Vocabulary: Year level

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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)

小学一年生(しょう・がく・いち・ねん・せい)

Grade 2 (2nd grade at primary school)

小学二年生(しょう・がく・に・ねん・せい)

Grade 3 (3rd grade at primary school)

小学三年生(しょう・がく・さん・ねん・せい)

Grade 4 (4th grade at primary school)

小学四年生(しょう・がく・よ・ねん・せい)

Grade 5 (5th grade at primary school)

小学五年生(しょう・がく・ご・ねん・せい)

Grade 6 (6th grade at primary school)

小学六年生(しょう・がく・ろく・ねん・せい)

Year 7 (1st grade at junior high school)

中学一年生(ちゅう・がく・いち・ねん・せい)

Year 8 (2nd grade at junior high school)

中学二年生(ちゅう・がく・に・ねん・せい)

Year 9 (3rd grade at junior high school)

中学三年生(ちゅう・がく・さん・ねん・せい)

Year 10 (1st grade at high school)

高校一年生(こう・こう・いち・ねん・せい)

Year 11 (2nd grade at high school)

高校二年生(こう・こう・に・ねん・せい)

Year 12 (3rd grade at high school)

高校三年生(こう・こう・さん・ねん・せい)

1st grade at university

大学一年生(だい・がく・いち・ねん・せい)

2nd grade at university

大学二年生(だい・がく・に・ねん・せい)

3rd grade at university

大学三年生(だい・がく・さん・ねん・せい)

4th grade at university

大学四年生(だい・がく・よ・ねん・せい)

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.