December JLPT 2014 Results

December JLPT 2014 Results post image

If you registered online for the test in Japan, and took the test here, you should be able to get your results online now at the JEES website.  If you registered ‘offline’ for it, your results should be coming in the mail sometime next week or so.  For people that took it in Asia, you can find some information about when and where test results will come available on the website.  The website usually has online results available for everyone about a week or so after they come available for people that took the test in Japan.  And, generally speaking, certificates are usually in everybody’s hands by the end of February.

Since I really didn’t have to time to prepare for the exam, I instead sat on the bench this time.  To be honest, I don’t really regret my decision because I was tremendously busy in November and December and I’m still catching up on my list of things I need to do.  I’ve been putting off a lot of things in my mad dash to study, which has just meant that I’ve basically got nothing done (studying or otherwise).

So, since I didn’t take the JLPT.  I decided to have a go at the J-CAT, which is an online test you can take for free every 6 months.


J-CAT stands for Japanese Computerized Adaptive Test.  What exactly does that mean you ask?  Well, it means that the computer will adapt to you while you are actually taking the test.  What happens is that every time you answer a question the computer will use your answer to determine what kind of questions it will dish out to you next.  In general, if you answer a question wrong, you will get easier questions.  Answer a question right, you get more difficult questions.

This weaving back and forth is suppose to help determine your level in a lot quicker way than say a standard paper test.  It’s kind of like when you go to the eye doctor, they start with something really weak and slowly work up to your prescription by repeatedly asking ‘Better here or here?’ while flipping lens in and out to get you the best view.

It can give you a fairly accurate score.  These kinds of tests tend to give you a good ball park and your overall weaknesses but not really as accurate as a real paper test.  There is a similar one for English called CASEC, which does about the same thing.  It has sometimes given negative or positive inaccurate scores, but it still serves as a decent check of your level and you don’t have to get all dressed up to go out to a testing center.

Another interesting difference about this kind of test is that it is strictly linear for obvious reasons.  You can’t go back and modify an answer, once you answered it, you are done with that question.  Also, every question has a time limit associated with it.  A timer in the upper right part of the screen tells you how much time you have left to answer the question.  If you are not careful, you can lose track of how much time you have and be forced to move on, automatically getting that question wrong.

This happened to me several times while I took the test actually.  The grammar section seemed to be especially brutally for me in this regard. There were a few times when I had narrowed it down to two answers and I was just about to click one when it moved on, giving me an automatic wrong answer.

Although it doesn’t give you the most accurate score, it is still handy to take because it only takes about an hour or so.  You don’t have to leave your house to take it.  And it will point out your weak points in general terms, so that you can refocus your studies if you have to.

For me, it seems like I am overall weaker than I used to be.  I can’t say I’m that surprised.  I really haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and go through practice tests and go over answers in such so my test taking skills are probably a little off.  It is good to see that my listening and reading skills are my best areas since I’ve been focusing mostly on those two over the last couple months.  However, the scores are still a lot lower than I had hoped for.

I scored a 201, which is just barely N2 level.  I remember taking the test before you scoring slightly lower right after I actually passed the N2, so the test tends to have a small negative bias, which you can probably chalk up to the whole time limit and not being able to go back and think through a few questions.

Moving Forward

I think I’m still going to continue my little break from taking the test for a variety of reasons.  As a lot of people will tell you, the N2 is all you really need to use Japanese well and to work and live in Japan.  The N1 is incredibly nice to have and can open some doors for you but is not absolutely necessary.  In my hot pursuit to pass the N1, I’ve left behind a lot of fun things I want to do with the language like learn slang and talk more like a human being at parties.  These are the kinds of things I would like to do more of.

I really don’t have that many issues doing day to day stuff like ordering at restaurants, rescheduling packages, reading notices in the mail and such, but I would like to be able to just talk a lot more freely with my neighbors and people I bump into.  I can make small talk, but it tends to fall flat after a few minutes as I struggle to explain some situation that I would like to talk about.  I want this to become as automatic as skimming through notices and articles has become for me.

Also, I’m starting to really like blogging and teaching Japanese.  The Japanese learning community is overwhelming a really nice group of people that love to email me and thank me for all the work I’m putting in, which in turn makes me want to contribute more.  I think the more you teach the more you learn.  I’ve learned a lot of little details about the language since I’ve started making my N5 videos.  And I’ve started to notice a lot more things when I’m reading and using the language.

