The JLPT 2021 Thread

I never understand why don’t they have more JLPT test available across the year? I think the demand is high enough to hold the test probably once every 3 month

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I’m pretty worried to be honest. I’m worried about it happening and also not happening…

I would appreciate that


Vienna: They aren’t sure yet whether the test in December will happen, they have yet to receive info from the Japan Foundation. (communication by mail about a week ago, with VHS Brigittenau)
They offered to share news when they get them, which i gratefully accepted.
Let’s hope!


Aaaargh! I just noticed that it’s not available in Ontario this year either. I was just getting really into the study spirit for it this week too.

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Not really a fan of standardized tests but covid lockdown has me looking to do more things that make me a little uncomfortable. Will be taking the N5 in Melbourne December 2021. I hope we can do it !! :smiley:

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I thought about this a lot, recently, and I believe the reasoning is, not that it’s super logical so bear with me, that they want to write a whole new test for every time it’s held. This way people can’t retake the same test after failing to get a higher score. Since writing tests takes a long time (especially in Japan. Nothing official here is decided without months of meetings first), they opt to hold it twice a year instead.

Now, they could probably remedy this pretty easily by restricting how frequently one was allowed to take the test. Say you take N3 in July, and fail. You wouldn’t be allowed to take the same level of the exam (N3) again for at least a 6-month period, giving them time to release the new test for the re-takers. If you pass, you could take N2 whenever you feel ready as it’s an entirely different test. However, this is much too logical and flexible an option for Japan, so it’s unlikely to ever be a reality.

It may sound pessimistic, but Japan cares much more about uniformity and formality than convenience or logic in these cases. At least in my experience living/working here the last 3 years.


Hmmm right… If they want to have JLPT test available more often. They might need to redesign JLPT test from ground up. It should be more like IELST or PTE which have open-ended type of test rather than choice-based test like JLPT.

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You should not forget that the test - although that’s highly penalized - will leak out into the wild once it has been run for the first time. At least that’s what’s happening already. If you search in shady places, you can find full tests with answer keys and all a few days after it has been run (mainly for N2 and N1, where the test matters).

So for once I cannot really blame the Japanese bureaucracy but rather the human nature :wink:


I was planning on taking JLPT N5 this year but I’m in Toronto and they’ve already decided to cancel the exam here (it’s only held in December here). I’m still hoping that they will reconsider once we reach/exceed the 70% vaccination rate everyone seems to think is the magic number to make COVID disappear…

But just in case they don’t and I possibly have to wait 18 months until the next opportunity, given such a long time frame, I was wondering what people’s experience is with skipping N5 and going straight to N4.

I just started a 1-year subscription on WK (will very likely extend to lifetime when there’s a sale), and I’m guessing in that time (based on my current progress), I can probably make it to level 30, which according to WKStats should get me to N4 level in terms of Kanji (and vocabulary?). Any thoughts would be helpful.


Skipping N5 should definitely not be a problem if you study enough. I’ve heard of someone who went straight for N2 and passed it, after preparing intensely for a year. Straight N2 is actually also my plan, though i’ve been learning for longer. Even if you don’t pass the level you’re aiming for immediately, you’ll know where you’re at and what you need to improve.
You can also try some Practice Tests to figure out which level may be best.

Actually WK level 17 is already 98% of the N4 kanji you need. You could learn the rest individually. If you’re doing WK with some level of consistency, kanji will probably not be your problem for the JLPT.

But for vocabulary, you’ll need to add some hiragana and katakana only words, which WK doesn’t teach. Try to read some simple material, graded readers, NHK easy news etc., and learn common words you didn’t know (e.g. with Anki).
You can also try Torii which has N levels for vocab (or even the 10k most common words), and you can filter out Wanikani words.


Awesome, thanks. I’ve got’s readers so I’ll go through that when I feel ready. I actually got the TextFugu lifetime subscription like 8 years ago so I still have access to what’s left of the website, so that’s what I’m using right now as a beginner grammar. I’ll eventually switch to a proper book though of course. And yeah right now I’m going through JLPTBootcamp’s N5 Vocabulary deck slowly, to be followed by N4 of course.

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just a hint, i’m using Bunpro, which is like WK for grammar, also has N-levels. But your resources and books should also be fine, of course.

Nice thanks!

Agreed with everyone else.

My first JLPT was N2, and I passed. I think it has a lot less to do with if you’ve skipped tests and a lot to do with if you’ve skipped areas of study along the way. I personally studied my way through all of the N levels, I just didn’t take the tests because I didn’t really care if I had an N5-3 certification, but N2 could actually help me career-wise.


With 18 months, you could even skip to N3.

This is what I’m doing as well, career wise, N5-3 are basically Japanese langauge admirer. However, in my country a lot of companies accept N3 they even send you to Japan for learning Japanese for free if you have N3. I’m considering should I aim for N3 first to be safe :thinking:


This would be an overwhelmingly positive reason to obtain N3, if it were an option for me and I hadn’t taken any JLPT yet. Even if my intentions were to get N2, if I knew I could pass N3 easy I would take it purely for this. Nothing accelerates your language learning like living in a country where it’s spoken.


The thing that push me back from aiming at N3 as my current goal is. It’s not certian whether they will accept me or not if I have N3. On the other hand, if I have N2 backing my resume. My chance of getting a decent job will significantly high and not limited in my country.

It’s a very difficult dilemma, which has been boggling me for a while now. :thinking:

So for now my plan is “study as hard and as smart as possible” “with passing N2 as my goal”, then I will see if I have enough courage to take N2 test on December. (Assuming they are not cancelling it)


Last time I took N5, this year I’m taking N4 this year. I expect to pass kanji easily, manage grammar somehow and fail spectacularly at listening. Thank God they don’t require writing too, I’d fail even N5 at that.

But how can I be this bad at level 40+? Because I took up Wanikani as a replacement for playing gacha in public communication, I don’t really use Japanese for anything else. I have a few manga and light novel volumes at home but I never read them because it’s too much effort. Maybe I should’ve bought something I haven’t read in English. :slight_smile:

Why do you think you’re bad? You know a lot of kanji at this level. Of course you also need some vocab, grammar and practice, but that could happen just by reading stuff etc.

Otherwise it’s actually a good idea to read something you’ve read in English before, makes it easier.
Maybe try to translate a page a day? Or play a game like Final Fantasy 7 with Japanese script? I’m doing that right now and it’s a lot of fun :slight_smile:

TL;DR, I’m feeling much better about skipping levels. Thanks to everyone who responded to me. I think I’m going to aim for N3 in December 2022.

I was talking to one of my English students yesterday - he’s Vietnamese living in Japan working as a Database Engineer. It occurred to me that he must have JTLP if he works for a Japanese company (Rakuten). So I asked him… Turns out he skipped all the way through to N2 also. Apparently, his University in Hanoi had an exchange program with a University in Japan… He studied Computer Science/Japanese for the first two years. And based on his performance on the Japanese side, he was allowed to finish his degree in Tokyo… He says some of the hard core students in his class went directly for N1. He didn’t do as well so he tried for N2 as soon as he arrived in Japan, but then actually failed. He tried N2 again after he finished his degree (so after living in Tokyo for 2 years) in order to get his first job. He did N1 a couple of years later before getting his current job at Rakuten.