The Official JLPT N5 Practice Workbook

The Official JLPT N5 Practice Workbook post image

We are starting to come down to the last couple of months before the December test and a lot of people always ask me what they can do in these final weeks before the exam to help prep for the main event. I like to use this time before the test to do a lot of review, something that I call sword sharpening because I think it is important to go into the test being confident of what you know.

Part of that sword sharpening process is taking a practice test. I do this for a few reasons. First, it will obviously show you what you are weak in. Second, it can also reveal some places where you’ll need to sharpen up your test taking skills. For example, if you take the test and time it out, you might find that you are spending way too much time on the reading section or not enough time on vocabulary.

The JEES, the organization that is in charge of creating and administering the JLPT, put out a practice test for each of the new tests in 2010 when the new test was first administered. These were pretty handy, but they had one small problem. They weren’t full-sized tests. Most of the sections only had 2 questions in them.

They gave you a good idea of what the test was like, but not the whole picture. You weren’t really able to practice any real test strategies with them and so you were pretty much forced to pay for other practice tests if you wanted something full-sized.

N5 official practice workbook

It’s all official and stuff.

Then Came the Official Workbooks

This year JEES released official workbooks for each of the levels of the exams. Being that they are published from the very organization that puts on the test, my guess is that these are pretty accurate in terms of level and also what the test is going to cover.

These official practice workbooks are actually a conglomeration of questions from the past two years tests (2010 and 2011), so it is kind of like getting a Frankenstein version of the past tests. All in all, they are a really valuable resource to have at your disposal.

And, I forgot to mention the best part.

They happen to be absolutely free, which is really cool.

Anyway, I made some notes for the N5 workbook and did some other handy work with it to help you get a better score on the test. You can download the ‘raw’ files from the very well-hidden download page.

I should note one thing though. On the official website they say that these workbooks have almost the same number of questions as the real test. When I was looking through the N5 workbook, all the questions seemed to be there, but there might be some missing from a section.

The Goods

Without further ado, here is the whole package of goodies:

JLPT N5 WorkBook Pack (zip/31.44MB)

I separated out the 4 audio files (for each section) into separate tracks for each question. This way it is a little bit easier to review with. Each track is labeled with the corresponding section and question number. I even included the break in case you love that awesome muzak they play.

If you prefer, I also broke the files down into separate downloads as well.

JLPT N5 Answer Sheet (pdf/1.07MB)

JLPT N5 Answers (pdf/131.86KB)

JLPT N5 Grammar Section (pdf/1.2MB)

JLPT N5 Listening Section (pdf/1.53MB)

JLPT N5 Listening MP3s (zip/26.44MB)

JLPT N5 Listening Script (pdf/254.75KB)

JLPT N5 Reading Section (pdf/713.81KB)

JLPT N5 Vocabulary Section (pdf/1.22MB)

Or, if you prefer the short version, the old JLPT N5 Practice Test is also still available.

Also, if you prefer that stuff called ‘paper’, you can get a hard copy of the Official JLPT N5 Practice Guide and rejoice in the smell of dead trees.

Other JLPT N5 Resources

JLPT Boot Camp Premium

JLPT Study Guide KitA subscription to the JLPT Boot Camp Premium site includes a complete guide to studying and preparing for the JLPT as well as a complete grammar guide for N5.  The grammar guide includes tips and common mistakes to look out for when taking the test.  Each chapter includes a video explanation, clear grammar explanations, several example sentences, and JLPT-style questions.  Sign up today and get started on the right path.

N5 500mondai vocabulary and kanji practice Nihongo 500 Mon – Beginner

This is a great book of 500 problems that tests you over kanji, vocabulary, and grammar for N5 and N4.  What I like about it is that you answer 3 questions and then flip the page and see how you did with detailed feedback about each question.  It is really helpful to check what you are missing.






Japanese Pod 101 Old Level 4/N5 Prep Course

Japanese Pod 101 has a 6 lesson last minute prep course for the test as well as additional practice tests.  Also, their lessons are sorted by grammar points, so if you are having problems with a particular point, it is a great place to focus in on the one point that is giving you some trouble.



