The New JLPT for 2010

I got into a twitter discussion with some tweeps about the new 2010 JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Exam) exam details.

There is a PDF document linked from the JLPT page that explains the new exam. It is in Japanese only so far it seems.

NEW JLPT Guidebook

From what I have understood from quickly skimming the document, there is one major change that will be of interest to us Japanese learners.

There Are Now 5 Levels Of Difficulty On The JLPT

The previous JLPT had JLPT level 1, 2, 3, and 4. JLPT1 was the most difficult level, and there was a significant jump between levels 2 and 3.

The new exam levels are organized as follows. N3 is the most “exciting” and new level.

N1: Will be able to measure the test takers ability at a level a bit higher than the current JLPT1, but the pass/fail cutoff will be about the same as the current JLPT1 exam.

N2: Will be about the same difficulty as the current JLPT2.

N3: Will be a level between the current JLPT2 and JLPT3 levels. (This is a newly created level.)

N4: Will be about the same difficulty as the current JLPT3.

N5: Will be about the same difficulty as the current JLPT4.

New JLPT Levels
New JLPT Levels

This is interesting. I’m curious to know how the new N1 scoring will reflect a “higher level” than the existing JLPT1. Will it be worth taking again for people who have already passed JLPT1? Probably not…

It’s good that they created N3. I heard a lot of complaints from people that the jump from JLPT3 to JLPT2 was too great. N3 should be a nice middle ground that people can shoot for!

Change! Gotta love it.