The JLPT certificate (Japanese Language Proficiency Test or 日本語能力試験) is a compulsory certificate that non-native Japanese must have if they want to get a scholarship for higher education or a career in Japan.
Although in some circumstances, an English proficiency certificate is sufficient. However, for higher salaries and career advancement opportunities, the JLPT certificate is key.
The JLPT exam has 5 levels from N5, N4, N3, N2 and N1. Level N5 is the lowest and easiest level in JLPT, while level N1 is the highest and most difficult level in JLPT. Please read more about JLPT by clicking the button below!
Furthermore, if you have a JLPT N1 certificate, then the chances of getting high pay and fast career advancement at work will automatically be easy for you to get.
Then, to be able to pass the JLPT N1 test, choosing the right learning resources is very crucial and so important for you to do.
In addition, using the right book can be the start of your success in conquering JLPT N1. Therefore, to support you, in this article, I will explain thoroughly 10 Most Famous & Powerful Textbooks to Pass JLPT N1 based on my own experience.
Also, if you need reference to find the best books for JLPT exam preparation in other levels, please click the button below!
Then, please jump into the following articles to get also about “JLPT Guides, Kanji Lists & Vocabulary Lists“
- JLPT Levels: A Comprehensive Guidance For You
- Get Ready for JLPT N4: 100 Kanji List
- Ready for N5? JLPT Guides & List of 100 Kanji
- 700+ JLPT N5 Vocabulary | The Most Complete Lists
We hope you’ll continue to follow other articles to expand your horizons and understanding about the JLPT. After reading this article, I’m looking forward for your suggestions and impressions in the comment column below. Don’t forget to leave it! Okay, let’s get started!
About JLPT N1
JLPT N1 is the highest level and the hardest of the 5 levels in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). In fact, it is rumored that many foreigners rarely take the JLPT N1. It is said that even native Japanese speakers will struggle to answer the N1 level questions.
Is this true? Of course, the above question will be debunked if you practice diligently and can find the right book to conquer JLPT N1. Many of my seniors were able to pass JLPT N1 even in the second or third year after they set foot in Japan.
According to them, it’s not that hard to pass. However, it is rather difficult to get a perfect score, it takes tens of thousands of hours to practice and discover the patterns of JLPT N1 questions which are often tricky and require accuracy in answering.
Further, similar to the other JLPT levels, the JLPT N1 tests the learners’ understanding in 5 different areas, it’s just the most difficult:
- Grammar (文法 / bunpou)
- Vocabulary (語彙 / goi)
- Kanji (漢字 / kanji)
- Reading Comprehension (読解力 / dokkai ryoku)
- Listening Comprehension (聴解力 / Chōkai ryoku)
Then, the JLPT N1 exam consists of 2 sections as follows:
- Language Knowledge & Reading in 110 minutes
- Listening in 60 minutes
Again, the reading and listening skills section is very long, almost 3.5 hours! So, apart from your skills, you also need to prepare yourself physically and mentally!
(1) Language Knowledge & Reading – 110 minutes
As with the other levels, the JLPT N1 exam has specific criteria that are tested in each component of the session.
