National Japanese Exam

The National Japanese Exam (NJE) is an online, proficiency-oriented, standards-based and culture-related assessment tool for middle school (junior high), high school, and college students who are studying Japanese as a second language. It was developed by AATJ (American Association of Teachers of Japanese) as a way for such students to test their Japanese skills and participate in a nation-wide exam with awards for high achievement. The NJE also helps teachers see students’ strengths and weaknesses in certain areas. Teachers can use the results to give various school-level awards to students (participation certificates and medals) to highlight the success of their Japanese programs. Taking the NJE can also serve as a preparation for high school students who are planning to take other exams such as the JLPT, Japanese AP, IB, or SAT tests in the future. The NJE is an entirely online test that teachers administer to students via a “Quia” platform.

** View a recording of the live NJE Webinar that was conducted on January 12 by going to http://aatj.adobeconnect.com/p4t0s9ut0zm/. The webinar featured an orientation to this year's NJE by the treat developers, as well as a Q and A session. A revised and updated version of the PowerPoint presentation used in the webinar can be viewed and downloaded here. To listen to the audio samples used in the webinar, please click on the "Sample Test Questions" link below. **

DOWNLOAD A 2-PAGE BROCHURE TO PASS OUT TO YOUR STUDENTS:
     Brochure Page 1
     Brochure page 2

The NJE started in 2010, as a test for middle and high school students. Since then, the format and scope of NJE have been revised and expanded. The 2014 NJE features two new additions: 1) a Level 1 test has been added, and 2) college students are now invited to participate.

Contents:  
New This Year! Student Certificates
Purpose Technology Requirements
Cost of the Exam Registration and Payment
Awards Results
Exam Levels Timeline
Exam Organization Questions
Giving the Exam Sample Test Questions


New This Year!

In the spring of 2014, the National Japanese Exam will also offer Level 1, along with Level 2 and 3 exams. Furthermore, college students are now invited to participate (the details are given below).

Many of your questions may be answered on this website on the Frequently Asked Questions page, but please feel free to email nje@aatj.org if you have other questions.

Purpose

The purpose of the National Japanese Exam is to…

  • serve as a diagnostic assessment of Japanese language skills. By viewing the results, teachers can determine their students' strengths and weaknesses in reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge. Teachers should combine the NJE with their own additional assessments to get a clear picture of student proficiency levels;
  • motivate students to further their study of and interest in Japanese language and culture;
  • advocate for the standards-based, proficiency-oriented, and content-based teaching and learning of Japanese language and culture.

Exam Contents

The proficiency expectations and content of each level of the NJE are outlined on this page.


Awards

    • Teachers may download certificates from the NJE website for students who place in the 90th percentile on the tests (Gold Level Certificate), those who place in the 80th-89th percentile (Silver Level Certificate), those who place in the 70th-79th percentile (Bronze Level Certificate), and those who participate but place lower than the 70th percentile (Participation Certificate).
    • Students who rank #1 nationwide in the levels and categories listed below will receive a gold medal and certificate from AATJ. Awards will be sent to teachers by the end of June 2014:
      • Level 1:
        • Middle/Jr. High School
        • High School: Regular (please refer to the descriptions below)
        • College: Regular
      • Level 2:
        • Middle/Jr. High School (please refer to the descriptions below)
        • High School: Regular
        • College: Regular
      • Level 3:
        • High School: Regular
        • High School: Additional (please refer to the descriptions below)
        • High School: Other
        • College: Regular
        • College: Additional (please refer to the descriptions below)
        • College: Other

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Exam Levels

The exam currently has three levels. Students, based on their background and learning experience, can participate in one of the following levels of the exam. The duration of Japanese study should be used as a guide. Teachers should check the content of each level and section to determine appropriateness for their students.

