Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Best Mock Test Review Books for JLPT N4 and N5


If you want a more focused study for the exam itself, after you've learned your Japanese, you can try the sample questions in the official JLPT trial exam books or here if you're in JAPAN.

If you prefer sample questions with explanations included in the answers, you can try one of the exam preparation books which have lots of drills and tips. Do you need an exam prep book? Maybe not, but it'd surely make things easier (at least for me, it was a big help).

You get very good practice from these books, getting you to a better prepared, more confident state.


  • Go ahead and prepare yourself for the exam! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Recommended Books for JLPT N5 & N4 Study Preparation

To make your Japanese / JLPT study more efficient,
I recommend using books for this purpose.

You learn faster; less study time, but still get better results.

The list below has been carefully picked from my personal experience -
these are books that helped me pass the exam, plus a few others having very good recommendations.

  • A Dictionary of Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Japanese Grammar (3 books) - covers all grammar from JLPT N5 to N1. For N5 to N4 level, just use the 1st book (basic). This series has the highest ratings of all grammar books on Amazon, as explanations are very clear and useful. Based on reviews, people who previously couldn't talk straight Japanese were able to apply the grammar points in the book successfully... Published by the Japan Times newspaper company which also provides the good Genki textbooks. 


  • MINNA NO NIHONGO Bk 1 - For JLPT N5 and N4. Somewhat controversial, a lot of people prefer the Genki book over this. But I did use this book and it helped me pass the exam, as its coverage is really complete and you really have no choice but do dig into Japanese from page 1. There are no English explanations, you'd need the companion teacher's guide for that, probably the reason why Genki is preferred. For JLPT N5, you need to go until around the middle chapter. For N4, you can use this plus the Minna no Nihongo II. 
  • MINNA NO NIHONGO Bk 1 - TRANSLATION BOOK - This is the partner book containing the English translation and grammatical notes, otherwise you could get lost in the Book 1, especially without a teacher.
  • MINNA NO NIHONGO Book 2 - For JLPT N4. You'd need to read until about the middle chapter to learn the exam coverage. I also used this and it was very helpful in passing the exam. I still have to find the English translation, but you may or may not need that by this time. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

JLPT JULY 3 2016 Philippines Application

Manila, Davao City & Cebu City

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (New JLPT since 2010 – N1, N2, N3, N4, & N5) – the world’s largest-scale Japanese-Language test, will be held on Sunday, July 3, 2016; it will commence simultaneously at 1:00 p.m. in three (3) different test sites – at the De La Salle University (DLSU) Taft Ave., Manila , Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (MKD), Angliongto Ave., Lanang, Davao City and at the University of San Carlos (Talamban Campus), Nasipit, Talamban, Cebu City. The JLPT is administered worldwide, by the Japan Foundation in cooperation with other cultural exchange/educational institutions, in order to evaluate and certify the Japanese language proficiency of non-native speakers.

Key Points of the JLPT (N1, N2, N3, N4, N5 since 2010)

The test places importance on a learner’s knowledge of the Japanese language including vocabulary and grammar; and, in thecompetence in using the knowledge in practical communication.
The test measures 1) through a section called “Language Knowledge (Vocabulary/Grammar)” and 2) through two sections called “Reading” and “Listening.” The combination of these sections comprehensively measures Japanese communicative competence.
The test has five (5) levels – N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5; the N3 level that was created in 2010 is a bridging level – comparable to a level between Level 2 and Level 3 (until 2009). The increase in the number of levels allows examinees to select a suitable test level.Examinees should be careful in choosing the level which best corresponds to their Japanese-language proficiency/ability and classroom training.

N1 – The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances. Approximately the same level as the old Level 1 test, but designed to measure slightly more advanced abilities.
N2 – The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree. Approximately the same level as the old Level 2 test.
N3 – The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.  Positioned at a level bridging the old Level 2 and Level 3 tests.
N4 – The ability to understand basic Japanese. Approximately the same level as the old Level 3 test.
N5 – The ability to understand some basic Japanese. Approximately the same level as the old Level 4 test.

              For further information on the “New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook”, “New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guidebook: An Executive Summary (Japanese/English version)”, and “New Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Sample Questions”, please access:;

Application Procedure

Application forms will be available from March 1 (Tuesday) at the following offices :

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM)

23/F Pacific Star Bldg.
Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia Ext.) cor. Makati Ave.
Tel. # 811-61-55 to 58     Fax # 811-61-53

Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (MKD)
Angliongto Ave. (Mamay Road),  Lanang, Davao City
Tel. #  (082) 233-0013 / 0081

Japanese Association Cebu, Inc. (JACI)
            5/F Clotilde Commercial Center
            M. L. Quezon St., Casuntingan, Mandaue City
Tel. # (032) 343-8066 / Fax # (032) 343-7663


Examination Fees in full are to be paid upon submission of duly accomplished forms with two (2) prescribed photos, as scheduled below and in the duly designated localities :

          9  March  to  8 April   (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon / 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) Monday thru Friday                    

                     The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM, Makati City)
                     Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (MKD, Davao City)
                     Japanese Association Cebu, Inc. (JACI, Mandaue City)

N1 – P 1,100.00
N2 – P 1,100.00
N3 – P 1,000.00
N4 – P 1,000.00
N5 – P 1,000.00

                            (company checks honored – for 10 or more employees)

                                          IMPORTANT NOTICE
The JLPT Test Voucher and Valid ID Card are required to be presented on the TEST Day (Sunday, 3 July 2016)
Successful examinees will be issued Certificates of Japanese-Language Proficiency by October 2016 .
All examinees will receive a Score Report.
Results will be available on JLPT Worldwide Official Website by late August / early September 2016

**********  MAILING ADDRESS with CONTACT NUMBERS of examinee
MUST be indicated properly - COMPLETELY and CLEARLY
on the JLPT Application Form **********

*For more information, please access the Japan Foundation, Manila website (
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