Everything you need to know to pass JLPT N5

The Japanese language proficiency test (JLPT) N5 is the simplest of the tests. JLPT is the proficiency test for non-native Japanese speakers. It tests how far you have gone and how well you know your Japanese language. Usually, most people start with the N5, and others may prefer to go straight to N4 without any reservations. 

What is JLPT N5?

It is the basic level of the Japanese language proficiency test. It tests your ability to understand some basic Japanese. It covers some basic knowledge and comprehension of basic hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Although you need to study to pass the JLPT N5, it may not require intensive studying, especially if you have adequate prior knowledge of the Japanese vocabulary, grammar, as well as basic kanji. In order to write the JLPT N5, you should be able to read and understand the basic sentences used in everyday conversations, whether written in hiragana, katakana, or kanji. You should also have some listening skills to help you comprehend some of these basic everyday sentences when said slowly.

Hiragana, katakana, and kanji are Japanese language writing systems. There is actually no way you can learn Japanese without them because they are the foundation of the language. As someone new to the Japanese language, learning the basic hiragana, katana and kanji may seem difficult at first, but with time and consistency, you will get it done and even become better at reading and writing them. Also, if you intend to write the other levels of the JLPT, I’ll advise that you don’t skip the N5 because it will give you an idea of how the test is done, and help you understand how to prepare better for the other tests even though they are all focused on different learning levels.

JLPT N5 vocabulary

To sit for the JLPT N5 and pass it, you should know about 500-700 Japanese words. These are not just any words but the common words used in the Japanese language. When studying the vocabulary for this test level, ensure to take note of the vowel sounds. Identify long vowels and short vowels as words may sound alike but carry different meanings. The key to learning the vocabulary is having a solid study routine. Get a list of the 700 words (remember these words are commonly used in everyday conversations), create sub-lists by separating the words you know from the ones you don’t and putting them on separate lists. For the ones you don’t know, put them into flashcards or the Anki system and memorize them at intervals each day (at least 5 times daily). 

Remember to prioritize your vocabulary because it will help with the other aspects of the JLPT.

JLPT N5 grammar

Knowing the vocabulary will help you learn grammar better. For grammar, don’t rush to study all the points so that you don’t get stuck or confused. Try to focus on a point each day. Create at least 5-6 sentences with the point you are focused on so that you can easily remember it. Do the same thing for all the points, and take your time to study and memorize them each.

JLPT N5 kanji

Although there are about 50,000-80,000 kanji in total, the number of kanji needed to pass N5 is very few. You need to know just about 100 basic kanji characters that are used in simple daily conversations, to pass this level. These kanji for time, numbers, days of the week, family members, basic verbs, as well as directions The basic kanji are the most common in the Japanese language, and so, they shouldn’t be difficult to memorize. Don’t rush to learn them. Just pick one a day to memorize each one. You can use the Anki system or flashcard to help you learn and memorize better.

Readout loud for as much as you can

You have memorized your vocabulary, grammar and kanji, so what next? You need to read it. Reading and listening are the basis of the test, and so, you should pay total attention to these aspects. Since you will be reading articles, get some, and practice them. Get your pronunciation right and work on your reading speed; the faster you can read, the better it is. There are lots of materials online to help you practice reading. 

Listen attentively

How will you learn to listen if you don’t actually listen? Develop your listening skills by practicing. Your listening, as well as comprehension skills, will be tested; hence, it is important to get learning materials such as videos and podcasts to help you practice. Don’t be in haste to listen. Take your time to listen, digest, and comprehend what is being said. Go over again if you must, but ensure you do it right. The best thing about listening is that you can do it while cleaning, commuting, or even lying down. Just practice with every given opportunity.

Important tips

The exam is in multiple-choice, so if you study hard and memorize well, then you will be able to pick the correct answer no matter how tricky the options may look. If you find yourself struggling with any questions, I suggest you move unto the next question and come back to them when you are done with others. Also, ensure not to leave any question unanswered. If you have to guess the answer, do it, and you might end up guessing right (I’m not saying all your answers should be a product of guesswork).

Always remember that even if you don’t score up to the pass mark, there’s no need to be discouraged because you can always take the test again.

In conclusion, most people tend to skip the N5 and jump straight to N4 for reasons best known to them, but I’ll advise that you take each step accordingly, even if you feel that N5 is too easy. Sitting for the N5 will expose you to your first JLPT experience, and will you help you prepare effectively for the next level. In order to pass the N5, you need to study and memorize your vocabulary, grammar, and kanji and also develop your reading, listening, and comprehension skills. Create a study routine and identify the study methods you are most comfortable with. You can even check online for past N5 questions and use them to test yourself, and in the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Good luck!

My Recommendations for your Japanese learning

  • Japanese JLPT N5 Test Prep-course - The Expert Secret Check Here
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  • Japanese Pod 101 My Honest Review Read more

Krisada Hemsoe

I'm Krisada, the creator of JLPT TUTOR. I created this site to share the path of my Japanese learning That I achieved my JLPT N1. You may struggle with Kanji , Grammar , Listening, reading and fail again and again. I know how you feel when you see "Not Pass" I want to share what I learnt in this past through this website. Hope you enjoy

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