Eiken Junior

Eiken Junior is a suite of tests and learning materials offered in three levels (BRONZE, SILVER, and GOLD) and made up of listening tasks designed to encourage young children in Japan to learn English.

  • *Disclaimer: This English webpage provides general information about the tests but is not a direct translation of the official Eiken Junior website, which is provided in Japanese. For authorized information or to register to take the tests, visit the official Eiken Junior website at this link.

Goals of Eiken Junior

Our objective is to support English education for children through test development.
We hope to foster children who:

  • are familiar with and have an interest in the English language.
  • enjoy actively taking part in English communication.
  • are aware that English can be used as a tool for communication with people from all over the world.
  • understand various lifestyles and cultures around the world, and strive to become internationally-minded individuals with a broad outlook on life.

Eiken Junior aims to promote these goals and support children who are learning English.

Characteristics of Eiken Junior

Listen and choose

The goal of Eiken Junior is to determine the examinee’s listening ability, which is said to be essential for children in the early stages of learning. In most sections, the examinees listen to English vocabulary/phrases, dialogs or sentences, and then choose the illustration (answer) that corresponds to what they have heard. SILVER and GOLD grades contain sections in which the answer choices are not illustrations but are written out as a bridge to further studies.


Eiken Junior attaches importance to the examinee experiencing feelings of joy and accomplishment by taking the test and therefore becoming more motivated to learn. Because the test is not pass/fail but scored by percentage, the children’s motivation will not be hindered by any feeling of failure. Examinees may use this information to decide which grade to apply for next time.

Variety of test formats

Eiken Junior has three grades, which are divided according to level of difficulty. The vocabulary and expressions chosen for the test are based on the Eiken Junior syllabus, in which English words and phrases are classified into different grades. The topics and settings of the questions are based on situations that children are familiar with. Some test formats will require examinees to use their imagination and inference skills.

Colorful illustrations

All pages of Eiken Junior test booklets are printed in color. This not only projects a bright and fun image, but also makes it easier for the examinee to understand the situation (the people, background, etc.) in the illustrations.

Subjective test section: "The Challenge Corner"

Children have a strong interest in self-expression. Eiken Junior has developed a subjective section called the Challenge Corner. This new format motivates children to actively take part in the test.

Level of difficulty in accordance with English activities in Japanese elementary schools (BRONZE)

The main objectives of introducing foreign language activities into elementary schools are to develop a positive attitude in children to communicate with others, to accustom children to sounds and basic expressions of a foreign language, and to provide children with a deeper understanding of a language and culture. Eiken Junior takes these objectives into consideration when developing the test, especially for the BRONZE level. This grade consists of very basic content and simple formats so that elementary school students who are new to English can easily take the test.

Objective score data compiled from nationwide test

Eiken Junior is taken by children who study English in different environments. The test is administrated nationwide, thus the score data compiled from these tests is highly objective. Each personal Report Card shows the child’s score relative to other examinees of the same age and who have been studying English for the same number of years. Report Cards also give an easy to understand explanation of the score and advice about studying English.

Test structure: BRONZE

Number of questions (sections) 40 questions (7 sections)
Test duration Approximately 30 minutes
Achievement goals 1. To be familiar with English sounds and rhythm.
2. To listen to and comprehend words, phrases and expressions necessary for basic communication.
Aim of questions
(areas of testing)
Vocabulary & Phrases Understanding nouns, adjectives and verbs in fixed expressions and basic sentences.
Dialogs Understanding basic conversations with one exchange, using greetings and verbs.
Sentences Understanding basic sentences (one to three sentences).
Reading None
Main topics
and settings
Everyday life (at home or school) including interaction with family, friends and teachers, routine daily activities, topics of interest to children, etc.
Examples of
language content
Word categories food, animals, colors, time, weather, numbers, body parts, transportation, basic manners in daily life, etc.
Word functions confirming, introducing, agreeing, greeting, describing likes and dislikes, expressing gratitude, requesting, etc.

