The N2 Thread

Welcome to the JLPT N2 Thread

N1 thread・N2 thread・N3 threadN4 threadN5 thread


If you are studying for this level now or have it as a goal for later on, feel free to join the conversation, ask questions, share resources, and discuss difficulties.

What is the JLPT?

JLPT stands for “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. It is the recognized language proficiency exam for Japan and Japanese employers. The exam is given worldwide every December, with some countries also offering a July exam date.

More information: Objectives and History | JLPT Japanese-Language Proficiency Test

What are the levels?

The JLPT is split into 5 levels of N-proficiency, where 5 is the most basic and 1 is the most advanced.

  • N5: The ability to understand some basic Japanese
  • N4: The ability to understand basic Japanese
  • N3: The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations
  • N2: The ability to understand everyday situations and a variety of circumstances to a certain degree
  • N1: The ability to understand Japanese in a variety of circumstances

N2 proficiency is the JLPT level most often sought out by Japanese employers.

More information: N1-N5: Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level | JLPT Japanese-Language Proficiency Test


The N2 level expects you to know 1,000 kanji and 6,000 vocabulary words. You might find that this exam begins to focus heavily on reading comprehension. Test questions will be subtler compared to the previous, more straightforward levels. You need to exercise your ability to interpret bodies of Japanese text as a whole, as well as how individual parts relate to each other.

Studying for this test in an environment where you have easy access to everything Japanese is a great advantage. Listen to news reports as they appear on television or even read the latest hit novel from a nearby bookstore.

Reading Objectives - At N2, you can read materials written clearly on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines as well as simple critiques, and comprehend their contents. You are also able to read written materials on general topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers.

Listening Objectives - At N2, you can comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations and news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed in everyday situations as well as in a variety of settings, and can follow their ideas and comprehend their contents. You are also able to understand the relationships among the people involved and the essential points of the presented materials.

Examples of N2 Vocabulary:
宴会 ・ 外れる ・ 時速 ・ 校舎 ・ 並木 (Click for full list)

Examples of N2 Grammar:
ばかりか ・ どうやら ・ 以外 ・ に限って ・ の下で (Click for full list)

Estimated Study Hours Required*: ~1800
If you study 1 hour per day, this level will take: 254 weeks
If you study 2 hours per day, this level will take: 137 weeks
If you study 3 hours per day, this level will take: 85 weeks
*assuming that you are starting from 0

Discussion Guidelines

This thread may be used for goal-tracking, celebrating, lamenting, and asking for advice. There is an expectation of respect towards others, particularly in instances where your ability may be above that of someone asking a question. Be mindful of condescension - we are ALL learners.

Please share resources! However, make sure that any links you share abide by the forum guidelines against advertising less-than-legal file sharing websites.

Helpful Resources

Book Sets - Series containing each subject separately

Practice Books - Individual books covering multiple/all subjects

Subject Books - Books on one subject that are not part of a series

Which category will you focus on improving the most?
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Kanji
0 voters

I’d like to take the N2 in December but unsure if I can be in shape to pass by then. Either way I’ll take it and see where I’m at.

What I’m doing currently:

  • Wanikani 7 days per level (26 right now)
  • Tango N2 Anki deck (500 cards in)
  • Reviewing N3 grammar (新完全マスター)
  • Reading また、同じ夢を見ていた
  • Reading Satori Reader
  • Watching 日本語の森 videos
  • Watching native content from time to time but not really enough.
  • I live in Japan so I get a little bit of extra immersion being out and about.

At the moment I’m focused on taking in as much Japanese as possible and soaking in vocab like a sponge. When test starts approaching (2 months or so) I’ll run through 新完全マスター 文法, 読解, and 聴解. I may grab a 総まとめ book or two as well to supplement.

I’m open to any suggestions if anyone has any.


Hello hello!

I will also be aiming to take the N2 in December! I took an n3 practice test recently and did extremely well, so fairly confident that aiming to pass n3 by december would be not particularly ambitious.

My main form of studying these days is extensive reading. Largely manga, but I have been dipping my toes into adult novels recently with the IBC (currently reading あん) and IBC primer (currently reading コンビニ人間) clubs. I think my average is probably somewhere around 10 volumes per month, mostly in the purple levels (20-26) on natively, but that is definitely beginning to trend towards harder stuff. I have already run through most of the 新完全マスター n3 reading book, and will probably try out the n2 book before the test but I really just do not enjoy doing test practice lol. I can feel my reading speed and comprehension getting better on its own as I read more, so I haven’t felt the need to focus on studying particulars too much. I have also been reading through the dictionary of basic japanese grammar, and will probably have made a decent chunk through the intermediate volume by december, so not super worried about grammar.

I will need to increase my kanji knowledge before then, however. I basically completely stopped doing any focused kanji study last fall, and so my sight recognition kanji still feel pretty far below the n2 mark. I don’t really like using SRS for any extended period of time, but a few months of dedicated drilling leading up to the test would probably help me out here.

I was talking to @Daisoujou about this a little bit, and we both thought that doing some sort of essay or newspaper focused practice would help out a lot for both this level and for n1. So I might try to start throwing some news articles in to my reading rotation if i see some interesting headlines :laughing: My dream would be to just read some fiction that uses more of the business language that shows up on the jlpt, but the more I think about it the more that seems unrealistic.


