Is N3 difficult? Though it depends on where a learner has reached, as to myself, yes! While I was preparing, I felt it is not just one level up from N4. However, when receiving a PASS, it is like graduating from “beginner”.
In this article, the information of JLPT application will be introduce first. Also, the part everybody would like to know, the exam sections guide (passing mark…) is also included before the list of 100 Kanji of JLPT N3. Hope you can find what you need here!
Apply for JLPT N3 (2022)
The JLPT is usually held twice a year, in early July and December. More precisely, the JLPT is usually held on the first Sunday of July and December.
Taking in Japan
- Release dates of test information: (First test) around early February and (Second test) around early July.
- Registration period (online only): (First test) from late March to mid-April and (Second test) from late August to mid-September.
- Receipt of paper test voucher: (First test) mid-June and (Second test) mid-November.
- Publication of test results: (First test) in early September and (Second test) in early February.
Exam Fee: 6,500 JPY (including excise tax)
|All Levels||Test Date||Registration||Test Voucher||Test Results|
|First test||Sunday, Jul. 3||Mar. 25 ~ Apr. 15 |
at 5 PM JST
|Jun. 17, 2022||the end of August 2022|
|Second test||Sunday, Dec. 4||Aug. 25 ~ Sep.15 |
at 5 PM JST
|Nov. 18, 2022||the end of January 2023|
The application is online-only, therefore, make sure you register and sign on at MyJLPT on JEES website: https://info.jees-jlpt.jp/info/
Taking in the United States
Test Fee: 100 USD
JLPT in the United States is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ). There is no July test in the United States. You can find the current registration information here: https://www.aatj.org/jlpt
|N3||Test Date||Registration||Test Results|
|Second test||Dec. 4||From August 15 at 9:00 AM|
until September 13, at 5:00 PM Pacific time
|around March 2023|
Taking in other countries or areas
- Some countries/cities only held one exam (July or December) each year.
- Depending on the country, there are different application deadlines and the date of the result. Check this page for the region where you want to take JLPT: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/application/overseas_list.html
Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), remember to check the official website for the latest news of JLPT!
Preparing for the JLPT N3 Test
Take notice here! The test time and passing score for N3 are different from N4 and N5. We can see in the table below that the test time is longer in all three sections.
Though the pass mark for each section seems low, the overall pass mark comes to 95, which this is 90 in N4 and N5.
◉ Linguistic competence required: The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.
◉ Overall pass marks / full marks: 95 / 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
- Listening: 聴解
|N3 Test sections||Language Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar)・Reading||Listening|
|Test time||Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 30 min|
Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading: 70 min
|Sectional pass mark / full mark||Language Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar): 19 / 60 points|
Reading: 19 / 60 points
|19 / 60 points|
Section 1: Language Knowledge (Vocabulary):
|✎ Kanji reading||Select the correct hiragana for the kanji word given in the question.|
|✎ Orthography||Select the correct kanji for the hiragana given in the question.|
|✎ Contextually-defined expressions||Select the most proper word/phrase to complete the given sentence in the question.|
|✎ Paraphrases||Select the option that possesses the closest meaning to the given sentence in the question.|
|✎ Usages||Select the correct usage(sentence) of the given word in the question.|
For N3 examinee, to recognize hiragana and katagana is not a problem! In the next stage from N3 to upper levels, increasing the Japanese vocabulary is one of your critical mission.
In my personal experience, apart from learning new words as many as possible, remembering the correct pronunciation of certain words is 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“？
In my other article, you can find the Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji table and download it for practicing.
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|
|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 grammar||Select the correct word/particle that can best fit into the blank in an article.|
|Choose the correct option to the question according to the given passages.|
|Choose the correct option to the question according to the given passages (mid-size).|
|Choose the correct option to the question according to the given passages (long-size).|
|✎ Information retrieval||You might be given graphs, tables, or any data in other forms, which you need to find the answer to the questions.|
After learning the grammar for N3, you might have found the new grammars much more complicated than in N4 and N5. There are several grammar with almost the same meaning. However, at the same time , the correct usage is quite different to each other.
As for the reading section, as you work through the exercise book, you should pay attention to whether you’re spending too much time reading. If so, you should improve your reading speed before the exam!
