JFT-Basic (Japan Foundation Test for Basic Japanese)

JFT-Basic Official Website

1.  About the JFT-Basic

The Japan Foundation Test for Basic Japanese (JFT-Basic) seeks to measure the level of Japanese language proficiency needed by foreign nationals about to reside in Japan mainly for work, to communicate in everyday life situations. For foreign nationals who are not native speakers of Japanese, 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.

The JFT-Basic is also used as a test to measure the level of Japanese language proficiency needed to obtain the residency status of “Specified Skilled Worker (i),” which began on April 1, 2019.

2. Testing Method

This test is conducted through Computer-Based Testing (CBT). Questions are set and answered on computers 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.

3. Test structure

This test is composed of four sections: Script and Vocabulary, Conversation and Expression, Listening Comprehension, and Reading Comprehension. There are approximately 50 questions, and the test time is 60 minutes. There is no time limit for completing each section.

4. Test application

Please see Test Reservation Process in JFT-Basic website. 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.

5. FAQ

Q1 Who is eligible to take the JFT-Basic?

A1 This 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.

Q2 Are there multiple levels in the JFT-Basic?

A2 No, there are no multiple levels in the JFT-Basic as there are in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

Q3 How should I study for the test? Are there any learning materials?

A3 Please refer to Hint for Learning page in JFT-Basic website 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 and the Japanese-language online course IRODORI Japanese Online Course which set these Can-dos as learning goals are both available online.

Irodori: Japanese for Life in Japan in Nepali is available here.

Q4 What is the “Specified Skilled Worker” visa status?

A4 It 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 see the Ministry of Forein Affairs website and Support website for the Specified Skilled Worker program of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan for more detail.

Q5 Does the Japan Foundation also implement skills exams?

A5 Skills 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 (in Japanese) or Support website for the Specified Skilled Worker program of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.

Q6 Does the Japan Foundation support an employment arrangement?

A6 No. As an organization that promotes Japanese language education and cultural exchange, the Japan Foundation’s role is focused on to develop and operate JFT-Basic and support Japanese language learners to acquire the necessary Japanese language skills for daily life and work. The Japan Foundation does not support employment arrangement for the Specified Skilled Workers program nor any program going to work in Japan.