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I'm wondering if it is true that words in JLPT5 are taught first in japanese schools, then JLPT4, then JLPT3, 2, 1.

Or is that in japanese schools they have another order altogether such that it may be possible for them to learn a JLPT1 vocab before they learn a JLPT5 vocab?

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JLPT doesn't publish a vocab list anymore, but going by the lists they used to publish, it was another order altogether...well not exactly altogether. But to answer your latter question, yes (I think). –  Louis Aug 20 '11 at 0:02
    
@Louis oic, btw are the files at jlptstudy.com reliable? –  Pacerier Aug 20 '11 at 5:34
    
[bug: if the first character is @ the connecting text is dropped]@Pacerier, the source for the vocab are. I guess the rest is depends on the quality of transcription. I don't know how relevant they are though. A bunch of people took the July exam, your best bet would be to find someone who used that list. –  Louis Aug 20 '11 at 12:51
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The order of learning words and kanji for Japanese schools and JLPT are completely uncorrelated.

Which is to say that the JLPT doesn't attempt to emulate learning as Japanese people do. So while there is some overlap in the sense that both groups generally follow a principle of going more simple to more complex, what a non-native learning Japanese will find simple and what a Japanese student will find simple can be different.

For a comparison, you can look at this list of JLPT kanji, and this list of Japanese first grade kanji. Both contain about 80 characters, but you can note some differences.

語【ご】(language), 電【でん】(electricity), and 話【わ】(talk), are on the JLPT list and not the Japanese grade one.

森【もり】(forest), 林【はやし】(woods), and 犬【いぬ】(dog) are on the Japanese grade one but not the JLPT list.

I know your question is directly about vocab and not kanji, but it was a little easier to locate and look through lists of kanji, and if the kanji the two groups are learning are different, you can be sure the words they use those kanji for are different too.

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heys cool thx for the help =D –  Pacerier Aug 20 '11 at 15:48
    
+1 it's kind of nice to know that learning Japanese as a foreign language isn't like being sent back to kindergarten. –  Andrew Grimm Aug 22 '11 at 4:45
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