How are things going with your studies for N4? Compared to N5, what’s the most difficult part of N4?
When preparing for the N4 exam, you shouldn’t only spend time on kanji, vocabulary, and grammar from N4, but also make sure that what you learned in N5 is still up to date. Because sometimes the most basic things get forgotten while you’re chasing a further goal!
In my previous article, there’s a brief introduction to all levels of the JLPT (日本語能力試験) and the 2022 test information. If you need general information about the JLPT, you can find the article here:
In addition to the JLPT information, a list of 100 kanji needed for N5 is also included. Make sure you recognize all the kanji before you get into N4!
Apply for JLPT N4
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
|N4||Test Date||Registration||Test Results|
|Second test||Dec. 4||From August 17 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 N4 Test
After the introductory information about the JLPT, let’s take a look at what kind of questions will appear on the JLPT N4 exam and what the suggestion are for each section!
◉ Linguistic competence required: The ability to understand basic Japanese.
◉ Overall pass marks / full marks: 90 / 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
|N4 Test sections||Language Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar)・Reading||Listening|
|Test time||① Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 25 min|
② Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading: 55 min
|③ 35 min|
|Sectional pass mark / full mark||38 / 120 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 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.|
Just as in N5, you should be familiar with all the hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji. In the vocabulary test section, you’ll be asked some questions that simply require you to select the correct hiragana for katakana or kanji words or in a reversed pattern. This would be comparatively easy in other sections, where you might regret losing points here!
In my other article you can find the Hiragana, Katakana and Romaji table and download it for practicing.
Section 2: Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading
|✎ Sentential grammar 1|
(Selecting grammar form)
|Select the correct form (tense) of the word that can 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 given 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).|
|✎ 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 N4, you should make your own sentences using the grammar. This way you can check if the usage is correct or not. It’s also helpful to remember the grammar of your own sentence.
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||The pictures are included in your exam paper. First the question is played, then a statement follows and the question is played again.|
|✎ Comprehension of key points||The options are printed on your exam sheet. First, the question is played. Before the statement/talk is played, there’s a short pause to read the option. Finally, the question is played again.|
|✎ Verbal expressions||The pictures are given in your exam paper, and one person is indicated with an arrow. You’ve to choose the best option that the person could say according to the picture. The options are played only once.|
|✎ Quick response||There is no question or options printed on the test paper. You will 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 N4
|匂||ー||にお||匂い||におい||scent, odor, smell|
|飲||イン||の||飲食||いんしょく||eat and drink|
|汚||オ||よご/きたな||汚れる||よごれる||to be stained, get dirty|
|慣||カン||な||慣れる||なれる||to be used to|
|間||カン/ケン||あいだ/ま||間に合う||まにあう||to be in time, meet a deadline|
|祈||キ||いの||祈る||いのる||to pray, wish, hope|
|喜||キ||よろこ||喜ぶ||よろこぶ||to be happy|
|急||キュウ||いそ||急ぐ||いそぐ||to rush, hurry|
|迎||ゲイ||むか||迎える||むかえる||to welcome, greet|
|拾||シュウ/ジュウ||ひろ||拾う||ひろう||to pick up|
|準||ジュン||ー||準備||じゅんび||to prepare, preparation|
|焼||ショク||や||焼く||やく||to bake, roast, grill, burn, fire|
|進||シン||すす||進む||すすむ||to go on, proceed, move on|
|説||セツ/ゼイ||と||説明||せつめい||to explain, explanation|
|側||ソク||がわ||内側||うちがわ||inner part, inside|
|続||ゾク||つづ||続く||つづく||to continue, go on, last|
|調||チョウ||しら/ととの||調べる||しらべる||to research, search, check|
|釣||チョウ||つ||釣る||つる||to fish, hook, hang|
|珍||チン||めずら||珍しい||めずらしい||uncommon, rare, unusual|
|途||ト||ー||途中||とちゅう||on the way of|
|怒||ド||いか/おこ||怒る||おこる||get mad, angry|
|逃||トウ||に/のが||逃げる||にげる||to get away, escape, run away|
|特||トク||ー||特別||とくべつ||specially, especially, particularly|
|泊||ハク||と||泊まる||とまる||to stay at|
|返||ヘン||かえ||返事||へんじ||response, answer, reply|
|包||ホウ||つつ||包む||つつむ||to wrap up|
|忘||ボウ||わす||忘れ物||わすれもの||things being forgoten|
|約||ヤク||ー||予約||よやく||to make an appointment|
|優||ユウ||やさ||優しい||やさしい||kind, soft, gentle,|
|用||ヨウ||もち||用事||ようじ||things to do, matter|
|頼||ライ||たの/たよ||頼む||たのむ||rely, trust, order, request|
|料||リョウ||ー||料理||りょうり||to cook, dish, cuisine|
|戻||レイ||もど||戻る||もどる||to return, go back|
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
As for my own experience, my first JLPT test was N4. At that time, I studied Japanese for half a year and applied for N4 without hesitation. In the end, I failed the N4 exam. Looking back at my abilities at that time, besides the fact that I’d not studied enough, there was one main factor that led to my failure.
I wasn’t aware of the importance of knowing what kind of questions would be asked in the exam. Therefore, I spent some time trying to understand what was required in each part of the exam and couldn’t fully concentrate on the questions asked.
I hope you found what you need for the JLPT N4. Finally, here’s the PDF and Excel file to download the 100 kanji list for JLPT N4!