Nihongo Kentei

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Nihongo Kentei
Nihongo Kentei logo.png
AcronymGoken
TypeLanguage Proficiency Test
Year started2007
LanguagesJapanese
Websitehttps://www.nihongokentei.jp

The Nihongo Kentei (日本語検定, The Japanese Language Examination) is a standardized test of Japanese language proficiency for native Japanese language speakers. The test is held twice a year, in June and November; approximately 300,000 people sit the examination every year.

In 2011, the test was sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).[citation needed]

Overview[edit]

The Nihongo Kentei was created to assess overall ability in the Japanese language. The questions focus on more obscure and difficult areas of the Japanese language, such as proficiency in Kanji, the use of honorifics, and extended vocabulary. Although intended for native speakers, the exam is open to all applicants.

It is not to be confused with the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), which is intended for non-native Japanese speakers.[1][2]

Features[edit]

Questions in the Nihongo Kentei fall into six categories.[3]

  1. 敬語 (Honorifics)
  2. 文法 (Grammar)
  3. 語彙 (Vocabulary)
  4. 言葉の意味 (Definitions)
  5. 表記 (Expressions)
  6. 漢字 (Kanji)

The test consists of practical Japanese questions, designed to evaluate the candidate's understanding of Japanese. These highlight areas of strength and weaknesses.

Criteria for certification[4][edit]

There are two types of certifications for each level, depending on the percentage scored.

Successful applicants must score more than 50% for all the six categories mentioned above (shown in the table below as "category threshold"). If results in any category fall below the category threshold, the candidate will not be certified (except for the lowest category, Level 7). Note that 1級 (Level 1) refers to the best possible grade, and 7級(Level 7) refers to the worst.

級 (Level) Test time Threshold Percentage Category threshold Certification
1級 (Level 1) 60min 80% or more 50% or more 1級 (Level 1)
70-80% 準1級 (Semi Level 1)
2級 (Level 2) 60min 75% or more 2級 (Level 2)
65-75% 準2級 (Semi Level 2)
3級 (Level 3) 60min 70% or more 3級 (Level 3)
60-70% 準3級 (Semi Level 3)
4級 (Level 4) 50min 70% or more 4級 (Level 4)
60-70% 準4級 (Semi Level 4)
5級 (Level 5) 50min 70% or more 5級 (Level 5)
60-70% 準5級 (Semi Level 5)
6級 (Level 6) 50min 70% or more 6級 (Level 6)
60-70% 準6級 (Semi Level 6)
7級 (Level 7) 50min 70% or more 7級 (Level 7)
60-70% 準7級 (Semi Level 7)

Applications statistics and results[5][edit]

Year Level Goken in Japan
Applicants Certified (%) Semi Level Certified (%)
2017-1 1級(Level 1) 682 9.2% 18.4%
2級(Level 2) 3,257 16.2% 25.1%
3級(Level 3) 17,741 33.7% 35.3%
4級(Level 4) 7,189 68.1% 19.6%
5級(Level 5) 3,262 76.5% 14.7%
6級(Level 6) 3,074 63.4% 18.2%
7級(Level 7) 927 91.2% 3.3%
2017-2 1級(Level 1) 727 19.1% 24.5%
2級(Level 2) 3,897 8.8% 9.9%
3級(Level 3) 15,542 38.0% 28.3%
4級(Level 4) 8,816 73.9% 16.9%
5級(Level 5) 6,017 79.9% 13.2%
6級(Level 6) 4,152 71.1% 13.9%
7級(Level 7) 1,357 86.7% 3.4%
2018-1 1級(Level 1) 594 4.9% 21.9%
2級(Level 2) 2,881 11.0% 35.8%
3級(Level 3) 18,787 44.2% 20.4%
4級(Level 4) 7,017 83.6% 7.1%
5級(Level 5) 2,082 78.9% 6.4%
6級(Level 6) 1,278 78.0% 2.8%
7級(Level 7) 3,436 89.6% 3.3%
2018-2 1級(Level 1) 682 9.2% 18.4%
2級(Level 2) 3,257 16.2% 25.1%
3級(Level 3) 17,741 33.7% 35.3%
4級(Level 4) 7,189 68.1% 19.6%
5級(Level 5) 3,262 76.5% 14.7%
6級(Level 6) 3,074 63.4% 18.2%
7級(Level 7) 927 91.2% 3.3%
2019-1 1級(Level 1) 596 14.1% 33.7%
2級(Level 2) 2,841 9.3% 23.9%
3級(Level 3) 19,519 41.9% 22.9%
4級(Level 4) 7,735 76.2% 10.6%
5級(Level 5) 3,264 78.9% 9.1%
6級(Level 6) 2,335 74.5% 2.8%
7級(Level 7) 2,158 91.4% 2.4%
2019-2 1級(Level 1) 618 7.2% 26.3%
2級(Level 2) 3,599 7,9% 23.4%
3級(Level 3) 14,079 40.7.% 25.3%
4級(Level 4) 8,704 72.9% 14.3%
5級(Level 5) 4,501 76.2% 8.8%
6級(Level 6) 2,904 77.0% 6.6%
7級(Level 7) 1,531 86.1% 7.5%

Non-native Japanese language speakers who passed Nihongo Kentei level 1[edit]

A passing certificate for Nihongo Kentei level 1 test given to a non-native Japanese speaker (Evgeny Uskov from Russia)
A passing certificate for Nihongo Kentei level 1 test given to a non-native Japanese speaker (Evgeny Uskov from Russia)

Based on the publicly available information, as of November 2021, there has been 1 non-native Japanese speaker who passed the Nihongo Kentei level 1 test -
Evgeny Uskov (from Russian Federation).[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ryotoku, Kato. "What kind of experience does the second grade Nihongo Kentei passer have? : In the case of a nucleus private university student (a faculty of liberal arts)". Bulletin of Faculty of Health and Welfare, Osaka University of Health and Sports Sciences. 10: 47–58.
  2. ^ Barbaschow, Asha. "Fujitsu and Sony think blockchain is the best way to store education records". ZDNet. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  3. ^ "日本語検定とは? | 日本語検定-ビジネス,就活,学力アップ。日本語力を高める検定。". 日本語検定 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  4. ^ "受検概要・申込 | 日本語検定-ビジネス,就活,学力アップ。日本語力を高める検定。". 日本語検定 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  5. ^ "検定データ | 日本語検定-ビジネス,就活,学力アップ。日本語力を高める検定。". 日本語検定 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  6. ^ "漢検1級・日本語検定1級に受かったロシア人". Retrieved 2021-11-06.

External links[edit]