Test structure: SILVER

SILVER * The topics and language content of SILVER expand on the BRONZE level
Number of questions (sections) 45 questions (9 sections)
Test duration Approximately 35 minutes
Achievement goals 1. To listen to and to comprehend basic vocabulary/phrases and expressions related to everyday occurrences and to produce simple responses.
2. To comprehend information in basic conversations and sentences.
3. To promote interest in the connections between written letters and sounds.
Aim of questions
(areas of testing)
Vocabulary & Phrases Understanding prepositions in fixed expressions and basic sentences. Understanding nouns, adjectives and verbs in various sentence types. Understanding words from within the same category.
Dialogs Choosing a correct response, understanding two or three short sentence exchanges.
Sentences Understanding two to three easy, short sentences. Understanding and responding to negative and interrogative sentences.
Reading Recognizing the connection between written letters and their sounds, exposure to simple, short words in written form.
Main topics
and settings
Familiar social (regional) life, interactions with new people and with people from other countries, school studies, extracurricular activities, general knowledge of matters related to a child’s life, etc.
Examples of
language content
Word categories hobbies, sports, leisure, shops, public facilities, school facilities and supplies, events, club activities, things in the neighborhood, words that describe quality and condition of something, play activities, etc.
Word functions expressing desire, responsibility, ability, intention, choice, emotions, suggesting, answering phone, etc.

Test structure: GOLD

GOLD * The topics and language content of GOLD expand on the SILVER level
Number of questions (sections) 50 questions (9 sections)
Test duration Approximately 45 minute
Achievement goals 1. To listen and to comprehend vocabulary/phrases and expressions related to familiar daily-life situations, and to produce questions and responses appropriate to the topic.
2. To comprehend information in conversations and sentences, and to grasp the main idea of the situation.
3. To read familiar words/phrases and short sentences.
Aim of questions
(areas of testing)
Vocabulary & Phrases Understanding words and phrases in various sentence types.
Dialogs Understanding simple conversations of more than three exchanges.
Sentences Understanding more than three sentences that are linked, responding to and forming 5 Wh- and How questions.
Reading Recognizing basic words/phrases and exposure to simple sentences in written form.
Main topics
and settings
Familiar topics, events and culture of Japan and foreign countries, overseas travel, social activities, volunteer activities, dreams and future ambitions, stories, fiction, and solving problems, etc.
Examples of
language content
Word categories Words related to degree and quantity, occupations, things necessary during travel or living abroad, the natural environment, familiar social life, Japanese and foreign culture, etc.
Word functions Describing personal impressions, giving examples, describing ideas and expectations, exchanging opinions, etc.

Choosing which grade to take


Eiken Junior Children who are taking Eiken Junior for the first time Children who have received more than 80% of the total points possible in BRONZE Children who have received more than 80% of the total points possible in SILVER
English conversation school 6 months to more than 1 year 1 year to more than 2 years 2 years to more than 3 years
Elementary school 1.5 years to more than 2 years 2.5 years to more than 3.5 years 4 years to more than 5 years
Learning the alphabet None 1 year to more than 2 years 2.5 years to more than 3 years
Others Children not yet enrolled in school but have learned English at home


LEARNING SITUATION First Test Subsequent Tests
Elementary school Children exposed to English for their first time in elementary school, with approximately 10 classroom hours per year for 3 years or more. BRONZE → BRONZE
Children studying according to elementary school curriculum, mainly through phonetic method focused on songs and games.
Children who want to increase their motivation to study English or to understand the pleasure of studying English.
Children who have an English learning experience of 2 to 3 years or more, but have no experience learning the alphabet.
Children with an English learning experience of 3 years or more with approximately 35 classroom hours per year (and can recognize the letters of the alphabet). BRONZE → SILVER
Children who have received more than 80% of the total points possible in BRONZE and would like to challenge themselves to the next step (and can recognize the letters of the alphabet).
English conversation school/home Children who are studying phonetically and have no experience learning the alphabet. BRONZE → BRONZE
Children who know the alphabet but have no experience reading words or sentences. BRONZE → SILVER
Children who have taken BRONZE , SILVER or GOLD and want to measure their achievement after a few months of study. BRONZE → BRONZE
Children below 6 years old, who are not yet enrolled in elementary school, and spend their daily life among family or friends who speak English in their home or neighborhood. BRONZE → BRONZE
Children who have received more than 80% of the total points possible in SILVER and can listen to and understand rather long sentences and conversations or can read words and short sentences. SILVER → GOLD
Children who have received more than 80% of the total points possible in SILVER and have put more emphasis on reading words and sentences rather than listening to long sentences and conversations. SILVER → EIKEN
Grade 5
Children who have received more than 80% of the total points possible in GOLD and are studying to learn words and sentences. Children who want to test their ability without being discouraged by the pass/fail line. GOLD → EIKEN
Grade 5

Dates and administration

The Online Version is available year-round, on demand. The dates below are for the paper-based version.

