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About The JLPT

The Lapanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)is held the first sunday of December in several locations throughout the world. the Japanese foundation of LA's site explains how to apply (which they simply say "contact the host institution"). If you apply in Japan there is an application that needs to be sent in with a passport photo. The cost is around $50-$60(US).

There are 4 levels of the JLPT test. Level 4 being the easiest and Level 1 being the most difficult. In Japan to be considered for a business job, you usually have to have level 2 or higher. Though, occasionally there are some Level 3 jobs. The breakdown of the test goes like this:

Level Contents Criteria
Sections Hours Points
1 Writing-vocabulary
Listening
Reading-grammer
Total
45min.
45min.
90min.
180min.
100points
100points
200points
400points
The examinee has mastered grammar to a high level, konws around 2,000 kanji and 10,000 words, and has an integrated command of the language sufficient for life in Japanese society. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese for around 900 hours.
2 Writing-vocabulary
Listening
Reading-grammer
Total
35min.
40min.
70min.
145min.
100points
100points
200points
400points

The examinee has mastered grammar to a relatively high level, knows around 1,000 kanji and 6,000 words, and has the ability to converse, read, and write about matters of a general nature. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese for around 600 hours and after completion of an intermedeate course.
3 Writing-vocabulary
Listening
Reading-grammer
Total

35min.
35min.
70min.
145min.

100points
100points
200points
400points
The examinee has mastered grammar to a limited level, knows around 300 kanji and 1,500 words, has the ability to take part in everyday conversation and read and write simple sentences. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese for around 300 hours and after completion of an elementary course.
4 Writing-vocabulary
Listening
Reading-grammer
Total
25min.
25min.
50min.
100min.
100points
100points
200points
400points

The examinee has mastered the basic elements of grammar, knows around 100 kanji and 800 words, has the ability to emgage in simple conversation and read and write short, simple sentences. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese for around 150 hours and after completion of the first half of an elementary course.

To pass the tests you need a score of 60% or better on Level 2-4, and a score of 70% or better on Level 1.