It has been a lot of fun.  So much so that I find myself spending more time researching people’s questions and reading about Japanese grammar and quirks of the language than actually studying.  So thanks everyone for making this blog a joy to maintain.  I started it so that I could stay motivated to study for the JLPT and now it has become it’s own little thing.

My goal is still to pass the N1 someday, but I’m taking a little detour to boost my production skills and make that more automatic for me.  I also want to do more speaking ‘on-the-job.’  Nothing is better than getting paid to learn a language.  I know it might seem a little odd to people outside of Japan.  But if you teach English here, you really don’t need Japanese.  There are a lot of people that have been here for 20 years or more and can barely handle ordering at a restaurant.  I want to be more proactive than that obviously, so I’ll be looking for something where I can use my speaking skills a little more.

I also just want to dip my foot into the culture a little deeper.  I have learned bits and pieces of Japanese history through blog posts and just traveling around to see the sites, but I’d like to do a lot more.  There are a lot of things that I don’t really know that much about.  For example, I have hard time keeping track of famous actors and comedians, so it is hard to make small talk about them.

How about you?

How were your results?  Where do you go from here?  What changes will you make to your study plan?  Make a measurable goal now, and tell us about it in the comments below.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Joe January 27, 2015, 12:56 am

    Took the N1 for the 3rd time in Tokyo and passed!

    First time – 88/180, Second time 96/180, and this time 145/180. Quite a jump but that’s because I studied like a machine this time around.

    I went through all of the Kanzen Master Series, as well as several drill books and left no section of the test untouched. I also took a total of 5 mock exams, one everyday for the 5 days leading up to the tests.

    My section scores for this time around were:

    Vocabulary/Grammar: 60/60
    – I definitely got at least 3 wrong on the test but I guess they grade this section on a curve as well.

    Reading: 39/60
    -I felt like I should have done better on this section as this was my strongest section on all of the mock exams I took. Also, the actual test seemed much easier than the mock exams and drill books I used.

    Listening: 46/60
    -This score seems about right. I felt pretty confident about the listening on the exam.

    Now my study plans are to polish my Business Japanese, Emails, and writing skills in hopes to prepare me for graduate school.

  • Raven January 27, 2015, 1:40 am

    This was my third attempt at the N2 and I finally passed! My first time around I was short 6 points, second time around I was short 3 points, and this time I got 111/180 points.

    Language knowledge 26/60
    Reading 30/60
    Listening 55/60

    I knew my worst section was going to be language knowledge. Kanji and vocabulary are my weakest points. My reading score improved compared to the last 2 tests, but since I had done a lot of practice reading I had hoped to get a higher score than I did. Listening was my strongest section, though I think a combination of stress from part 1 and a strong desire to just finish and go home made it seem a lot more difficult when I was taking the test.

    Going forward, I’m going to work on the Kanzen Master kanji book (N2 and then eventually N1) and start reading more news articles and native reading materials. I think I’ll give the vocab drill books a break, though I’ll keep using flashcards for new words. Not planning on taking N1 for at least a year or so, which gives me plenty of time to actually learn, absorb, and use kanji and vocab. All in all, I’m happy I passed, but I know I’ve still got a ways to go.

  • Joost January 27, 2015, 5:42 am

    In July 2014 I failed the test, needing one more point on reading.
    Although it felt like the test was more difficult that in July I managed to pass N2, one year after N3 (as scheduled).

    Language Knowledge 29/30
    Reading 37/60
    Listening 44/60

    As it’s very hard to have a good feeling how the results will be, i though I would have gotten better on Language Knowledge. I added extra words to my flashcard decks and spent time fine-tuning grammar points. The Reading is a great surprise, up 18 points from last July, which also reflects the time I spent on practicing reading. Listening is more or less the same as July but the test felt twice as difficult… I would like to know if they compensated somewhere.

    As you pointed out N2 is all you need for getting round in Japan and my main reason for taking N2 is job hunting which starts in a few months.
    Thanks for all the support through this website!

