JLPT Test in New York – Top 5 Questions Answered

2013 September 11
by SWIRLsite

It’s that time of year again when students who are studying and enjoying Japanese contemplate whether to take the JLPT  (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) or not. If you’re wondering whether to try to take the test or not, please go to question number 1 as we can hopefully answer that question for you.

If you have taken the test before, know that you should take it, or just have further questions on the JLPT in New York look no further. Hills Learning has been teaching Japanese in NYC for 5 years and we have had many students take all levels of the test and have experiences to answer any questions you may have. Hopefully these 5 questions cover it, but feel free to leave a comment or ask further questions on this post!

1. Should I take the JLPT or not? What does it mean?

The JLPT is the official test administered and supported by the Japanese government to measure Japanese language proficiency. For people that are looking to transfer to a Japanese university or prove their Japanese skills for a job, the test is a must. Some sample jobs that look for JLPT proficiency are translators, workers at the US Embassy in Tokyo, and positions in Japanese companies that require conducting business in Japanese.

For all those that don’t have a necessity to take it, but are studying Japanese and would like some measure for personal reasons to see how far you’ve come, we definitely still recommend taking the test. Studying for the test is a concrete, tangible goal that adds legitimacy to your Japanese language studies. Also, anyone that knows anything about Japanese Language Proficiency knows this test, so anyone you’ve met along the way in your Japanese studies will vouch for this test.

Students that we recommend not taking the test are casual learners, just looking to develop conversation skills. The test does not measure speaking abilities. So, if you’re looking to just develop conversation skills, the JLPT isn’t for you. It measures reading and listening skills only.

2. What level should I take for the JLPT, and do I qualify to take it?

First, let’s measure to see if you have the ability to take the first level, the N5 test. Basically to take the N5, you’ll need the equivalent of about 8 to 12 months of Japanese study. Please know your Hiragana and Katakana fluently (reading-wise). You should know roughly about 300 kanji (although you can get away with less), and a pretty solid foundation of basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary.

In other words, what we recommend is completing all the Japanese contained in the Genki I textbook (or equivalent). To know what’s there, you can check Genki’s website (sorry it is in Japanese but if you can read Hiragana and Katakana it should help):

http://genki.japantimes.co.jp/site/reso/active.html

Or, use our Japanese Flashcards for Genki contained on our website. They include the pronunciation of all the vocabulary, grammar, and there are also flashcards for Kanji.

For students who are debating between N5 and N1, there is also a great resource to test your skills online:

http://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/forlearners.html

This will basically allow you to try sample questions and see what level might fit best. Knowing what level fits best is really a combination of intuition, testing, and asking questions of a Japanese instructor. Please feel free to contact us to figure out what level would work for you.

3. How do I signup, and when should I signup by?

The quick answer is signup ASAP! For the past two years in New York, only 500 spots are available for the JLPT test, and the test has sold out. In other words, people wanting to take the test in New York and signed up late had to go down to DC.

http://www.aatj.org/jlpt-us-2013 – Please click on this link for how to signup. You must register first. The cost is between $50 and $60, depending on the level.

4. Where and when is it held?

Lehman College in the Bronx, here’s the address:

250 Bedford Park Blvd W  New York, NY 10468

On campus on that day, administrators working for the test will send you in right direction to find the university hall with the test site. Just go to their main admin hall, they will point you in the right direction.

December 1, 2013, Sunday. This is the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

5. Is there a class available for JLPT prep?

Yes, at Hills Learning 🙂 Of course there are other options as well in New York. At Hills Learning, we offer group courses for all five levels (N5, N4, N3, N2 and N1). We also have classes throughout the year that are geared towards the levels of the JLPT tests.

We also offer a prep test on the weekend, either the third or fourth weekend in October. Please note, this is for registered Hills Learning students only.

Also, we have private lessons, available with instructors (face to face or online) to help prep for the JLPT tests.

Just before attending an institution make sure to do your due diligence, make sure the place has had students in the past take their classes and pass the exam.

 

Thank you for reading, good luck with your studies and taking the JLPT test and PLEASE ask questions if you have them!

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