Level 1:
ACTFL:
Novice Mid
Middle/Junior High School: Regular: For middle/junior high school students who have taken the high school equivalent of a half year of Japanese (teachers should checkthe Level 1 content section to determine appropriateness)
  High School: Regular: For high school students in the 2nd semester of their first year of Japanese
  College: Regular: College students in the 1st semester of their first year of Japanese
Level 2: ACTFL:
Novice High
Middle/Junior High School: Regular: For middle/junior high school students who have taken the high school equivalent of 1 ½ years of Japanese (teachers should checkthe Level 2 content section to determine appropriateness)
  High School: Regular: For high school students in the 2nd semester of their second year of Japanese
  College: Regular: College students in the 2nd semester of their first year of Japanese
Level 3: ACTFL: Intermediate Low High School: Regular: High school students in the 2nd semester of their 3rd year of Japanese
  High School: Additional: Students with additional language learning experience may only take the Level 3 exam.
  • The student has grown up in a home where Japanese is the primary language used for communicating with at least one of the family members.
  • The student has been enrolled in a Japanese immersion program (including dual language and bilingual programs) for 3 years or more during Grades 4-8.
  • The student has lived (after age 10) in Japan for more than one school year.
  • The student has studied in Japan for more than six months within the past 3 years.
  High School: Other: High school students in level 4 or AP classes may take the NJE, but their results will not be counted when determining national awards.
Level 3: ACTFL: Intermediate Low College: Regular: College students in the 2nd semester of their second year of Japanese
  College: Additional: Students with additional language learning experience may only take the Level 3 exam.
  • The student has grown up in a home where Japanese is the primary language used for communicating with at least one of the family members.
  • The student has been enrolled in a Japanese immersion program (including dual language and bilingual programs) for 3 years or more during Grades 4-8.
  • The student has lived (after age 10) in Japan for more than one school year.
  • The student has studied in Japan for more than six months within the past 3 years.
  College: Other:  College students who took level 4 or AP classes during high school may take the NJE, but their results will not be counted when determining national awards.


Exam Organization

The exam has two sections: a reading section and a listening section. Grammar and vocabulary questions are embedded in both sections. For specific exam proficiency expectations, thematic and cultural areas, and text types, see the Exam Contents page.

Section Length* Content
Listening Level 1:
10 minutes

Level 2 and 3:
20 minutes
Various quasi-authentic audio listening texts with comprehension questions in English. All questions are multiple-choice; however, Level 1 may also have matching questions. For more information, see the Exam Contents page.
Reading Level 1:
20 minutes

Level 2 and 3:
35 minutes
Various quasi-authentic text readings with comprehension questions in English. All questions are multiple-choice; however, Level 1 may also have matching questions. For more, see the Exam Contents page.

*In addition, about 10 minutes of instruction will be required on the first day of test taking. The test may be divided into two days during the exam period if necessary. Please also see technology requirements below well before you plan to give the exam.


Administering the Exam

The 2014 exam administration period will be from March 3 - April 11, 2014.
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Technology Requirements

The test is administered entirely online using the Quia platform and technology. The technical requirements for test-taking can be viewed at www.quia.com/help/tech/system-requirements.html , and instructions for viewing Japanese fonts at www.quia.com/faq.html#f3 .


Registration and Payment

Register your students for the 2014 National Japanese Exam by clicking here.

Teachers may register their students for the NJE between December 2, 2013, and February 8, 2014.

Teachers who are AATJ members pay the members' rate of $8.00 per student. Join or renew your membership online: membership

Unfortunately, we cannot refund money to students who have registered but do not take the test during the designated exam period. You are responsible for payment (online or by check postmarked by February 12, 2014) whether or not your students take the exam. This is because AATJ is required to pay administration fees to Quia according to the number of students registered.

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Fees for the Exam

The fee for the NJE is $8.00 per student for teachers who are members of AATJ. If the teacher is not a member, the fee is $15.00 per student.

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Results and Certificates

  • Results will be sent to teachers by Quia on or after May 1, 2014.
  • Scores can be accessed ONLY by teachers as soon as testing is completed:
    1) Go to http://www.quia.com/web and log in to your NJE account.
    2) Click "Quizzes" in your left menu.
    3) Click on the folder for the appropriate level of the exam.
    4) Click on the "Score reports" icon (it looks like an orange sheet of paper) for the appropriate exam.
    5) Click the "View" button to generate a report.
  • Teachers will be notified of student or teacher awards by May 12, 2014.


National Japanese Exam Timeline

12/2/13-2/8/14 Registration Period. Pay online or by mail (credit card or check payment – postmark check by 2/12/14)
2/12/14 All checks must be postmarked by this date.
2/9/14 Registration is locked.
2/17/14-2/21/14 Teachers receive username and password information during this week. Teachers should check technology for test-taking by this week.
3/2/14-4/11/14 Test Administration Period
5/1/14 Teachers receive results from Quia
5/5/14-5/12/14 Teachers receive awards from AATJ, if applicable.


Questions?

The answers to some Frequently Asked Questions are posted here.

Please feel free to email with additional questions nje@aatj.org

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