sci.lang.japan FAQ / 10. Examinations

10.2. Kanji Kentei

The Kanji Kentei (漢字検定), abbreviated to Kanken (漢検), is a test of kanji ability for native speakers of Japanese. Depending on the level, the following things are tested:

  1. Kun'yomi and on'yomi (see 1.2.7. Why do have several different pronunciations?).
  2. Stroke order (see 1.2.13. How does kanji stroke order work?) and stroke count.
  3. Radical names, and identification of the radical within any kanji (see 1.2.10. What are kanji radicals?).
  4. Homonyms (同音・同訓異字), antonyms (対義語), and synonyms (類義語).
  5. Itaiji (alternate kanji) and ateji (irregular kanji readings).
  6. Yojijukugo (4-kanji compounds)
  7. Kotowaza (common proverbs).
  8. Jinmeiyo kanji (personal names) and chimei (place names).
  9. Correct use of okurigana (see 1.1.8. What is ?).
  10. Historical origin of the kana and kanji (see 1.1.1. How did and originate?).
The levels are
Level Kanji covered Education level Details
1 Approximately 6000 characters, the JIS level one and two kanji University or general adult Reading, including plant and animal names (see 1.3.2. How are animal and plant names written in Japanese?), foreign country names (see 3.4. Why is America called ?), and sentences. Writing, including kokuji (see 1.2.5. Which were created in Japan?) and sentences; proverbs (kotowaza), origins (koji); homophones and homonyms; four-character idioms (yoji jukugo), synonyms, antonyms; correcting mistaken characters.
Pre 1 Approximately 3000 characters, the JIS level one kanji, which includes all the Jōyō Kanji (see 1.2.4. What are the ?). University or general adult Reading, including kokuji and sentences; writing, including sentences; origins and proverbs; synonyms and antonyms; homophones; correcting mistaken characters; four-character idioms.
2 The Jōyō and Jinmeiyō Kanji High school graduate or university graduate Reading; writing; radicals and their names; okurigana; synonyms and antonyms; homophones; correcting mistaken characters; four-character idioms; formation of compounds.
Pre 2 1,945 High school student Reading; writing; radicals and their names; okurigana; antonyms and synonyms; homophones; correcting mistaken characters; four-character idioms; formation of compounds.
3 1,608 Middle school graduate Reading; writing; radicals and their names; okurigana; antonyms and synonyms; homophones; correcting mistaken characters; four-character compounds; formation of compounds.
4 1,322 Middle school student Reading; writing; radicals and their names; okurigana; antonyms and synonyms; homophones; correcting mistaken characters; four-character compounds; formation of compounds.
5 The 1,006 Kyōiku Kanji (see 1.3.5. How is Japanese writing taught to Japanese children?) Elementary school graduate Reading; writing; radicals and their names; stroke count and stroke order; okurigana; antonyms and synonyms; homophones; correcting mistaken characters; four-character compounds; formation of compounds.
6 825 Fifth year of elementary school Reading; writing; radicals and their names; stroke count and stroke order; okurigana; antonyms; homophones; three-character compounds; formation of compounds.
7 640 Fourth year of elementary school Reading; writing; radicals and their names; stroke count and stroke order; okurigana; antonyms; homophones; three-character compounds.
8 440 Third year of elementary school Reading; writing; radicals and their names; stroke count and stroke order; okurigana; antonyms; the various readings of a kanji.
9 240 Second year of elementary school Reading; writing; stroke order and stroke count
10 80 First year of elementary school Reading; writing; stroke order and stroke count

Acknowledgements

Partly taken from a post by Charles Eicher.

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