NOKEN, the Japanese exam that allows you to certify internationally in the language

Nov 23, 2020

#NOKEN Japanese

NOKEN, the Japanese exam that allows you to certify internationally in the language

Nihongo Noryoku Shiken (NOKEN) is an exam with which the level of knowledge in the Japanese language is evaluated in order to be certified proving proficiency in the language. It is administered abroad by the Japan Foundation in collaboration with all the organizations in each country that are responsible for teaching and certifying the language.

But what are the benefits of certifying the Japanese language through NOKEN?

Well, the certification is very useful to appeal for a scholarship from the Japanese government, to be able to reside as one more inhabitant or even to apply for admission as a student to a Japanese university.

By obtaining it, not only is the language certification obtained, but an official Japanese certificate is acquired with which the pass to any of the options raised above is guaranteed to those interested in residing in Japan.

The Japanese exam is carried out twice a year or once, depending on the country in which it is carried out, so it is necessary that we take into account the dates established to present the evaluation and thus achieve certification on time, particularly for those who are about to make an academic stay in a higher level school.

Contents of the Japanese exam

The exam consists of five levels with which the mastery of knowledge about the Japanese language is evaluated. In them, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, vocabulary and grammar are substantially revised. In general, the exam usually begins with the grammar and vocabulary part, ending with the listening comprehension section.

Below are the different levels given in the Japanese exam according to their difficulty, as well as the skills necessary to accredit the level selected by the students:

- Level 5: It is the first level of NOKEN, which seeks to know the student's ability to understand some basic Japanese. Written comprehension is assessed through basic grammar and oral comprehension based on basic, slow and simple conversations.

- Level 4: It is the subsequent level five. In it, vocabulary, grammar and readings a little more difficult than those of the previous level are reviewed, taking into account the basic command of the Japanese language. In the auditory part, slow and simple conversations take place about everyday situations.

- Level 3: From this level you begin to assess a slightly more advanced command of the language. The student's ability to have a certain degree of understanding about everyday situations within Japanese speech is reviewed. Within the auditory part, both formal and informal conversations are carried out, which are presented in a more complex way, that is, more naturally, emphasizing vocabulary.

- Level 2: In this level the domination of an already advanced Japanese is sought in a more proper way. Conversations are more fluid and natural, where the focus of attention now is the informal conversation. On the other hand, the reading of much more complex texts is also put into practice, where it is sought that the student can indicate what the common thread is, as well as the intention that the text seeks to give.

- Level 1: It is the last level of the NOKEN, so it is seen as the most difficult and complicated of all. The ability to understand advanced Japanese in the strict sense of the word is evaluated, performing exercises where the student can understand situations of any kind within different circumstances of the Japanese range. The aptitudes that the student has to carry out deeper readings and fluent conversations in front of other speakers or situations are reviewed.


In the case of written comprehension, the duration of the exam ranges approximately between 50 to 110 minutes, while the auditory part can last from half an hour to an hour of evaluation, depending on the level requested.

In the first three levels (N5, N4 and N3) the vocabulary and grammar part is divided into two. Already in the last levels these two criteria are evaluated in a single session.

It should be noted that the less difficult the level, the less time we will have to complete its evaluation.

How to prepare for the exam

As has been seen throughout this text, the Japanese NOKEN exam turns out to be a complicated exam to accredit, so it is essential and extremely necessary to study enough to be able to take a good exam and get an official Japanese language title. Faced with this problem, the following tips are presented to prepare for the NOKEN and achieve the highest possible score in order to achieve the appropriate certification:

- Obtain language manuals according to the respective level to be accredited: These are of great help to establish the appropriate knowledge according to the requirements of each level. It is recommended to look for books specialized in grammar, reading comprehension and listening comprehension and kanji writing Some specimens include the following: Nihongo so matome, Shin kanzen master, Mimi kara oboeru, Tanki master, and Gokaku dekiru. They must always be acquired for the respective level that is presented in the exam.

- Carry out constant self-evaluations on web platforms: With them it is possible to propose an outline of the possible topics to be covered in the exam according to the requested level.

- Review movies, books, stories, dramas, animes and everything that can help in the formation of the language: Part of the practice consists not only in the preparation of manuals and self-evaluations, but also in understanding daily aspects of Japan, the which can be from the writing itself to television series and other visual elements.

Taking into account and carrying out all these tips it is likely that an exam of excellence will be presented, so NOKEN is reiterated as a unique opportunity to achieve the certification of the Japanese language and put our skills in the Japanese language to the test, as well as the option of obtaining the appropriate accreditation for future professional opportunities.