That’s like the understatement of the month :joy: . You need to be able to read at your near-native speed to go through the Reading section on time. It ain’t no cake walk.

One protip for N2 is that on the Reading section one has to pick answers which 100% align with the text. “Almost correct” doesn’t cut it. Also, beware of double negation questions (“X was not mentioned in the text”). Similar rules apply to other sections, especially the Listening one.

I would recommend news reports, blogs, online articles on various topics. The N2 Reading passages I’ve done so far were rarely from books.

My main weakness the last time around was reading comprehension so I will try to focus on that. Hopefully, grammar and vocab comes along as well.

Plan for up to the December 2023 session

  • reading (currently Weathering with You after dropping A Man, because it was too hard.)
  • Anki (the Add as you Go™ plan)
  • if possible, listening to some VTubers for listening comprehension practice, but that’s also covered by my 1:1 classes

I tried the Soumatome books and unfortunately, they’re not great :frowning: . They seem to be way easier than SKM. The N2 Listening SKM is especially good!


This is a bit exaggerated, I think. N2 is definitely where reading speed starts to matter, but it doesn’t demand anywhere near native speed. You can pass N1 with a reading speed somewhere around half that of a native reader. (Source: this page says native reading speed is 400-600 characters a minute, up to 1000 for people who read a lot of books. My reading speed is 25-30 pages of a novel per hour, which is 200-300 characters a minute at most, and I had no trouble with the N1 reading speed.)

True, but reading of any kind helps in generally increasing your reading speed and comprehension skills, so I tend to think reading a lot of something you like will beat reading the bare minimum of a material type matching what the test looks at. Throwing in at least some of that short non-fiction news/essay type stufg is certainly a good idea, though.


Thanks for the tip! I was thinking if it’s a bit easier it might help to do those first to ease into 新完全マスター. Mostly the 読解 and 聴解 books. I’ve taken a look at them in-store and they seemed somewhat okay. It might be good to get extra reps I was thinking. Already have 新完全マスター though so I’m definitely rolling with that. Forgot to mention but I’m also going to pick up one of those books with three full length practice tests. I forgot the name but they’re easy to find at pretty much any local book store.


I specifically meant one’s native reading speed. For reference, mine’s not that great. Also, one needs to have time to go through the questions, understand them correctly, etc.

That’s good to hear, though :slight_smile: .

Right, reading broadly and a lot is definitely going to win against just reading targeted stuff. However, from experience I did notice that the writing style of news reports and thematic articles (for instance, about gardening or fish) differs enough from book prose for it to matter to at least some degree.

Overall reading comprehension is of course way more important :smiley: .


Oh, you mean compared to your own reading speed in your native language? I read about three times as many pages an hour in English as I do in Japanese, so I don’t think you need to be aiming for that benchmark either…


yeah I also would definitely never expect to reach anything near my english reading speed in any other language, the experience gap is just too large no matter how many thousands of hours you could pour into it.

Being charitable, I’m wondering if they are meaning something like the n2 starts to require beginnings of “reading fluency,” where you can start to understand large portions of what’s being read without stopping to consider every piece of vocab and grammar individually. You just kinda get it, and can use all that brain power you used to use for decoding* on actually thinking about what the reading is about.


You mean the mock test books? I think I have one of those for N1. Yes, that’s also a good idea! :slight_smile:

From Soumatome I have those + grammar. the 読解 one is fine in terms of the types of exercises. The 聴解 book seems noticeably easier than the SKM equivalent or a real N2 test.

One massive benefit of the SKM N2 Listening book I think is the progression it gives you. You start of with basic sounds, sound length and double-negation exercises. It might not be relevant for someone whose listening comprehension is in general good, but I struggled with it enormously before I got myself the SKM book :slight_smile: .


Thinking about taking the N2 in December, but not sure. I am reviewing all the Japanese Dictionaries via Anki, Gonna finish WK probably around November. I already read books, play games, and watch shows in Japanese. Not 100% comprehension but enough I think I could pass. It’s been 2 years since I failed the N2 the second time, but have been keeping up a consistent schedule learning in that time that I think I could pass if I wanted. I don’t want to invest in prep books, but maybe I could get a couple of those mock test books and just do them once a month. idk.

EDIT: Gonna go for N1.


Hey guys , I’ve decided to take the n2 in December probably a bad plan but maybe I can do it if I really apply myself I passed the n3 last years December with pretty good marks … so maybe

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I recommend starting now and try to leave about 3 weeks before the test to do only review (no new items). The sooner you start the less daily load you’ll have and the longer your brain has to internalize the info.


How easy/difficult are you finding this? I have a copy but haven’t started it yet!

N2 level JLPT registration just opened today for US test takers ( ˙▿˙ )


I registered for the N2 today! I didn’t realize the registration opened until the other day and was anxious that the seats were going to fill up in my city.

Now I’ve really gotta study hard!! I just got all the 新完全マスター books (except kanji) and I’m going to start an online Japanese class next month.


Results just came out for the July test!


I’d like to say I’ll focus on improving listening the most, but realistically I’ll probably end up keeping on practising yet more and more vocab and grammar, as always :rofl:

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for compilation enjoyers:


I bit the bullet and bought a 1 year Nihongo No Mori subscription, and it’s been so helpful. I really like Yuka sensei, and the website includes practice questions with thorough explanations on why certain answers are right/wrong. I’ve only used the grammar section so far, but would 10/10 recommend.