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Exams & Assessment

This is for guidance only. The Japan Foundation cannot take any responsibility for the changes to the information below. Please contact the exam board directly for the latest information.

GCSE Japanese - Edexcel

The Department for Education can provide a straightforward explanation of the GCSE system

Private Candidates
If you are not registered at a school or college but wish to sit GCSE Japanese, please check the link below for more information or contact Edexcel directly on 0845 618 0440 (within the UK) or +44 (0) 161 855 7514 (outside the UK).
http://www.edexcel.com/iwantto/Pages/entering-private-candidates.aspx

Exam Specification

Please note that the specification for the GCSE exam has changed since 2009. Please contact Edexcel directly for more information about the exam schedule, and follow the links below for official information from the Edexcel website:

Download current specification, examiners' reports and other relevant documents

Suitable for:
Secondary school pupils, adults

Recommended number of contact hours:
Not stipulated. Depends on the pupils and their starting point.

Resources:
Please click here to see example resources for teaching GCSE Japanese.

Dates:

English Baccalaureate:
The English Baccalaureate was introduced 2010 as a performance measure that recognises where pupils have secured a C grade or better across a core of academic subjects: English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language. GCSE Japanese can be taken as part of the English Baccalaureate. For more information, please click here.

Exam board contact details:
Edexcel
http://www.edexcel.com/Aboutus/contact-us/Pages/home.aspx

Statistics

Click here to see statistics on Japanese GCSE, AS and A2 exam entries.

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GCE (AS and A2) Japanese - Edexcel

Private Candidates
If you are not registered at a school or college but wish to sit for AS or A2 Japanese, please check the link below for more information or contact Edexcel directly on 0845 618 0440 (within the UK) or +44 (0) 161 855 7514 (outside the UK).
http://www.edexcel.com/iwantto/Pages/entering-private-candidates.aspx

Please note that the specification for both the AS and A2 exams has changed. Please be sure to use the correct specification. Follow the links below for official information from the Edexcel website:

Download current specification, examiners' reports, etc

Download new specification and sample materials

Suitable for:
post 16 students

Recommended number of contact hours:
Not stipulated. Depends on the pupils and their starting point.

Resources:
Please see page 55 of the current specification for resources suggested as bibliographies to support study of the prescribed topic or text in Unit 2. Click here for other recommended resources for teaching AS and A2 Japanese. Please note that most resources are still based on the old exam specification.

Dates:

Exam board contact details:
Edexcel
http://www.edexcel.com/Aboutus/contact-us/Pages/home.aspx

Statistics

Click here to see statistics on Japanese GCSE, AS and A2 exam entries.

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IB – AB initio, Language B - International Baccalaureate

Features:
The AB initio course is for beginners and is designed to be taken over two years by students who have no previous knowledge of learning the target language.

IB exams are for registered schools only. Please contact the exam board for more information.

Exam Board contact details:
IB Global Centre
The Hague, Churchillplein 6, 2517 JW, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Tel: +31 70 352 60 00
Fax: +31 70 352 60 03
Web: http://www.ibo.org/
E-mail: ibaem@ibo.org

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Practical Languages - ABC Awards

Features:
Entry 2 Award in Speaking and Listening in Japanese
Entry 2 Award in Reading and Writing in Japanese
Entry 3 Award in Speaking and Listening in Japanese
Entry 3 Award in Reading and Writing in Japanese
Entry 3 Certificate* in Practical Japanese
Level 1 Award in Speaking and Listening in Japanese
Level 1 Award in Reading and Writing in Japanese
Level 1 Certificate* in Practical Japanese
Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening in Japanese
Level 2 Award in Reading and Writing in Japanese
Level 2 Certificate* in Practical Japanese
Level 3 Award in Speaking and Listening in Japanese
Level 3 Award in Reading and Writing in Japanese
Level 3 Certificate* in Practical Japanese

* The certificate covers all four skills

Assessment:
Providers can choose the topics they want to cover and will be free to develop assessment activities, which meet the qualification criteria, to suit individual circumstances and learners. Assessments are internally set and marked as well as internally and externally moderated.

Entry requirements:
Minimum entry age is 14. (This includes Year 9 pupils.)
Suitable for:
Any learner from age 14 to adult
Recommended number of contact hours:

 

Award in Speaking & Listening

Award in Reading and Writing

Certificate in Practical Japanese

Entry 2

20

30

N/A

Entry 3 to Level 2

70

90

160

Level 3

75

100

175

NB: The GLH given above is an estimated time but could vary depending on the centre and learners (e.g. it could be less than that stated).

Recommended coursebook:
No specific resources are recommended, however, exemplar materials and further supporting information are available from the awarding body on request.

Grades awarded:
Pass / Fail. Achievement is based on sufficient evidence meeting the qualification assessment criteria.

