The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (日本語能力試験, Nihongo Nōryoku Shiken) measures a person's proficiency in the Japanese language. Test results are widely used by professionals seeking employment at Japanese companies and students seeking acceptance at Japanese educational institutions to certify their language proficiency.
The test has five levels, from level 5 for beginners to level 1 for advanced students. Writing, reading, listening, vocabulary and grammar skills are all tested during the 1.5 to 3 hour test. The JLPT is held twice a year, in July and December, in various cities inside and outside of Japan (only once per year in some locations).
Anyone wishing to take the test should register at least three months in advance (check official website for exact dates). Results of the test are released about two to three months after the test date.