  • cloud January 27, 2015, 11:24 am

    in july,i failed jlpt n2 level by one point, this time I passed but it is not a gud score. I got 33 in vocab ,34 in reading and first time lowest in listening only 24. I didn’t know what happened ,so I m planning to give it again in india .plz guide me what shohld I do .


  • John January 27, 2015, 2:54 pm

    Failed N2 with 102,
    Language knowledge 33/60 (Vacuablary A, Grammar B),
    Reading 17/60,
    Listening 52/ 60,

  • cloud January 28, 2015, 7:25 am

    thanks for the guidance by this website…..ありがとう 

  • Victoria January 28, 2015, 1:48 pm

    Passed N2 on my 3rd attempt, one year after failing by just one mark, and two years after passing N3.

    That’ll do for the JLPT for a while, I think. I might try N1 someday, but as you say, N2 and demonstrable ability to use the language are enough. Will take the J.TEST to monitor progress as it gives a better breakdown of results, is cheaper, is held more often and in nicer venues with less attitude from invigilators. And doesn’t take all day.

    Very happy. Thank you for all your encouragement when I’ve posted here along the way… 🙂

  • Thomas January 29, 2015, 1:52 am

    N5 results:

    146/180 (81%)
    Grammar and reading: 101/120
    Listening: 45/60

    Made a few more mistakes than I thought, but I’ll take it! I don’t think I will ever be as well prepared for a JLPT again, and I was pretty happy with my concentration throughout the test, so I can’t complain. Very happy with that result! 🙂

    By the way, i took the exam in Ireland and was able to log in and view my results (through the “other countries” link) so for those of you waiting, I’d say give it a try.

  • z January 29, 2015, 2:14 am

    N5, 66/120 and 26/60, passed AAA. They do scale so year to year remain comparable, I felt i blitzed the text sections, and flunked listening, so my feeling is ths test was easier and harder than normal, respectivly.

  • Pagona January 29, 2015, 3:32 am

    So happy that I passed N4! I took it in Melbourne. I really wasn’t sure whether I would pass as I struggled with the listening and was worried that score would let me down. My scores were:

    Overall 108/180
    Language knowledge 79/120
    Listening 26/60
    Vocabulary – A, Grammar – A, Reading – B

    I would have preferred a better overall score of course, but I’m just relieved that I passed. I definitely need to improve my listening. I found the kanji and vocab section really easy but struggled with one of the stories in the reading section that was really long. I don’t think I’ll be taking N3 this December as I’m spending 6 weeks in Greece mid year and I’m sure I’ll be too lazy to study while enjoying the Greek Islands 🙂 Unfortunately the exam is only held in December though, which means I’ll have to wait until December ’16 which is so far away.

    How many people out there have completed N3 a year after N4? I take weekly 2hr classes, use italki for my conversational skills and practice at home a lot. Perhaps I’ll be ok for n3 this December?

    Would love to hear about the experience of others.

    Thank you for a great website and congratulations to all that have passed.

    • PA February 5, 2015, 11:00 pm

      Yes, it is possible to pass N3 one year after N4, assuming you’ve been working on it for the last two months. I managed to do that with 2 points to spare. Good luck!

  • Andrew January 29, 2015, 4:20 am

    Took the N2 here in Atlanta and passed it on my first go! I took the N3 in Nagoya and passed that too so I’m feeling pretty awesome right now! Those 5 months of studying, watching TV shows, and reading novels between the two tests definitely paid off, i could literally feel my brain getting tired during the exam!

    Since the next time i can take the exam is in december its time to kick it into high gear, ive got a whole year now to study! But in the meantime, time to look for jobs in Japan!

  • Rebecca January 29, 2015, 4:32 am

    After having a bit of a freakout on the “first reactions” post, and checking my results today with no hope at all of passing, I’m shocked to find that I did! Certainly not with flying colours, but the biggest surprise is that I ended up with 49/60 in listening– the section I was 100% certain had caused me to fail the whole thing. I can only put it down to mark scaling that must have worked out in my favour, but I’m still thrilled to pass on my first try!

    Good luck to everyone getting their results! By the way, if you took the exam in Australia and were never asked to set a password, my birthdate worked for me 🙂

  • Ranjini Menon January 29, 2015, 5:16 am

    Passed N5
    132/180. Disappointed with the result. Got B in reading and listening.

