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Roughly what year level is N5 and N4? 2022/9/15 14:46
Hi all,

I would like to know roughly what school year level the more basic JLPT levels are equivalent to.
For instance, I heard N1 is end of high school, N2 is around start of high school/upper middle school depends on who I ask. From there, answers for N3,4,5 vary greatly. From what I gather, N3 is roughly start of middle school, N4 is elementary and N5 is early elementary.
Would like to narrow it down a bit from there if possible. Just a guesstimate, but would it be accurate to say, N5 is roughly year 2, N4 is roughly year 4, and N3 is roughly year 6?

I know many people have said there is no direct co-relation to JLPT level and the equivalent level taught in schools in Japan. I respect that, and understand any direct comparison is arbitrary at best, downright inaccurate at worst. I also know even if all the vocab and grammar points are covered, there is no way I will speak as well as a native at the same "level".

However, I would still just like a general guide, which will be useful in choosing immersion material, and explaining where I am to people "outside the Japanosphere", normal folks who do not know a single word of Japanese, when they ask me "oh you're learning Japanese? Cool, what year level are you doing?" (usually the first question I am asked once they find out, I am not actively telling people but it is obvious from how I am spending my lunch breaks and free time).

For context, I am preparing for JLPT N4 but sitting N5 to test the waters and get a feel of the exam format. Pass or fail I am aiming for N4 next year, since you don't need to do them in sequence. At this stage of my journey, N3 is the goal, at that point I will decide if I want to keep going or stop there.
I only just finished reading through Genki 1, Wanikani level 13, have just signed up with Bunpro but so far feel most of it is covered in Genki 1, won't know my Bunpro level until later.

Thanks
by SP (guest)  

Re: Roughly what year level is N5 and N4? 2022/9/16 20:26
Well as you say it canft really be compared. A child learns a language differently than an adult. A 5 year old Japanese will be able to speak correctly , use a lot of words and youfd probably not understand a word unless you are at least at N2. But that same 5 year old could not explain in her own words an abstract idea. But as an adult even at N5 or N4 you might be able to explain something abstract, because you know what you want to say and only need to find the Japanese words for it.

There is however a connection between the kanji in the JLPT levels and school.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Roughly what year level is N5 and N4? 2022/12/3 11:45
N5 roughly equates to 1st-2nd elementary grade, and N4 is more like 2nd-3rd grade. But it may depend.
by Christian Hirose Romeo Graham rate this post as useful

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