The Most Complete & Essential JLPT N3 Kanji

The Most Complete & Essential JLPT N3 Kanji - EDOPEN Japan

Are you preparing for the JLPT exam? Did you know that JLPT level N3 is the intermediate level that many foreigners who want to build a career in various fields in Japan are aiming for?

For example, for engineers who want to work in Japanese companies, the JLPT N3 certificate is the most basic and very important requirement.

Then, there are various aspects that are tested in the JLPT N3 exam, one of which is Kanji knowledge. To pass the JLPT N3 level, you need to know at least 650 kanji. And here we discuss the 100 most important kanji for JLPT level N3.

By mastering these 100 N3 kanji, your chances of passing the JLPT N3 exam will increase! Please read and study the following 100 essential kanji for JLPT Level N3 carefully!

To pass the JLPT N3 exam, it’s crucial to not just strengthen your exam preparation but also master the JLPT N3 vocabulary, which comprises about 3,750 words. Click the button below to access the JLPT N3 vocabulary list and supplement your studying.

Read also:
10 Most Powerful & Popular Textbooks to Pass JLPT N3
JLPT: A Complete Guide to the Differences Between Levels N1-N5

Apply for JLPT N3 (2023)

Apply for JLPT N3 (2023) - EDOPEN Japan

Before delving into the 100 most crucial kanji for the JLPT N3, it is essential to review a concise outline of the JLPT N3 application and examination process.

Please note that each session is held twice a year in early July and December. The JLPT is typically administered biannually, specifically during the initial Sunday of July and December.

Taking JLPT N3 in Japan

  1. Release dates of test information: (First test) around early February and (Second test) around early July.
  2. Registration period (online only): (First test) from late March to mid-April and (Second test) from late August to mid-September.
  3. Receipt of paper test voucher: (First test) mid-June and (Second test) mid-November.
  4. Publication of test results: (First test) in early September and (Second test) in early February.
  5. Exam Fee: 6,500 JPY (including excise tax).

The application is online-only, therefore, make sure you register and sign on at MyJLPT on JEES website:

All LevelsTest DateRegistrationTest VoucherTest Results
First testSunday, July 2March ~ AprilJunethe end of August 2023
Second testSunday, December 3August ~ SeptemberNovemberthe end of January 2024

Taking in the United States

Test Fee: $100
The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) in the United States is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ). Please note that there is no July test available in the United States. For the latest registration information, please visit:

N3Test DateRegistrationTest Results
First test
Second testDecember 3From August until Septemberaround March 2024

Taking in other countries or areas

  1. Some countries/cities only held one exam (July or December) each year.
  2. Depending on the country, there are different application deadlines and the date of the result.
  3. Check this page for the region where you want to take JLPT:

Due to the spread of COVID-19, please visit the official JLPT website for the most up-to-date information.

Preparing for the JLPT N3 Test

Preparing for the JLPT N3 Test - EDOPEN Japan

Take note: The duration of the test and the required passing score for N3 differs from those of N4 and N5. As depicted in the table below, the examination duration is longer in all three sections.

Though the pass mark for each section may seem low, the overall pass mark is 95, with a pass mark of 90 in both N4 and N5.

◉ Linguistic competence required: The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.
◉ Overall pass marks / full marks95 / 180 points.
◉ All questions are multiple-choice questions. No essay question.

In all the levels, the main test sections include: Language Knowledge(Vocabulary / Grammar): 言語知識(文字・語彙 / 文法), reading: 読解 and listening: 聴解.

N3 Test sectionsLanguage Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar)・ReadingListening
Test timeLanguage Knowledge (Vocabulary): 30 min
Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading: 70 min
40 min
Sectional pass mark / full markLanguage Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar): 19 / 60 points
Reading: 19 / 60 points
19/60 points

Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary):

✎ Kanji readingSelect the correct hiragana for the kanji word given in the question.
✎ OrthographySelect the correct kanji for the hiragana given in the question.
✎ Contextually-defined expressionsSelect the most proper word/phrase to complete the given sentence in the question.
✎ ParaphrasesSelect the option that possesses the closest meaning to the given sentence in the question.
✎ UsagesSelect the correct usage(sentence) of the given word in the question.

