The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test or JLPT is a standardised criterion-referenced test to evaluate and certify Japanese language proficiency for non-native speakers, covering language knowledge, reading ability, and listening ability. The test is held twice a year in Japan and selected countries (on the first Sunday of July and December), and once a year in other regions (on the first Sunday of December).

JLPT certificates offer various advantages, ranging from recognition as academic credit and graduation certification at schools to preferential treatment at companies and acknowledgement of qualification in society.

Those who pass JLPT N1 receive 15 points under the government’s “Point-based Preferential Immigration Treatment System for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals.” Individuals with a total of 70 points or higher receive preferential treatment at immigration.

In order to ensure the continuing relevance and accuracy of the JLPT, the Japan Foundation and the Japan Education Exchange and Services are going to introduce a revised version of the test in 2010.

Four key points of the new JLPT are:

  • Increased focus on communicative competence
  • The scoring method is revised to ensure a more accurate measurement of Japanese-language proficiency
  • What you can do in Japanese is easily visualised
  • The number of levels is increased from 4 to 5; examinees can select a more suitable level