2015-2016 Academic Year

Test dates Type of test site Test dates Registration dates
Summer session GROUP Jun 15 - 21 May 1 - 29 (applications must be received during this period)
Fall session GROUP Oct 19 - 25 Sep 1 - Oct 2 (applications must be received during this period)
Winter session GROUP Feb 1 - 7, 2016 Dec 1, 2015 - Jan 12, 2016 (applications must be received during this period)
  • *Administered by the representative of the group. (Administration date and time will be designated by the representative during the period of the specified seven days.)

Test sites

A site / location determined by the representative of each individual group or organization.

  • *The paper-based test is offered only at group test sites. Individual test registrations are not accepted.

Test fees

BRONZE: 2,500 yen / SILVER: 2,700 yen / GOLD: 2,900 yen

Duration of test

BRONZE: approximately 30 minutes / SILVER: approximately 35 minutes / GOLD: approximately 45 minutes

Test administration

  1. 1.Group registered with STEP.
  2. 2.Must have 5 or more applicants.
  3. 3.No given qualifications for examinees.
  • *Examinees may take 2 adjacent grades.

Required documents

  1. 1.Application for group test site.
  2. 2.Application fee.

Notification of results

  1. 1.CERTIFICATES for each individual examinee at their test site.
  2. 2.Report Cards for each individual examinee at their test site.
  3. 3.A Group Report Card.
  • *Results will be delivered approximately one month after the test.

Double examination

A test taker may sit for two consecutive grades on the same day.

Filling in the answer sheet

Please circle the answers directly in the test booklet. (A separate marksheet is not provided.)

Report cards and feedback


A CERTIFICATE will be issued to all examinees. This CERTIFICATE is written in English and a BRONZE, SILVER or GOLD medal sticker will be enclosed so that the examinee can put it on the CERTIFICATE. Many teachers report that: CERTIFICATE encourages the students” and “I enjoy seeing the children’s smile as I hand out the CERTIFICATES to each of them and read the English statements written on the CERTIFICATES.”



The list shows the results for all the examinees in your group. If an examinee has taken Eiken Junior in the past, scores for the past three tests will be indicated. Scores for each of the four testing fields will be listed, which will enable you to compare the strengths and weaknesses of an examinee. The report will also suggest which grade each student should take the next time.


The list will indicate the percent of correct answers for each question. Each section of the test will have a specific explanation of which area (vocabulary/phrases, dialogs, sentences or reading) was emphasized. National scores will also be indicated for each question. It may be used to compare where the examinees stand on a national level.


Data of examinees and average scores by age, experience in studying English and prefecture will be displayed in charts and graphs.


Eiken Junior presents examinees who achieved a perfect score of 100% on the BRONZE, SILVER or GOLD with the “Perfect Score Award” (does not include examinees of the Eiken Junior Online Test, although all registered examinees receive the Eiken Junior CERTIFICATE). The purpose of the “Perfect Score Award” is to raise the incentive for learning English and thereby increase familiarity with English, rouse curiosity about English and enjoy positive communication in English. The concept of the “Perfect Score Award” came from comments by parents and educators who wanted to “encourage children to study harder in order to do their best. It is our hope that the “Perfect Score Award” gives children the incentive to learn more when studying for Eiken Junior.

Registering as a test site

  • *Eiken Junior only. Rules and procedures differ for EIKEN group test sites.


Multiple groups may jointly administer an exam. Furthermore, children not belonging to a certain group may join the group exam. In any case, the representative of the group must take all responsibility of administrating the test and handling of fees.


  1. 1.Strict observance of the test week period.
  2. 2.Preparation of proper test site.
  3. 3.Fair administration of the test.
  4. 4.Safe-keeping of test booklets / prevention of information leakage.
  5. 5.Protection of confidential data (personal data/score of examinees).
  6. 6.Prompt and accurate feedback to examinees.


Please contact the Eiken Junior Information Center (tel. 03-3266-6463) for any questions. (Only availablein Japanese.)

  • *Please be advised that the information given by the Eiken Junior Information Center and all printed matters are in Japanese.
  1. 1.Request “application for group registration” by fax or post card.
  2. 2.An application will be sent to the requested address.
  3. 3.Complete and submit application form before the deadline presented below.
  4. 4.Processing of application
  5. 5.A “Group Number” will be issued to authorized groups, and a “Registered for Group Test Site” sticker will be sent.
  6. 6.From then on, application forms will be sent automatically for every session.

