1. About the JFT-Basic
- Q1What kind of test is the JFT-Basic?
- AThe JFT-Basic is a test that measures the Japanese language communication skills required for daily life situations in Japan. It was started by the Japan Foundation in April 2019. The test measures the level of Japanese language proficiency needed by foreign nationals who come to Japan mainly for work, to communicate in their everyday lives in Japan. It is used to assess whether they have the Japanese language proficiency to be able to engage in everyday conversation to a certain extent and handle daily life without difficulties. It can be used to provide proof of Japanese language proficiency, which is required when applying for the certificate of eligibility for residence in Japan under the status of "Specified Skilled Worker (i)."
- Q2How is the JFT-Basic conducted?
- AThis test is conducted through Computer-Based Testing (CBT). Computers are used for giving and answering the test questions at test centers in each country. In booths, test-takers answer on the computer screen based on questions displayed on the screen and audio played through the headphones.
- Q3Who is the organizer of the JFT-Basic?
- AThe Japan Foundation.
- Q4Who is eligible to take the JFT-Basic?
- AThis test is for foreign nationals whose native language is not Japanese. Please visit Prometric's registration website for further details, as each country has its own eligibility criteria.
- Q5When and where will the JFT-Basic be conducted?
- APlease see “Test Dates" on Prometric's registration website.
- Q6Is it possible to take JFT-Basic in a country different to the one where I normally live?
- AIt is possible to make a reservation to take the test in a country different to the one where you live. However, all explanations, points of caution, and terms of operation, etc., at each test venue will be provided in the language of the country where the test is being held, or in English. No support will be available for other languages. In addition, please note that payment methods for the test fee differ by country.。
- Q7Can I sit for only some sections of the JFT-Basic?
- ANo, that is not allowed.
- Q8Can I take the JFT-Basic more than once?
- AYes. However, you must ensure that there is an interval of 45 days between the previous test date and the next test date.
- Q9How is the JFT-Basic different from the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)?
- AThe JLPT is divided into five levels from N1 to N5, and is a comprehensive test that considers a wide range of situations in order to measure the level of proficiency of Japanese language learners with diverse backgrounds. The JFT-Basic has only one level, and is a test that measures Japanese language communication skills required for daily life situations in Japan. The JLPT and JFT-Basic are also conducted differently. The JLPT uses optical answer sheets and is conducted twice a year in Japan and overseas (in approximately 80 countries and regions) on specified test dates, while the JFT-Basic is conducted six times a year in Japan and overseas (in the Asian region) through CBT during test periods set for each country.
With regard to test results, JLPT results can be confirmed online approximately two months after the test date, and a notification of pass/fail is delivered after approximately three months. In the case of JFT-Basic the results are available on the day of the test, and a notification of assessment results is issued within five business days.
Although a certificate of JLPT level N4 or higher can also be used to apply for residency under the status of "Specified Skilled Worker (i)," JFT-Basic is characterized by the fact that there are more opportunities to take the test and the results are available immediately.
2. Contents of the test
- Q1Are there multiple levels in the JFT-Basic?
- ANo, there are no multiple levels in the JFT-Basic as there are in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
- Q2What is the level of Japanese proficiency that the JFT-Basic is set at?
- AUsing the necessary “ability to engage in everyday conversation to a certain extent and handle daily life without difficulties" as a guideline, it assesses whether test-takers are sufficiently proficient in Japanese at the A2 level. For details, please visit Summary of Linguistic Competence and Levels.
- Q3What kind of questions does the JFT-Basic consist of?
- AThe JFT-Basic consists of four sections: Script and Vocabulary, Conversation and Expression, Listening Comprehension and Reading Comprehension. Questions are set based on the A1 to A2 levels of“Can-do"(description of linguistic competence), using the approach of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR) and the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education. Please refer to the Sample Questions. For information on how to study, see the Q&A “Q1 How should I study for the test? Are there any learning materials?" on section 4 Studying for the test.
- Q4Does the JFT-Basic include an oral test or essay questions (writing test)?
- ANo, there are currently no such questions.
- Q5What is the duration of the JFT-Basic test?
- A60 minutes.
3. Making a reservation for the test
Please see Test Reservation Process for making a reservation for the test. If you have any questions about test reservations, please contact the Prometric Customer Service Center on Prometric's registration website. Check the FAQ on Prometric's registration website as well before making inquiries. The Japan Foundation does not provide support or act as a representative for test reservations, either at its headquarters in Japan or its overseas offices.
4. Studying for the test
- Q1How should I study for the test? Are there any learning materials?
Please refer to Hint for Learning page for the e-learning materials that are available to help you prepare for taking the JFT-Basic. Sample Questions have also been made available for practicing how to answer questions in the JFT-Basic.
The Japan Foundation developed the JF Can-do for Life in Japan in 2019 for foreign nationals who are not native speakers of Japanese. It outlines the basic Japanese skills required for everyday life in Japan. Each of its statements begins with “I can..." and describes an ability to complete a communicative task. The Japanese-language coursebook Irodori: Japanese for Life in Japan which sets these Can-dos as learning goals is available online. Learners can firmly acquire practical language skills through listening and conversation practice using audio files, as well as reading comprehension activities using material mirroring real-life usage. Irodori: Japanese for Life in Japan can be extensively used not only by people studying for the JFT-Basic but also by anyone studying the Japanese language at the starter to elementary level.