  • SN January 29, 2015, 8:40 am

    I was 100% sure I had failed N4 but strangely I had actually passed. Third time lucky?
    I’m really confused about their crazy scoring system. I think my actually first attempt I did much better! 😮

  • Ashley January 29, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Like Rebecca, I was 100% sure I failed because of the insane listening section (N4), which many others have complained about. I was thrilled/shocked/excited to see I PASSED!!! Total 97/180, listening was 32/60.

    This website helped me tremendously to prepare so I do hope you’ll keep it going even if you are taking a break from JLPT. Thanks to this website, I was able to find practice tests and strategize which sections to tackle first. That REALLY helped!

    As for how I’ll keep studying, my weakest point is listening so I bought a textbook (Everyday Listening Tasks in 50 days, Intermediate vol. 1) to work on that; I also want to finish Japanese for Busy People vol. 2. And I do daily kanji studies with Wanikani, but I’m not going to bother about cramming for vocabulary as intensely as I did to prep for JLPT.

  • nammae January 29, 2015, 1:53 pm

    Hi all,
    I just got my result and I can still hear my heart throbbing like crazy.
    I passed N1 and here are my scores:
    Vocab/Grammar : 42
    Reading: 44
    Listening: 33
    Total: 119/180.
    Overall, I feel happy but I am also disappointed with my listening skill. I guess I will take N1 again to improve my weakness. I am also considering taking J-TEST as an alternative.

  • Neel January 29, 2015, 2:09 pm

    I managed to pass N2 with 141/180, first attempt. For some reason I thought the pass mark was 70%, so I wasn’t too sure if I would pass based on how I found the test.

    Language Knowledge – 42/60
    Reading – 40/60
    Listening – 59/60

    I hadn’t done any formal studying since N3 last December short of flicking through a grammar book and ran very out of time during the reading, so my scores were a little better than I had expected. As for listening, I suppose watching anime actually works…

    It’s going to take some work, but I think I’ll go for N1 this December.

  • Deise January 29, 2015, 2:32 pm

    I took the N3 for the first time and passed!! Yeah! Thanks to Michiko Lilly sensei and Mac and your advices at JLPTbootcamp I’ve got a really good score: 164/180
    Vocabulary/grammar 44/60 (A/A)
    Reading 60/60
    Listening 60/60
    I thought I had missed a few questions on the listening section but maybe it was all the tiredness appearing at the end of a long journey!
    Now preparing to take the N2 and I have already felt that it is a lot more difficult than the N3. Gambarimashou!
    Thanks for all your advices!

  • Anthony January 29, 2015, 11:08 pm

    N5: 81/180. PASSED?! Seems so low! I thought I did better than that. I wonder what the passing score was…

  • Ranjini Menon January 30, 2015, 6:56 am

    Deise, what a fantastic result you got!!! Impressive!! how do you practice? you live in japan? I mean, how did u practice to get 100% in listening?? Kudos!!

    • Deise January 31, 2015, 2:10 pm

      Hi Ranjini,
      I am granddaughter of Japanese and studied a bit of Japanese as a child. Now I don´t have much contact with the language, so I took some private Japanese classes on line. I studied also with the So-matome series : 語彙、漢字、文法、読解 and 聴解. Although I found the test at least in reading and listening sections a bit easier than the practice books. I also took the practice test on the official site and used the commented version that Mac has as a link in the JLPTbootcamp study guide (great help with hints on books, websites, how to plan a study…) at the beginning of my studies to see my weak points ( vocabulary and kanji) and re took the test on the week before the exam, and also the practice test ASK JLPT Practice Exams and Strategies for N3 Vol. 2-(this one very useful, on the real test there was some kanjis that I had learned in this book, and it is great because the answers are all well commented); and as Mac instructed :simulating the time and environment of the real test. Also used the memrise for the vocabulary and kanji for the so-matome book. And I also tried to watch a movie in Japanese that I liked and catch the most vocabulary I could by listening, watching and rewatching ( I chose 1 リットルの涙, just because I liked the movie and was interesting to watch and rewatch some parts with focus on the vocabulary and listening). Hope it helps. Thanks,

      • Ranjini Menon March 19, 2015, 5:16 am

        heyy. thanks a lot Diese..i will try to watch that movie.. let me know if u happened to see any interesting japanese movie..

