National Japanese Exam (NJE)
The National Japanese Exam (NJE) was originally developed by NCJLT (National Council of Japanese Language Teachers) as a way for middle- and high-school students to test their Japanese skills and enjoy participating in a nation-wide exam with awards for high achievement. The NJE also helps teachers to see students’ strengths and weaknesses in certain areas. Teachers can use the results to give various school-level awards to students (from participation to gold level) and highlight the success of their Japanese programs. Taking the NJE can also serve as a preparation for students who will take the 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 provided by AATJ.
New This Year!
In the spring of 2013, the National Japanese Exam will once again be offered for Level 2 (students having had 1 1/2 years of Japanese) and Level 3 (students having had 2 1/2 years of Japanese). Some changes have been made in the format of the test in order to make it more proficiency-based, standards-based and culture-related. We will be giving some new awards (gold medals!) and offering a raffle for teachers and high-achieving students who participate. Fees and registration deadlines have also changed. Many of your questions may be answered on this website on the Frequently Asked Questions page, but please feel free to email
if you have more questions.
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 students' strengths and weaknesses in reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary and cultural knowledge. Teachers should combine 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 the Japanese language and culture;
- advocate for the standards-based, proficiency-oriented and content-based teaching and learning of Japanese language and culture.
- All students who are ranked #1 nationwide in the following categories will receive a Gold Medal and certificate from AATJ:
- [Level 1 for beginning students of Japanese is under development.]
- Level 2 Regular Middle/Jr. High School
- Level 2 Regular High School
- Level 3 Regular High School
- Level 3 Additional Japanese Language Experience
- Awards will be sent to teachers during the first week in May 2013.
- Teachers may download certificates for various levels online.
- Students who rank in the top 30th percentile of nationwide scores will be automatically entered in a raffle to win a cash prize.
- Teachers whose students participate in the National Japanese Exam will be automatically entered in a raffle to win ACTFL 2013 registration and a stipend to assist with travel.
[top of page]
The exam currently has two levels. Students in various categories may take the different levels of the exam.
[Level 1 for beginning students of Japanese is under development.]
||Level 2 Middle/Jr. High Regular Category:
For middle/junior high school students who have taken the high school equivalent of 1½ years of Japanese (teachers should check Level 2 content section to determine appropriateness)
|Level 2 High School Regular Category:
For high school students in the 2nd semester of their second year of Japanese
||Level 3 High School Regular Category:
High school students in the 2nd semester of their 3rd year of Japanese.
|Level 3 Additional Japanese Language Experience Category:
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 2 years.
|Level 3 “Other” Category:
High school students in level 4 or AP classes may take but their results will not be counted when determining national awards.
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.
||Various quasi-authentic audio listening texts with comprehension questions in English and related grammar/vocabulary questions in Japanese. All questions are multiple-choice. For more information, see the Exam Contents page.
||Various quasi-authentic text readings with comprehension questions in English and related grammar/vocabulary questions in Japanese. All questions are multiple-choice. For more, see the Exam Contents page.
Download a fillable form to make certificates for your students at any time after testing is completed.
*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.
Giving the Exam
The exam administration period is from March 1 - April 10, 2013. You may give the exam at any time of day; however, technical support is only available from Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM (Eastern Time) at 877-282-4400.
The examination must proctored by the Japanese teacher or another qualified teacher at the school (not a parent or other non-teacher).
We strongly encourage you to give the exam during the early weeks of the exam period in case you encounter any technological problems. The exam cannot be given after April 10, 2013. No exceptions will be made.
[top of page]
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 .
We recommend that you go to www.quia.com/pages/njesamples/all to view several sample Japanese Exam questions. If you can view the Japanese font and play a sample audio link on these samples, you will be able to access the National Japanese Exam. Keep in mind that about 10 minutes of instruction on the first day of testing will be required to get students set up with their usernames, passwords, and test-taking directions. We strongly encourage you to give the exam during the early weeks of the exam period in case you encounter any problems.
Registration and Payment
Registration for the 2013 National Japanese Exam is now closed .
If you have registered students for the NJE, you are responsible for payment - whether or not your students take the exam. You may pay by credit card online at the AATJ website (http://www.aatj.org/catalog/), or you may send a check made out to AATJ to the AATJ office at American Association of Teachers of Japanese, Inc. 1424 Broadway, Campus Box 366 University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80309-0366. Checks must be postmarked by February 12, 2013, in order for your students to participate.
If your school is paying, please check on the procedure for payment ahead of time. You will not have access to the test until your payment is received at AATJ.
Only the students of teachers who are current AATJ members may participate. Join or renew your membership online: www.aatj.org/membership/index.html
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 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.
[top of page]
Results and Certificates
- Results will be sent to teachers by Quia on or after May 1, 2013.
- 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 raffle awards by May 5, 2013.
National Japanese Exam Timeline
||Registration Period. Pay online or by mail (credit card or check payment – postmark check by 2/12/13)
||All checks must be postmarked by this date.
||Registration is locked
||Teachers receive username and password information during this week.
Teachers should check technology for test taking by this week.
||Test Administration Period
||Teachers receive results from Quia
||Teachers receive awards from AATJ, if applicable.
The answers to some Frequently Asked Questions are posted here.
Please feel free to email
with additional questions.
[top of page]