JLPT BC 24 | JLPT N5 Reading Section

JLPT N5 readingThis is a special edition podcast on the reading section for the N5 level only, so if you aren’t study for that exam, you might want to go ahead and skip this podcast.  Don’t go too far though, because I’ll be going over each level of the test over the following weeks.

First of all, the reading section for the N5 level only has 6 questions, 3 short passage questions, 2 medium passage questions, and 1 information retrieval question.  All of these questions feature original texts that are specifically written for the test.  Some of the higher levels have adapted texts.

Theses passages are about daily life topics such as showering, eating meals, running errands, etc…  Be careful with ‘time’ words like ずっと、おそく、おっとい、あさって、 as well as conjugations of verbs.  There might be at least one question involving time and schedules that you will have to do a little bit of math for.

As for the questions, they will probably ask you about either the sequence of events or when a certain event happened.  They may also ask about where a person needs to go.  Be sure to study up on your question words so that you don’t get them confused on the test.

So, how do you prepare for this section?  Well, you can pick up some kids books to read if you are in Japan.  These will have a lot of kana in them, but may also have a lot of odd vocabulary that won’t be covered on the test and might be of limited use to you.  You can also use any beginner level text,  which will most likely have some kana reading in it as well.

Another option, is to sign up for JapanesePod101.com.  With a basic subscription, you can download the pdfs for any lesson and each pdf has a kana version of the dialog used in the lesson, as well as an English, romaji and kanji version.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am an affliate of JapanesePod101.com, but I do use the product on a daily basis (I have a premium subscription), and can speak for its value.

Action Steps

Have you taken the N5? If so, what kind of topics came up on the test? What did you find difficult about the test?

Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I’m now in iTunes.  If you like the podcast, please be sure to visit iTunes and leave me a review.  If you have comments or suggestions for the podcast, by all means let me know in the comments below or contact me and let me know what I can do to improve the show.  Thanks!

Music by Kevin MacLeod, and photo by Pasukaru76


{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Kousik July 9, 2011, 3:45 am

    Hi Mac, Thanks for a great website ! I took the N5 this July even though our sensei had not taught the entire syllabus (15 out of the prescribed 25 in Minna no Nihongo). The idea was to get a feel of the JLPT tests before appearing for my Dec N5 test. Out of the 3 sections, (vocab, grammar and listening), the easiest was the listening section. I had revised my vocabulary till lesson 15 and could, with some educated guesses, extrapolate the possible meanings. The vocab section was straightforward, though it took me some time to read and eliminate the questions that belonged to L16-25. The grammar in L1-15 was pretty ok, but L16-25 was beyond me.
    Now, I know my weaknesses and hope to improve on it before Dec.

    • Mac July 10, 2011, 1:01 am

      Who knows Kousik, maybe you passed? I think the most important part of N5 is being able to read hiragana quickly. There is a lot of vocabulary to know, but that is mostly what they are testing you on at that level. It’s good to hear that Minna no Nihongo prepared you for the test though. I love that book!

      Good luck in December!

  • mieze April 6, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Thank you for those useful tips!
    I’m studiying for the jlpt but I heard about nagara and asatte here for the first time!

    • Mac April 10, 2012, 3:27 pm

      No problems, good luck on the test!

  • William September 15, 2012, 5:06 pm

    In my opinion there is a missing factor to these suggested times. Most importantly, how immersed is the student? If you’re living in Japan and seeing kanji, hearing Japanese and sometimes speaking Japanese you will notice a huge decrease in required studying time. Studying abroad for a year really helps!

    Even living here and studying independently, I can say I have learned more Japanese in the last 2 months than in 2 years of university study.

Leave a Comment

JLPT Boot Camp - The Ultimate Study Guide to passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test