  • Tim G January 30, 2015, 8:39 am

    It’s fantastic that you are focussing on real Japanese, Mac! My own studies fell by the wayside when I left Japan two years ago. It’s only gone steadily downhill from there. However, my wife’s mother is coming over in March, so we will do our utmost to change our home language back to Japanese – for everyone’s benefit (the two younger girls have all but lost all of their Japanese language skills).

    Good luck to everyone aiming to pass more advanced Japanese language proficiency tests; but also, good luck to everyone who wants to have fun and immerse themselves in the culture and language without being a stickler for “paper” grammar.

    Sometimes I wish we were still in Japan – just like sometimes I wish that I had taken more care to really focus on a lot more of the specifics of language learning. But you can’t change the past; you can only look to the future. I just hope that we all achieve our language dreams. 🙂


  • Norojika January 30, 2015, 9:13 am

    I really don’t want to brag, but I need to get this off my chest:

    Passed N1 with full marks for the second time.

  • Luis January 30, 2015, 9:28 pm

    Passed N5.


    Truth is I started with japanese less than six months ago, so this is quite a feat for me, anyhow it could be better.

    Thank you so much, your advices on how to prepare, were really important for me.

  • Deise January 31, 2015, 2:08 pm

    Hi Ranjini,
    I am granddaughter of Japanese and studied a bit of Japanese as a child. Now I don´t have much contact with the language, so I took some private Japanese classes on line. I studied also with the So-matome series : 語彙、漢字、文法、読解 and 聴解. Although I found the test at least in reading and listening sections a bit easier than the practice books. I also took the practice test on the official site and used the commented version that Mac has as a link in the JLPTbootcamp study guide (great help with hints on books, websites, how to plan a study…) at the beginning of my studies to see my weak points ( vocabulary and kanji) and re took the test on the week before the exam, and also the practice test ASK JLPT Practice Exams and Strategies for N3 Vol. 2-(this one very useful, on the real test there was some kanjis that I had learned in this book, and it is great because the answers are all well commented); and as Mac instructed :simulating the time and environment of the real test. Also used the memrise for the vocabulary and kanji for the so-matome book. And I also tried to watch a movie in Japanese that I liked and catch the most vocabulary I could by listening, watching and rewatching ( I chose 1 リットルの涙, just because I liked the movie and was interesting to watch and rewatch some parts with focus on the vocabulary and listening). Hope it helps. Thanks,

  • PA February 1, 2015, 12:45 am

    After the test (N2) I just knew I had failed. I ran out of time, I blew a whole section of the listening … but when I checked my results, 91/180! ぎりぎり合格しました。 I passed with one point to spare on my first try. I passed N3 two years ago with 2 points to spare …

    I’ve been studying Japanese for 5 years now, and never thought I could ever hope to pass the N2. So for those who aren’t there yet, がんばってね。Hang in there, you’ll make it too.

    I used Kanzen Master Grammar and Reading, and Mimi Kara Oboeru Vocabulary (and So Matome Kanji etc.), and 徹底ドリル (Tettei Drill) and others for practice test questions. With that preparation, I felt I knew all but one of the kanji questions, knew a fair amount of the vocab., but was unfamiliar with some of the grammar.

    After the test I realized I needed to bulk up on everything, so I bought the Kanzen Master N2 Vocab. and Listening books, as well as a Japanese speed reading book, and the Mimi Kara Oboeru N1 Vocab. book, and So Matome N1 Kanji book. I had spent 4 months before the test working intensely on grammar and vocab. so I could finish it in time for the test. Moving forward, I plan to add up to 1/3 of the N1 kanji and vocab. (since it seems like it’s on the N2), as well as focus more on reading. I want to try to read more native texts, so hopefully I can build familiarity and speed. It’s also fatiguing drilling flash cards and maybe I can retain some of it better if I see it more frequently in texts.

    If anyone has any suggestions for improving reading speed and comprehension, I’d love to hear it.

    I did find the question timings on this site useful, although I would suggest reducing the Kanji/Vocab/Grammar to about 35 min. and using the remaining time for the reading. For example, the short reading passages, I think 3 min. each (instead of 2 min.) would be good.

