JLPT Online Training Programs and Resources

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This is part 2 of a 5-part series. Be sure to check out the rest!

Part 1: Preparing For the JLPT: Do You Need It For A Job In Japan?

Part 3: The JLPT: Do You Need It For A Job? (US version)

Part 4:The JLPT Got The Coronavirus

Part 5: Stop Interviewing & Hiring Based Solely On the JLPT

It’s that time of year for the Japan-loving bunch of people: studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, which is scheduled for December 1, 2019. I know that many of my followers are concerned with this topic lately. My guest blogger, Sarah, wrote a great blog post about whether you need the JLPT for a job in Japan, and I wrote about whether you need the JLPT for a Japanese-related job in the US in Part 3 (spoiler alert: I have mixed feelings on this subject). 

This blog post will highlight my research about the many online JLPT prep programs.


First, though, some disclaimers. I am dating myself, but I took all levels back before the format changed from 4 to 5 levels in 2009 (i.e. from levels 1-4 to N1-N5). Fortunately, I passed and live to tell the story, but we can be sure that much about the test has changed over the years. We won’t actually be going into the details about the JLPT testing format or language components, but it’s important that you know I haven’t taken it lately (although I would be interested to test my current language levels…). Further, this blog post is a summary of my research on online JLPT programs to a) show you how many exist, and b) give you a synopsis of what I learned on these websites. It is NOT a review of these programs, and I am currently not involved with any of these companies/websites. 

I hope this list is helpful! 

Japanese Jobs 100 Online Training Program

The List

JLPT: The official site offers sample questions for each level, so be sure to start here. They also offer the official workbooks for sale and in PDF format, and other samples here. 

Japanese Online Institute: The JLPT levels are covered in group or private lessons. The group lessons are offered on various days/times, and you can join any particular lesson without worrying about order. They use New Kanzen Master, Kanzen Master, and Minna no Nihongo textbooks. You can try 3 trial lessons for $9, and there are FlexLessons (Small Group), Private Silver, and Private Gold payment options available. 

Japan Online School: They have 10 JLPT-related courses, two for each of the N1-N5 levels, and use the TRY! 日本語能力試験 textbook series. You can test a trial lesson, and they can customize a plan depending on what level you are at currently. There are two payment plans, and it is based around a ticket system (i.e. 1 ticket = 50-minute class, 1.5 tickets = 75-minute class, 2 tickets = 100-minute class). Discounts are available for members and for higher volumes of tickets purchased. The company is based in Japan, and the website is quite robust and full of information.

JapanesePod101.com: These podcasts will surely help your listening and speaking skills. You register to become a free lifetime account member, and you can follow set programs, which would be good for a person who likes to follow a predetermined checklist. For example, they have a “Master Course” for every N1-N5 level, such as the N5 one that is 118 lessons, 16 assignments and 16 hrs 31 min long. They also offer other free resources, such as flash cards and vocabulary lists. 

JLPT Bootcamp: This is a very impressive blog that is run by Clayton MacKnight, who helps others experiencing the test. He offers a free and paid N5 practice test, among other informative articles – especially grammar-related ones.

JLPT Sensei: This is a great website that offers advice on each JLPT level, a blog on related topics, and a nice resource page for other websites, textbooks and dictionaries.

JLPT Study Page: The blog highlights past exams, translated sentences, vocabulary/grammar/kanji lists and quizzes for levels N2-N5. It’s a simple website that is based on the previous JLPT versions (i.e. pre-2010), but still can be considered very useful.

Meguro Language Center: This school, located in Tokyo, offers individual Skype lessons for JLPT test-takers. Fees depend on how many lessons, and if you register by the end of September you can get a discount. They use various textbooks, as well as their own material. Check out their page on free study materials that is full of worksheets, quizzes, lists and audio files. You can even do a quick assessment on which JLPT level you may be.

Udemy: There are many JLPT-related online courses depending on the N1-N5 level and focus (i.e. kanji, reading, sentence pattern, comprehensive review, mock test). You can see a brief preview before purchasing, as well as duration and number of courses included. 

There are also many schools located in Japan and other countries, so if you want to physically meet and learn with a teacher or tutor, be sure to search for those schools in the location of your choice.

If you have taken any of these programs and want to let everyone know your thoughts, or if I’ve missed any, please leave a comment and let everyone know – thank you! よろしくお願いします★

This is part 2 of a 5-part series. Be sure to check out the rest!

Part 1: Preparing For the JLPT: Do You Need It For A Job In Japan?

Part 3: The JLPT: Do You Need It For A Job? (US version)

Part 4:The JLPT Got The Coronavirus

Part 5: Stop Interviewing & Hiring Based Solely On the JLPT

Illustration by Jordyn Karpinski – Photo by Nathan da Silva on Unsplash

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