Announcing the JLPT Study Guide for the N5

Announcing the JLPT Study Guide for the N5 post image

I’m often asked what resources I recommend to pass the JLPT N5. I’ve never been truly happy with a lot of the N5 study books out there. All of them seem to be lacking something. Some textbooks have great example questions, but don’t actually teach you how to get a better score. Others simply offer practice tests, but don’t actually go over the points you need to pass.

So, about 2 years ago I set about writing a book for those studying for the JLPT N5. I wanted to write the kind of book that I would have wanted when I was studying for the exam. A book that includes all you need in one volume, so you don’t have to start a JLPT book collection in order to pass. Something that combines not only grammar practice, but reading, listening, and vocabulary practice.

JLPT Grammar N5 examples The Grammar Points You Need

The JLPT Study Guide goes over all the grammar points that you need for the test. Each one is explained in easy to understand language with solid examples so that you can feel how the grammar is used. I also included common mistakes that people make while using the grammar, so that you can avoid these pitfalls.

In the past, as a Japanese learner I was frustrated with how some JLPT preparation books have several examples of a grammar point but don’t explain the grammar point well. This always left me confused and in need of a good tutor to explain the point to me. So for this guide I included both a simple explanation and clear examples. There are also detailed explanations of each of the answers to the exercises in the book to help you with any questions you might have.

Listening and Reading is Included

Often times when you study for the JLPT, you have to actually buy 4 books – a grammar book, a reading book, a listening book, and a vocabulary book. This has always led to confusion for me and for others studying for the exam. Which book(s) do you get? Do you need to get them all?

Why not just get one book that has everything in it? The JLPT Study Guide includes reading and listening practice for each of the type of questions on the test. There is also a special section for reading and listening tips for you to help you get the best score on the test.

N5 JLPT Practice Test Practice Tests are also Included

Even if you know the grammar, kanji, and vocabulary well, you still need authentic practice before the real thing. I’ve included 3 full practice tests to help you practice your test-taking skills before the big day. And each test gives you the timing for each section of the test, so that you can time yourself and get a feel for the speed and rhythm of the test.

Once you are done working through one of the tests, there are detailed answer explanations available to help you understand what you missed and why you missed it. There is no need to ask a tutor or teacher about your test answers.

special JLPT N5 promo A Limited Time Offer

Right now, if you pre-order the book on Amazon (JP, US, IN, UK), you’ll get a free 10 minute Skype consultation from me, personally. That’s right, I really want you to pass the N5 easily and in less time, so I’m willing to help you work out the details in a private one-on-one session.*

These are limited to only the first 25 people who email me with a proof of the pre-order. All you need to do is forward the confirmation that you got when you placed the order to N5promo AT I’ll then contact you about possible times that we can talk.

I’m especially excited about this offer since it will give me an opportunity to get to know you the readers and help you pass the test. Don’t hesitate, if you are planning on taking the N5 this December or in the future, this is the book for you and now is an excellent time to pick it up.

*I will make every attempt to be available when you are for these consultations. However, the 10 minute Skype consultations are subject to availability and schedule.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • JH September 10, 2019, 10:30 am

    Congrats on publishing your N5 study guide!

  • Simon Catling September 29, 2019, 10:09 am

    Any plans to make this available on the Japanese Amazon store?

    • Clayton MacKnight September 29, 2019, 1:36 pm

      It is actually supposed to be in the store now, but there is a glitch with Amazon (internationally). I’m working on trying to get back into the store, as well as link up the kindle version. Sorry for the inconvenience. It will be available in major bookstores in Japan though.

    • Clayton MacKnight October 7, 2019, 11:27 pm

      Simon, the book is listed at now. You can pick it up at this address:

      • Simon November 11, 2019, 7:29 am

        Ordered through Amazon Japan, thanks. There is a delay though (from the publisher?) and it hasn’t yet shipped.

        • Clayton MacKnight November 12, 2019, 12:55 am

          Yes, unfortunately it is on back order from Amazon Japan at the moment.

