jlpt test pass rate statistics data

JLPT Pass Rate Statistics

jlpt sensei japanese shiba dog analyzing 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.

  Level N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 Total
2016
summer + winter total
Applicants 211,441 254,613 190,484 117,917 91,839 866,294
Examinees 186,531 225,803 165,124 101,375 76,969 755,802
Certified 59,929 89,185 66,333 35,752 38,045 289,244
Percentage
Certified(%)
32.1% 39.5% 40.2% 35.3% 49.4% 38.3%
2015
summer + winter total
Applicants 203,930 216,068 151,338 99,968 78,948 750,252
Examinees 179,273 190,730 129,628 86,108 66,780 652,519
Certified 56,262 76,687 49,057 31,058 34,731 247,795
Percentage
Certified(%)
31.4% 40.2% 37.8% 36.1% 52.0% 38.0%
2014
summer + winter total
Applicants 206,636 197,054 127,368 82,329 68,506 681,893
Examinees 182,723 174,596 108,409 70,933 58,021 594,682
Certified 59,544 72,818 41,882 29,309 29,732 233,285
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:

References

Data retrieved from official JLPT website: http://jlpt.jp/e/statistics/archive.html

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