For N3 examinees, recognizing hiragana and katakana should not be an issue. However, as you progress to the upper levels, increasing your Japanese vocabulary for JLPT N3 becomes a critical mission.

According to some test-takers, aside from acquiring new vocabulary, correctly pronouncing specific words presents another challenge.

  • We all know that the pronunciation of words with “k or g”, “s or z”, and “t or d” can sound similar to each other. In daily life, the wrong pronunciation won’t be a big matter in the conversation. However, this can be confusing when taking tests.

    For example:
    観客“, “かんきゃく“? Or “かんぎゃく“?
  • Is this word with “う”(u) behind? Is this word with “っ”(small tsu) in the middle? This is also one of the challenges occur in this section.

    For example:
    到着“, is it “とうちゃく“? Or “とちゃく“?
    欠席“, is it “けっせき“? Or “けせき“?

Section 2: Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading

Language Knowledge (Grammar)

✎ Sentential grammar 1
(Selecting grammar form)
Select the correct phrase that can best fit into the question.
✎ Sentential grammar 2
(Sentence composition)
There are 4 consecutive spaces in a sentence. You must construct the sentence with the 4 given options and choose the correct option for the assign space.
✎ Text grammarSelect the correct word/particle that can best fit into the blank in an article.


✎ Comprehension
(Short passages)
Choose the correct option to the question according to the given passages.
✎ Comprehension
(Mid-size passages)
Choose the correct option to the question according to the given passages (mid-size).
✎ Comprehension
(Long passages)
Choose the correct option to the question according to the given passages (long-size).
✎ Information retrievalYou might be given graphs, tables, or any data in other forms, which you need to find the answer to the questions.

After studying N3 grammar, you may have found the new grammar in N4 and N5 more complex. There are several grammatical structures that have similar meanings, but their correct usage can be quite distinct from each other.

As you work through the exercise book, monitor your reading time for the reading section. If you find yourself spending too much time reading, work on improving your reading speed before the exam.

Section 3: Listening

✎ Task-based comprehensionExam sheet: (○) options & (X) question
The description of the situation and question will be played, then followed by a conversation. Lastly, the question will be played again.
✎ Comprehension of key pointsExam sheet: (○) options & (X) question
The question will be played. Before the statement/conversation being played, there’s a short pause to read the options. Lastly, the question will be played again.
✎ Comprehension of general outlineExam sheet: (X) options & (X) question
Firstly, the description of the situation will be played, then followed by a conversation. Lastly, the question and the options will be played only once.
✎ Verbal expressionsExam sheet: (X) options & (X) question
The pictures are given in your exam paper, and a person is pointed with an arrow. Choose the best option that the person could say according to the picture. The options are played only once.
✎ Quick responseExam sheet: (X) options & (X) question
Listen to a statement and the options. Choose from the option that can be the best reply to the statement.

