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Goin’ Japanesque!

Power-Up Your Japanese: Novice Level

11 Lessons
– Power-Up Your Japanese 1: Novice Level Hobbies
– Power-Up Your Japanese 2: Novice Level Family
– Power-Up Your Japanese 3: Novice Level Home
– Power-Up Your Japanese 4: Novice Level Hometown
– Power-Up Your Japanese 5: Novice Level Weekends
– Power-Up Your Japanese 6: Novice Level Plans
– Power-Up Your Japanese 7: Novice Level Appointments
– Power-Up Your Japanese 8: Novice Level Places
– Power-Up Your Japanese 9: Novice Level Ordering
– Power-Up Your Japanese 10: Novice Level Trains & Buses
– Power-Up Your Japanese 11: Novice Level Directions



This course is a self-study course with a forum-based Q&A session, where students can interact with teachers and other students at any time. It’s focused on helping students achieve the level required to obtain the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N5 certification. The JLPT is an exam for recognizing non-Japanese speakers’ achievements in mastering the Japanese language. The test focuses on learners’ reading and listening abilities. It is entirely multiple-choice and timed. The test is held twice a year in Japan and certain other countries and once a year in others (the US exam is held every December).


What does it matter?

Aside from feeling good about yourself and allowing you to track your own progress in mastering the language, the JLPT is a good indicator to schools and employers regarding your Japanese abilities. In Japan, many universities and employers will not consider applicants if they do not possess N1 or N2-level certification (or the equivalent).


What are the levels?

The JLPT tests are separated by levels. The N5 covers the most basic topics and is best for those who are just beginning to learn, whereas passing the N1 means you should be at a native-level fluency.


How do I pass?

The JLPT requires passing two separate ability indicators in order to pass the test. The first is passing each section (language knowledge/reading and listening) individually. For N5 or N4, you need 38/120 points for the first section and 19/60 for the listening section. The next step is for the combined score from all of the individual sections to pass the overall passmark, which is set much higher. Even if you pass the individual sections, you still might not pass the JLPT. As such, it’s important to perform the best that you can. For reference, to pass the N5 you need an overall score of 80/180 points.


What do I study?

In order to test your actual abilities rather than your memorization skills, the JLPT no longer submits a list of everything you can expect to see on the exam. However, by mastering the topics discussed in the following lessons, you will become better-prepared for the JLPT.

For the N5, the JLPT has the following expectations:

Basic Level: The ability to understand some basic Japanese.


“One is able to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji.”


“One is able to listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and is able to pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.”