  • Nicole February 1, 2015, 10:50 am

    I passed N2. Like pretty much everyone else it seems, I left convinced I had failed it. I was so shocked and thrilled when I saw the “passed”. My scores were 115/180 overall, with 30/60 on vocab/grammar (B on vocab and A on grammar), 48/60 for reading, and 37/60 on listening.

    I’m a little confused on the grading though. It’s really 19 or better per section in order to pass? Or am I misunderstanding it? It seems like that’s ridiculously low for a passing score.

    A friend and I had decided that if I passed this one we would both take N1 in July to see how badly we would end up doing. So I’m now starting my studying regime up again and we’ll see what happens.

  • Hugh February 1, 2015, 10:56 am

    Managed to pass N4 by the skin of my teeth but happy nonetheless. The gap to N3 is quite wide but I hope to challenge it in December this year. Thanks for all the useful hints, tips and encouragement!

  • Miglena February 2, 2015, 2:20 pm

    I passed N2 on my second try.

    Vocabulary/grammar: 26/60
    Reading: 37/60
    Listening: 44/60

    I’m not so satisfied with my score, especially the first part but I’m glad that I passed. I expected more points at Vocab/grammar. And I’m surprised with the listening section:) The listening is the weakest part of my Japanese skills that’s why these 44 points are fantastic to me 🙂
    I’m going to proceed with studying for N1 but still not sure if I will attend the test in December. For N1 I’m going to use Kanzen master series again, some textbooks with Japanese articles from newspapers, mock exams. Maybe I will try “Mimi Kara Oboeru N1 Vocab” as well. Also I will review N2 vocab and grammar. If someone can give me some advice about textbooks, tips and tricks about passing N1 I will be very thankful.

  • Anonymous February 2, 2015, 5:39 pm

    I passed N4 on my first try!

    I started studying Japanese by myself in April and thought I’d try for the N4. I’m so happy I passed! As for the test, I definitely ran out of time on the reading section and I found it much harder than the practice tests. Same goes for the listening. After the test I read your advice about overlearning reading material to make reading more automatic, so I’ll definitely be trying that!

    Here are my scores:

    Language & Reading: 81/120
    Listening: 38/60
    Total: 119/180

    Vocabulary A
    Grammar A
    Reading B

    By the way, thank you for your great courses on Memrise! They are the reason I scored so high in vocabulary.

    Congratulations to everyone else!

  • Isaura February 14, 2015, 8:11 am

    文字・語彙・文法 44点 A/A
    読解 51点
    聴解 24点

  • Bart March 3, 2015, 4:48 am

    Failed second attempt at N1, as expected, but the improvement from last year actually has me feeling upbeat. I passed the criteria for every section, but fell short of the 100 point cutoff.

    Vocabulary/ Grammar: 37
    Reading: 23
    Listening: 31
    Total Score: 91

    Listening and grammar were similar to last year, but I improved in Reading and Vocabulary. I’m still planning to take the test again this year, so I’ll try to space out studying over the whole year instead of doing a mad rush the last few months. I think reading is where I can make the most improvement, so I’ll take your advice and read some more challenging non-fiction essay magazines. I definitely want to check out the J-CAT test when I have some time.

    Korean may actually take up more of my focus this year, so any chance of starting a TOPIK site, Mac? 😉

    • Clayton MacKnight March 5, 2015, 12:10 am

      I’ve thought about studying Korean. I heard there are a few similar words, but I think if I were to start another site, it would probably be a TOEFL or IELTS (Tests of English for college entrance) site. 🙂

      Anyway, sorry to hear the news. The N1 is such a beast. It requires a different level of studying that the previous tests don’t really. It is a true pain in the butt.

  • Roxanne Lee March 18, 2015, 3:20 am

    I passed N5 for my first time .. but the result ain’t what I expected for because I thought I will get 170++ and the result I got was 134/180

  • Pawan November 26, 2015, 10:17 am

    Hi All,

    I have cleared N3 in december,2014 but I misplaced my certificate.

    Can anyone help me how to get duplicate copies from JLPT Japan.

    Thank You in Advance

  • gearheadworld May 9, 2017, 4:16 am

    To examinees outside of Japan, Score Reports will be sent via local host institutions, and examinees will receive a report for the July test in early October and a report for the December test in early March.

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