20 JLPT N3 Textbooks for 2022

Last Updated on 04.02.2022 by

The N3 is considered the intermediate level of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) — or the Japanese language in general. To pass the test, you will need to know about 3,750 Japanese words and 650 kanji.

Keep in mind that the test covers four parts: vocabulary (including kanji), grammar, reading and listening. Simply memorizing words and kanji is not enough, as you will need to show aptitude on your grammar knowledge, reading comprehension and listening skills. Some textbooks may focus on specific sections only, like grammar, kanji or vocabulary. Some offer materials on all four. Some lean closer to a workbook, with more questions and mock tests, than a textbook.

Either way, it’s important to make sure you pick one (or several) textbooks to avoid making your study focus lop-sided. Take a look at the 20 most reliable JLPT N3 textbooks (or N3-level books) to boost your Japanese skill.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a more comprehensive way how to study for the examination, you can check out our study tips to pass the N3 JLPT. We also have separate posts on JLPT N4 textbooks and JLPT N5 textbooks recommendations.

While finding JLPT learning resources is great for self-learning, we also recommend finding the right support from a professional instructor. We offer an online JLPT N3 Prep Course for motivated individuals to help them pass the exam. It’s a combination of Zoom classes and self-study assignments, and you will get a monthly review test to evaluate your study progress.

Jump to JLPT N3 textbooks:

1. New Kanzen Master N3

New Kanzen Master is one of the most used resources to ace the JLPT N3. The textbook has been split into 5 major components: kanji, vocabulary, grammar, listening and reading. The downside is that this means you will need to buy all separate books, but it might be a good thing for some Japanese learners. Because each book only focuses on one element, this makes learning much more comprehensive. It’s also a good option for individuals who only want to focus on certain areas that may be their weak points. For example, if you’re good at kanji, you can opt away from buying the New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Kanji.

The JLPT N3 textbooks include example sentences and in-depth explanations of their focus areas. The textbooks can be purchased individually or as a set of five.

The N3 level currently has 5 series:

  • New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Listening (with CD)
  • New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Grammar
  • New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Kanji
  • New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Reading Comprehension
  • New Kanzen Master JLPT N3: Vocabulary

Price (set of 5 books): $91.01 (¥10,428 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

2. Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N3

Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N3

The Nihongo So-Matome JLPT N3 series book is a perfect study guide for intermediate-level learners. The textbook can be considered to be one of the easiest Japanese textbooks to master as the content has been broken down to ‘daily digests.’

Each book in the series has been designed to finish within 6 weeks, with a practice test available at the end of every week. This means that you would have to go through at least 1 exercise a day if you want to be able to complete it within the 6 weeks. Similar to the New Kanzen Master, each test section are separated into different books.

The book currently has 5 series:

  • Nihongo So-matome JLPT N3: Grammar
  • Nihongo So-matome JLPT N3: Kanji
  • Nihongo So-matome JLPT N3: Reading Comprehension
  • Nihongo So-matome JLPT N3: Vocabulary
  • Nihongo So-matome JLPT N3: Listening Comprehension (w/CD) 

Price (Set of 5 Books): $93.00 (¥10,656 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

3. JLPT N3 Points & Practice

JLPT N3 Points & Practice

The JLPT Points & Practice Japanese N3 textbook is perfect for individuals who are seeking to only expand N3-level vocabulary knowledge. New Japanese words and kanji are broken down into 30 chapters, all sorted based on topics and relevant context. There are also mock-test questions that mimic the real JLPT text.

Price: $16.99 (¥1,946 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

4. Mastering Kanji: Guide to JLPT N3 Kanji

Mastering Kanji: Guide to JLPT N3 Kanji

Kanji is commonly the biggest concern among test takers, as memorizing them takes a longer time than memorizing the hiragana and katakana. The kanji test will often provide multiple choices of characters that look similar, too, so learners consider them a tricky section. The Kanji Master has 18 different units, with each chapter focusing on a topic. At the end of every chapter, you can find an achievement test to check your progress.

There are also illustrations and fun mini-quizzes that make learning interactive and interesting.

Price: $24.99 (¥2,836 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

5. The Best Vocabulary Builder for the JLPT N3

 The Best Vocabulary Builder for the JLPT N3

The Best Vocabulary Builder is created by The Japan Times, the same accredited newspaper company that also published the Genki book series. Divided into 18 different topics, there are over 2,100 Japanese vocabularies to learn. There is also an accompanying app that you can download to listen to the audio of the vocabulary and examples.

