d have 260 which is N1 territory!). The other scores are pretty even, which is nice.

It was quite stressful, though. If you’re not a fast reader you should be ready to hurry through a few questions.

When you passed the given JLPT level what was your most recent J-CAT score?

Jump to poll →

What score did you get?

  • 0-50
  • 50-100
  • 100-150
  • 150-200
  • 200-250
  • 250-300
  • 300-350
  • 350-400
0 voters

Is this free?

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Yes, it’s free.

No one answered my question in the old topic, so I guess I’ll post it again here.

Just out of curiosity, does the J-CAT not change ever? I remember these questions from the last time, so I just stopped because it feels like a waste of time to take the exact same test again. Even if I can take a different branching route, it’s not “fair” because I’ve heard/seen them before.

What’s the point of making us wait 6 months if they aren’t going to change the test. Just say we can only take it once then.


Then I shall take it soonish.

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“soonish” being a key word here. They didn’t send me the password to take it for a few days after registering.

Interestingly enough, I scored much higher than I thought I would. Perhaps there’s some luck involved in the score you get, I mean, it is a multiple choice question exam after all.

Oh, and for those taking it in the future, pay attention to the timer in the corner for each practice session it has you do. Each section has a different timer. I missed like two or three of the vocab or grammar questions just because the timer ran out before I chose an answer because instead of it being 2 minutes to answer like the previous section, it gives you 30 seconds.


Sign up right away so that you have the password when you’re ready

I love how everyone so far has got 150-200


Combo breaker!
I took it about a month ago, but I had my password since before new year. So yeah, having the password comes in handy when you feel ready to take it, or when you remember to do it after four weeks…

Feeling really depressed after taking the J Cat. I’ve been learning now for 7 months and I haven’t gotten anywhere really. :frowning: Is there any point in continuing? Can some people just never get it? I’ve been studying every day of that seven months and to be honest a lot of the points I did score I didn’t understand the question and they were just lucky guesses.

I got:
Listening 0
Vocabulary 34
Grammar 22
Reading 27
Total 83



Maybe you need to revise how you’re studying. It seems your vocabulary is strong, and your grammar and reading scores aren’t too bad after 7 months, honestly. N3 starts at 100 points, which is an average of 25 per category. You probably just lack listening practice. What do you do for listening comprehension?

The J-CAT is free, so it gets recommended a lot, because hey, what’s the harm, but it’s not really one of my favorite Japanese exams. I’m just not a huge fan of the style of questions or the presentation. The computer-adaptive aspect is distracting to me too. Are you preparing for the JLPT?

It’s a mistake to think that you just “can’t get it”. 7 months isn’t actually all that long, even if you studied every day. How structured is that study? Are you using a text book, or just browsing here and there.

The only thing that is a little concerning is the zero in listening. Maybe you should look into video chatting with a native, something that is very easy to find partners for.


Well from what I’ve read, there hasn’t been any official posts by the people who run the JCAT on how the questions are selected, but basing on how the adaptive test is supposed to work, their pamphlet and considering that this is a free resource (I think, do they have any monetization for these tests?) they would probably only have a limited amount of questions for each proficiency level meaning that the test would largely be the same as the last time you took it if you didn’t really change in proficiency level.

But this is all speculation from what I was able to gather, I’m just curious what was the difference between the total in score from your last 2 attempts?

I took it in like June, I think? Then I didn’t study much and signed up again and it let me take it again in September or so, even though it hadn’t been 6 months. I went from like 193 to 198, but again, I hadn’t been studying a ton. This time I didn’t even bother doing it after the first 3 questions were the same (presumably I got them correct each time, because listening is one of my strong suits).

I’ll just stick to the J-Test going forward. It costs money, but I can take fresh tests.

Your results kinda support what I’m thinking. I think that within each proficiency level, it would be split up into several ‘divisions’ where each division would comprise of a select few questions. Seeing as your scores from your last 2 attempts were really close, it’d make sense that the exam felt identical as JCAT perceives that you haven’t progressed enough to be able to ‘unlock’ the next division of questions.

Another factor that could play into this (which I think is the main reason) is that you’re taking fresh tests every attempt via a new account. This could mean that with every fresh test, JCAT has no idea what your japanese level is and assumes you know nothing and starts from there, it’s possible that if you took another test from an account where you have a previous attempt on, JCAT uses your previous score as the baseline and thus doesn’t assume you no longer have no Japanese knowledge and starts asking questions that test just how much you have progressed from your most previous attempt.

I used the same account all three times. Not sure why it let me sign up in less than 6 months for the second attempt though.

It’s not that it “feels” identical. The question pool is the same. I get that there are branches I haven’t seen yet, but I’d have to get some early ones wrong to see new early questions.

Basically, the way I see it is they just trot out the same branching path each time, so at a certain level of proficiency, the starting questions will always be the same. Until you get to one you didn’t get right before and move higher. I just feel like that’s a waste of my time, whether it’s free or not.

What do you mean by “same account”? As in use the same email?

You’re the one who said this.

Yes, the same email each time.

Can you quote it please (I don’t remember when I did)

How did you take another test when you logged in to the account if it has been less than 6 months?
This is what my page looks like when I log in under the “Take J-Cat” section:

I guess I should have used a colon for the “You said this” part. I was referring to the next part. The “account” I was referring to was the use of my same email account (which should be the same as the J-CAT account, you’d think. Other sites don’t let you create a new site account with the same email address).

I think maybe I get what you’re saying, that you only need to apply for J-CAT one time, take the test, and then after that it’ll give you a new test when you log in the future? Every other Japanese proficiency test I’ve done requires you to apply for each sitting of a test.

It doesn’t make sense that they’d let you “override” your account with a new application on the same email, but apparently they let me do that. It really should just say “an account with this email exists, please log in”.

I guess I’ll try it again at some point, just logging in.

Yeah I don’t get why they’d let you use the same email more than once, but if each time they make you an account with a different password then I’m pretty confident it’s not the same account.

And yes, that’s what I’m saying mainly because it says on their pamphlet that the questions change depending on the level of the examinee so it doesn’t make sense (in a technical sense) to make the user create a new account with each attempt if they can just keep track of the user’s japanese level within a single account rather than from multiple.

Were the other proficiency tests ‘adaptive’ as well? Or was it more of a traditional exam? I’m only really familiar with JCAT and JLPT formats.