Exam Board contact details:
Daniel Moult
Qualification Administrator
ABC Awards
Robins Wood House
Robins Wood Road
Aspley
Nottingham
Tel: 01158541672
Email: danielm@abcawards.co.uk
Website: www.abcawards.co.uk

 

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Entry Level Japanese (QCF) - OCR

Features:
These qualifications replace the current NVQ Language Units and CBLC. These qualifications provide evidence of competence in working with languages. There are no exams or prescribed content for this qualification - centres follow their own course of study and create their own assessments, which are then externally verified by OCR. These assessments are marked on a pass/fail basis. As with CBLC, if candidates do not pass all four units when entered for a full award, they will receive a qualification in the individual units they do pass.

For more information, please click here for OCR's website.

For more information about this qualification, please contact OCR.

Exam Board contact details:
OCR Coventry Office, Progress House, Westwood Way, Coventry. CV4 8JQ
OCR switchboard (Coventry section): 02476 851509
Fax (OCR, Coventry): 02476 421944
Email: vocational.qualifications@ocr.org.uk
Website: www.ocr.org.uk

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Entry Level Japanese (QCF) - WJEC

Since September 2012, WJEC has offered a suite of QCF qualifications in six languages including Japanese

This is available at Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2. Each unit is equivalent to either one credit (10 learning hours) or two credits (20 learning hours). One or two credits are required for each Award.

Content:
The units cover five themes:
Communicating Personal Information
Social Activities
Organising and Planning
Giving and Receiving Information and Instructions
Education and Employment
Each theme may have either a social or work context.

Features:
These qualifications provide learners with opportunities to mix and match themes and levels in accordance with individual learning needs.
They may be used to cover the 20-hour language requirement of the Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma at Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced Levels.

Contact:
For further information, please see here, find specific information about entry level Japanese here or contact:
Claire Parry - Subject Officer (Vocational Qualifications)
Telephone: 029 2026 5402
Email: claire.parry@wjec.co.uk

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Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) - Japan Foundation

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) has been offered by the Japan Foundation and Japan Educational Exchanges and Services since 1984 as a reliable means of evaluating and certifying the Japanese proficiency of non-native speakers.

The test is held twice a year in the UK once in July, and once in December, at SOAS University of London and the University of Edinburgh. Click here to check our What's On page for upcoming JLPT dates.

More information about the JLPT is available at the JLPT website here.

For further information about the test in your region contact the JLPT office at SOAS or the University of Edinburgh:

Click here to visit the JLPT section of the SOAS website.

Click here to visit the JLPT section of the University of Edinburgh website.

For further information about the test in the Republic of Ireland please contact the JLPT office at Dublin City University. Click here to visit the website.

Test Format

Features:
In 2010 the old 4-level JLPT changed into a new 5-level JLPT: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. A middle level (N3) has been added to bridge the gap between the former Level 3 and Level 2. More information about the content of the test can be found at the JLPT website here. A comparison of the pre-2009 and post-2009 exams is available from the JLPT website here.

Aims:
Carried out both in Japan and abroad for the measurement and certification of Japanese proficiency for non-native speakers.

Suitable for:
Non-native speakers of Japanese.

Content:
Linguistic competence required for the JLPT is expressed in terms of language activities, such as Reading and Listening. Language Knowledge, such as Vocabulary and Grammar, is also required for successful execution of these activities. More details about these requirements can be found here.

Recommended coursebook:
A list of books and references for studying the JLPT can be found here. Selected questions taken from past tests are now available at the JLPT website here.

Grades awarded:
Pass/Fail. All examinees are informed of their scores.

Documents to request from the Board:
The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test Guide (including Application Forms and sample questions).

Application Period:
The application period for the July test usually runs from March-mid April, although it may vary.

The application period for December is usually from early August to early October each year.

Exam Board contact details:

Applications are now accepted online from the Schools of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London and the University of Edinburgh.

SOAS Contact Details:

SOAS Language Centre, University of London
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London
WC1H 0XG

Tel: 020 7898 4555
E-mail: jlpt@soas.ac.uk
Web: www.soas.ac.uk/languagecentre/awards/jlpt

University of Edinburgh Contact Details:

JLPT Edinburgh Test Centre
8 Buccleuch Place
Edinburgh
EH8 9LW

Tel: 0131650 4227
E-mail: jlpt@ed.ac.uk
Web: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/literatures-languages-cultures/asian-studies/japanese/japanese-language-proficiency-test

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Kanji Aptitude Test - Nihon Kanji Noryoku Kentei Kyokai

Please click here for more information about this test.

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Self-Assessment

TTBJ - TTBJ is a collection of tests developed by the International Student Center at the University of Tsukuba. TTBJ is available for use according to the following two methods: as an individual test taker, as a group test taker. Individual test takers take the TTBJ in order to know their own Japanese proficiency. Group test takers take the TTBJ in order to allow the test proctor (the teacher) to know the Japanese proficiencies of multiple learners.

JLPT Sample Questions – These questions can help you decide which level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) to take.

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