We are less than a 100 days away from the July test of the JLPT. Since I am planning to take the JLPT N2, I need to apply for the test in April. Actually, the application period for the July test in Japan is from March 24th to April 28th. So be sure to get it in before Golden Week.
You can pick up an application packet at any major bookstore in Japan. Or most Japanese schools will also have them available. They are not free. They actually cost Y500.
Inside the packet you’ll find 4 things: the application form, the application guide, a payment slip, and an envelope. Let’s go over each one.
The Application Form
This is a pretty straight forward application form. Most of the instructions on how to fill it out are in the application guide. One important thing to be careful about is your name. You have to write your name in as it appears on your passport. This might mean switching your last name and first name around so be careful
On the other side of the form, where you write in your address. Be sure to put an address where your name is on the mailbox. If it is being sent to another address, like your friend’s house, your company, or school, be sure to fill out the blank after the c/o with the name of the friend, school, or company.
You’ll also need to attach your photo to the application form as well. Be sure it is a 3cm by 4cm color photo nicely cropped. You can usually find a photo booth at an electronics store or train station that can do this for you.
If you prefer the Do-It-Yourself version, I have a template you can use. To use the template, you need to crop your photos (with Photoshop or Gimp) and paste them on to the black squares. The size in the upper left is the most likely to be 3cm by 4cm, but you never know what kind of print shop you are dealing with, so I put a variety of sizes on it. Be sure to print it out as a L sized print.
The Payment Slip
This is the slip you will need to use to pay for the testing fee, which is Y5500. You have two options for paying this: at the counter or at the ATM.
At the counter, it is really simple, just hand the slip to the clerk and they will know what to do with it. Be sure to keep the slip with the ‘A’ on the back. This is the slip you will send with the application. The cost for paying at the counter as of March 2011 is Y120.
If you pay by ATM, you will save Y40, but it can be a little bit more difficult if you can’t read kanji well. So if you are not sure, the safest bet is to go to the counter. If you do go to the ATM, you’ll want to look for the 現金自動預払機 function. This will allow you to pay the bill. It should step you through the process where you’ll have to enter the amount and probably your phone number so they can contact you if anything goes wrong.
Now, if you’ve survived all that. There is yet more fun stuff to do. You have to mail all of that stuff in.
You must put the application with a 4cm x 3 cm color photo of you attached, the receipt for the testing fee (either from the ATM, or the A slip from paying at the counter) into the blue envelope. And then write your name and address on the back side.
Seal it all up and go to the counter of your local post office. You will need to send it via 特定記録郵便 or tokuteikirokuyuubin, which is Japanese for delivery-certified mail. It’s written on the front of the envelope actually so the clerk should know what to do with it. However, if you want to show off your mad Japanese skills you can request it by saying:
That’s definitely a mouthful.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully sent in your JLPT application. Hopefully, this article has made the process slightly less painful. I’d like to hear about your application process. Are you applying for the July test? If you are outside of Japan, how is the application process in your country? I’d like to know. Let me know in the comments below.