JLPT in Canada: Everything You Need to Know

JLPT in Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Are you currently researching how to take the JLPT in Canada? Do you find it difficult to find relevant information on how to take the JLPT in Canada? It is certainly not easy and can take a lot of time to do independent research on how to take the JLPT in Canada.

That is why we are happy to be here for you. We have compiled a variety of relevant and very useful information for you when taking the JLPT in Canada. Such as the technicalities to be considered, how to register, where the JLPT test site in Canada is located, when the application process opens, and several other important things. With this, your JLPT preparation material will not be in vain and will be perfect.

With this, you can also take the JLPT exam easily and smoothly without any significant obstacles. For example, in Canada itself, the JLPT is held in 4 major cities, namely Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, and Ottawa. Especially for 2023, for example, the JLPT will be held twice in Vancouver and Edmonton, but only once in Toronto and Ottawa. You need to be aware of this so that you do not make any mistakes in your JLPT preparation strategy and in determining the location of your JLPT exam.

In addition to the above, there are many more technical things that you need to pay attention to when preparing for the JLPT in Canada. We really hope that the information we have prepared is useful for you. Now, let’s start the discussion!

1. About JLPT

The JLPT was first tested in 1984 by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) to measure and certify Japanese language learners. In its first year, 7,000 people had already taken the test.

Moreover, one of the peaks was in 2018 when participants from around the world reached more than 1 million. As of December 2020, more than 12 million people in Japan and overseas have taken the JLPT. This makes it the largest Japanese language exam in the world.

Further, the institutionalization of the JLPT certificate expands its usefulness: in addition to measuring Japanese proficiency for academic purposes, JLPT certificates are now used by employers to assess the qualifications of job applicants. And also, to evaluate employees for promotion and recognition.

More specifically, JLPT candidates use the test to demonstrate their language skills when applying to educational institutions, study abroad programs, internships, and more.

Over the past 25 years, the Japan Foundation and JEES have revised the content of the JLPT. In 2010 a draft of the new Japanese language proficiency test was created.

The content changes in the new JLPT test are that it is divided into five levels of ability. Level 1 is the most difficult, while level 5 is the easiest. The name JLPT levels we know until now is level N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5, where N stands for Nihongo). Each test consists of three parts: writing – vocabulary, listening, and reading – grammar.

The JLPT Test is usually given once or twice a year throughout the country on the first Sunday in July or December. In Canada, as stated previously, the 2023 Japanese Language Proficiency Test will be held in the cities of Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

The JLPT Test Revision Contents in 2010

The purpose of the JLPT revision conducted in 2010 was to ensure the continued relevance and accuracy of the JLPT. The Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) introduced a revised version of the test in 2010. This new test concept is based on the science of pedagogy and based on changes in concepts that were applied 25 years ago.

In addition, the revision of JLPT is also to measure communicative competence. The emphasis is on practical Japanese communicative competence and Japanese language skills, including writing, vocabulary, and grammar, and the ability to carry out communicative tasks using knowledge of Japanese.

Moreover, the revision is also to increase the number of levels from 4 to 5. The revision added the easiest level N5 that we all know until this day. Candidates can choose the level that best suits their abilities. Each test consists of three parts: Writing – Vocabulary, Listening, and Reading – Grammar.

Advantages of Taking the JLPT

Undeniably, the JLPT is like a passport for most people who come into contact with Japan, whether they are students or workers, and many companies require this JLPT certificate. If you have this certificate, it means that you have a distinct advantage over your competitors.

On the other hand, it is a fact that in Japan the JLPT is considered for preferential immigration treatment as well as eligibility for various national examinations. Outside Japan, it is widely used as a school certificate, as some schools have made Japanese a compulsory subject alongside English.

In the professional and industrial world, it is also used for job screening and promotion, as well as for various national and international qualifications. In addition, many Japanese companies, both in Japan and those that have expanded overseas, require JLPT certification for prospective employees.

2. Technical Rules about JLPT in Canada

Preparing for the JLPT exam without knowing the details of how the test is organized is a disadvantage. You need to know what the rules are, what you can’t break, what requirements you need to prepare, what equipment you can and can’t bring with you while taking the JLPT exam, and many other things. You have to prepare everything well.