Therefore, we can use this information to select the books that are most suitable to reinforce the learning units that we are still lacking and that can support our learning process to pass the JLPT N1. For the details, please check the table below:
|1. Kanji reading||Test reading of the words written in kanji.|
|Test words whose meaning is apparent from the context.|
|3. Paraphrases||Test words and phrases with similar meanings.|
|4. Usage||Test the use of words in sentences.|
|5. Sentential grammar 1 (selecting grammar form)||Testing judgment of grammatical formats that fit sentences.|
|6. Sentential grammar 2 (sentence composition)||Testing syntactically correct and meaningful sentence composition.|
|7. Text grammar||Examining judgment about the appropriateness of sentences to the flow of the text.|
|8. Comprehension (short passages)||Test content comprehension by reading texts of approximately 200 characters, such as descriptions and instructions on various topics, including everyday life and work.|
|9. Comprehension (mid-size passages)||Test understanding of causal relationships or reasoning by reading text of approximately 500 characters, e.g., reviews, commentaries, and essays.|
|10. Comprehension (long passages)||Test understanding of an outline or the author’s ideas by reading a text of about 1,000 characters, such as a commentary, essay, or novel.|
|11. Integrated comprehension||Test understanding through comparison and integration by reading several texts (totaling about 600 characters).|
|12. Thematic comprehension (long passages)||Test understanding of intended points and ideas by reading an abstract and logical text of approximately 1,000 characters, e.g., editorials and reviews.|
|13. Information retrieval||Test ability to extract necessary information from materials such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and business documents (approximately 700 characters).|
(2) Listening – 60 minutes
What are the specific components tested in listening comprehension? Please read the following:
|1. Task-based comprehension||Test understanding of content by listening to a connected text (test ability to extract necessary information to solve specific problems and understand appropriate actions).|
|2. Comprehension of key points||Test content understanding by listening to a connected text (test ability to narrow down points based on necessary information presented in advance).|
|3. Comprehension of general outline||Test content understanding by listening to a connected text (test understanding of the speaker’s intent and the ideas of the overall text).|
|4. Quick response||Test ability to select appropriate responses by listening to short utterances such as questions.|
|5. Integrated comprehension||Test understanding of content by comparing and integrating multiple sources of information by listening to a relatively long text.|
Hopefully, if you know these points, you will be better prepared and understand what exactly is the main purpose of your pursuit of the JLPT N1.
It’s not just about getting the certificate, it’s also about understanding and deepening your knowledge of the Japanese language. Thus, even after passing the JLPT N1, you will be more eager to learn more Japanese.
Practice JLPT N1 Exam with Complete Set of Textbooks
To pass the JLPT N1, you must first master all the components tested in the JLPT N1 such as grammar, vocabulary, kanji and more. The more you practice and the more and more detailed material you master, the better your chances of passing the JLPT N1 exam.
Fortunately, nowadays there are a variety of textbooks that contain a complete set. They all meet all your needs to pass the JLPT N1 exam.
Next, all you need to do is check if the material you need matches the material covered in each complete set of textbooks, and of course, match it to the state of your wallet! Check out the 5 best textbook sets we have selected below.
1. Thorough Training JLPT N1
This book titled Thorough Training JLPT N1 is one of the books that cover the JLPT N1 material very comprehensively and with hundreds of very rich sample questions.
With this book, you will find the latest strategies to pass the revised JLPT N1. In 1 complete set, you will get 4 books with detailed material covered as follows:
- JLPT N1 Thorough Training – Grammar: This grammar book is compiled in 7 chapters, with the first 5 chapters covering at least 220 grammar points with clear example sentences and 627 practice questions that are most common on the JLPT N1 exam.
- JLPT N1 Thorough Training – Kanji & Vocabulary: The book includes about 18,000 vocabulary words and at least 1,200 practice questions that have frequently appeared in the JLPT N1 over the past 20 years.
- JLPT N1 Thorough Training – Reading: The grammar book covers reading comprehension, sample passages of various text lengths, and simulated tests similar to the actual JLPT N1 exam.
- JLPT N1 Thorough Training – Listening: Explains strategies for improving scores, complete practice test simulations with CDs, answer sheets, answers, and complete scripts of practice test sections in a special booklet.
2. Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N1
Nihongo So-Matome is a very famous series of textbooks. This is because the concept of the books is very unique, as they are designed to be covered in 8 weeks with cute illustrations and learning improvement tables that are very motivating for users.
It is really highly recommended as it supports independent learning! In 1 set you will get 5 books at once, as follows:
- Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N1 – Kanji: There are 1,550 Kanji characters. Plus rich explanations and sample practice problems with accurate translations in English, Chinese and Korean.
- Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N1 – Vocabulary: Discusses more than 2000 Japanese vocabulary and has a high chance of appearing in JLPT N1. Plus practice questions that are accurate and in accordance with the JLPT N1 format.
- Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N1 – Grammar: Covers at least 224 grammar points with very comprehensive structures, explanations and example sentences and usage.
- Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N1 – Reading Comprehension: Discusses all the basic techniques in mastering reading skills and how to process information for short to long texts with practice questions according to JLPT N1 format.
- Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N1 – Listening Comprehension: Discusses questioning patterns, sharpening listening comprehension and processing information with both conversation and long sections.
3. New Kanzen Master JLPT N1
One of the books that also always ranks at the top that is in high demand by JLPT N1 fighters is the New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 complete set. The strength of New Kanzen Master is in the example questions with very detailed discussions and a very rich variety of questions to test the understanding of its users. Then, the contents presented has been carefully selected from references and past tests, ensuring the books concentrate on words and questions that have a high chance of appearing in the exam.
So, you can find the pattern of JLPT N1 questions well. Therefore, you will feel confident and ready to face the JLPT N1 exam. In 1 set you will get 5 books as follows:
- New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 – Grammar: Compiled with an introduction to the material, questions and answering strategies and mock tests to identify your readiness for JLPT N1.
- New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 – Kanji: There are 677 kanji covered in 31 chapters, plus 5 kanji mock tests including 15 extra questions.
- New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 – Vocabulary: Discusses basic and practical practice questions in the exact format of the JLPT N1 exam. There are 945 sample questions in this workbook.
- New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 – Reading Comprehension: There are 28 sample questions with 68 practice exercises and mock tests arranged in a very varied manner from advertisements, pamphlets, publications and more.
- New Kanzen Master JLPT N1 – Listening Comprehension with CD: Features an introduction to the test format, questions and mock tests that really focus on strengthening your preparation for the listening skills section.
4. Speed Master JLPT N1
One of the very popular JLPT N1 exam preparation complete set books. Speed master is often also recommended because it has 3 unique concepts in helping its readers. That is with 3 steps namely “warm-up”, “practice” and “mock tests”.
You will learn the material in a systematic and not burdensome way. In 1 complete set, you will get 5 books as follows:
- Speed Master – Quick Mastery of JLPT N1 Grammar: Discussed JLPT N1 grammar, how to process information in text, practice questions similar to the actual exam.
- Speed Master – Quick Mastery of JLPT N1 Kanji: The 10 units contain 400 kanji and 900 idioms with accurate explanations and translations with practice questions in JLPT N1 format.
- Speed Master – Quick Mastery of JLPT N1 Vocabulary: Have a variety of reading texts that cover all the vocabulary that is likely to appear in the JLPT N1 exam.
- Speed Master – Quick Mastery of JLPT N1 Reading: Practice basic mastery skills and how to accurately extract information from short and long texts containing N1-level grammar, kanji and vocabulary.
- Speed Master – Quick Mastery of JLPT N1 Listening: It consists of a variety of texts similar to the real JLPT N1 exam plus strategies and concepts on how to understand the information and answer the questions.
5. Nihongo Power Drill JLPT N1
If you need a workbook that can be used as a question bank for you to conquer JLPT N1 questions and make you more familiar with JLPT N1 questions, then the following Nihongo Power Drill N1 book is perfect for your list.
In 1 set of Nihongo Power Drill JLPT N1, you will get 2 books, as follows:
- Nihongo Power Drill JLPT N1 – Kanji & Vocabulary: This workbook is specially designed for users to master 660 questions in the same format as the JLPT N1 vocabulary session.
- Nihongo Power Drill JLPT N1 – Grammar: This grammar book contains 30 lessons with 580 practice questions. Where 480 of them use questions with the exact format of JLPT N1 and the remaining 100 questions focus on training your speed in answering questions.