Take it and Go Be Awesome

I hope this workbook helps you score better on the test. Download it today and give it a try. You’ll be surprised how helpful it is. Let me know in the comments how well you did.

{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Hannah October 14, 2012, 6:54 am

    I had no idea these were available for free! haha I bought the paper one last year to get timing down for N2. But then again, I think it was about 600 yen. Can’t complain too much.
    I found the N2 to be pretty accurate. The grammar and listening were maybe -slightly- easier for me than the real test, but the reading was actually a bit more difficult. So it’s probably right around the average level for the test.

    Paper or not, I recommend this practice test too. After I passed N2, I gave it to my friend who’s in language school so she knows what to expect this December. I’ll be sending this link to a buddy in the US so he can try it, too. 🙂

    • Mac October 14, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Yeah, I bought the N1 for myself as well. They are available for free digitally, but that isn’t always the most portable or handy. Paper is still occasionally useful for taking notes on and such.

      But, yeah, these are an awesome resource for anyone taking the exam, and they are kind of buried on the official site, like a hidden treasure.

  • Geraldine November 24, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Im really happy about this site! Thanks a lot for the help and for your generosity of giving us tips and copies of the workbooks and guides! I couldn’t express how happy I am for this. Your really great!

    • Mac November 25, 2012, 2:06 pm

      No problems, the guides are from JEES so I’m happy that they released them for free. They are an amazing resource.

  • Ketaki Pujari November 24, 2012, 6:50 pm

    Excellent Stuff Mac! Keep posting.. Believe me it’s really very helpful. 🙂

    Thank you so much!!

    ~ Ketaki

    • Mac November 25, 2012, 2:07 pm

      I’m going to try to keep these up. They take a little while to process, but hopefully I’ll get all the levels released over the next few weeks. I hope it helps you out.

  • xyjp December 22, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Are the downloads at the official web same as the hard copy? (Do they have everything in the Hard copy?)

    • Mac December 23, 2012, 2:52 am

      To the best of my knowledge they are the exact same. The only advantage of the hard copy is that it is more portable and you can write on it and take notes, etc… but basically the same thing.

      • xyjp December 23, 2012, 4:59 pm

        I see.. thanks!
        I have 1 question regarding the answer given for N5 聴解 paper, if you don’t mind spending some time..
        問題3 – 5番
        The answer given was (3), is that really the right answer?

        • Mac December 25, 2012, 3:25 pm

          According to the answer key I have, that answer should be (2), did you get the wrong answer key?

          • xyjp December 26, 2012, 2:56 pm

            Thanks for checking!
            You are right. It is indeed (2).
            My eyes must have went blurry when i did this, it was around 2am. haha
            Thanks again =)

  • jojo January 13, 2013, 8:55 am

    thank you so much. I’m searching this book for every where

  • fathiah March 17, 2013, 3:05 am

    Konnichiwa!! Doumo arigatou gozaimasu. This really help. I have search for a long time but never expect the learning subtances to be free. hehe. I will try my best for JLPT. Wish me luck! Ganbarimasu!! (>v<)

    • Clayton MacKnight March 17, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Yeah, I was bit surprised when they made them free too. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

  • Paul August 8, 2013, 9:30 pm


    just to shoot away: i have a problem. I have experience of romaji-Japanese for some years and finally decided to learn the writing systems too. Now my first motivational goal is the JLPT N5.

    My problem is, that the material you offer is so overwhelming – different anki-decks, commented and uncommented workbooks and mock tests etc.

    So what material to start with? what downloads would you suggest as

    step 1
    step 2
    step 3

    and so on.

    thank you in advance.

    • Clayton MacKnight August 10, 2013, 12:13 am

      I would say to start off, you should pick up a good textbook like Minna No Nihongo or Genki, and practice vocabulary with Anki or Memrise at the same time.

