The N5 Thread

Welcome to the JLPT N5 Thread

N1 threadN2 threadN3 threadN4 thread・N5 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

Advice for first time test-takers

The JLPT is a standardized test, not a holistic examination of one’s Japanese ability. As KemushiChan explains, most first-timers fail the JLPT because they are unprepared for the unique structure of the test, regardless of language ability.

Ways to Prepare:

  • Take more practice tests than you think you need. These are the best way to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam and to get a better idea of where your weak points may be.

  • Use real timing and build your stamina. A sprinter and a marathon runner are not the same - you may be a fast reader, but can you maintain that speed for two full hours? The goal is to read quickly for long stretches - time yourself to tighten your speed, but also use scaffolding techniques to add a few more focus minutes each day to build your stamina for long stretches of reading. Regardless of your skill level, running out of time before being able to finish this section kills the scores of many proficient readers on the JLPT.

  • Do choukai-specific practice. This is listening comprehension - the JLPT utilizes several different audio tricks that can quickly overwhelm the listener. Rather than solely listening to podcasts or anime or videos, be sure to add listening practice that specifically uses the JLPT choukai structures. Be aware that there are sometimes no printed questions nor answers, that multiple choice questions will be entirely spoken aloud, and that there are long conversations to listen to as well as very short statements with minimal context.


N5 is the first JLPT level and requires you to know around 100 kanji characters and 800 vocabulary words. These include numbers, days of the week, family members, and daily expressions. You might have N5 level proficiency if you’ve taken Japanese classes in college. You might be ready for this level if you know basic Japanese grammar involving particle usage, past tense, and making simple comparisons.

Reading Objectives - At N5, you can read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji.

Listening Objectives - At N5, you can listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and can pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.

Examples of N5 Vocabulary:
甘い ・ 洗う ・ 台所 ・ 映画 ・ 去年 (Click for full list)

Examples of N5 Grammar:
だけ ・ がほしい ・ ないで ・ 〜たい ・ 時 (Click for full list)

Estimated Study Hours Required: ~400
If you study 1 hour per day, this level will take: 57 weeks
If you study 2 hours per day, this level will take: 28 weeks
If you study 3 hours per day, this level will take: 18 weeks

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

Thanks for opening this thread :blush:

I’m wondering what everyone studying for the N5 in December is mainly focusing on right now? What materials are you currently working through?

As for me I’m currently on more in-depth rewatch on the TokiniAndy Genki 1 videos on youtube while trying to memorize all the vocab from the Hajimete no Nihongo Nouryokushiken N5 tengo book. I noticed my life being a lot easir at this point if I knew more of the required vocab that’s why that’s one of the things I’m currently focusing on. I’m at chapter 7 so far and feel quite confident about being avle to finish it “soon” :pray:

I’d be glad if you guys would share your own study plans with me :innocent:


Nice to see a fellow beginner, I’m currently working through Marugoto which gives useful everyday scenarios to familiarise with listening and how to answer.

Otherwise I am just listening to beginner podcasts when driving to work…if you have any other listening recommendations I old love to hear of them


I’ve heard amazing things about how quickly Marugoto gets learners to speak confidently! I’d never encountered their series before a few weeks ago, but it looks like everyone seems to enjoy it. What do you think about the format?


Does anyone happen to have an N5 vocab deck that they could share? I have heard people talking about using vocab decks to make sure you know all the vocabularly needed but have never used one before. Any tips would be greatly appreciated


I would 100% recommend. After using for a few months I was told I had a noticeable improvement in my pronunciation as well and for me that makes it even more worth it.

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Are you looking for Anki specifically, or just any N5 deck? I use ToriiSRS instead of Anki because it does input-style just like wanikani. You can choose in the app to only study N5 words for now (and later N4, then N3, etc). If you want an Anki deck, I found this deck with N5 vocab and audio examples.

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Adding on to what taiyousea already mentioned I can also recommend the N5 Deck on I use kitsun over Anki for the same reason, because of it´s writing-style-input, although it does also feature Anki-style.
It´s not free however, but has the upside that it can also be used for any other language and you can import Anki-Decks.

Keep in mind that no deck will ever include every single possible word that can show up. There isn´t a definite list of what can show up and what doesn´t. Most decks are based on the lists they did 10 years ago. But you don´t need to worry about that, I had unknown words in both my N5 and N4 tests, even after completing decks for them, but I could either ignore them or figure them out through context.


Make sure you focus on listening. Kanji and vocab test will be very scoring as long as you make sure u do enough prep and are not overconfident. Trust me listening will hold you back and ppl tend to overlook this. Grammar can be confusing as well so make sure you are thorough with GENKI I.
I gave N5 on 3rd july and I might just pass it. The major setback for me was listening. Make sure you practice enough. The sample listening questions on the JLPT website are quite slower than the actual N5 listening test IMO. Try listening to them at 1.25 or 1.5x for better practice
All the Best!!!


I used JLPT N5 tango, it also teaches grammar simultaneously. I dont think i can share it over here but you can find it, just google it.

It’s true. I’m still avoiding listening because it stresses me out :see_no_evil:
Just tried out a N5 video by a youtube channel called jlpt japanese and I got everything right. But I for one wonder how well it compares to the actual test. And I also wonder how much of it I should actually understand. Like…I can’t even tell how much of it I actually understood. I mean obviously enough to get the answers right but was it by chance and did I actually understand what was happening? :sob:

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I have downloaded ToriiSRS and have decided that this is the app I will use. I like that it has the same input style as WaniKani!

Thanks a lot!


The actual test is slightly faster imo. But a slight speed increase does increase the difficulty by a lot. Make sure u practice a lot.


How‘s everyone doing?

I‘m getting far too comfortable focusing on Kanji and other stuff that‘s easy and I already know rather than getting serious about grammar :,)

Gonna go the pool and study at least some vocabulary and grammar today. :face_with_monocle:



I saw the N4 registration openings sell out incredibly fast, so I just want to get ahead of the mess and let you guys know that N5 exam registration for the US opens tomorrow (Aug. 21):

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And keep in mind that the online registration may open up as much as 15 minutes ahead of the published start time, based on prior experience.

Get your login set up ahead of time, choose your test site, then camp on the registration page, refreshing it perhaps once a minute until the N5 button appears.


:fairy: compilation fairy visitation


Planning to try the N5 next year, so I’m keeping an eye on how it goes for you all :wink:

Did you all manage to snag a slot in time? They seem to go crazy fast.

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Kanji is easily my strongest point, trying to improve on grammar using BunPro now, listening is still pretty bad, but when i do the Choukai N5 Mock Tests on youtube, i seem to get the correct answers most of the time.
We still have 3 months until the exam, lets see how it goes…


I missed my opportunity for the July because I underestimated how quickly they’d fill up lol manage to get one for December though.