Your WaniKani Level VS Your JLPT Level

I thought you needed 60% to pass the jlpt?

  • WaniKani Level: 59
  • JLPT Level: Passed N1 at, I believe, level 49
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Three years of high-school Japanese (equivalent to maybe a year and a half of college Japanese), two years of college Japanese, six years of near-total disuse, a move to Japan, Sougoumatome N3 and N2 book lines, Kanzen Master N1 grammar and reading books (Also have used or am using: iKnow; Japanese Nihongo Kentei books; Japanese Kanken and kanji drill books; Japanese English-translation books, flipping their intended use around; オノマトペらぺら, for 擬態語 and 擬音語; this book on niche counter words.)
  • Your Next Goal: Nihongo Kentei Level 3 (will be a distant one, as the niche vocabulary and kanji-writing questions are pretty brutal; keigo, grammar, and reading are all okay though)

Working on kanji-writing for some Kanken as well, but that’s less a major goal.

I voted on grammar and Wanikani (kanji-reading) being equally important. Either will prevent you from being able to fully comprehend reading if put off, and being able to fully comprehend reading opens up a world of resources and practice. (Even listening practice, with the availability of Japanese caption tracks to help fill in comprehension gaps with fast dialogue or new phrases.)


For N2, you need 50% overall, AND at least 32% in each section.

N1 has the highest overall pass mark, at 55%


Yep, plus it can slightly vary year to year as they will adjust scoring based on the % of people that get a question right/wrong

• WaniKani Level: 42
• JLPT Level: N2
• Resources/Materials: Have never “completed” a study method but have dabbled in- Genki, Tobira, Shinkanzen Master, Nihongnomori videos, was hooked on Skritter for a while, Kanken books, etc etc. Also one year study abroad home stay in HS. And currently living in Japan for four years.
• Your Next Goal: Take N1 this year (if they have it :sweat_drops:), WK lvl 60, read at least 5 books this year

  • Current WaniKani Level: 28
  • JLPT Level: a failed N3 from years ago, but I’m planning on retaking the test in December
  • Resources/Materials: Used Genki 1+2 with college classes in the past, JET VLJ program, dabbled in Duolingo, currently working with the Kanzen Master series (here’s my study log for a more detailed list of my stuff). Also studied abroad in Tokyo for a bit in college, and am currently がんばれing in inaka Japan
  • Your Next Goal: Taking that N3 test, writing 薔薇 in calligraphy to my teacher’s standard, reading a bunch of manga, and other assorted goals that are in my study log that would take up too much space here
  • WaniKani Level: 33
  • JLPT Level: I’ve never taken an exam, exams scare me to death lol.
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): I’ve not completed anything in this category but I am currently doing all the N3 soumatome books. My grammar is pretty awful if I try and write anything but it’s improved a lot, I don’t really have any problems with vocabulary or kanji (thanks wanikani!) reading is ok as long as it doesn’t get too complicated. I’m pretty horrific when it comes to speaking but can get through basic conversations.
  • Your Next Goal: Try to take and pass the N3 exam whenever it is held next… I really struggle with exams, it doesn’t really matter what level the exam is, lol… ask me to do something when I’m not under pressure and I’ll be fine but otherwise… all my knowledge is going to fly straight out the window or maybe sweat out of me instead.

I really need to do this though as nobody will even consider me for any job that actually involves Japanese without this and hey, N3 is useless too apparently according to people here (In Japan)… but at least then I can say I’m studying for N2…

Also need to improve my grammar, I’ve absorbed most of what I know from osmosis but there’s some epic glaring gaps which I’m trying to fill by using the books… also, I’m not sure what is wrong with me but each time I come across a grammar point that is supposedly ‘hard’ it’s always N2 or N1 level…for example, I’ve been using 可能性がある since forever… and that’s N1 level apparently… but I found it really easy. てはいけない てはならない basically mean the same thing AFAIK and one is N5 and the other is N2… there seems to be no logic to this. Maybe it’s based on frequency of usage but… I want to know all related grammar at THE SAME TIME to be honest, then I can section it properly in my head if that makes sense. I don’t want to learn something and then find out years later that there’s a casual version of whatever that I could have been using all along but the book somehow thought I wouldn’t get it at that level? rage lol


I guess that depends - if you want to use a degree you have or want a specific kind of job you’re probably right.


I worked for half a year in a fully Japanese hotel cleaning team, interacting with both Japanese and non Japanese guests. Admittedly the reason they hired me was for the non Japanese guest interaction, but on the whole most of the conversations I had at the time were with my coworkers, who mostly didn’t really speak much English at all.

Before starting work, but after the interview process I took and passed N4. Phone interviews in a language you’re not too confident in are the worst. XD

Anyway, depending on the job, but also the company, proving your skills during the application process may get you the job even without the right jlpt certificate.


sorry this is a bit long and not really wanikani related

I have a degree but it’s from about 12 years ago and is worthless now, lol. What I do have is 10+ years of experience in my field and nobody willing to even give me a chance in the hiring process, they all ask me if I have any JLPT and I answer no and that’s it, instant rejection.

The problem is that I generally don’t get past the ‘initial application’ to get into the application process. I swear I’m screened out by some automated system almost every time due to my lack of JLPT and probably will do so until I get to the required level… and by that time, I’m gonna be as rusty as can be regarding what I was doing previously.

Saying that, I’m not sure I even want to work for a Japanese company based on what I’ve seen so I’m also learning web development (already know some of the stuff for it anyway) as then maybe I can make a website, gain some revenue or maybe even actually be employed doing this? Either way, whatever I do, I’m upskilling… and if I return to my home country, I’ll have even more usable skills.