      These workbooks and practice tests are great for the final stretch before the exam (about a month or so before) so that you can find your weaknesses and refocus your studies.

  • Paulo August 29, 2013, 3:35 pm

    Thanks for this, I’ve been studying for the N5 exam (I initially thought about doing the N4 but I’m not going to take any chances and decided to go for the N5) and found about this practice book on the official JLPT website. I started looking for places to buy it but – fortunately – found this page instead 🙂 Congratulation on the website!

    One simple question: I downloaded the “full package” zip. Does this have all the contents that are on the Official JLPT N5 Practice Workbook? I saw that the book contains 89 pages, is that only one exam like in the zip file? What I mean is, does your zip file contain everything that’s on the book or is it still worth buying it?


    • Clayton MacKnight August 31, 2013, 11:32 pm

      The zip file should contain everything important from the printed book. I have the paper version of the N1 and it looks like they have some added information about the test like, a can-do list and how many questions are in each section for each level of the test (all things that can be found on the main site This workbook is the same one that is available for free on their site as well. I just added notes and broke up the audio. So in theory everything should be the same. The paper version is just more portable/convenient for note-taking.

  • Sam-in-Japan September 24, 2013, 5:47 am

    Hi Mac,

    Thanks so much for your website and all your help. I’m just wondering how to score myself after completing the different practice sections. It seems that for the N5 there are 33 vocabulary questions and 32 grammar questions, making 65 in total. According to the JLPT site, these combined sections are worth a total of 120 points, which doesn’t quite add up. Could you give some insight? Thanks again for everything!

    • Clayton MacKnight September 24, 2013, 2:47 pm

      Um, well, it is bit hard to explain quickly, but let me try to give you a brief overview as to how the scoring works. I should probably just do a blog post on it, but it’s pretty complicated. Anyway, pre-2010, it was a raw score, and every question was assigned so many points and if you missed that particular question than you didn’t get the points.

      Now, what happens, is a incredibly complicated scoring system called ERT, which takes all the possible answering ‘patterns’, which for 65 questions would be something like 4 to the 65th power? It takes those thousands of patterns and sorts them from most correct to least correct and then assigns a score based on where your particular answer pattern falls. That’s a really simple explanation, there are a lot more twists and turns to it then that and theories on how many points each question is worth, but that is essentially it. It’s meant to keep the test balanced, so if it was harder than usual, it is easier to pass, and vice versa.

      That’s at least my understanding of it.

  • Rudi D Effendi October 1, 2013, 12:12 pm

    Thanks so much for the share, it’s really a life saver. 😀 Im gonna take N5 exam in the next 2 month, but still have no much preparation till now. 😛 This is why i’ve arrived at this website, because im looking for practice material on the internet, of course the free one. hahaha. Thanks before, Mac. Im going to look over this cool site of yours, maybe till I get through N1 exam. Great! 😀

  • Akimori November 16, 2013, 11:03 pm

    Thank you so much, going to treat my student to this!

    And… To all m&a lovers: the man speaking in some mp3s (ex. 09-mondai 6) sounds so similar to Hideo Ishikawa. ^.^

  • Thomas November 30, 2013, 11:54 am

    What would be the minimum score on this practice that you would consider a “pass” if it were the real exam? I assume the ERT scoring system lowers you from the raw score considering 19/60 for the listening section is considered a pass and some of the questions in that section only have 3 choices…

    • Clayton MacKnight December 2, 2013, 11:10 pm

      This is a pretty complicated question. Certain questions are worth more than others, generally speaking. Obviously the quick response questions are worth a lot less than others.

      The general rule of thumb is if you score 50~80% in a section, that section should be considered a weakness and you should concentrate on it more. Below 50% means you probably haven’t done enough of the fundamental work needed to pass the section (need to learn more vocabulary or grammar points for example) whereas 50~80% means you need to do more review.

      Sorry this was late. I’m still without internet. Surviving on my dinky iPhone at the moment.

