Vocabulary: Year level

number, counter, time

On this page, you can learn how to say year levels in Japanese with the basic knowledge of Japanese education system.

Japanese education system

In Japan, Grade 1 to 6 students go to 小学(しょう・がく)which is primary school. Year 7 to 9 students go to 中学(ちゅう・がく)which is junior high school, then Year 10 to 12 students go to 高校(こう・こう)which is high school.

After high school, you can go to 大学(だい・がく)which is university if you want. You usually need 4 years to complete a course at university.

Year level in Japanese

You need to say which level of school you belong to first, then year level at the school. For example, if you are in Year 9, you belong to a junior high school, so you need to say 中学(ちゅう・がく)first.

Then, Year 9 is the third grade at a junior high school, so you need to add 三年生(さん・ねん・せい) after 中学.

Vocabulary list

Kanji characters below are all basic 200 Kanji.

Grade 1 (1st grade at primary school)


Grade 2 (2nd grade at primary school)


Grade 3 (3rd grade at primary school)


Grade 4 (4th grade at primary school)


Grade 5 (5th grade at primary school)


Grade 6 (6th grade at primary school)


Year 7 (1st grade at junior high school)


Year 8 (2nd grade at junior high school)


Year 9 (3rd grade at junior high school)


Year 10 (1st grade at high school)


Year 11 (2nd grade at high school)


Year 12 (3rd grade at high school)


1st grade at university


2nd grade at university


3rd grade at university


4th grade at university


Note: abbreviation

Japanese people shorten the year level words in an informal conversation. For example, 年生 can be 小一(しょう・いち). You do not do that for the university year levels.

Topic based lessons

School: I am in Year 9.
On this page, you can learn how to say what year level you are in in Japanese.
Family: My younger sister is in Grade 2.
On this page, you can learn how to say what year level somebody is in in Japanese.