100 Kanji list of JLPT N3

100 Kanji list of JLPT N3 - EDOPEN Japan

繰り返すく-り-かえ-すto repeat
あて宛先あて-さきthe address to be delivered
けた4桁よん-けた4 digit number
・immigrant, to immigrate
・to move, transfer
・a range
・to surround / circle
インかく隠すかく-すto hide, conceal
エン応援おう-えんto support/cheer for somebody
禁煙きん-えんNo smoking.
エン演奏えん-そうmusical performace, to play a musical instrument
オウなぐ殴るなぐ-るto hit, punch, strike
・to heat up
カイく・くや悔しいくや-しいbeing regratable, frustrated
カイ・ ゲ・理解
・understanding, comprehension
・to be resolved
・to check
・to verify
カクおぼ・さ覚めるさ-めるto awake
・three volumes
・to roll up, wind, wrap
カン夕刊ゆう-かんevening newspaper
・being dry
・to get dry
寄るよ-るto get closer, get together
もと基本的き-ほん-てきfundamental, basic
・licence, permission
・to forgive, allow
キョウさけ叫ぶさけ-ぶto shout out, scream, yell
キョク曲がるま-がるto bend, turn
キン禁止きん-しprohibition, to prohibit
ケイ警察けい-さつa police
・bargain-priced, extremely cheap
・being intense, in an extreme degree
・to appear, indicate, show
建てるた-てるto build (building/house…)
・a typo
・a mistake
コウあわ慌てるあわ-てるto panic
叩くたた-くto knock(door) / hit / tap
・to extend, broaden
・being wide, broad, large
・effect, effectiveness
・to be effective
・disorder, chaos, mix-up
・to mix something and another
サイまつ祭りまつ-りa festival
サク・ サつく・作品
・creation / a peice of work
ころ殺すころ-すto kill
サン賛成さん-せいto agree with
あぶら動物性脂肪どう-ぶつ-せい-し-ぼう・animal fat
・a business card
・to stick / stab / be bitten(by mosquito)
辞めるや-めるto quite, give up (job, doing something)
・to be wet
シャおご奢るおご-るto give (someone) a treat
シャなな斜めなな-めbeing at a slant, oblique
シュウ蹴るけ-るto kick
・weight of something
・to pile up, to repeat many times
・traffic jam
・Shibuya (Tokyo)
・go round, on patrol
・visit temples from place to place
ジュン順番じゅん-ばんdo something in sequence
ショウまね招き猫まね-き-ねこthe cat brings luck
・application, to apply
・to apply
シン伸びるの-びる(height)to get taller, (hair)to get longer, to get longer, stretch
ふし節約せつ-やくthe saving of (resources, expense…)
センあさ浅いあさ-いbeing shallow, light
センうらや羨ましいうらや-ましいbe jealous
・to contend/argue
ソウ掻くか-くto scratch
・noise, undesired sound
・to be noisy, to make a clamor
わ・わび・ほこお詫びお-わ-びan apology
ダンあたた暖まるあたた-まるto get warm
チュウなか仲間なか-まcompanion, fellow
チン家賃や-ちんhouse rent
・combustible waste
・being flammable
やぶ破るやぶ-るto breake, destroy
バイ・ビ・ミカビ・か防黴剤ぼう-かび-ざいmildewproofing agent
バツ抜くぬ-くto take away, exclude
ハンさか上り坂のぼ-り-さかan uphill road
避けるさ-けるto avoid
・a time table
・to express/symbolize/represent
くさ腐るくさ-るsomething(food…) go bad
フクはば幅広いはば-ひろ-いa wide range of
ヘキくせ悪い癖わる-い-くせa bad habit
ヘンかた・だま騙すだま-すto deceive
暮らすく-らすto live
ホウ縫うぬ-うto sew
ホウ飽きるあ-きるto get tired of
ホウゆた豊かゆた-かbeing abundant, prosperous (future…), fertile (imagination)
・door-to-door selling
・to visit somewhere
・security camera
・to prevent
ボウ・ モウのぞ・希望
・(to) wish, request
・to hope, wish
マイ埋まるう-まるto cover, fill in, bury
・being satisfied
・to satisfy
・being addicted to
・to look after, take care of, keep
・to deposit, leave something in somebody’s care
・to give
ヨウ揺れるゆ-れるto swing, shake
ヨウ揚げるあ-げるto fry
・to be in disorder
リュウ・ ルなが・一流
・the best, top-ranking (resterant, school…)
・a stream, a processing flow
レイ・ ライ礼儀れい-ぎcourtesy

Quick Link for JLPT N3 Preparation


Preparing for an exam is challenging indeed. It’s not just about acquiring new vocabulary and grammatical concepts, but also ensuring that you are relaxed while taking the test and that you have enough time to complete it. Therefore, it’s essential to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the exam.

Lastly, we hope that the Kanji list and N3 information will prove helpful. PDF and Excel files to download the 100 kanji list for JLPT N3 are provided below.


Representative Director of Reboot Japan Co., Ltd., which operates EDOPEN JAPAN. Founded the company in 2018, which provides Japanese language education and assistance for studying in Japan. Started the company after living with international students at a Japanese language school. He enjoys learning about new people and cultures and has lived in Australia and Malaysia. Graduated from the Faculty of Economics, Sophia University.