  • Barbara October 1, 2019, 10:21 am

    I would like to ask two questions about the book:
    1. Why is there so much romaji? And it is even bolded.
    2. This month, I wanted to buy your N5 course, but is the content of the book similar to the course? I am writing the exam in December, so I would like to pick a resource that will help me understand the questions better.
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Clayton MacKnight October 1, 2019, 2:34 pm

      Thanks for the questions Barbara

      1) Talking with the publisher, we decided to add the romaji in order to allow students with no prior Japanese experience to use the book to study. The example sentences, patterns, forms, and instructions will have romaji in the book in order to help even beginner students understand the material well. However, all of the exercises, including the reading exercises do not include romaji in the printed book (romaji as well as answer explanations are available with the included online resources). The practice tests included online are made up to look exactly like the real test, so those too do not have romaji.

      2) At this point I would recommend the printed book simply because there is just so much more material as well as 3 practice tests. The book is also more engaging with illustrations and a story, so should be easier to get through smoothly before the test in December.

      Thanks for asking!

      • Barbara October 2, 2019, 8:39 pm

        Thank you for your honest answer. I have decided to give it a try and ordered the book today. I hope I will receive it soon.

        Have a great day!

  • Peachy October 14, 2019, 3:29 am

    I just got the book today and I’m amazed at how comprehensive it is! Being able to pick up good reference material in the bookstore instead of waiting for Amazon Japan is pretty awesome. I’m going to start using it alongside my textbook to help reinforce the grammar.

    I know it’s a little early to be asking since this JUST came out, but do you have any plans to continue the series for N4 and up?

    • Clayton MacKnight October 14, 2019, 11:31 pm

      Peachy, I’d like to write an N4. I have the draft for it. Once we get done with the initial promotion of this book, I’ll be talking to Tuttle about it. Be sure to tell your friends about the book and leave a review if you like it.

      What bookstore did you pick it up at? The Japan office had told me that it might not be available until almost next month here in Japan.

  • Barbara October 18, 2019, 7:25 pm

    Hello, sorry to bother you again, but I have a question about the practice tests – is there an audio for them? Listening is my weakest part and I’d like to practice it more.

    Besides, I’m amazed at how many exercises you added to your book. Thank you for your hard work.

    • Clayton MacKnight October 23, 2019, 11:38 pm

      Sorry for the delay Barbara! Yes, the practice tests are full practice tests and include test audio. There is also listening practice in the textbook that goes over the key question types. They are available from the same download page as the practice test sheets.

      • Barbara November 1, 2019, 8:53 pm

        Hello and thank you for your reply. Also, sorry for asking so many questions. I went through all audio files that are available and I don’t see audio files for practice tests. Are they named differently?

        • Clayton MacKnight November 6, 2019, 11:36 pm

          Sorry for this late reply. They are indeed missing. I’m working on getting them posted ASAP. Sorry about the inconvenience.

          • Paul November 24, 2019, 8:58 pm

            Any update on the audio files for the practice tests? I don’t see them on the download page.

          • Clayton MacKnight November 25, 2019, 3:17 pm

            They should be available on the dropbox link. They come packaged as one big zip file for each practice test, and then password protected like the pdfs for the practice test.

          • Paul November 28, 2019, 1:43 pm

            Thanks! I see them now.

  • andrew October 24, 2019, 9:44 am

    Hey Clayton. Saw your memrise jlptbootcamp n5 course put in a memrise pamphlet at the polyglot conference in Fukuoka this year. Way to go.

    • Clayton MacKnight October 24, 2019, 2:46 pm

      Thanks Andrew! They had the vocabulary course? That’s great. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Rechel November 22, 2019, 12:53 pm

    Hi – I know it’s a bit too early talking about the next intake for JLPT. But am planning to take the exam July next year and am now scouring for resources. Is there a way to get your book from here in Sydney, Australia?
    Thanks, Rechel

  • Anita November 24, 2019, 1:40 am

    I’m reviewing for the N5 with your book, after studying from Genki. Are there answers for the “Give it a shot” exercises? In many cases the questions are more complicated than the preceding explanations. There are a couple that have me stumped so far (pg 182 #3 & #4). Thanks!

    • Clayton MacKnight November 25, 2019, 3:16 pm

      Yes, all answers and explanations are available online, just use the link in the book, right after the table of contents.

  • Peter February 5, 2020, 12:31 pm

    Dear sir, This is Peter Prakash from Chennai City in India.
    I’ve ordered your JLPT N5 Book through Amazon on 5th Feb. 2020.
    Hope this will be useful for me to learn and to clear the July N5 Exam.
    Thank you very much.

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