Question about JLPT levels


#1

I still have never taken a JLPT exam, but I think I at about level JLPT 3.5. In other words, I think I could pass the N4, but not yet the N3.

I was reading the descriptions of the various levels on Wikipedia today and what they are supposed to indicate as far as mastery of Japanese. What I am wondering is if an average learner of Japanese would proceed through the levels at a consistent speed. For example, would it take as long to progress from N5 to N4 as it would from N2 to N1, all other things being equal.

I sometimes imagine that the earlier levels would go quicker since the beginner is going after the low hanging fruit like hiragana and katakana, but then I think it may be quicker to move through the higher levels since the student has already achieved critical mass and can learn more effectively through immersion in native materials.

Any insights on the road ahead for this N3.5 student?


#2

Don’t know so much about JLPT, but I read that they added level 3 because there was a huge gap in the middle when there were only 4 levels, something like “You can say ‘this is a dog’ now, please come back when you learned these 1000 kanji.” But I think they are still not designed to have the same amount of content.


#3

Generally speaking, each level tests you on about twice as much as the level before. So, this is a roughly exponential increase. It’s easiest to see in the kanji totals for each level, where it’s like N5 = ~100, N4 = ~250, N3 = ~600, N2 = ~1100, N1 = 2000+. The time it takes to go from N2 to N1 could be the same as the time it takes to go from N5 to N2 in that sense, though each person is different of course.


#4

My kanji is probably around a N1.5 and everything else around N4.5 (thanks WK!:joy:)

Obviously, I can’t speak from experience, it seems to me like getting to N5 is the easiest, while making the N2 to N1 jump would be quite difficult…(looking at vocab list…)


#5

One should consider each JLPT level gap to be twice as big as the one before it.

And, obligatory “There are no vocab or Kanji lists for the JLPT, 切り is listed as an N1 word on Jisho and 乗り換え is listed as N2”