If you’re a Japanese language learner, you would have already known about the JLPT test. There are only two JLPT test dates in a year, and in some places, only one. Some plan well in advance to catch the next test date or to apply for a job with the passed test results. But not all of us are well prepared. 

Even if you’re not familiar with it, you’re here reading this article because you’re curious as to what’s in store next after taking the test. Some don’t know exactly what to do with that certificate, or the opportunities that the test can provide. 

So the answer to this question in our heads greatly depends on the reason you take the test in the first place. Read on to find out some of the things you can consider.

By the way, if you don’t know why you should take the JLPT in the first place, check out one of our articles about it here

The JLPT and its levels

Let’s first take a look at what JLPT is in the first place. We have a whole article on that already, but let’s have a brief summary of it here regardless.

JLPT stands for Japanese Language Proficiency Test. This is the only test that is standardised to evaluate the level of Japanese language proficiency one has. You can take the JLPT tests twice a year in over 60 countries worldwide. You have to register online in advance and it takes up to three months to get your results. This is important to know, especially if you’re using the results to apply for a job or university in Japan. Check this list for a testing centre near you. 

There are five levels for the JLPT: N1 to N5: 

JLPT N5 is the lowest but easiest to pass of them all, which covers the writing systems and the grammar basics. JLPT N4 covers most of the grammar that you need to speak conversational Japanese. Once you cover all of the JLPT N4 and N5 materials, you can get around Japan without any problems. 

JLPT N3 is where it gets a bit difficult as it covers a bit more complicated grammar points. It gets you ready for the next level, JLPT N2, which is the proficiency level you need to work in Japan. It covers the most written and spoken Japanese. 

And finally, you have JLPT N1, which is the highest level and as close to a native you can get. You’re pretty much qualified for any job in Japan at this point.

The JLPT tests cover written and listening comprehension, but not speaking or writing. Here at Nihongo Master, we have practices for all the various mediums. Start learning Japanese with a free trial here!

Now, let’s look at three things you can do after you’ve passed your JLPT test, regardless of which level you took.

1. Continue your studies

The first thing you can do is continue your studies, regardless of what JLPT level you passed. It doesn’t have to be studying for the next test. It can just be learning casually. Learning a language is a lifelong journey. You should never really stop learning, whether actively or passively. You have to keep using this new language so that you don’t forget it.

There are a few ways you can do this. You can pick up reading and start reading a Japanese book. Just like how you can learn a lot from reading an English book, you can learn new words, kanji characters and sentence structures through reading Japanese books. 

Alternatively, you can continue learning Japanese through other forms of media like anime and manga. Some of us are already learning Japanese through these methods, so going back to them is definitely a great way to continue your learning journey.

Another way to continue your studies is by actively conversing in Japanese. Since the JLPT tests don’t cover speaking skills, this is a good opportunity to put that theory into practice. You can decide to attend conversational classes where you speak in Japanese during class, or make Japanese friends online. In Japan, some cafes let you meet others who are just like you, wanting to practice their conversational skills.

2. Start with professional plans

For some of us, taking the JLPT is for our career. So once you’ve got that certificate that shows you’ve passed that level, you should start looking at how you can use that for job interviews, job advancements or promotions. Some jobs require a certain level of JLPT, so if you have met that requirement, definitely get on how you can apply for that.

If the job that you want requires a level higher than what you’ve just passed, then read on to our next point…

3. Prepare for the next test

As mentioned earlier, there are only two testing dates in a year for the JLPT, and you need to book months in advance for it. If you’re thinking of sitting for the next level of JLPT, whether it’s for your career or just personal reasons, take note of the opening date for applications. 

Start studying for that level. Get books to help you prepare for it. Some may want to go for classes where they guide you through the preparation, as well as provide mock exam papers. These all depend on your studying methods as not everyone studies the same way. 

Good Luck!

Whichever route you choose to take after passing your JLPT, you should definitely congratulate yourself on this achievement. It’s a huge milestone, regardless of which level it is. Give yourself a break, a pat on the back, maybe even a nice cake. Then, jump right back into learning Japanese!