All About Japan

6 Key Tools for Passing the JLPT

| Learning Japanese

The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is a test that non-native Japanese speakers take to measure their Japanese language ability. There are five levels, from N5 (low) to N1 (high). If you're planning on tackling any one of them, fear not! This list of simple tools will guide you to passing the JLPT with ease and grace.

6. Lang-8

If maybe you’re just a really shy person, have no time, or just want to focus more on your writing skills, then Lang-8 is just for you. You can write as little or as much as you want, no matter your ability, and native Japanese speakers will correct your sentences for you. It’s a free site based on community, and how much you gain from it depends on how often you use it.

5. Italki.com

No matter how many hours you pour into studying and how many sentences you can write, it’s all very different when you jump to speaking and listening. Language students who talk and listen more will be able to pick up languages much more quickly, and on this handy-dandy site, you’ll have no problem! You can talk to people who just want to help, are informal tutors, or are real live teachers waiting for you to book a lesson with them, all from the convenience of your own home!

4. Memrise

Memrise is a memorization app that can be divided into three words: science, fun, and community. Its memorization software touches on many different ways of learning while using visuals of gardening (really!) to keep you motivated, as well as a community that you can compete with or achieve to join, depending on your mindset. The app has over 1 million downloads, but you can also use it on a desktop.

3. Anki

Anki also has over a million downloads but is a little more for the focused learner. If you don’t want the frills of Memrise and want assurance on long-term memory retention, Anki is for you! It’s similar to Memrise in that it has multiple ways of learning: audio, visual, etc, but its memorization software is extremely intelligent, and will shuffle the content for you depending on how you rate the easiness of each card.

2. Japanese Kanji Power

This kanji book has all 464 kanji from the JLPT's level N5 and N4 tests, which is about grades one and two of Japanese schools. These are the beginner kanji that really pave the road to future kanji compounds in general, giving you a decent reading ability level—especially if you're trying to find your way around Japan!

1. Official JLPT Study Books

There are official textbooks of the JLPT test and, needless to say, as far as content goes, there’s not much better than them. They have what you need, what will be on the test, and also give you a precursor for what’s expected of you. There’s no worrying about missing anything or wasting time on things that won’t be covered. That said, it's always good to supplement!