2nd Time’s the Charm! Passing JLPT N1

Hi everyone!

Today I wanted to share some good news with you all that relates to my Japan and Japanese studies journey. I passed the JLPT N1! The JLPT is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and I previously passed the N2 level in July 2017 while I was studying abroad.


After returning home I took the N1 in December 2017 but failed by 2 points. After returning from Japan I did have a bit of cultural fatigue and was just enjoying speaking English, I no longer had any more Japanese language classes because I had finished the courses, and I was also writing my graduation thesis so I really had no time to study Japanese for fun. With that in mind, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t pass but I was disappointed especially because it was only by 2 points.

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In December 2018, I took the N1 again. This was after moving to Japan and beginning a new job in August and so I didn’t spend the amount of time that I wanted to preparing and I definitely didn’t feel great going into the test or after, but I guess it was still enough to pass. If I have to be honest, I did study quite a bit for the test but I knew that I didn’t study enough.

When we got the results last week and I saw that I had passed it was in the morning right before I left for work and I cried a little bit. I had been working on not only studying for the N1 but just learning Japanese for such a long time and it felt like validation that I was still on the right track despite feeling down on myself that I moved to Japan but was actually losing my Japanese skills because of lack of chances to really use them.

Now that I have finally got the N1 certification, I can relax a little bit and study more at my own pace so that they next time I take it hopefully I can improve my scores which I will share in the post as well.

JLPT N1 Scores.jpg

The passing threshold for the N1 is a total of 100/180, with a minimum of 19 in each of the sub-categories. As expected, my strongest area was listening as that is what I do every single day here but seeing how I was able to get 60/60 for both reading and listening when I took the N2, I know that I can do better if I have more time and energy to dedicate to studying again. But for now, I am looking forward to finally being able to focus more on what has always eluded me–speaking skills.

I look forward to seeing where my Japanese will progress to next!

Thank you,

❤ Kira


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