Section 3: Listening
|✎ Task-based comprehension||Exam 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 points||Exam 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 outline||Exam 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 expressions||Exam 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 response||Exam 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
|宛||ー||あて||宛先||あて-さき||the address to be delivered|
|桁||ー||けた||４桁||よん-けた||4 digit number|
|・immigrant, to immigrate|
・to move, transfer
・to surround / circle
|隠||イン||かく||隠す||かく-す||to hide, conceal|
|援||エン||ー||応援||おう-えん||to support/cheer for somebody|
|演||エン||ー||演奏||えん-そう||musical performace, to play a musical instrument|
|殴||オウ||なぐ||殴る||なぐ-る||to hit, punch, strike|
・to heat up
|悔||カイ||く・くや||悔しい||くや-しい||being regratable, frustrated|
・to be resolved
・to roll up, wind, wrap
・to get dry
|寄||キ||よ||寄る||よ-る||to get closer, get together|
・to forgive, allow
|叫||キョウ||さけ||叫ぶ||さけ-ぶ||to shout out, scream, yell|
|曲||キョク||ま||曲がる||ま-がる||to bend, turn|
|禁||キン||ー||禁止||きん-し||prohibition, to prohibit|
|・bargain-priced, extremely cheap|
・being intense, in an extreme degree
・to appear, indicate, show
|た||建てる||た-てる||to build (building/house…)|
|叩く||たた-く||to knock(door) / hit / tap|
|・to extend, broaden|
・being wide, broad, large
・to be effective
|・disorder, chaos, mix-up|
・to mix something and another
|・creation / a peice of work|
|賛||サン||ー||賛成||さん-せい||to agree with|
|・a business card|
・to stick / stab / be bitten(by mosquito)
|辞||ジ||や||辞める||や-める||to quite, give up (job, doing something)|
・to be wet
|奢||シャ||おご||奢る||おご-る||to give (someone) a treat|
|斜||シャ||なな||斜め||なな-め||being at a slant, oblique|
|・weight of something|
・to pile up, to repeat many times
|・go round, on patrol|
・visit temples from place to place
|順||ジュン||ー||順番||じゅん-ばん||do something in sequence|
|招||ショウ||まね||招き猫||まね-き-ねこ||the cat brings luck|
|・application, to apply|
|伸||シン||の||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…)|
|浅||セン||あさ||浅い||あさ-い||being shallow, light|
|・noise, undesired sound|
・to be noisy, to make a clamor
|暖||ダン||あたた||暖まる||あたた-まる||to get warm|
|破||ハ||やぶ||破る||やぶ-る||to breake, destroy|
|抜||バツ||ぬ||抜く||ぬ-く||to take away, exclude|
|坂||ハン||さか||上り坂||のぼ-り-さか||an uphill road|
|・a time table|
|腐||フ||くさ||腐る||くさ-る||something(food…) go bad|
|幅||フク||はば||幅広い||はば-ひろ-い||a wide range of|
|癖||ヘキ||くせ||悪い癖||わる-い-くせ||a bad habit|
|飽||ホウ||あ||飽きる||あ-きる||to get tired of|
|豊||ホウ||ゆた||豊か||ゆた-か||being abundant, prosperous (future…), fertile (imagination)|
・to visit somewhere
|・(to) wish, request|
・to hope, wish
|埋||マイ||う||埋まる||う-まる||to cover, fill in, bury|
|・being addicted to|
|・to look after, take care of, keep|
・to deposit, leave something in somebody’s care
|揺||ヨウ||ゆ||揺れる||ゆ-れる||to swing, shake|
・to be in disorder
|・the best, top-ranking (resterant, school…)|
・a stream, a processing flow
- JLPT Offical Site: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/index.html
- JLPT-Sample Questions: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/samples/forlearners.html
- JLPT-Composition of Test Sections and Items: https://www.jlpt.jp/e/guideline/testsections.html
- JEES website (For application): https://info.jees-jlpt.jp/
- American Association of Teachers of Japanese(全米日本語教育学会): https://www.aatj.org/jlpt-us
To prepare for an exam is not an easy thing, for sure. There are too many factor that can be count in. Not just learning new words and grammar, getting yourself rela while taking exam or making sure the time is enough can also be critical factors. Therefore, remember to prepare yourself to be in a good status as well!
Lastly, hope the Kanji list and information of N3 can help you well. Belowe are the PDF and Excel file to download the 100 kanji list for JLPT N3!