  • Aida January 28, 2014, 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much for this! This is super awesome. I’m looking for JLPT materials then I found this website. It’s really helpful. I learned basic Japanese language for my 3rd language class and now I want to learn Japanese properly with certificates. It really comes in handy if you are skilled in Japanese. One Japanese recruiter told me they would definitely hire who passed N2. Now I’m working to achieve that goal! (But I don’t know, how long will it takes.)

    *Bookmark this website*

    • Clayton MacKnight January 29, 2014, 1:05 am

      N2 is pretty high level, but if you keep at it, you should have no problems. The biggest thing is to get used to reading as soon as you can. Try to pick up some native books once you get past N4. Until N4, you should probably stick to textbooks. I look forward to hearing about your success!

  • Even October 19, 2014, 11:40 am

    Can I know what is the tips to pass jlpt N5 in one month times ,if I am vry weak now ? Hope u will reply and thanks in advance

  • Tzazu February 1, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Thank you so much, your web is incredible, helps me a lot. I’m learning Japanese on my own and and this place is my salvation 🙂

  • geetkaur April 22, 2015, 7:19 am

    Thank you so much for your help. Iam learning Japanese & was confused about resources, your help is much appreciated!!

  • Cara July 2, 2015, 3:15 am

    Hi, thank you so much for the workbooks! I will be taking N5 this weekend and I never really had enough time to prepare for it because of my job. So I was really saved when I saw your website! The amount of time I spent on studying for JLPT may not have been enough, but I feel more confident now that I was able to practice. Oh well, I’ll just do my best during the exam! If I (somehow) pass, it will be thanks to you.

    *I just really wanted to say thanks 😉

  • Nikhil September 5, 2015, 10:15 am

    Please suggest me a book for JLPT N5…

  • roopsi November 2, 2015, 9:59 am

    Thank you mac ! Your stuff is really helpful. I am from India and I am taking JLPT N5 this december, I have prepared for it well but still I am lacking practice. I want to clear up to N2 till July 2016 so can you tell me some better methods or sites for practising my stuff and preparing for N2 . I will be really grateful to you.

  • onna December 10, 2015, 7:43 am

    Thanks for this! It helped me have an idea on JLPT exam. 🙂
    Keep posting please. 🙂

  • Morgan August 8, 2016, 7:21 am

    Thank you, usefull resource 🙂

  • Lucretia August 13, 2016, 9:58 pm

    I just happened to find this site and it is amazing! Such good resources. I wish I had it when I was taking Japanese in school. I am planning on visiting Japan again and want to start refreshing my memory and be able to take to the natives. Anyways, my question, I want to make sure I am reading something correctly but being able to sit for the JLPT is only about $55.00-$60.00?

    • Clayton MacKnight August 16, 2016, 2:50 pm

      It’s Y5500 to sit the test in Japan, so I’m guessing it is pretty comparable to that in other locations. Check on the official site to see who is putting it on in your area and how to sign up, what to pay, etc…

  • Richard Williams February 23, 2019, 2:32 am

    Study and overstudy. be prepared. i’d like to work in the financial sector in Tokyo. thank you.

  • Miguel Diego August 21, 2019, 3:11 am

    I was hoping someone could answer me this:

    After I self correct my test, how am I supposed to grade it?
    Do all questions have the same “weight” ?
    In the real case scenario all I need is 50% or more to pass it? and does that percentage show up in the result?

    • Clayton MacKnight August 29, 2019, 11:21 pm

      Different questions have different point totals. It’s a little too complicated to explain in a comment, but basically if you score over 80%, you should be okay for that section. If you score between 60& and 80% that is a weakness you should work on a little bit. And less than 60% is a serious weakness you should spend more time on.

  • sandunisenadheera December 2, 2019, 5:10 am

    thank you very much.Good job.

  • Sheri August 24, 2021, 12:12 pm


    Random question – I bought the book (cos I’m old school like that), my only problem was the instructions are in Japanese waaaaaay beyond my level. Is there a translation of the instructions for each section out there?

    Many thanks, love the site 🙂


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