Guide to taking JLPT Japanese test in London

Ready to Take JLPT N5 exam?

So you’ve been learning Japanese for a while and you’re wondering if you could take a formal proficiency test to earn a well-deserved certification for your efforts so far? If you’re a beginner aiming for the JLPT N5, you’re in the right place. Let me help you clarify the details of this test, especially if you plan to take it in London or other locations in the UK.

Quick Japanese Test

Take a 10 mins test to find out if you are JLPT N5 test ready!

JLPT text explained

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is an internationally recognized certification of Japanese language proficiency. It is divided into five levels, with N5 being the easiest and N1 the most advanced. Here are descriptions of N5 the first Beginner level.

  • JLPT N5: This is the most basic level, suitable for beginners. It tests the ability to understand some basic Japanese.
  • Skills Tested: Basic vocabulary and grammar, ability to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji. Ability to listen to and comprehend conversations about familiar topics spoken slowly.
  • Test Sections: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar), Reading, Listening.

JLPT London Test Centers

  • Test Dates: The JLPT is held twice a year, in July and December.
  • Registration: You must register for the test in advance. Registration periods typically open a few months before the test date.
  • Locations: In the UK, the JLPT is usually held in major cities such as London, Edinburgh, and Cardiff. Specific venues and availability can vary. In London, this year, the exam will find its home at the Japan Research Centre, SOAS University of London, where you can take the JLPT N5 exam in person.
  • Fees: Test fees vary by level and location. It’s advisable to check the official JLPT website or the administering body’s site in the UK for the most current information. Last time we checked, it’s £100.

How can you test prep?

There are effective strategies you can adopt to prepare for the JLPT N5. As a beginner level test, the requirements for vocabulary, grammar, and kanji are quite basic, allowing you to focus your study time more effectively on areas where you need improvement.

1. Understand the Test Structure
  • Sections: The JLPT N5 consists of three main sections: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary), Language Knowledge (Grammar), and Listening.
  • Format: Familiarize yourself with the test format, question types, and timing. Practice with sample papers to get comfortable with the test layout.
2. Build Your Vocabulary
  • Word Lists: Study the official JLPT N5 vocabulary list. There are around 800 words you need to know for the N5 level.
  • Flashcards: Use flashcards to memorize new words. Apps like Anki or physical flashcards can be helpful.
  • Daily Practice: Learn a few new words every day and review them regularly to reinforce your memory.
3. Master Basic Kanji
  • Kanji List: Focus on the 100-150 basic kanji characters required for N5. Learn their meanings, readings, and common compounds.
  • Writing Practice: Practice writing kanji to improve recognition and recall.
4. Grammar and Sentence Structure
  • Grammar Points: Study the essential grammar points for N5. Resources like “Genki I” or “Minna no Nihongo I” are excellent for beginners.
  • Practice Sentences: Write and practice simple sentences using the grammar points you learn.
  • Workbooks: Use JLPT-specific workbooks to practice grammar exercises.
5. Reading Practice
  • Textbooks: Read the passages in your study textbooks. Focus on understanding the main ideas and details.
  • Children’s Books: Simple Japanese children’s books or graded readers for beginners can provide additional practice.
  • JLPT Practice Tests: Regularly take practice tests to gauge your reading comprehension skills and adjust your study plan accordingly.
6. Listening Practice
  • JLPT Listening Practice: Use JLPT N5 listening practice materials. Listen to the dialogues and answer questions to simulate the test environment.
  • Japanese Media: Listen to Japanese podcasts, songs, or watch anime with simple dialogues. Pay attention to pronunciation and intonation.
  • Language Apps: Use language learning apps like Duolingo, Memrise, or Pimsleur that focus on listening skills.
7. Use JLPT Prep Books and Online Resources
  • Books: Use JLPT-specific prep books like “Nihongo So-matome N5” or “TRY! JLPT N5.”
  • Online Resources: Websites like JLPT Sensei, WaniKani, and Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese offer valuable resources and practice materials.
8. Join Study Groups or Classes
  • Language Schools: Enroll in a Japanese language course or JLPT prep class at a local language school or community college.
  • Online Communities: Join online study groups or forums where you can exchange tips, ask questions, and practice with fellow learners.

Book a trial lesson

Want to join a group class to learn with us, you can start with a trial lesson first.

If your goal is to speak Japanese fluently

Test prep for an exam is different from learning a language towards fluency, which is why our group classes are not advertised as test prep courses. In each of our lessons, our teachers are dedicated to providing a comprehensive language learning experience with a focus on conversational Japanese skills training. Each lesson helps students build a strong foundation in grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and Japanese Kana or Kanji writing.

We design practical conversational practices enabling students to use the language confidently in real-life situations. In a small group class, it’s also possible to achieve a high level of personalized attention and support to address each student’s unique learning needs and challenges. Our approach ensures that students not only prepare for exams but also develop the skills necessary for effective communication and deeper cultural understanding.

If learning Japanese culture is also your goal

Every student who comes to our school is impressed by Japanese culture. Besides mastering the language, they also seek to delve deeper into understanding Japanese traditions and customs. Understanding the cultural context is crucial for language learning. Our lessons often incorporate cultural elements to give students a richer, more immersive experience. By exploring traditions, customs, and social norms, students gain a deeper appreciation of the language and how it’s used in everyday life. This cultural immersion helps students connect more meaningfully with the language, making their learning journey more engaging and effective.

“Every month, our event calendar is filled with a variety of events celebrating Japanese culture. Discover more about these exciting events on our dedicated event page here.

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