About EIKEN Grade 5

Grade 5 is the first goal for English-language learners taking EIKEN. This level is mainly aimed at first-year Japanese junior high school students. Examinees are expected to understand and use basic words, phrases, and simple sentences. The material tested is basic and important. As a first step in English-language learning, the Grade 5 examination consists of Stage 1 (a written examination including a listening section) only. The second-stage test is not given for Grade 5. However, from 2016, a new online speaking test where examinees record their answers has been introduced. The speaking test is not required to pass Grade 5, but each person who registers for the first stage of the Grade 5 test, has the opportunity to take the Grade 5 speaking test.

Pass level comparison

Grade 5 419 A1
  • Click here for more information about the EIKEN CSE Score.

Level description

Can understand and use basic words, phrases, and simple sentences.

Overview of test structure

First stage

Time allotted: Reading & Writing(25 minutes)/ Listening(20 minutes)

Skill area Task Format Items Response type
Reading Sentence completion 15 short texts (one or two sentences/dialogues) from which one word or phrase has been omitted 15 Multiple-choice (Four printed options)
Gap fill in dialogues 5 short texts (dialogues) from which one or two phrases have been omitted 5
Word reordering A sentence is provided from which four words have been removed and are scrambled. Examinees reorder the words to complete the sentence. A Japanese translation of the sentence is also provided. 5 After putting words into correct order, examinees indicate which words should appear in 1st and 3rd positions.
Listening Conversation completion Examinees listen to short conversations and choose the best response to complete the last turn of the conversation. All conversations are heard twice. An illustration provides contextual information about the situation. 10 Multiple-choice (Three recorded options)
Q&A based on dialogues 10 recorded conversations followed by questions. All conversations are heard twice. 10 Multiple-choice (Four printed options)
Matching 10 illustrations are provided in the test booklet. Examinees listen to three short statements for each illustration and choose the statement that best describes the action or situation in the illustration. All statements are heard twice. 10 Multiple-choice (Three recorded options)

Family, friends, school, hobbies, travel, shopping, sports, movies, music, food, weather, giving directions, introducing oneself, plans for a holiday, one's recent activities, etc.

Second stage

The Second Stage is not administered for Grade 5.

Speaking Test

Internet-based recorded interview (app. 3 min.)

Skill area Task Format Time allotted Notes
Speaking Oral reading Preparation Examinee reads passage on question card silently 20 seconds

Evaluation Criteria:
Examinees are evaluated on their responses to each of the tasks. The following categories are also taken into account: pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

No. of Examiners:1

Reading aloud Examinee reads passage (app. 20 words) aloud
Q&A No. 1 Examiner asks question based on content of passage
No. 2 Examiner asks question based on content of passage
No. 3 Examiner asks question to elicit examinee’s opinion about topic related to everyday life (may not be related to topic of passage)

Summary of Can-do statements

Below are summaries of the main features of the tasks and activities that typical Grade 5 certificate holders feel confident about performing in English in real-life language-use situations.

Reading Can recognize the letters of the alphabet and punctuation marks, and can understand basic English words, phrases, and sentences.
Listening Can understand basic English words and phrases and set expressions.
Speaking Can use basic English words and phrases and set expressions.
Writing Can write the letters of the alphabet and basic English words and use punctuation marks.