Deadline for group registration is 10 days before the final day of the test registration period. For example:

Test registration dates: May 1 (Fri) - June 5 (Fri)

Deadline for group registration: May 26 (Tue)


  1. 1.Applications must be received by mail. Applications by fax or telephone cannot be accepted.
  2. 2.Additional applications or changes of grade level may be made before the application period ends.
  • *Application forms will be sent to registered groups every time the test is administered. When in need of more application forms, please contact us.


  1. 1.Please pay test fees by postal money order or bank transfer at the time of application.
  2. 2.Write your “Eiken Junior group number” before the name of the payee.
  • Postal transfer: Please use the sheet enclosed in the application form.
      Account Number – 00190-7-594504
      Name of Account – 公益財団法人 日本英語検定協会 (Nihon Eigo Kentei Kyokai)
    Bank transfer: Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank Kanda Branch
      Account Number (checking account) 316455
      Name of Account – 公益財団法人 日本英語検定協会 (Nihon Eigo Kentei Kyokai)


A group of ten or more examinees may deduct the “fee for group test site administration” from the total amount of the test fee. A calculation sheet will be enclosed in your application form.


  1. 1.Group registration - contact the Eiken Junior Information Center for group registration forms or download them from our website. Please be careful to meet the deadline written above.
  2. 2.Application forms will be sent – you will receive an application form every time the exam is administered. Please request new forms if you need more.
  3. 3.Send in application forms – please pay the complete fee when sending in application forms. Test papers will not be sent if payment is not completed. Notify examinees in your group of exam time and date.
  4. 4.Receive test papers – Test papers will be sent at least 3 days prior to the exam. Please make sure to store them in a secure place. Please be aware that packages may be delivered while you are out. In that case, a notice will be left by the shipping company. Please contact the shipping service company directly.
  5. 5.Administer the exam –according to the manual, during the specified week.
  6. 6.Send back the test booklets – send back test booklets before the specified deadline. Issuing of Report Cards will be delayed if test booklets are not sent back promptly.
  7. 7.Results– Report Cards, CERTIFICATES and The Group Report Card will be sent to the representative of the group approximately one month after the exam. Please hand the Report Cards to each examinee promptly.

Eiken Junior FAQ

Q: What is the history of Eiken Junior?

Eiken Junior was developed in 1994 by the Eiken Foundation of Japan (formerly STEP, Inc.). The first test was administered in January 1994. Initially, the test was administered to registered groups only, but in 2001, the test was administered at public test sites due to the growing demand of individual English learners. On our 10th anniversary, which was in 2003, substantial modification was made to Eiken Junior with the objective to develop a “more fun, appropriate and easy-to-take test”. The names of the grades were changed from 3rd, 2nd and 1st grade to BRONZE, SILVER and GOLD. An increasing number of elementary schools are utilizing Eiken Junior as a subjective assessment program and to increase motivation for learning in connection with the introduction of foreign language activities in the elementary school curriculum beginning in 2002.

Q: Is Eiken Junior related to EIKEN?

Eiken Junior and EIKEN are different tests. For example, the introductory level in EIKEN is the Grade 5 test. It consists of basic junior high school level questions, corresponding to English curriculum provided in junior high schools. Listening comprehension formulates 50% of the score, and the other 50% tests grammar, reading comprehension and sentence formation. Reading skills are essential to answer the questions. The method of testing and its areas of testing differ, but they are similar in that they both measure English communication competence.

Q: Will taking Eiken Junior boost the examinee's English skills?

The aim of Eiken Junior is to motivate children to enjoy English. The tests have no pass/fail line. Instead, Eiken Junior encourages examinees to progress to the next grade (goal) by issuing English CERTIFICATES to every examinee, giving praise and advice, focusing on appropriate listening comprehension, using illustrations, etc., so that children can take the test enthusiastically without attaching a score to it. Eiken Junior will motivate English learners and will also serve as motivation for future English learning.

Q: Can children take the same grade of Eiken Junior twice?

Eiken Junior certificates do not show whether the examinee has passed or failed but instead show the percentage of questions he or she answered correctly. For examinees who take the same grade more than once, this makes it easy to track their performance over time and see how much their listening skills have improved. This can provide learners with a source of encouragement and motivation.