The complete guide to the Japanese NAT-Test of Competency

The complete guide to the Japanese NAT-Test of Competency

The NAT-Test is a Japanese Language Proficiency Test that is held annually both within and outside of Japan, and taken by international persons whose language is not Japanese in order to score their competency of the language for the purpose of employment in companies and entrance to academic programs.

This article will guide you through what you need to know about the NAT-Test!

Overview of the NAT-Test

The first NAT-Test was held in Japan in 1988, and has since been administered to students in their home countries, which now includes Canada, America, parts of Europe including England, Australia, etc., in addition to its original implementation in Asian countries such as China, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

The NAT-test is fully managed by the Japanese NAT-Test Management Committee, which makes the decision about dates and venues of the test, appoints the team to support its administration and oversees the entire process from beginning to end. The score students receive is considered the most readily used measures of competency, and much of students future plans hangs on its results, which are made available within 3 weeks of taking the test.
The NAT-test is typically held at least two times a year in all of the host countries with no set restriction on the number of students that can take the test. With a straight-forward registration process, the ability for students to take the test every 2 months in order to check their level, and the quick turnaround on results makes this test convenient for both students as well as professionals

So what are the levels of the Japanese NAT-Test?

The exam consists of 5 levels. Ordered from lowest to highest, they are: N5, N4, N3, N2, N1, with N1 being the highest level of achievement.

N5 level: Most students can achieve this first level with 3 months of hard study, with a curriculum equivalent to the completion of 25 lessons of the ‘Minna no Nihongo’ Textbook program.
N4 level: This 2nd level can be achieved for some students within 6-months of study with a curriculum equivalent to the completion of 50 lessons of the ‘Minna no Nihongo’ Textbook program.

N3 level: This 3rd level of the test can be achieved within 9 months of study, in a program equivalent to 50 ‘Minna no Nihongo’ syllabuses as well as some popular N3 level-specific syllabuses such as Sou Matome, Shin Kanzen, Mimi Kara Oboeru, etc. This level of the test is considered to be particularly challenging compared to the previous two levels as it marks a transition from beginner to intermediate, and as such a new bulk of knowledge is required, including how to discern similar words, new grammar structures, reading comprehension, listening comprehension.
N2 level: Students at this level are considered intermediate-advanced and would likely have undergone 12 months of intensive study. The popular N4 syllabuses such as Sou Matome, Shin Kanzen, and Mimi Kara Oboeru, have known to be great guides, however in addition, students will require a whole new slew of lot N2 vocabulary words. Vocabulary plays an important part at this level as students will need to read a lot of content in a short amount of time in order to excel.
N1 level: This level denotes students of an advanced level of understanding of the Japanese Language. To achieve this level, students often require a minimum of 1 year of intensive study in an advanced program. In addition to the previous skills, the most difficult aspect is not just the further expansion of vocabulary, grammer, reading and listening, but the critical assessment of appropriate context, depending on situational variables. Preparation for this test requires research, study, reading books and watching news I order to develop situational knowledge and intuition so that students can apply the correct use in each case and avoid any ambiguities or confusions from vocabulary-related or grammatical variations.

Registration process and exam fee

Learn about the intended time of the exam in accordance with Japanese language ability to promptly register for the exam.
Here is a list of registration venues for the NAT-Test 2019, by country

Đ?t thi
Ngày thi
H?n n?p h? s?
C?p đ? thi
Đ?t 1
04/02/2018
(Ch? nh?t)
05/01/2018
N1, N2, N3, N4, N5
Đ?t 2
01/4/2018
(Ch? nh?t)
02/3/2018
N3, N4, N5
Đ?t 3
10/6/2018
(Ch? nh?t)
11/5/2018
N1, N2, N3, N4, N5
Đ?t 4
12/8/2018
(Ch? nh?t)
13/7/2018
N3, N4, N5
Đ?t 5
14/10/2018
(Ch? nh?t)
14/9/2018
N1, N2, N3, N4, N5
Đ?t 6
09/12/2018
(Ch? nh?t)
09/11/2018
N3, N4, N5
Here is the latest NAT-Test Schedule 2019, for information about where and when the tests will be held, by country:
[missing table]

What documents to prepare.
You will be required to provide the following documents and information: – A photocopy of your Government-issed ID or passport (information and images must be clearly visible) – 2 identical photos of you (dimensions: 3×4) taken within the last 6-months and attached to application with paper clip (no staples). 1 of these photos should also contain your full name, date of birth, and previous test level achievement. – Registration Form, completed according to specifications found on the website or specified at the registration location.

See below table for list of Exam Fees, by country:

Exam times:

C?p đ?
Môn thi
Đi?m thi
Th?i gian thi
T?ng môn
T?ng
T?ng môn
T?ng
N5
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (t? v?ng)
60
180
25
105
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (ng? pháp), đ?c hi?u
60
50
Nghe
60
30
N4
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (t? v?ng)
60
180
30
125
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (ng? pháp), đ?c hi?u
60
60
Nghe
60
35
N3
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (t? v?ng)
60
180
30
140
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (ng? pháp), đ?c hi?u
60
70
Nghe
60
40
N2
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (t? v?ng, ng? pháp), đ?c hi?u
120
180
105
160
Nghe
60
50
N1
Ki?n th?c ngôn ng? (t? v?ng, ng? pháp), đ?c hi?u
120
180
110
170
Nghe
60
60

Turnaround time for results

Results are typically made available within 3 weeks of the examination date.
After the results are released, everyone will also receive instructions on when to come to the registration office to obtain either their certificates & transcripts (for those who passed) or their transcripts (for candidates who did not pass).

For further information about the NAT-Test, please visit the official homepage.