Japanese Language Proficiency Test

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験 Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken?), or JLPT, is a standardized criterion-referenced test to evaluate and certify Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers.

The JLPT was expanded to five levels in 2010, with passing Level N5 denoting simple language abilities, and Level N1 denoting advanced language abilities. The test is held twice a year in Japan on the first Sunday of July and December, and once a year in other regions on the first Sunday of December.

From 1984 to 2009 the test had 4 levels, with Level 4 testing basic-level materials and Level 1 testing advanced-level materials (see kyū). In 2010, a new level was inserted between the old 2 and 3, meaning the current N5 corresponds to the old Level 4. In 2008, the Japanese government announced a plan under consideration to use the JLPT to screen applicants for long-term and permanent resident visas.