Price: $17.99 (¥2,061 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

6. 15-day Intensive JLPT N3 Workbook (Kanji, Vocabulary, and Grammar)

jlpt n3 textbook 15-day Intensive JLPT N3 Workbook (Kanji, Vocabulary, and Grammar)

While most textbooks are made to guide students through a few weeks’ worth of study schedule, the 15-day Intensive JLPT N3 Workbook is meant to intensely drill and dramatically improve their Japanese skills in a short time. them. Designed to be finished within 15 days, you will go through one topic a day from the workbook. There are 3 sections: kanji, vocabulary, and grammar. Each of them includes fifteen drill exercises and three mock tests. Some popular topics you will learn include kanji reading, transitive and intransitive verbs, negative expressions, particles, passive and active voice and an introduction to honorific expressions.

Price: $24.99 (¥2,863 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

7. 55 Reading Comprehension Tests for JLPT N3

jlpt n3 55 Reading Comprehension Tests for JLPT N3

Many test-takers often get stressed once they reach the reading section of the exam. This is because the lengthy text passages can be time-consuming and are filled with new kanji and vocabulary. This textbook helps students maneuver the section easily, helping them develop a better ability to comprehend and find answers. Through 55 different reading passages and mock-up questions, you are conditioned to properly analyze content and find information in the passage efficiently.

Price: $24.99 (¥2,863 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

8. Nihongo Dokkai: Speaking and Writing Through Reading Comprehension (Intermediate)

jlpt n3 textbook Nihongo Dokkai: Speaking and Writing Through Reading Comprehension (Intermediate)

Nihongo Dokkai (meaning Japanese reading) is another option for learners who want to strengthen their Japanese reading skills. There are 12 stories in total. We’ve tried it before, and while the topics are interesting, the overall study experience can be very challenging. You’ll encounter a lot of new and niche vocabularies on science, life and media.

However, it’s a great way to get accustomed to reading in Japanese. It’s also a great tool for individuals looking to practice conversations; after the reading, you’ll find thought-provoking questions.

Price: $25.36 (¥2,905 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

9. Try! Japanese Language Proficiency Test N3

Try! Japanese Language Proficiency Test N3

The Try! series has been specifically designed to help students focus on Japanese grammar. Written as a fun and engaging book, there are 11 chapters that cover different real-life situations. The textbook has many great reviews from past readers who have mentioned that the book has a refreshing take on learning grammar.

The book includes an audio CD for listening exercises alongside an answer key pamphlet to review questions and practice tests. You can head over to the website for a free-to-download vocabulary list.

Price: $20.50 (¥2,348 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

10. Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese

jlpt n3 textbook Tobira: Gateway to Advanced Japanese

Are you looking to challenge yourself with something more advanced (but still for intermediate-level learners)? Tobira textbook might be the right choice. As the gap between JLPT N3 to N2 is big, you can think of this book as a ‘bridge’ to advanced Japanese.

The textbook explores a wide range of topics from Japanese geography and history to modern-day culture. It allows development skills in reading, listening, writing, and speaking. Since there are no translations for most of the contents in the book, it pushes you to understand Japanese at a proficient level right from the first page. You can visit the Tobira website for their free-to-download supplemental learning materials.

Price: $44.85 (¥5,138 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

11. An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

JLPT N3 textbooks An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese

This is one of the most extensive and comprehensive textbooks for intermediate learners. It is an all-in-one textbook that has all the major components of the JLPT: reading, vocabulary, grammar and listening, with subsections for all the components. Every chapter contains day-to-day conversations and reading passages that are based on Japanese culture which helps you to better understand the situations presented. Practice exercises are included at the end of every chapter.

Price: $39.00 (¥4,459 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

12. Nihongo Power Drill Grammar

jlpt n3 textbooks Nihongo Power Drill Grammar

The Nihongo Power Drill Textbook is ideal for JLPT learners looking for additional grammar practice. The textbook has over 30 chapters with 580 questions in total, each designed to be finished within 10 minutes. The book includes a study schedule chart where learners can track their progress as they go through the book. They also have a textbook for N3 vocabularies, too.

Price: $15.00 (¥1,715 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

13. JLPT N3 Mock Test

JLPT N3 Mock Test

Once you are confident that you’ve learned everything needed for the exam, you can start doing mock tests through the JLPT N3 Mock Test. A mock test is a great practice tool because they mimic real-life JLPT questions, and it removes the shock factor. The book covers every aspect of the exam, but we recommend timing your sessions as you take the tests, too. This way, you can assess whether or not you’re answering at the right pace — and on time.

