JLPT in the United Kingdom: Everything You Need to Know

JLPT in the United Kingdom: Everything You Need to Know

Are you currently confused about finding reliable information about how to take the JLPT in the UK? Getting complete, accurate, and really reliable information is difficult. But believe me, everything you need will be presented here.

Why do you need to know technical things about how to take the JLPT in the UK? Of course, so that your preparation is correct, and perfect, and makes everything go smoothly on the day of the exam.

For example, did you know that even in Japan the JLPT is given twice? This is different from the JLPT abroad. It could be only 1 time.

Also, the JLPT is not held in all cities in your country. The Japan Foundation usually cooperates with certain institutions. So you have to choose and don’t make a mistake.

Then, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic like this, of course, what items you should bring on the day of the JLPT exam is not the same as normal days. Anything you need to prepare, such as bringing vaccination certificates and others, should not be underestimated.

Otherwise, even if you have prepared well, you may not be allowed to enter the exam room. Your chance to get the JLPT certificate will be gone.

Therefore, we are here to cover all the technicalities and important information you need to take the JLPT exam in the United Kingdom. We try to provide as much information as possible.

Hopefully, this information will be useful and helpful to you as you prepare for the JLPT exam in the United Kingdom. Alright, let’s get started!

1. About JLPT

JLPT stands for Japanese Language Proficiency Test or 日本語能力試験 in Japanese. The JLPT test is a paper-based standardized test that is an officially recognized test for measuring the comprehension, proficiency, and reading and listening skills of foreigners (non-native Japanese speakers) in Japanese.

In addition, the test has 5 levels, they are N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. Level N1 is the most difficult level, while level N5 is the easiest level.

Then, level N3 is the intermediate level, which is the bridge between the easy and difficult levels of the JLPT. Each of the JLPT levels has its own detailed and specific scoring criteria.

The JLPT exam has been around since 1984. The organizer of JLPT in Japan is Japan Education Exchanges and Sevices. Meanwhile, the organization of JLPT abroad is arranged by Japan Foundation.

Initially, only about 7,000 people took the JLPT, but the number of applicants has been increasing year by year until now. And the JLPT has become the only recognized Japanese language certification in Japan. If you want to measure how deep and strong your understanding of Japanese is, then take this JLPT test.

The JLPT exam format was revised in 2010 to be more applicable and in line with the new standards of Japanese language learning. Although this test is designed for non-native speakers of Japanese, it is also available to native speakers of Japanese. You are free to choose the JLPT exam level you wish to take.

About Japan Foundation

For those of you who want to learn Japanese on your own, it’s good to know about the programs available at the Japan Foundation. In addition to organizing the JLPT in cooperation with local institutions abroad, the Japan Foundation has a very wide range of programs.

The Japan Foundation is a Japanese institution established specifically to organize international cultural exchange programs around the world. The Foundation has various interesting programs aimed at strengthening friendships and ties between Japan and the rest of the world.

In fact, this foundation has a very comprehensive Japanese language teaching program that is free and open to everyone. You can also participate in it starting from the elementary level.

The Japan Foundation’s programs focus on three main areas: arts and cultural exchange, Japanese language education abroad, and global partnership programs with countries around the world.

Specifically, with regard to arts and cultural exchange programs, the Japan Foundation is active in introducing various aspects of art, music, drama, film, fashion, and design to the world. Regarding Japanese language education abroad, the Japan Foundation is actively creating and improving the quality of Japanese language education around the world to expand the opportunity to learn Japanese for everyone around the world.

Finally, in the area of global studies and partnerships, the Japan Foundation actively organizes various symposia and projects to deepen the dialogue with experts and support them in the study of Japanese.

Why are People Taking the JLPT Test?

Many foreigners make this JLPT certificate a top priority after deciding to live in Japan. This is because the JLPT certificate offers many benefits, such as recognition of Japanese language skills in the academic field, fulfillment of graduation requirements for Japanese language schools, promotion in companies, and even ease in carrying out various administrative processes while living in Japan.

In addition, a JLPT certificate also helps you earn additional points (N1 earns 15 points and N2 earns 10 points) to qualify for the “Point-Based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals”.