Especially if you are taking the JLPT exam abroad. You have to know where to find the local institutions that are trusted by the Japan Foundation. In Canada, for example. If you decide to take the JLPT exam in Vancouver, where can you take the exam, when will the JLPT registration open, who can you contact if you have a problem, and so on?

You need to do your research before you decide to take the JLPT exam. Of course, in addition to preparing the JLPT exam material at the level you want. For that, let’s try to discuss them one by one in this section.

Test Guide of JLPT in Canada

JLPT is held simultaneously in Japan and around the world on the first Sunday in July or December. JLPT is usually held twice. In Canada, JLPT is held twice only in Vancouver and Edmonton. While the other 2 cities, Toronto and Ottawa are held only once in December.

JLPT exam registration is accepted only online, there is no other way. Since the administration of each JLPT must take into account the conditions of COVID-19, there are specific rules that you must pay attention to, and those vary in each test site in Canada.

For example, you must wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Always keep your hands clean by using the hand sanitizer provided. Please check and confirm these rules on each JLPT host website.

Then, you must also pay attention to the items that are allowed and not allowed to be brought, such as official photo ID, exam vouchers that have been sent, stationery such as pencils and erasers, and so on. Don’t forget this and miss it when the JLPT exam starts in a few minutes.

For more detailed guidelines on organizing JLPT in Canada, please read the JLPT Guidelines below!

Test Fee

The JLPT exam fee is $70 CAD for all levels, N1 to N5. Remember, once you have made the payment, the exam fee is non-refundable for any reason.

If you arrive late on the day of the exam due to illness, inability to travel, border closures, or any other reason other than an official cancellation of the exam by the Japan Foundation or the official testing agencies trusted by the Japan Foundation in Canada, the exam fee received by the Board will not be refunded.

The JLPT exam application you have completed will also provide you with detailed instructions on how to make the payment. Be sure to make your payment carefully and enter your identity correctly. Don’t forget to check your test site correctly.

Additionally, you will not be able to change it once the application process is complete and your information has been automatically recorded. For more detailed guidelines on organizing JLPT in Canada, please read the JLPT Guidelines below!

Special Notes

Host institutions of JLPT in Canada are very responsible and friendly to all reasonable suggestions and requests. If you have special needs for the JLPT test, please contact the institution by completing a special JLPT application form with a special request.

Then, please also check the details of this special accommodation with your host institution. You will be notified one month before the test if your request has been approved.

Then, please make sure that your request relates to the smooth running of the JLPT test. Moreover, it is possible that not all your requests can be met by the host institution due to the circumstances and capabilities of the host institution. For more detailed guidelines on organizing JLPT in Canada, please read the JLPT Guidelines below!

3. JLPT Test Sites in Canada

In 2023, the JLPT in Canada will be held in 4 cities, namely Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, and Ottawa. Each city has a local institution entrusted by The Japan Foundation to organize this test.

All information related to the administration of the JLPT is available on the website of each local institution. All you have to do is check it daily! Below is a brief summary of the JLPT test sites in Canada. Please visit their websites by clicking on the links we have provided.

(1) Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (Vancouver)

The Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Language Hall (VJLS-JH) is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to the advancement of Japanese language education, culture, and community. The organization was established in 1906.

As the oldest Japanese language school in Canada, VJLS-JH has been teaching and promoting Japanese language and culture education. In fact, since 2019, the school has been designated as one of Canada’s national historic sites.

The institution also offers a variety of educational programs and actively promotes the history of Vancouver’s Nikkei community. Various cultural exchange events, both national and international, are organized by this institution for all Canadians. The institution is very active in strengthening and enriching the intercultural understanding of Japan and Canada to both local and international communities.

Including the JLPT, the Japan Foundation has entrusted VJLS-JH with the administration of the JLPT exam in the city of Vancouver, Canada. VJLS-JH even has a special program for JLPT exam preparation. Please visit the school’s official website for more information about the JLPT.

(2) York University (Toronto)

The second JLPT test site in Canada is York University in Toronto. York University has been entrusted by The Japan Foundation to administer the JLPT in the city of Toronto since 1997.