- Q2Are questions of past tests published or made available to the public?
- AThere are currently no plans to do so. For your information, Sample Questions have also been made available.
5. On the day of the test
- Q1I have a question about the day of the test. (what to bring, venue, flow from registration until the end of the test, etc.)
- APlease visit “On The Test Day" on Prometric's registration website for details about the day of the test. For inquiries on matters related to the day of the test (what to bring, venue, steps from registration until the end of the test, etc.), please contact the Prometric Customer Service Center on Prometric's registration website.
- Q2If time remains in the test, is it possible to review questions that I have already answered?
- AFor the Script and Vocabulary, Conversation and Expression, and Listening Comprehension sections, it is possible to review and amend your answers if you have completed all questions in a section and time remains before moving to the next section. In the Listening Comprehension section once you move to the next question it is not possible to return to the previous question.
6. Scoring and notification of results
- Q1How are the test results presented?
- ATest results include the total score, and the assessment results based on the score. The range of the total score is from 10 to 250 points. If the total score is at or above the passing score (200 points), the examinee is assessed to have reached a level of Japanese language proficiency to be able to engage in everyday conversation to a certain extent and handle daily life without difficulties.
- Q2Is there a minimum score set for each section?
- AThere is no minimum score for each section. The total for all four sections is calculated and if the test-taker has scored more than 200 points, he/she is deemed to have the Japanese language proficiency to be able to engage in everyday conversation to a certain extent and handle daily life without difficulties.
- Q3When will I know the test results?
- AOn the day of the test, the test results (total score and assessment results) will be displayed on the computer screen that you took the test on, after the test is completed. In addition, the notification of assessment results will be issued on Prometric’s registration website within 5 business days from the test date. Please log in and check the registration website.
- Q4How do I obtain an official notification of results?
- Ahe notification of assessment results can be viewed on the registration website within 5 business days from the test date. Please log in and check the registration website. Print and use this if you need a paper copy of the notification of assessment results.
- Q5What can I use the test results for?
- AThe results of this test can be used to provide evidence of Japanese language proficiency when applying for the certificate of eligibility for residence in Japan under the status of "Specified Skilled Worker (i)."
- Q6Can JFT-Basic be used to obtain any visa status other than “Specified Skilled Worker (i)" or to find employment?
- AAt the current point JFT-Basic is not being used to obtain any visa status other than “Specified Skilled Worker (i)." For the documents required to obtain another visa status, please see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
With regard to the use of JFT-Basic at companies and schools, etc., please confirm with the company/school about how the test can be used.
- Q7Do the test results have an expiration date?
- AThe JFT-Basic test results do not have an expiration date. The data of the test results will be stored in the registration website for five years. The notification of results can be viewed on the website during this period, but will not be available for viewing after this period has passed. Please print the notification of results while the data is stored in the registration website.
7. About the "Specified Skilled Worker" residence status
- Q1What is the “Specified Skilled Worker" visa status?
- AIt is a visa status that was established with the aim of accepting foreign nationals with certain skills or expertise as workers in Japan. There are two types: Specified Skilled Worker (i) and Specified Skilled Worker (ii). Please visit the following websites for details.
- Q2How is the JFT-Basic related to the "Specified Skilled Worker" residence status?
- ATo be eligible for the Specified Skilled Worker (i) residence status, you have to pass a test to measure your level of work skills in the relevant field (skills exam) and a test to measure your level of Japanese language proficiency needed for work and daily life (Japanese language test). (Those who have successfully completed Technical Intern Training (ii) are exempted from taking both tests). The JFT-Basic is used here as the Japanese language test. Note that JLPT N4 certificate or higher is also accepted as proof of Japanese language proficiency at the level required for Specified Skilled Worker (i).
- Q3Does the Japan Foundation also implement skills exams?
- ASkills exams in each fields are conducted either by the relevant ministry or agency, or by an implementing organization designated by the ministry or agency. Information about each skills exam available can be found on the portal site of the Ministry of Justice.
- Q4When and where are the skills exams conducted?
- AThe skills exams are conducted by the ministry or agency in charge of each field, or by the testing organizations designated by these ministries or agencies. There are 14 applicable industries, and each industry has its own skills exams. Please check the websites of the ministries, agencies or testing organizations for the schedule of the skills exams. The following is the link to the testing information portal site created by the Ministry of Justice.
- Q5Under the Specified Skilled Worker system there are 14 industry fields and job categories . The Japanese that is used will probably differ from field to field and job to job, so does the content of the JFT-Basic test differ according to each field?
- AAs JFT-Basic is a test that assesses whether test-takers are sufficiently proficient in Japanese at the A2 level, using the necessary “ability to engage in everyday conversation to a certain extent and handle daily life without difficulties," there are no differences in content between fields.
- Q6Other than JFT-Basic and JLPT Level N4 or higher, are there any other Japanese language proficiency tests that can be used to apply for Specified Skilled Worker (i) status?
- AAt the current time only JFT-Basic and JLPT Level N4 or higher are the proficiency tests designated by the ministries and agencies that are responsible for the 14 industry fields and job categories as being acceptable when applying for Specified Skilled Worker (i) visa status.