JLPT in France: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever heard the term “JLPT”? The word JLPT is certainly familiar to those who are students or workers who want to build a career in Japan or Japanese companies in various countries.

This is because the JLPT certificate is one of the important requirements for working and studying in Japanese universities. JLPT is a test to measure the Japanese language ability of a foreign speaker at a certain level.

The same is true in France. Japanese language enthusiasts and JLPT test takers are not few. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, in 2009 there were at least 510 Japanese companies doing business in France, with a total employment of nearly 98,000 people in 2019″.[1]

This data shows that the economic cooperation between Japan and France is very good. Not only that, there is also a lot of cooperation and exchange between the two countries in other fields.

Here, the Japanese language has become a necessity, and possession of the JLPT certificate will improve the qualifications of French people who want to build a career in Japanese companies. Taking the JLPT exam is a must in order to be considered proficient in Japanese. Therefore, through this article, we would like to help French speakers who want to know more about the JLPT exam.

In addition, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the regulations for the JLPT exam have also changed. Don’t worry and don’t be confused, we will help you find everything you need to understand about the JLPT exam in France! Alright, let’s start this discussion.

1. About JLPT

JLPT is the abbreviation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. In Japanese it is 日本語能力試験 (Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken). JLPT is a Japanese language proficiency test for a non-native Japanese speaker.[2]

This JLPT test was first administered in 1984.[3] It is now the world’s most famous and largest Japanese language proficiency certification test. The JLPT is widely recognized in various fields of education and industry as the benchmark for measuring the ability of prospective employees or students in Japan and Japanese institutions or companies operating abroad.

In addition, JLPT tests are given twice a year worldwide in July and December.[4] In addition, registration for the exams begins 3 months prior to the test date. JLPT tests are different from foreign language tests such as TOEFL and IELTS or others.

In particular, the JLPT is divided into several sections, such as listening, reading, and grammar, without speaking and writing as in TOEFL and IELTS. Unlike other foreign language tests, JLPT certificates do not have an expiration date. However, certain companies or educational institutions set the validity period as a condition that a person’s Japanese language skills do not decline.

In addition, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is divided into 5 levels: N5, N4, N3, N2 and N1.[5] The easiest or lowest level is N5 and the highest or most difficult level is N1.[5] This JLPT test has no age limit to take, with a very affordable test fee for everyone.

The Advantages of JLPT

JLPT certificates are used by many people, such as students, employees, and various professions that require Japanese certification. Let’s take a quick look at the discussion below:

  1. This JLPT certificate can be used as a requirement to apply for a scholarship to Japan.
  2. The university will usually require a JLPT test certificate at a minimum level of N2 for admission. On the other hand, if you want to enter a Japanese language school, some Japanese language schools may require JLPT certificates at a certain level.
  3. In the industrial sector, companies will require you to apply for a job with a standard JLPT certificate at the N2 level, preferably at the N1 level. Employers in Japanese companies, especially in Japan, will be more confident if we have a JLPT certificate such as level N-1.
  4. Some job vacancies in Japan such as elderly nurses also need JLPT certificates at least N2 level.
  5. At the Immigration Bureau, JLPT N1 and N2 certificate holders are given special treatment under the “Special Immigration Treatment with Point System for Advanced Human Resources” program. If you have JLPT N1, you can get special treatment such as getting 15 points out.

This certificate also comes with many privileges. Especially if you have an N1 or N2 certificate. Not only that, but the depth of your understanding of the Japanese language will also allow you to read important science and literature written in Japanese. This can certainly improve your individual skills.

The Levels of JLPT

One of the key points that differentiates the JLPT from other language exams is the level you can take. The JLPT has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1.

Each level has its own measured item criteria. N1 and N2 measure foreign speakers’ understanding of Japanese under various conditions or situations in daily life.

Then N4 and N5 measure the understanding of basic Japanese that is usually used in the classroom. N3 is the level that bridges the two previous levels.

In addition, the language skills tested by the JLPT include reading and listening skills. These two components also include knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and kanji needed in various activities of daily life. To learn more about the language skills tested in the JLPT, please visit the link below!

2. About JLPT in France

The JLPT exam in France is offered in 4 cities: Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Strasbourg. In 2023, only in Paris will the JLPT exam be held twice: in July and December. In the other cities, only once. For example, in Bordeaux and Lyon, the JLPT exam will only take place in December. While in the city of Strasbourg, the JLPT exam is only available in July.

Therefore, for those of you who wish to take the JLPT exam in France, you will need to decide in which city you wish to take the JLPT exam. Each city also has its own host institution.

You should refer to the information listed on each host institution’s website for the latest information regarding the JLPT. Each of these institutions is authorized to administer the JLPT on behalf of The Japan Foundation.

List of JLPT Host Institutions in France

To help you find out which institutions are organizing JLPT exams for the 4 cities in France, please see the list below. Each institution has a website that will continue to provide the latest updates on JLPT exams in France.

