The Japanese Language Proficiency Test wrapped up this Sunday, with universities around the country seeing a plethora of foreigners invading their halls.
It's an interesting experience; in fact, most of the students I saw there were Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
All participants who took the test in Fukuoka had an excellent opportunity to see the frontrunners of the 61st Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship (results here) during their lunch break.
And so, I say goodbye to meaningless standardized tests for the time being. Sayonara, JLP; you shall join the ranks of the SAT, the ACT, and other examinations designed not to gauge skill, but to see how much money one will pour into the economy in attemtps to better the score.
Well, the SAT and ACT may be like that, but the JLP seemed pretty fair, though difficult. If you're looking for alternatives in obtaining certification for your Japanese skills, look at the following:
A more practical test with business and everyday conversations. Includes a writing segment. Two levels - easy and difficult; you are scored not as a simple pass/fail, but a number of points (the people at the highest level with the highest number of points are qualified as translators).
BJT - Business Japanese Proficiency Test
Difficult, even for those at JLP Level 2; includes a business interview.