Tuesday, August 17, 2010

disappearing Japanese language proficiency tests

Has it become an epidemic? A problem that's out of hand? Or is this some kind of cold, hard reality? I was so shocked that I figured I must write a blog report about this! What is this world coming to?!!

There was once a test called the Japanese Test of Communication, or JTOC. I believe it had a scoring system rather than a level system. Anyway, it disappeared awhile back.

Then there was a new test called the JAST which would be taken on a computer and thus allow testing from an authorized location anywhere in the world. But it too disappeared.

There's also a test for Japanese people to certify their Japanese composition ability or something. It's called the BunKen for short.  There's a note on the website saying the test has been suspended from 2009.

And alas, we come to the most shocking news of all...

The BJT, Business Japanese Proficiency Test is about to exit the stage too! The final test is being held this November (11/2010). This test used to be run by JETRO until about 2008, and then the same organization that runs the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Test as well as the BunKen and also the JAST, took over the BJT.  I think that is why the JAST disappeared.

The BJT when it was run by JETRO, had a speaking proficiency test which was available only to those who scored high enough on the written test.  I see no such information about a speaking test on the current website.

It's really too bad to be losing a test able to evaluate one's Japanese ability when it comes to business situations. There is no other test like it, that I know about.

I was planning to take this test some day. But now there will be only one chance left. Unfortunately, the test costs 7,000 yen, a little too steep for me in these economic times. But if there are enough people who would like to see me take the Business Japanese Proficiency Test, we could scrape together enough money to send me to it.  I'd be willing to do it and report back here on the blog.

What background do I have that has prepared me for this test? I have been working in completely Japanese office environments since 2005, which was before I could even pass the JLPT Level 2, which I did pass in December 2006.

I have no idea if this test is only geared towards office environments or actually doing business negotiations and such in Japanese.  I guess I'd score somewhere in J2 or J3 on the test.  I still have a lot to learn and I've never prepared for this business test.  My test results on the J.Test last year show that I've still got quite a ways to go.

There are only 3 months before the test is being held. I'm sure that would be perfect for someone like Benny the Irish Polyglot.

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