  • WaniKani Level: 18
  • JLPT Level: N3 (passed December 2019)
  • Resources/Materials: 1 year of Japanese during high school. 2 quarters of Japanese during university. 1 year of informal Japanese school study. (So far all of these were just repeats of basic/fundamental, I wanted to improve my speaking and understanding.). 4 years of on/off self-study using Wanikani, Genki 1 (stopped halfway), Nihongo Soumatome N4-N3 (stopped using halfway as I didn’t like the explanation or lack thereof), Shin Kanzen Master N3, Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, A Dictionary of Japanese particles, BunPro, and Kitsun.
  • Your Next Goal: J-Test result of at least C level, JLPT N2, and improve speaking enough to be able to set-up accounts without translation assistance.

Wanikani level: 1
JLPT Level: N2
Resources: trucking everything… seriously. I’ve been studying Japanese lazily for 10+ years (basically the entire time I lived in Japan) However some notable resources: Japanesepod101, Japanese for busy people, Minna No Nihongo, Nihongo Soumatome, Tae Kim’s guide, Japanesetest4U, Tobira, anki, memrise… also I live in Japan with my Japanese family so just life I guess lol
My next goal: Take N1, reach whatever fluency means in my mind (lol) start taking rakugo lessons

  • WaniKani Level: 22 (I could be higher if I stopped resetting to lower levels every 3-4 months)
  • JLPT Level: N3 as of July 2019, was going to apply for N2 this coming July…
  • Resources/Materials (Completed): Genki I & II, Kanzen Master N3, Kanzen Master N2, Keigo Training, assorted Japanese media (Karaoke, TV shows, anime, manga, etc.)
  • Your Next Goal: Going over Kanzen Master N2 and passing N2 (eventually)
  • WaniKani Level: 60
  • JLPT Level: never taken an exams before, it should be this july for me to take N3 test…
  • Resources/Materials (Completed): Minna no Nihongo Shokyuu book 1, Tae kim’s guide, i use flolfo too and learned about 1000 unique words.
  • Your Next Goal: almost halfway to finish Minna no Nihongo Shokyuu book 2, burn all items on the WK, before this year ends i hope i can get N3, dive more into native materials (VN, anime and manga ofc)

Compared to my wk levels, i think i really lagged in the grammar points here :sweat_smile:, but i’m glad to start with wk in my early days. Now i can learn grammar without worrying about kanji anymore.

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  • WaniKani Level: 27
  • JLPT Level: Passed N3 on December 2019.
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): A lot of Memrise, all the Japanese section on Duolingo (sucks), Minna no Nihongo 1 and 2.
  • Your Next Goal: Aiming for N2 this year. Unlikely, though,

Since this post got a lot of attention, I figured out people can use it as a way to track their progress(while being able to compare themselves to others).

You can edit your comment(without deleting the old entry of course).

Here is an example:

  • WaniKani Level: 32(Yes, in case some people check this thread later)
  • JLPT Level: I never took an exam, my grammar is N4 at best even though my Kanji reading is starting to be decent.
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Pimsleur 1-4, Human Japanese Beginner & Intermediate, Duolingo(before the recent update), Lingodeer Japanese 1.
  • Your Next Goal: Finishing Genki I & II this year, start & finish Tobira in 2020, maybe taking the JLPT N3 Exam as well.

EDIT/UPDATE(19 April 2020)

  • WaniKani Level: 60(in a couple of weeks)
  • JLPT Level: N3-N2/Intermediate
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Pimsleur 1-4, Human Japanese Beginner & Intermediate, Duolingo, Lingodeer Japanese 1, Genki I & II, WaniKani, Tae Kim’s grammar guide, remembering the kanji I(without SRS).
  • Your Next Goal: Fluency.

If you didn’t participate yet, just add a new entry :wink:

  • WaniKani Level: 8
  • JLPT Level: Passed N3 in 2018
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): My Japanese studies have been all over the place All of Genki 1 most of Genki 2, study abroad classes for a year and self study. Now I live in Japan and work as an English teacher so small daily conversations.
  • Your Next Goal: Take N2 this winter or next summer if I don’t pass and go to school in Japan starting 2022 maybe

Wanikani level: 8
JLPT Level: Somewhere around N3
Resources (Completed): Genki 1 and 2, Marugoto B2/A1, and also lived in Japan for 8 months.
Next Goal: Business level

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  • WaniKani Level: 7
  • JLPT Level: my Japanese learning has been sporatic so I know a smattering of things from N4 but I’m definitely not N4 test worthy yet. Solid N5.
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Duolingo, Nakama 1, Rosetta Stone Japanese 1
  • Your Next Goal: Im halfway through Nakama 2 so I guess my goal right now is to finish that. I need to review my previously learned subjects as well. Using Stardew valley to review as well and building a vocab deck for anki :slight_smile:
1 Like
  • WaniKani Level: 10
  • JLPT Level: N5/N4 (I’m not even sure but it seems this way)
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Bunpro N5, A bunch of manga raws, A Doll Story (Takehisa Yumeji)
  • Your Next Goal: Finishing a light novel
  • WaniKani Level: 60 (reached April 2019)
  • JLPT Level: Passed N3 in 2019
  • Resources/Materials(Completed): Genki I-II, Tobira, Introduction to Intermediate Japanese: An Integrated Course, tons of JLPT books (attended to uni in Japanese major, so a lot of material there as well)
  • Your Next Goal: I have a tons of reviews, because when I reached lvl 60, I abandoned Wanikani. Then my subscription ran out. But in December I bought lifetime sub, and now I’m working on getting back to track. Also I’m preparing for N2, not sure if I’ll take it though, but I’d like to reach N2 until December. My weakest point is kana-only words (I’m sure many Wanikanians can relate.)