NAT

 

 

About the Japanese Language NAT-TEST

Overview of the Exam

The Japanese Language NAT-TEST is an examination that measures the Japanese language ability of students who are not native Japanese speakers. The tests are separated by difficulty (five levels) and general ability is measured in three categories: Grammar/Vocabulary, Listening and Reading Comprehension. The format of the exam and the types of questions are equivalent to those that appear on the Japanese Language Ability Test (JLPT).

Levels and sections of the exam

There are five levels of the Japanese Language NAT-TEST. Level 5 is the easiest followed by levels 4, 3, 2, and then level 1, which is the most difficult. The difficulty of each level corresponds to its respective level (from N5 to N1) on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

Levels 1 and 2 have a Language Knowledge section, which includes reading, grammar and vocabulary, a Reading Comprehension section and a Listening section. Levels 3, 4 and 5 have a Language Knowledge section, which includes kanji and vocabulary, a second Language Knowledge section with grammar and reading, and then a Listening section. On the day of the exam, it will take several hours for test takers to complete the test.

 

Administration of the NAT-TEST

The administration of the NAT-TEST is handled entirely by the Administration Committee of Senmon Kyouiku Publishing Co. (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan). The tests are operated by the Regional Office of each country. The Committee provides Regional Offices technical assistance and support to operate the NAT-TEST correctly and ensure the integrity of testing.

The Three Sections of the Exam

The exact organization and content of the exam differs slightly for each level, however a basic guide to the content on the NAT-TEST is as follows:

Language Knowledge (reading and vocabulary)

  • Level 1: Kanji reading, contextual comprehension, synonyms, usage
  • Level 2: Kanji reading, orthography, word formation, contextual comprehension, synonyms, usage
  • Level 3: Kanji reading, expressions, contextual comprehension, synonyms, usage
  • Level 4: Kanji reading, orthography, contextual comprehension, synonyms, usage
  • Level 5: Kanji reading, orthography, contextual comprehension

Language Knowledge (grammar, reading comprehension)

  • Level 1: Grammar – Conjugation, sentence composition, grammar in compositions
    Reading Comprehension: Understanding content (short, medium and long-form writings), integrated comprehension, thematic comprehension, information retrieval
  • Level 2: Grammar – Conjugation, sentence composition, grammar in compositions
    Reading Comprehension: Understanding content (short and medium-form writings), integrated comprehension, thematic comprehension, information retrieval
  • Level 3: Grammar – Conjugation, sentence composition, grammar in compositions
    Reading Comprehension: Understanding content (short, medium and long-form writings), information retrieval
  • Level 4: Grammar – Conjugation, sentence composition, grammar in compositions
    Reading Comprehension: Understanding content (short and medium-form writings), information retrieval
  • Level 5: Grammar – Conjugation, sentence composition, grammar in compositions
    Reading Comprehension: Understanding content (short and medium-form writings), information retrieval

Listening Comprehension

  • Level 1: Task-based comprehension, comprehension of key points, understanding a synopsis, quick responses, integrated comprehension
  • Level 2: Task-based comprehension, comprehension of key points, understanding a synopsis, quick responses, integrated comprehension
  • Level 3: Task-based comprehension, comprehension of key points, understanding a synopsis, expressions used in speech, quick responses
  • Level 4: Task-based comprehension, comprehension of key points, expressions used in speech, quick responses
  • Level 5: Task-based comprehension, comprehension of key points, expressions used in speech, quick responses

Including the breaks between each section, the entire exam will take approximately half a day to complete. For more information on what to expect on exam day and beyond, please see this page.

Test Times and Scoring

Levels 1 and 2

  Time Maximum Score
Language Knowledge
(reading
grammarvocabulary) Reading Comprehension
Level 1: 110min
Level 2: 105min
120 points
Listening Comprehension Level 1: 60min*
Level 2: 50min*
60 points
Total Level 1: 170min
(2hrs,50min)
Level 2: 155min
(2hrs,35min)
180 points

* The exact time allotted for the listening section may differ slightly based on the length of the recordings.

Levels 3, 4 and 5

  Time Maximum Score
Language Knowledge
grammar, vocabulary
Level 3: 30min
Level 4: 30min
Level 5: 25min
60 points
Language Knowledgegrammar Reading Comprehension Level 3: 70min
Level 4: 60min
Level 5: 50min
60 points
Listening Comprehension Level 3: 40min*
Level 4: 35min*
Level 5: 30min*
60 points
Total Level 3: 140min
(2hrs,20min)
Level 4: 125min
(2hrs,5min)
Level 5: 105min
(1hr,45min)
180 points

* The exact time allotted for the listening section may differ slightly based on the length of the recordings.

Passing Criteria

In order to pass the exam, test takers must achieve a score of at least 25% on each of the individual sections as well as achieve an overall score that exceeds the overall pass mark for the exam (typically around 60%).