Get Ready for JLPT N4: 100 Kanji List

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 LevelsTest DateRegistrationTest VoucherTest Results
First testSunday, Jul. 3Mar. 25 ~ Apr. 15 at 5 PM JSTJun. 17, 2022the end of August 2022
Second testSunday, Dec. 4Aug. 25 ~ Sep.15 at 5 PM JSTNov. 18, 2022the end of January 2023

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

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:

N4Test DateRegistrationTest Results
First test
Second testDec. 4From 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.

💡 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 marks90 / 180 points

◉ All questions are multiple-choice questions. No essay question.

In all the levels, the main test sections include:

  1. Language Knowledge(Vocabulary / Grammar): 言語知識(文字・語彙 / 文法)
  2. Reading: 読解
  3. Listening: 聴解
N4 Test sectionsLanguage Knowledge (Vocabulary / Grammar)・ReadingListening
Test time① Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 25 min
② Language Knowledge (Grammar)・Reading: 55 min
③ 35 min
Sectional pass mark / full mark38 / 120 points19 / 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 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.

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
(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 given space.
✎ Text grammarSelect the correct word/particle that can best fit into the blank in an article.
Language Knowledge (Grammar)

✎ 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).
✎ Information retrievalYou 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 comprehensionThe 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 pointsThe 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 expressionsThe 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 responseThere 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

つめ/つま爪切りつめきりnail clipper
にお匂いにおいscent, odor, smell
イン飲食いんしょくeat and drink
エン/オンとお遠慮えんりょbeing reserved
よご/きたな汚れるよごれるto be stained, get dirty
カツわ/わり/さ割れるわれるto break
カン慣れるなれるto be used to
カン/ケンあいだ/ま間に合うまにあうto be in time, meet a deadline
いの祈るいのるto pray, wish, hope
よろこ喜ぶよろこぶto be happy
会議室かいぎしつmeeting room
キュウいそ急ぐいそぐto rush, hurry
ゲイむか迎えるむかえるto welcome, greet
コウ向かうむかうto face
うかが伺ううかがうinquire, ask
止めるとめるto stop
ジ/チおさ/なお治るなおるto recover
シツうしな1. 失礼
2. 失敗
1. しつれい
2. しっぱい
1. discourtesy
2. failure
シャうつ1. 写真
2. 写す
1. しゃしん
2. うつす
1. photo
2. copy
シュウ/ジュウひろ拾うひろうto pick up
シュク/シュウいわ祝ういわうto celebrate
ジュン準備じゅんびto prepare, preparation
ショところ1. 住所
2. 台所
1. じゅうしょ
2. だいどころ
1. address
2. kitchen
ショウわら/え笑うわらうto laugh
ジョウ乗り換えるのりかえるto transfer
ショクかざ飾るかざるto decorate
ショクふ/さわ触るさわるto touch
ショク焼くやくto bake, roast, grill, burn, fire
シンすす進むすすむto go on, proceed, move on
セイもら/か/ゆる貰うもらうto receive
セツ/ゼイ説明せつめいto explain, explanation
ソウおく送るおくるto send
ゾウま/ふ増えるふえるto increase
ソウ/ショウあい相談そうだんto counsel,counsellation
ゾウ/ソウおく贈り物おくりものgift, present
ソクがわ内側うちがわinner part, inside
ゾクつづ続くつづくto continue, go on, last
ソツ卒業式そつぎょうしきgraduation ceremony
おく/おそ遅れるおくれるbeing late
調チョウしら/ととの調べるしらべるto research, search, check
チョウ釣るつるto fish, hook, hang
チンめずら珍しいめずらしいuncommon, rare, unusual
テン添付てんぷto attach
デンつた伝うつたto convey
途中とちゅうon the way of
いか/おこ怒るおこるget mad, angry
トウに/のが逃げるにげるto get away, escape, run away
ドウうご動くうごくto move
ドウ/トウみち横断歩道おうだんほどうpedestrian crossing
トク特別とくべつspecially, especially, particularly
ハク泊まるとまるto stay at
ハン/ホン反対はんたいopposite(direction), opponent
ま/お負けるまけるto lose
フツ沸かすわかすto boil
フツはら払うはらうto pay
ヘンかえ返事へんじresponse, answer, reply
ホウつつ包むつつむto wrap up
ボウわす忘れ物わすれものthings being forgoten
ミンねむ眠いねむいfeel sleepy
メイ鳴るなるto sound
ヤク予約よやくto make an appointment
輸出ゆしゅつto export
ユウ郵便局ゆうびんきょくpost office
ユウやさ優しいやさしいkind, soft, gentle,
ヨウもち用事ようじthings to do, matter
ライたの/たよ頼むたのむrely, trust, order, request
ラク落とすおとすdrop, lower
リョウ料理りょうりto cook, dish, cuisine
レイもど戻るもどるto return, go back

Quick Link

JLPT Offical Site:

JLPT-Sample Questions:

JLPT-Composition of Test Sections and Items:

JEES website (For application):

American Association of Teachers of Japanese(全米日本語教育学会):


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!


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.