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.

Test Development

This is how we create the questions and content that appear on the Japanese Language NAT-TEST:

  • The NAT-TEST administration committee members responsible for creating questions and content for the exam create preliminary test questions.
  • These preliminary questions are checked and organized by administration committee staff.
  • The members then finalize these in groups of two, and create the preliminary questions that will appear on the exam.
  • The testing administration committee meets as a full body and checks the questions that have been created, making any necessary corrections or alterations. These questions become the second drafts of the questions to appear on the exam.
  • Members of our Standards and Practices Committee then check the questions and return them to the main committee along with any addendums, corrections, additions, etc. that they feel needs to be made to the questions to adhere to the standards of our examination process.
  • Based on the feedback from the Standards and Practices Committee, the questions are revised and modified. As long as is necessary, steps 4 and 5 are repeated until the final drafts of the questions have been completed.
  • Staff of the NAT-TEST Administration Committee make a final check of the questions and the ones that will ultimately appear on the exam are finalized.