With your high qualifications and the support of your JLPT certificate, if you receive a total of 70 points or more, you will receive preferential immigration treatment.

If you are a qualified and licensed medical practitioner overseas and want to take the Japanese national examination and then build a career in this cherry-blossom country, you will need a JLPT N1 certificate. So this is very important for you to know.

Also, many professionals and practitioners in other fields are pursuing JLPT N1 or at least N2 certificates for various purposes like this. This will certainly provide benefits and conveniences that even exceed the expectations of the owner because the representation of the depth of your understanding of the Japanese language is very clearly illustrated in how you communicate in Japanese.

2. Technical Rules and Policy of JLPT in the United Kingdom

The thing that needs to be considered after you really decide to take the JLPT test is that you need to know what regulations, guidelines, and technical matters related to the implementation of JLPT you need to prepare in advance. Also, how much it costs for example. If you have carefully prepared, then your struggle to win the JLPT certificate will bear sweet fruit.

If not, small mistakes such as forgetting to bring the right stationery, missing requirements related to COVID-19 mitigation, or arriving late because of the wrong exam venue. For example, will be very painful even though your JLPT material mastery preparation is good.

In addition, the organization of JLPT in Japan and abroad have different standards. The venue is also different. Changes may occur. Therefore, in addition to preparing for the JLPT, you must also prepare your understanding of these technical matters.

Then, please take your notes and remember carefully after reading the test guide, update your e-mail, and confirm some information that may not be clear to the JLPT test organizer. Some important points in this regard are summarized below.

The JLPT Rules and Policies in the UK

According to the latest update on the official JLPT website, JLPT events are held in different locations. Most of them are held only once. JLPT is held twice only in London. The Japan Foundation cooperates with SOAS – University of London to organize JLPT in July and December. However, in other cities, JLPT is held only once. Either only in July or only in December. Please check it carefully!

Then, please note that the JLPT registration process can only be done online. You can go to the SOAS – University of London website or check the list of local institutions on the official JLPT website.

Everything you need will be available there. If you have specific questions or concerns, you should discuss them immediately with the test organizer via email. Then, in the midst of this COVID-19 situation, please pay close attention to the local policies of the institution where you will be taking the JLPT test.

Please read more about the following JLPT Test Guide that we have attached. Since the next JLPT exam will be held in July, the information we provide here is based on the test guide published on the SOAS – University of London website.

JLPT Test Levels and Fees

The JLPT exam has 5 levels, they are N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. Level N1 is the most difficult level and level N5 is the easiest level. Level N3 becomes the middle level that bridges the differences and benefits of each of these levels. Each level also has very specific and different criteria.

While some companies typically require JLPT N2 or N1 certificates, there are also some companies that are willing to accept JLPT N3 certificates. To see what section, criteria, and times are tested at each level, please refer to the table below:

Test LevelDetails
1. N1(1) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) & Reading: 110 min
(2) Listening: 55 min
2. N2(1) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar) & Reading: 105 min
(2) Listening: 50 min
3. N3(1) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 30 min
(2) Language Knowledge (Grammar & Reading): 70 min
(3) Listening: 40 min
4. N4(1) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 25 min
(2) Language Knowledge (Grammar & Reading): 55 min
(3) Listening: 35 min
5. N5(1) Language Knowledge (Vocabulary): 20 min
(2) Language Knowledge (Grammar & Reading): 40 min
(3) Listening: 30 min

In addition, the JLPT exam fee is £100. You will be required to make a payment after completing the online application form with the payment method and details attached.

Once your payment has been received, you will not be able to get a refund unless the exam is officially canceled by the Japan Foundation, Japan Education Exchanges, and Services, or the local institution where you will be taking the JLPT in the UK. Please click the button below to read more about the UK JLPT exam policies:

3. The JLPT Test Sites in the UK

In the UK, the JLPT exam is organized by the Japan Foundation in cooperation with 4 local institutions in 4 cities in the UK. Please check and note the nearest and best city for you to take the JLPT exam.

Each of these institutions also has different organizational policies. However, all refer to the rules set by the Japan Foundation. Make sure you don’t choose the wrong test center as you will not be able to change your choice once you have registered.

