N1 is the hardest level, considered near-fluent. N5 is the easiest level, covering the basic level of Japanese. To pass the JLPT N5 test, you have to be able to read Japanese at a basic level and understand simple conversations from daily life and school. You should know around vocabulary words.
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Darren November 28, , pm Hi Clayton, Thanks for this insightful post and the latest one which reminded me to go change my watch battery! I have a question for you and would appreciate it if you could address it. This question is with regards to the use of Furigana during the JLPT exam I will be writing the N4 exam on Sunday , specifically for vocabulary words which are made up of several kanji characters.
I am therefore assuming that during the N4 exam, there will be full furigana on this vocabulary word since I am not expected to know that N3 kanji character. Hope that my question is clear. There will be furigana for N4 kanji in the reading section and the listening sections. The test assumes you know how to read N5 kanji, so there is no furigana anywhere on the test for N5 kanji or the kanji covered in previous levels of the test.
Kanji that is above the given level is not on the test at all. What this usually means is that if a compound a word made up of multiple kanji appears on the test and some of the kanji are at the level, but some are of a higher level, then the whole word is written in kana usually.
Now, how should you study? Well, if you are in it for the long haul, and plan to be pretty good at Japanese or work in Japan or want to use Japanese in real life. I recommend studying with full kanji from the start.
Some people take issue with this and complain that it takes too long, which it does. It can really slow you down when you just want to get started with the language, but it is very helpful in the long term. The thing you have to keep in mind though is that the test will have a lot of words written in kana, so it might help to do some reading practice with materials specifically designed for the JLPT so that you get a feel for it. I did not know that N4 Kanji would have furigana that takes out some of the stress!
I am indeed in it for the long haul my goal is to eventually pass N2 and I will be moving to Japan in for two years. This said, I am compressed for time only had two months to study for both N5 and N4 material and as such I would like to be as efficient as possible.
Cramming for the next few days until Sunday!
【JLPT N4】KANJI List
Kanjis | 漢字
* JLPT N4 Kanji
【Summary 】JLPT vocabulary list