Japanese-Language Proficiency Test and Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test

Outlines of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test and the Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test

- Japanese Language Proficiency Test

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is designed for non-native Japanese speakers to attain certain levels of Japanese proficiency. The test is conducted by the Japanese Educational Exchanges in Japan and by the Japan Foundation abroad in cooperation with local institutions.
Four levels were offered until 2008 from Level 1 (900 hours of study) to Level 4 (150 hours). In 2009, Level 1 and 2 tests were conducted twice and Level 3 and 4 were conducted once.
The current system was introduced in 2010, and the five new levels (N1 to N5) replaced the old level structure in order to emphasize linguistic communication skills for solving specific problems. The test is conducted twice a year. Only N1 to N3 tests were conducted in the first year (2010), and since then all levels (N1-N5) have been offered.
(See the JLPT website for statistics).

- Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test

The Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test is conducted by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services, and designed for people who are studying to be Japanese teachers or who are already working as Japanese teachers. They are tested to see if their teaching knowledge and skills meet the standards required for Japanese language education professionals. The test consists of five categories: "society, culture, local and community," "language and society," "language and psychology," "language and education," and "language in general."