CityHost Institution
1. ParisService Commun de la Formation Continue de I’INALCO
2. LyonAssociation Lyon-Japon Nihonjinkai
3. BordeauxUniversité Bordeaux Montaigne
4. StrasbourgCellule de certifications en langues, Université de Strasbourg

Please visit the website of each local institution listed above for the latest information about the JLPT exam in that city. You can also use the contact information provided to request detailed information such as test guides and other information about the JLPT exam.

3. General Info about JLPT in France

If you have decided to take the JLPT exam, you should know the local institutions that cooperate with the Japan Foundation to organize the JLPT exam. In France, the JLPT exam is not held in all cities, but only in 4 cities.

Also, you can’t make a mistake in choosing the test site because the information can’t be changed once you register. Here is all the general information you need to know about the JLPT exam in France!

  1. You need to know how to register for the JLPT exam with the host institution in each city.
  2. You can ask the Test Guide to find out the steps for filling out forms, Test Guides, what you need to prepare for the exam, and so on. The test guide usually includes an application form.
  3. Confirm the registration time, which is usually very short, only a maximum of 2 weeks. Don’t forget that there is also a quota limit on the number of participants. The registration period may close earlier if the quota has been reached.
  4. Follow all procedures and instructions provided on the website and in the test guide.
  5. Pay the registration fee according to the specified method.

If all procedures have been followed correctly, you will receive a test voucher by email. However, if you do not receive a registration confirmation email or a test voucher after you have completed the payment, please contact your local institution to follow up. You can also request various information about the JLPT exam if you are experiencing problems with the registration process and other issues.

Test Guide and Fee

Test Guides are available around March-April for the July exams and around August-September for the December exams. You can also request last year’s Test Guide as a reference if the Test Guide for the upcoming JLPT exam is not yet available.

Be sure to read the Test Guide carefully before registering for the JLPT to avoid mistakes. JLPT exam fees for all levels in France are also available on the websites of each local institution. Please visit your local institution’s website for more information.

4. How to Register for the JLPT Test in France?

Registration for the JLPT exam can only be done online. You can’t do it by mail or in person at the local institution that administers the exam. Each city has its own policies and deadlines regarding the administration of the JLPT exam. The following is the general procedure for registering for the JLPT exam in France. You can visit the local institution’s website for more specific steps.

  1. Visit the website of the local institution that administers the JLPT exam in the city where you will be taking the exam.
  2. The local institution’s website will provide you with a link to register for the JLPT exam online.
  3. Carefully read the Test Guide and all the information provided on the Web site, then follow all the instructions.
  4. Fill in all the required information carefully. If you have any difficulties, you can contact the local institutions.
  5. Complete the registration by paying for the exam according to the instructions listed.

After you have completed all the steps, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that your registration is complete and your application has been received. You will receive a test voucher approximately 1 month before the JLPT exam. If you don’t receive a confirmation e-mail or a test voucher, contact your local institution immediately.

Don’t forget to write down or print out your email address, password, and any codes you receive when you register. You may need them later to access your JLPT exam results.

5. How to Prepare for the JLPT Exam and Boost the Score?

How are you preparing for the JLPT today? Are you still confused and not sure if your preparation is enough? Don’t worry! In this section, we will share 3 important points to strengthen your JLPT preparation and special tricks to increase your JLPT exam score later.

First, you must take the JLPT exam with a professional teacher. Professional teachers will help you study in an effective, focused and measurable way. The results you get from an intensive study system with professionals will be different than if you just studied on your own.

Second, look for resources to practice JLPT exam questions. Practicing is key to getting used to the pattern of JLPT exam questions and increasing your speed in answering questions. Prepare a stopwatch and measure how long it takes you to answer the questions. Do this as often as possible before taking the exam. If you are currently preparing for the JLPT N2 exam, please read our recommended JLPT N2 study book below!

Third, review and evaluate with a professional teacher or tutor. The more exam material you master, the more likely you are to answer the exam correctly. Therefore, focus on continuing to add material that you have not mastered. Don’t stop with material you already understand.

The combination of the three things above will strengthen your JLPT exam preparation and improve your JLPT exam scores. Any points we should add? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


This is the last part of our discussion about the JLPT exam in France. We really hope that this information is useful and can strengthen your preparation for your upcoming JLPT exam. Please feel free to share your opinions, suggestions, and criticisms regarding the JLPT exam in the comments section below.

We are happy to be a part of your JLPT exam journey. See you in the next article! Thank you for reading this far! We wish you the best of luck!


1Bilateral Relations“. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
2Objectives“. The Official JLPT Website. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
3Message from Organizers“. The Official JLPT Website. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
4Statistics“. The Official JLPT Website. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
5N1-N5: Summary of Linguistic Competence Required for Each Level“. The Official JLPT Website. Retrieved 25 April 2023.


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.