JLPT Pass Rate Statistics

JLPT Pass Rate Statistics

So how many people actually pass the JLPT every year?

I’ve compiled some statistics/data over the last few years to give you a clear idea of how many people register for and actually pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test to receive their JLPT certification for each level.

2016 summer + winter totalApplicants211,441254,613190,484117,91791,839866,294
Percentage Certified(%)32.1%39.5%40.2%35.3%49.4%38.3%
2015 summer + winter totalApplicants203,930216,068151,33899,96878,948750,252
Percentage Certified(%)31.4%40.2%37.8%36.1%52.0%38.0%
2014 summer + winter totalApplicants206,636197,054127,36882,32968,506681,893
Percentage Certified(%)32.6%41.7%38.6%41.3%51.2%39.2%

Analyzing the data

From the above table, the percentage certified (or pass rate), is highlighted in blue for to quickly see. Over the last 3 years, we have these average pass rate for each JLPT level.

  • JLPT N1 average pass rate: ~32%
  • JLPT N2 average pass rate: ~40%
  • JLPT N3 average pass rate: ~39%
  • JLPT N4 average pass rate: ~37%
  • JLPT N5 average pass rate: ~51%

Based on this, N5 (the easiest level) had the highest pass rate, which is not surprising, at about 50%. N2-N4 have fairly similar pass rates averaging between 37-40%, while N1 (the most difficult level) has the lowest pass rate, at about 32%.

An increase in people taking the JLPT Test

jlpt statistics tests from 2010 - 2016 graph

As seen in the above graph, since the JLPT switched to the N1~N5 system, there has been a steady incline in both test takers, and number of cities where the JLPT is offered. Especially, in 2016, there was a significant growth in all categories.

JLPT Statistics Data Archives (summer + winter tests)

If you want to look into more specific data for the differences in summer and winter tests, I’ve compiled that data here as well:


Data retrieved from official JLPT website:


Cruise works full time at a Japanese company in Nagoya, Japan. He worked for 4 years as a University lecturer teaching English before making the move to a 100% Japanese speaking environment to continue improving his Japanese. In his free time, he is either cycling around Japan making YouTube videos or adding new Japanese lessons to this blog.