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Why take a Japanese national exam
2020.07.26

Have you ever taken a Japanese national exam?

I do not know any foreigners who have taken and pass a Japanese national exam. Most foreigners that I know have only passed N1 or got a really high score on BLJT. But none have dared to take a national exam.

JLPT N1  is one of the most difficult exams that I had taken.  Some of the contents are not even used in normal or business situations.  Personally, I have not passed N1 yet. I would love to re-take it and pass the exam. However, having two years of working experience in a Japanese company, I think it is unnecessary for me to take N1 because employers value experience and national exams more than JLPT.  Maybe if I really need that five or ten points to get a permanent residency in Japan, I would persevere to pass N1.

Yet, here I am thinking of challenging myself to take the Takken Shiken (Real Estate License Exam ) this October.  This license is useful for those who are working in a real estate company or planning to make a career change into the real estate industry. Studying for this exam gives you a background about laws and regulations surrounding real estate in Japan and Japanese civil law. I am neither of those two, but the company I work at was originally a real estate company, and a holder of this license receives Y30,000 a month.   It is a good way to increase your salary but definitely not an easy one.  The passing rate is between 10 to 20 percent. Studying for this exam gives you knowledge about Japanese civil law, and laws and regulations surrounding real estate in Japan.

Another qualification exam that I hope to take is the Kyoto Kentei 2級 in December(Kyoto Qualification 2nd Grade ). There are three grades for this qualification, the 3rd grade being the easiest and 1st grade the hardest.  This license is extremely helpful for those who are passionate about Kyoto, tourist guides, tour interpreters, hotel workers, and travel agents.

Some textbooks for the real estate exam include a downloadable pdf version of the book which allows exam-takers to study on their smartphones.  However, if the book is secondhand the QR code or the instruction to download the book may not be included.

National certification is useful to increase salary and to show your current or prospective employer that you have the motivation and background knowledge of the industry. Of course, N1 is still a valuable certificate for foreigners and that alone can increase your chances of getting job offers. But if you are looking for something more valuable then taking a national exam might be your answer.

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Date posted :
2020.07.26
Poster :
Jeff

Author profile

Born in the Philippines, raised in the USA.
Living in Japan since 2008.
Prefectures I have lived :
Okinawa, Oita, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Shimane, Kyoto.

My passion is photography but not a professional photographer. I mostly shoot street and travel destinations photography.