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JFT-Basic and Frequently Asked Questions

JFT-Basic test

JFT-Basic, a new Japanese proficiency test, has recently sparked increasing interest among foreign workers coming to Japan. Compared with the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), which is only held twice a year, JFT-Basic is held more regularly (six times a year). Moreover, without a long wait, you can get the test results right after finishing the test. In this article, Smiles will answer various questions regarding the JFT-Basic test for those who intend to work or plan on applying for a Specified Skilled Worker visa in Japan.

1. General questions about the JFT-Basic test

– What is JFT-Basic?

JFT-Basic, also called JFT, stands for “Japan Foundation Test” which is a Japanese standardized test. JFT-Basic is not only used to measure one’s Japanese proficiency but it’s also largely used to demonstrate one’s Japanese proficiency during the job hunting process or when their applying for the Specified Skilled Worker visa. JFT-Basic aims to assess whether the test-taker has sufficient Japanese language proficiency when engaging in daily conversations to a certain degree and handling day-to-day life situations without any difficulties.

Homepage (Japanese): https://www.jpf.go.jp/jft-basic/index.html
Homepage (English): https://www.jpf.go.jp/jft-basic/e/index.html

– What is the structure of the test?

Test-takers have to answer about 60 questions in 60 minutes on the computer. JFT-Basic consists of 4 sections as follows:

  • Part 1: Vocabulary – This section assesses one’s ability to read and understand vocabulary and its usages in specific contexts.
  • Part 2: Conversation and Grammar – This section assesses one’s ability to utilize appropriate grammar in daily conversations.
  • Part 3: Listening – This section assesses one’s ability to listen and understand conversational dialogues.
  • Part 4: Reading Comprehension: This section assesses one’s ability to comprehend short texts, messages and announcements which may be seen in daily context.

– Which institution organizes JFT-Basic?

JFT-Basic is organized by the Japan Foundation.

For more information, please visit Japan Foundation’s website here

– Do I have to do a speaking or writing test when taking JFT-Basic?

No. The speaking and writing sections are currently not included in the test structure.

– Can Japanese citizens take this test to prepare for job hunting?

This test is not intended for Japanese citizens but mainly for non-Japanese citizens planning to work in Japan. For non-Japanese citizens who want to apply for a Specified Skilled Worker visa, it’s now also possible to use JFT-Basic A2 level for the application process.

– What are the registration time and test fee?

From March 1, 2021, you can register JFT-Basic online. The test will  be offered  six times a year.

JFT-Basic is held in 120 cities of 47 prefectures in Japan.

Test fee: 7,000 yen (tax included)

Online registration link (試 験 申 し 込 み): Here

2. Regarding results of the JFT-Basic test

– What is the passing score for the JFT-Basic test?

Your performance will be ranked in six levels from A1 to C2. Those who want to apply for the Specified Skilled Worker visa are required to pass A2 level or higher.

JFT scores

– How should I understand my test result?

The final result will show your test scores as well as assessments based on your scores. The total scores will range from 10 to 250 points. If one earns 200 points or more (200 points is the passing score), the test-taker will be certified as someone who “reached Japanese proficiency level to communicate and carry on basic conversation without difficulty”.

– How long does it take to receive the test result?

Right after finishing the test, test-takers can receive the results instantly. In the test result, the total score and the pass/fail result will be displayed immediately on the screen.

Within five  working days after the test date, the test score report will be available on the test website. You have the ability to print the test score report.

JFT result

– Is there any passing score for each section of JFT-Basic? If yes, how many points?

No. The JFT-Basic test does not require a minimum score for each section. As long as the test-taker gets a total score of 200 points or more, they will be certified as someone who “reached Japanese proficiency level to communicate and carry on basic conversation without difficulty.”

– How long are JFT-Basic test results valid for?

JFT-Basic results do not have an expiration date.

3. Other questions:

– I made a mistake while registering my personal info. Can I fix it later?

In the case that you make a mistake while registering your personal details, you may change the information during the registration period of up to three working days before the test date.

– Can I change the test date or location that I have registered?

You may make changes to the information of up to three working days before the test date (four working days before the test date if the test date is rescheduled on Saturday or Sunday) via the registration website. Please note that after the registration period, the information cannot be changed.

– What documents do I need to prepare when registering for the JFT-Basic test?

You will need to prepare identification documents like ID card, passport, residence card and photo in 3×4 size.

– Can I take the JFT-Basic test more than once?

Yes, you can. However, please wait at least 30 days before taking the next test.

– How to pay the test fee?

Regarding the fee, you can contact the registration center available in your country for the fees in local currency. However, the fee may vary by country, and in some countries, credit card payment is not accepted.

Currently, in Japan, the test fee is 7,000 yen. You can either pay by cash or credit card.

  • If paying the test fee by credit card, enter your card information and proceed with the payment upon registration. You can use a visa debit card or credit card to pay online.
  • If you want to pay the test fee in cash, you can buy a voucher at the test site. After that, enter the voucher number and validity of the voucher when you register online.

– If I have taken the test and received results, but the name when registering is incorrect, where can I contact to correct it?

If you need to correct your personal details, please notify the Prometric Customer Service Center at least three business days before the test date (four working days if the test date falls on a Saturday or Sunday). Please note that you cannot edit your name afterward.

Your personal information will be displayed on the test result exactly as you entered it. So please make sure there is no mistake in your registration.

Check the address of each area’s office here

– When comparing JFT versus JLPT, which test is more difficult?

According to the takers of both tests, JFT-Basic is not as difficult as JLPT. JFT-Basic’s test contents revolve around everyday life in Japan. However, the reportedly most concerning  part is reading comprehension of conversations. Therefore, in order to achieve the best results for JFT-Basic, besides learning new words and grammar, potential test-takers  are advised to focus on practicing conversations.

– To register for the JFT-Basic test, you must first go to Japan?

It is not necessary to go to Japan to register for JFT-Basic. You can take the test to prepare for your arrival in Japan. Currently, the test is held in many countries around the world including Mongolia, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Nepal.

Regarding the upcoming test date, please take a look at this link.

JFT test region

– What materials should I study to prepare for JFT-Basic?

You can find study materials and sample tests on the JFT-Basic website

Supplementary explanation on JFT-Basic is available here

– In order to apply for a Specified Skilled Worker visa, what level do I need to pass in the JFT-Basic test?

In order to get the Specified Skilled Worker visa, you need to fulfill two requirements including passing one of the tests for 14 specified skills and passing the JLPT. Those who successfully complete three years of technical intern trainee program will be exempt from the Japanese language proficiency test. In the remaining cases, if you do not pass the JLPT N4 level, another option is to get at least 200/250 points on the JFT-Basic test.

*For international students and technical intern trainees failing to complete the 3-year technical intern training program, to apply for a Specified Skilled Worker visa, you need to submit either a JLPT certificate or a JFT-Basic certificate. Held 6 times a year, JFT-Basic test is proved more convenient than JLPT which is held only twice a year.

Above are some frequently asked questions related to the Japan Foundation Test (JFT-Basic). If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment and/or question below.

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