Extra Textbooks for Grammar, Kanji & Vocabulary Drill
To pass the JLPT N1 grammar exam, you need to master at least about 400 grammar points, 2.000 kanji, and 10.000 Japanese vocabulary words. You can achieve these numbers by studying diligently. However, do not expect to master them in a short time, especially without consistency.
All these components are formulated in very long texts or passages. This will test your ability to process the grammar, kanji, and vocabulary, as well as the information listed, in a short period of time.
Therefore, in this article, in addition to the complete books already mentioned, we would like to introduce you to textbooks and dictionaries that you can rely on to achieve the above goals!
6. A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Learners and Teachers
A Handbook of Japanese Grammar Patterns for Learners and Teachers is the current bestseller as it has the largest number of grammar items at 3,000. These grammar items are all grammar items that appear in the JLPT N1 and N2 exams.
You will get very complete examples of grammar usage. In addition to test preparation, you can also continue to use this handbook to read newspapers, papers, write business letters, research and more in Japanese.
Highly recommended if you want to really master advanced Japanese!
7. Kanji Dictionary for Foreigners Learning Japanese 2500
The key to mastering Japanese is how much and how deeply you know the kanji. This Kanji Dictionary for Foreigners Learning Japanese 2500 is highly recommended as it has more than 2,100 kanji which are the main, important kanji and are also officially taught in public schools in Japan.
On each page you will get comprehensive information about the kanji such as how to read, stroke order, vocabulary that uses the kanji, and concrete example sentences.
It is very rare and difficult to find a kanji dictionary this comprehensive! Therefore, this dictionary is highly recommended for you to have!
8. 3000 Essential Vocabulary for the JLPT N1
In order to pass JLPT N1, plus the previous 4 levels, you need to master around 10,000 Japanese vocabulary words. Therefore, the more and wider your vocabulary, the better your chances of passing JLPT N1.
This vocabulary is also your key to scoring high in the reading and listening proficiency test sessions.
Therefore, this self-paced Japanese vocabulary learning resource titled 3000 Essential Vocabulary for the JLPT N1 is exactly what you need.
In addition to the vocabulary, you’ll get full English and Chinese translations, sample sentences and a red sheet that you can use to test whether you can guess the missing vocabulary in sentences as practice.
Extra Textbooks for Listening Comprehension & Mock Test Drill
To pass the JLPT N1, you also need to train your listening comprehension well.
And the key is practice, practice, practice! The more familiar you are with the practice questions, the better your chances of passing the JLPT N1. Or even, the better your chances of getting a perfect score!
So, please check out the following 2 lists and choose the one that works for you!
9. Level Up Training N1 Listening
In addition to reading competence, vocabulary mastery and kanji, you also need to be familiar with Japanese pronunciation and intonation.
The speed of pronunciation of texts, dialogs or conversations in the JLPT N1 listening proficiency test is also usually normal and even tends to be faster. Therefore, familiarizing yourself with this speed is the key to success!
We highly recommend the Level Up Training N1 Listening book because it contains many questions that focus on preparing for the listening proficiency exam session.
Please put this book on your list so that you can conquer JLPT N1 well! Good luck!
10. JLPT N1 Official Practice Workbook
Especially for this last point, we would like to recommend you the official book published by the JLPT test provider. With this book, you can experience working on questions that are exactly similar to the real JLPT N1 exam.
Broadly speaking, this book is divided into 3, as follows:
- The first part contains sample questions like the real JLPT N1 exam in all sessions.
- The second part contains answer keys and scripts for the listening skills session.
- The third section contains the structure and information specific to the latest JLPT N1 exam.
You will also get a CD and this book can be your choice to strengthen your preparation to conquer JLPT N1. Hope you can get a perfect score
Finally, We’d like to ask you to review the 10 Most Famous Textbooks to Pass JLPT N1 above. We also appreciate any comments and suggestions for our improvement. We wish you success in passing JLPT N1!
Insights other than the technical aspects of JLPT will also help you develop a deeper understanding of Japanese learning. Please visit the link below to get everything you need to learn Japanese on your own!