Should I take the JLPT?

February 17, 2022

This is a question that has some divided opinions among Japanese language teachers.
If you are an international student, it may be required for university admission, but if you are a businessperson, it is probably not. Studying for the JLPT can be useful, so in this article, we have organized the features of the JLPT, so that you can decide for yourself whether it is worth taking or not.

Feature (1): Listening and reading test
There is no writing and speaking. In other words, you will not know how well you can actually communicate in Japanese.
Even if a person has passed N1, which is the highest level, there are still people who might not even be able to carry on daily conversations.

Feature (2): The most famous test to measure Japanese language proficiency
As mentioned above, the JLPT does not measure the actual operational ability, but it is the most popular and well-known test, so many companies use the JLPT as an indicator for hiring requirements.

Feature (3): Easy to prepare for and easy to study on your own.
As mentioned in (1), the JLPT is an input-based test, so the skills to be developed are clear and easy to prepare for. Also, as mentioned in (2), since many people take it, there are many materials available for it. Therefore, it is possible to reach a certain level by just self-study.
For example, if you improve your basic vocabulary and grammar by studying for the JLPT on your own, and then take lessons after you have reached a certain level, you will be able to reduce the total cost of studying Japanese.

Feature (4) You can get points to receive preferential treatment in Japan’s immigration control.
Those who pass JLPT N1 receive 15 points, N2 receive 10 points under the government’s “Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.” Individuals with a total of 70 points or higher receive preferential treatment at immigration. For BJT, 15 points will be awarded for 480 points or above, and 10 points will be awarded for 400 points or above.
For more information, please visit the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice website.

Based on the four points above, if you feel that there is an overall benefit, why not give it a try? You should also consider whether or not you can realistically invest the amount of time required to pass the test.
Please refer to this article for the study time required to pass the JLPT.

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