Kanji kentei

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The Japan Kanji Aptitude Test (日本漢字能力検定 Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei?) is a test of one's knowledge of kanji. The test is more commonly known as the Kanji Kentei (漢字検定?), or the shorter Kanken (漢検?). The test is administered by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Public Interest Foundation (日本漢字能力検定協会 Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei Kyōkai?)[1]

There are 12 levels (levels 10 through 3, pre-2, 2, pre-1 and 1) with level 10 being the easiest and level 1 the most difficult. The test examines not only one's ability to read and write kanji, it also examines one's ability to understand their meanings, use them correctly in sentences, and to identify their correct stroke order. Although the test was originally developed for native Japanese speakers, non-native speakers may also sit for the test.

Native speakers pass levels 10 through 7 at better than an 80% rate, whereas level 1 is so difficult that fewer than two thousand people take it each time it is offered, and fewer than 15% of those pass.

For levels 10 through 8, the test is 40 minutes long. For levels 7 through 1, it is 60 minutes long. A 70% score is required to pass levels 7 through pre-2, and an 80% score is required for levels 2, pre-1 and 1.

Levels 10 through 4 are primarily taken by kindergarten to elementary school age (up to 12 years old) children. Levels 3 and up are the tests that high school students and adults typically take.

Level 2 is as high as many Japanese, even those with higher education degrees, tend to go. Passing level 2 can be an advantage when applying for jobs, etc. Passing levels pre-1 and 1 is especially rare even among native speakers.

Test levels and skills[edit]

Level 10[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 96.3% (in 2010)
  • Tests the 80 kanji learned in the first grade of elementary school(age 7); see Level 10 kanji.

Level 9[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 90.6% (in 2010)
  • Tests the 240 kanji learned up to the second grade of elementary school (age 8); see Level 9 kanji.

Level 8[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 83.6% (in 2010)
  • Tests the 440 kanji learned up to the third grade of elementary school (age 9), including on readings and kun readings, stroke order, writing ability, ability to use in sentences, and the names of radicals.
  • Tests knowledge of antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms

Level 7[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 84.3% (in 2010)
  • Tests the 640 kanji learned up to the fourth grade of elementary school (age 10), including on readings and kun readings, stroke order, writing ability, ability to use in sentences, and the names of radicals.
  • Tests knowledge of antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests idiomatic phrases and kanji compound words

Level 6[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 76.0% (in 2010)
  • Tests the 825 kanji learned up to the fifth grade of elementary school (age 11), including on readings and kun readings, stroke order, writing ability, ability to use in sentences, and the names of radicals.
  • Tests knowledge of antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests idiomatic phrases and three-kanji compound words

Level 5[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 72.0% (in 2010)
  • Tests the 1006 kanji learned up to the sixth grade of elementary school (age 12) (the kyōiku kanji), including on readings and kun readings, stroke order, writing ability, ability to use in sentences, and the names of radicals.
  • Tests knowledge of antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests idiomatic phrases and four-kanji compound words

Level 4[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 52.0% (in 2010)
  • Tests the kanji learned up to the sixth grade of elementary school, plus an additional 300 daily use kanji (常用漢字 jōyō kanji)
  • Tests on readings and kun readings, and the ability to use kanji in sentences
  • Requires the ability to read about 1300 characters, and write about 900
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests idiomatic phrases and four-kanji compound words
  • Tests knowledge of radicals required to use a kanji dictionary

Level 3[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 47.5% (in 2010)
  • Tests the kanji learned up to the sixth grade of elementary school, plus an additional 600 daily use kanji
  • Tests on readings and kun readings, and the ability to use kanji in sentences
  • Requires the ability to read about 1600 characters
  • Tests special or unusual kanji readings
  • Tests ateji (当て字), phonetic readings of characters
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests idiomatic phrases and four-kanji compound words
  • Tests knowledge of radicals required to use a kanji dictionary

Level Pre-2[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 36.6% (in 2010)
  • Tests the kanji learned in the first two years of high school (approximately 16-17 years of age)
  • Tests on readings and kun readings, and the ability to use kanji in sentences
  • Requires the ability to read 1940 characters of the previous list of daily use kanji (year 1981), minus the recently removed 5 characters (勺, 銑, 脹, 錘, and 匁) of the currently in use list of daily use kanji.
  • Tests special or unusual kanji readings
  • Tests ateji
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests special compound words
  • Tests complex radicals

Level 2[edit]

  • Pass rate for this level: 23.9% (in 2010)
  • Tests the kanji learned through high school: requires the ability to read and write all of the 2136 daily use kanji (jōyō kanji)
  • Tests on readings and kun readings, and the ability to use kanji in sentences
  • Tests special or unusual kanji readings
  • Tests ateji
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests special compound words
  • Tests complex radicals and composition of kanji

Level Pre-1[edit]

  • Tests the ability to read and write all 2965 kanji in level 1 of JIS X 0208, with their on readings and kun readings
  • Requires the ability to use the kanji in sentences and to choose the most appropriate kanji for a given context
  • Tests special or unusual kanji readings
  • Tests ateji
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests special compound words
  • Tests complex radicals
  • Tests kanji unique to the Japanese language (kokuji)
  • Tests abbreviated kanji forms (ryakuji) such as 餠→餅, 摑→掴
  • Tests classical Japanese proverbs and idiomatic expressions

Level 1[edit]

  • Tests the ability to read and write all 6355 kanji in levels 1 and 2 of JIS X 0208, with their on readings and kun readings
  • Requires the ability to use the kanji in sentences and to choose the most appropriate kanji for a given context
  • Tests special or unusual kanji readings
  • Tests ateji
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests special compound words
  • Tests complex radicals
  • Tests kanji unique to the Japanese language
  • Tests classical Japanese proverbs and idiomatic expressions
  • Tests place and country names
  • Tests the ability to recognize the relationship between modern and ancient or old character forms

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 日本漢字能力検定 [Japan Kanji Aptitude Test] (in Japanese). 日本漢字能力検定協会. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 

http://www.kanken.or.jp/kanken/faq/

References[edit]

  • 漢字検定 (2009). 平成21年度 日本漢字能力検定協会 (Heisei 21 Kanji Kentei registration form and information packet).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]