In addition to hosting major events, the JLPT is also a collaborative event for Japanese language professionals from other universities in the Ontario area.

York University provides comprehensive information about the JLPT in Toronto. You can access all information related to the JLPT in Toronto by visiting the official website of York University.

Regarding Covid-19 mitigation, the University of Toronto has special regulations such as mandatory use of masks, social distancing, and also the use of hand sanitizers. In addition, special assistance is available for those who need it. Visit the link below to learn more about the organization of JLPT at York University, Toronto.

(3) The University of Alberta, Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research (Edmonton)

The third test site for the JLPT in Edmonton, Canada is the University of Alberta. This university has a close relationship with Japan and is affiliated with 39 Japanese universities.

Further, the University of Alberta was officially established in 1996 as the Japanese Language and Culture Teaching Center (Japan Center). In addition to being a Japanese language learning center, the University of Alberta actively organizes a number of workshops for Japanese language teachers.

In fact, there is also a Japanese speech competition event that has been supported by the Japan Foundation, organizations, and also various large companies in Japan.

You can get updated information about the JLPT in Edmonton by visiting the University of Alberta website below. The information there is very comprehensive! Don’t forget that the University of Alberta holds JLPT twice, in July and December.

(4) Carleton University (Ottawa)

The fourth and final test site for the JLPT in Ottawa, Canada is Carleton University. This university has also released very complete JLPT-related information through the website of the School of Linguistics and Language Studies. Carleton University has also been entrusted by the Japan Foundation to organize the JLPT in Ottawa.

Please note that the JLPT is only offered once at Carleton University in December. All the information you need regarding the test guide, how to apply for the JLPT exam, special assistance, and others are fully listed by Carleton University. Please visit their official website below!

4. How to Apply the JLPT in Canada?

Please note the following points regarding how to apply for the JLPT in Canada. All the detailed information you need can be found on the website of each of the above-mentioned host institutions that have been approved by The Japan Foundation. However, to make it easier for you, we will summarize it below

Application Methods

The followings are the step on how to do the application.
1. Registration for the July JLPT exam will be open from April 3, 2023, until April 14, 2023. Don’t miss it!
2. Be sure to read the July 2023 JLPT Test Guide, which will only be offered in Vancouver and Edmonton.
3. If you would like to apply for special test accommodations, you must apply by April 5, 2023.
4. Applications can only be submitted ONLINE.
5. Once the application has been submitted, the exam fee of CAD $70 can be paid online by credit card.
6. Please confirm your email after completing the application process.
7. Learn more about the JLPT test by accessing the guide below!

Things to Remember During the Test

1. Always remember to bring photo identification with you to the test center.
2. Always bring your test voucher with you to the test center.
3. The back of the paper must be blank (e.g., used paper cannot be printed on).
4. Make sure that there is no writing, scribbling, or soiling anywhere on the test voucher.
5. Make sure that mobile phones and alarm clocks are switched off before the test starts.
6. A very stern warning that if your mobile phone or alarm clock goes off or vibrates during the test, you will be immediately DISQUALIFIED.
7. Any further cheating or dishonesty during the test will be fatal and will definitely result in disqualification.

5. Best Places to Prepare for the JLPT Test in Canada

Once you have decided to take the JLPT in Canada, finding the best place to study and prepare for the JLPT in Canada is very important.

Therefore, we would like to recommend some places where you can choose to study Japanese in Canada. Some schools are located in different cities. Among them, are Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and some other cities.

Please visit the link below to find the best place to study Japanese in Vancouver. And visit our website to find other recommended places. We hope you will find the best place to suit your needs!


In conclusion, this has been our discussion on the JLPT in Canada. We hope that the information we have shared here can have a significant impact on improving your understanding of the JLPT exam in Canada.

And we are very happy and proud to be a part of your journey to prepare for the JLPT exam in Canada. We also hope that what we have presented here will be useful to you in achieving a perfect score in your JLPT exam! We wish you the best of luck.

Don’t forget to check back here for the latest information on learning Japanese, the JLPT, and more. Thank you very much!


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.