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.

Join our subscription list to get the latest lessons / content