The following is a summary of local institutions that cooperate with the Japan Foundation to organize the JLPT exam.

(1) Japan Research Centre, SOAS – the University of London

SOAS is a research home and center for leading experts on global issues. SOAS also works with institutions and communities around the world in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to promote education, arts, and culture between countries.

This includes organizing the JLPT in London. SOAS – University of London is the local institution trusted by the Japan Foundation to organize JLPT in London.

You can update the latest information regarding the JLPT in London by accessing the SOAS website. All things related to JLPT guidelines, JLPT exam results, fees, payment methods, and JLPT special contact information can access at SOAS.

(2) University of Edinburgh

The second JLPT test site for the Edinburgh area is the University of Edinburgh. You can find all the information you need about taking the JLPT in Edinburgh on their website.

Specifically for the Edinburgh JLPT, the JLPT is only given once. It is only held in December. This is different from London, which is held twice. Don’t choose the wrong location. This information is also subject to change. You will need to update the information regarding the Edinburgh JLPT.

(3) School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University

The third test center for the JLPT in Cardiff, UK is the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University. Cardiff University is an exam center recognized by various international cultural organizations.

Regarding the JLPT, Cardiff University has been entrusted by the Japan Foundation to hold the JLPT only once for the year 2023, on December 3.

This is different from London, where the JLPT will be held twice (in July and December) at SOAS. You can update information about the JLPT in Cardiff by accessing the information released by Cardiff University. Don’t miss it!

(4) University of Leicester

The final JLPT test site in the UK is in the city of Leicester. Unlike the other 2 cities in the UK, the JLPT at the University of Leicester is held in July instead of December.

If you are interested in taking the JLPT exam at the University of Leicester, then you can set a reminder because on March 20 at 9:00 am, registration for the July 2023 JLPT exam will open.

You can also update all the information you need to take the JLPT in Leicester by updating the information listed and released by the University of Leicester. Don’t miss it!

4. What is the Best Place to Prepare JLPT in the United Kingdom?

In the UK, you can find several schools or institutions that offer Japanese language courses as well as various interesting programs to prepare for the JLPT exam in the UK. Especially in London. Since the JLPT is held twice in London, there are several institutions that offer specialized courses to prepare for the JLPT.

Therefore, we recommend that you contact these institutions if you are interested in joining their programs to prepare for the JLPT. In addition to the JLPT, you can also take basic, intermediate, and advanced Japanese language courses.

In this article, we will introduce you to 1 place that prepares the JLPT preparation class. There, you can choose to study Japanese and prepare for the JLPT in the UK.

ITO Japanese School in London is one of the schools officially accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC). You can choose to study Japanese from elementary to advanced levels.

And specifically for JLPT preparation, all JLPT preparation levels are complete. All students can join JLPT Power-Up classes, which cover all JLPT preparation materials from N5 to N1.

If you would like to find out more about ITO Japanese School in London and other institutions offering Japanese language learning programs from the basic level up, please visit the following links:

In addition, please contact each of these institutions to find out more about the application procedures and important issues related to JLPT preparation programs. We hope you will find the best place for you.

5. How to Find the Best JLPT Tutors in the United Kingdom?

As one of the other options for preparing for the JLPT in the UK, we also recommend finding a Japanese tutor.

This option is especially useful for those who want a more intensive learning system with a flexible schedule. You can even get Japanese lessons and JLPT preparation from native Japanese speakers.

Don’t worry, these tutors are professional too. You can see reviews from their students who have taken the Japanese language programs they offer.

Therefore, how do you find a specialized JLPT preparation tutor in the UK? You can find them on Preply, Amazing Talker, and University Tutors. Hopefully, this selection will help you find other options for JLPT preparation in the UK.


Finally, here is our discussion of the JLPT in the UK. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get that precious JLPT certificate! And after that, there will be countless benefits that you will get by bagging the JLPT certificate. Especially for those of you who want to build a career in Japan.

We are very happy and hope that all the information we have shared here will be useful for you! We wish you a perfect score on the JLPT exam! If you want to get the latest information about JLPT, don’t forget to update the information we publish here. See you in the next article!


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.