The NOKEN exam, called after the Japanese initials (Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken, 日本語能力試 験) or JLPT if we use the English initials (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), is an official exam internationally recognized which goal is to certify the level of Japanese for non-native students. It is organized by the Japan Foundation outside the country, in Japan the responsibility is of the JEES (Japan Educational Exchanges and Services). It currently consists of five levels: N5, N4, N3, N2 and N1; N5 being the lowest level and N1 the highest one. You can only choose one level every time you take the exam, but you are free to choose which one.
This means you don’t have to take any kind of test before the exam, you can choose the level you want.
There are five places where you can take this exam in Spain:
Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – CEAO & Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) – Idiomas Complutense)
Barcelona (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona – Facultad de Traducción e Interpretación)
Santiago de Compostela (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela – Centro de Lenguas Moderna)
Granada (Universidad de Granada – Centro de Lenguas Modernas)