Price: $22.50 (¥2,572 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

14. 2000 Essential Vocabulary for the JLPT N3

2000 Essential Vocabulary for the JLPT N3

As we mentioned, to pass the JLPT N3, you would need to know about 3,750 words (including 800 words for N5 level and 700 words from N4 level). This book has pretty much every new word you’ll need to be around N3, making it the perfect resource for someone looking to sharpen their vocabulary skills. The book is structured with 12 different topics about daily life, romance, sports and place-specific settings. There are also links to their online tests and audio files that are free to download. Similar to the N4 and N5 versions of the book, there’s a red sheet to block the Japanese word (for a quick mini-quiz) and a checkbox for you to tick.

You’ll see a lot of JLPT participants bringing this book everywhere. That’s because the book’s size is one of it’s strong points, too. It’s small, compact and relatively, making it perfect for someone to carry around.

Price: $16.99 (¥1,942 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

15. Kanji Look and Learn 

kanji look and learn jlpt n3 textbook

Kanji Look And Learn is a kanji learning textbook that has tons of illustrations and mnemonic hints that makes learning fun and interactive. It acts as a companion book for textbooks from the Genki series. The book has over 512 kanji and 3,500 essential vocabularies to learn. It explains everything about kanji from the history behind it to the number of strokes of each introduced character. This helps you to memorize the kanji easily and more efficiently.

Price: $25.00 (¥2,858 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

16. Nihongo Tadoku Books Vol. 5

jlpt n3 textbook Nihongo Tadoku Books Vol. 5

The Nihongo Tadoku Book features 4 different stories that progressively get more difficult and longer. With the aim to stimulate more advanced reading techniques, this book is targeted at learners who want to improve their Japanese reading skills. You can find links to the audio files to the story passages in the book that are read by native speakers.

Price: $32.90 (¥3,751 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

17. Academic Japanese for International Students: Listening Comprehension (Intermediate)

JLPT N3 Academic Japanese for International Students: Listening Comprehension (Intermediate)

This book is specifically designed for international students who are planning to enter a university in Japan, undergraduate and graduate students included. It focuses on enhancing your listening comprehension ability for university-level classes. You’ll find the topics more complex and multilayered.

In total, there are 15 topics, each with more mature themes that you would not usually find in normal textbooks. This includes topics on Christianity in Japan and traditional Japanese musical instruments. Each topic comes with the main listening passage and practice questions from multiple-choice questions to 150-to-200-character paragraph writing. There are also links included for you to access their additional online material.

Price: $25.99 (¥2,963 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

18. Quartet: Intermediate Japanese Across the Four Language Skills Vol. 1

jlpt n3 textbook Quartet: Intermediate Japanese Across the Four Language Skills Vol. 1

This textbook offers a comprehensive study approach for the 4 Japanese language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. It has 6 lessons, with a total of 55 grammatical patterns and expressions, 327 new Kanji and at least 700 new vocabularies. You also get a chance to write compositions based on the model texts and practice conversations using model dialogues that you can find in the book. There is also an additional 64-page supplementary book that contains vocabulary and kanji lists.

Price: $37.00 (¥4,218 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

19. Pattern-Betsu Tettei Drill JLPT N3

JLPT N3 textbooks  Pattern-Betsu Tettei Drill JLPT N3

The Pattern-Bestu Tettei Drill is a textbook full of a series of quizzes and practice tests that have been modeled to represent the actual JLPT exam. The book is composed of four units for practice: kanji and vocabulary; listening, grammar, and reading comprehension. If you have studied the necessary information for the examination, this book will give you a realistic experience and prepare you to ace the JLPT.

Price: $31.00 (¥3,534 JPY)

Click on this link to purchase the book.

20. New JLPT N3 Taisaku-mondai & Yoten-seiri

New JLPT N3 Taisaku-mondai & Yoten-seiri

You will be presented with various types of texts that you’d come across on a daily basis in Japan such as event flyers and situational emails. The book gives you explanations to properly understand them and you will learn new vocabulary and grammar. There is also an additional section in the book that teaches you Japanese onomatopoeia, idiomatic expressions and sentence connectors.

Price: $15.00 (¥1,710 JPY )

Click on this link to purchase the book.

Not sure about your Japanese level? Take our free Japanese language assessment test

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How many words and kanji do you need for JLPT N3?

You will need to know around 650 kanji and 3,700 vocabulary words.

What is passing score for the JLPT N3?

You would a minimum of 95 points to pass the JLPT N3.

How long will it take you to pass the JLPT N3?

It should take roughly around 900 study hours

What are the benefits of taking the JLPT N3?

Passing the N3 will allow you to live fairly comfortably in Japan. You will also get much more job opportunities in Japan. This certification proves to an employer that you are able to read and understand Japanese with specific contents that concern everyday topics.

How can you study effectively for the JLPT N3?

There are plenty of useful resources out there to study for the JLPT. One effective studying method is using Anki. Anki is basically a a free open-source, spaced-repetition flashcard app and has become increasingly popular in the Japanese learning community.