Which is better - JLPT OR NAT Exam?

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Which is better - JLPT OR NAT Exam?

To skyrocket your career in this field…

You have to take either the JLPT or NAT exam to check how much you have learnt the language.

You could take Japanese language classes from anywhere..

Still, a Japanese language institute or online japanese language classes can’t provide you JLPT or NAT  certification.. 

Which you’ll have to show to any company, if you want to land a high paying job.

The benefits of having either of these two certificates are many

Some of them are:

  • You can get a job easily in Japan or any other country if you’ve cleared JLPT N1 level. Some of the jobs are - Dentist, Nurse, Pharmacist, Clinical engineer, Speech therapist etc…
  • You’ll need JLPT for studying in the universities of Japan.
  • Higher salary
  • Getting a part time job is much easier with this certification.
  • Able to communicate with locals of Japan etc..


Which test is better - JLPT or NAT?

Let's see...

1. What Is JLPT?

The full form of JLPT is - “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. 

It was first held in 1984 because of the growing demand for having Japanese language certification. 

The JLPT is conducted by the Japan foundation for testing overseas.

It is the most widely-used test for evaluating a student’s level of proficiency in the Japanese language. 

It is offered in five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5, with N1 being the most difficult and N5 being the least. 

Each level tests your knowledge of the language, including grammar, vocabulary, reading, and listening.

Tests are held twice a year in Japan and other countries (on the first Sunday of July and December) 

And once a year elsewhere (either on the first Sunday of December or July).

It’s conducted in countries like - 

  • India 
  • China
  • Japan
  • South korea
  • Vietnam
  • Brazil
  • Indonesia
  • Bangladesh
  • Myanmar etc..

JLPT has point system, for eg. - a person who passes JLPT N1 receives 15 points, 

And those who pass N2 receive 10 points.

The points system is designed to encourage highly-skilled foreign professionals to come to Japan 

And contribute to the country's economy. 

The points awarded for the JLPT are intended to reward those...

Who have a good command of the Japanese language 

And can work effectively in Japanese.

The test has reading and listening sessions- 

Since it’s a paper based standardised test..

In its reading section, you’ll get questions to test your vocabulary and grammar patterns of your level.

The listening session seems difficult to most people

As You’ll first hear an audio and then have to write correct answers to questions.

However if you’ve studied enough

Then you can crack the JLPT exam easily!


Overall Passing Marks Of Each Level ?

In order to pass the test

You have to get an overall pass mark for the total points..

And then pass each section individually. 

The sectional scores make sure the skills are balanced -

So you can't pass by doing well in the reading section and poorly in the listening section. 

For the N1, the overall pass mark is 100/180 (55.55%) and for the N5, it's 80/180 (44.44%).

Here’s the overall points you need to pass each level:


  • N5 - 80 points
  • N4 - 90 points
  • N3 - 95 points
  • N2 - 90 points
  • N1 - 100 points


JLPT Registration Fee ?

The fee of the JLPT exam may vary as per location and country in which you are giving the test. 

However, let us give you some idea - 

In India, The registration fee for each individual is between 1,000 - 1,600 (FOR EACH LEVEL).

In Japan, it could be around 5,000 YEN ( FOR N1, N2, N3, N4 & N5).. 

This fee is charged for each test and is sometimes non-refundable. 

If you are taking the JLPT outside of Japan…

There may be additional fees associated with the examination.. 

These fees vary by region and are typically charged in local currency.


Test Time?

Each level is made up of 3 sections, including reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and grammar. 

As such, preparing for the JLPT is no small feat

And requires a great deal of dedication and hard work. 

One of the key components of any successful preparation is timing – 

Understanding when the JLPT is held and managing your study schedule around it. 

The time you get to finish your exam of in each level is - 


  • Vocabulary - 20 minutes
  • Grammar - 40 minutes
  • Listening - 30 minutes


  • Vocabulary - 25 minutes
  • Grammar - 55 minutes
  • Listening - 35 minutes


  • Vocabulary - 30 minutes
  • Grammar - 70 minutes
  • Listening - 40 minutes


  • Vocabulary & Grammar - 105 minutes
  • Listening - 50 minutes


  • Vocabulary & Grammar - 110 minutes
  • Listening - 60 minutes


Why Is JLPT Important ?

The answer to this question is already out there 

When you get knowledge of any subject, how would somebody else know that you have that knowledge?

By looking at your certificate …right? 

The world has not changed so much yet..

That people would hire you by just looking at your willingness of doing any work

You gotta show companies the certificate you hold!

And the JLPT certificate is no exception.

It is a globally-recognized certification... 

If you pass the test, 

You can show employers and universities that you have the proficiency necessary to work or study in Japan.

It can also be used to apply for scholarships and other educational assistance. 

The JLPT is also important

Because it’s the best way to track your progress of Learning Japanese than any other Japanese language classes  you take!

It is a great way to measure your improvement over time 

And gives you a goal to work towards. 

It also gives you an opportunity to practise and review your Japanese language knowledge.

2. What Is NAT?

The NAT Japanese Exam is an online exam designed to assess the Japanese language proficiency of non-native speakers.

Like JLPT, It tests a range of skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

The exam has three levels – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – 

And is accepted by many employers and educational institutions in Japan.

When taking the NAT Japanese Exam…

You will be required to complete a variety of tasks. 

These tasks include reading comprehension questions, writing a short essay…

And listening to a short audio clip & answering questions about it. 

You will also be required to answer multiple choice and true/false questions.

In order to best prepare for the NAT Japanese Exam

It is important to practise the four language skills that are tested. 

Reading comprehension can be practised by reading articles in Japanese and answering questions about them. 

Writing practice can be done by writing short essays in Japanese on various topics. 

Listening practice can be done by listening to audio clips in Japanese and answering questions about them. 

Finally, speaking practice can be done by having conversations with native speakers and recording them.

NAT is conducted 6 times a year unlike and has the same format as JLPT .


Overall passing marks ?

By dedicating time to practise the four language skills tested on the NAT Japanese Exam.

You will be able to increase your chances of success.

To pass the JLPT exam you have to score more than 25% on each individual score.

And the overall passing score is 60%.

The overall points you need to pass the test are:

  • N5 - 60 points
  • N4 - 60 points
  • N3 - 60 points
  • N2 - 60 points
  • N1 - 120 points

NAT Registration Fee ?

The fee of NAT can also vary as per every country..

In India, it's around 2,360 for each level's test.

The fee of NAT registration is higher than JLPT because.

it's conducted 6 times a year.

Which is a benefit for those learning the Japanese language.

3. Which is better-JLPT or NAT ?

The JLPT is a widely recognized test of Japanese language proficiency.. 

It is administered in Japan and in many other countries around the world. 

It is divided into five levels, ranging from N5 (the lowest) to N1 (the highest). 

The test covers a wide range of topics, including grammar, reading and listening.

The JLPT is a great choice for learners…

Who wish to demonstrate their proficiency and potentially use it for professional or academic purposes. 

The NAT, on the other hand, is a more general test of language proficiency in Japan 

And is not as widely accepted outside of the country.

 It is divided into three levels - Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. 

The test covers a variety of topics, including vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. 

NAT is a better choice for learners…

Who are looking to gain a general overview of their language abilities

Or for those who are looking to use the results for personal or educational purposes. 

So, which is better - JLPT or NAT?

 Ultimately, it depends on your specific needs and goals. 

If you are looking to use the results for professional or academic purposes

Then the JLPT is likely your best bet. 


If you are simply looking to gain a general overview of your language abilities

Then the NAT may be the better choice for you. 

You choose, make sure to study hard and do your best!

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