Hi Tony, I'm not sure if I read this right but just in case the JLPT N5 exam goes as follows-:
1st paper- 25 minutes , 33 questions multiple choice ( any one from 4) 1-10 pick the Hiragana/Katakana
11-18 pick the Kanji 19-33 pick the correct word for the sentence
2nd paper -50 minutes, this is the grammar paper, 32 questions, multiple choice as above
1-16 pick the correct particle, copula and statement
17-21 re-arrange the words to make a sentence, four words, then pick the word where the star in the spaces should fit.
22-26 two reading passages, pick the correct word to fit in where the question numbers are
27 a reading passage, pick the correct answer from the information in the passage
28 a reading passage, pick the correct picture from the information in the passage
29 a reading passage, this time a letter or e-mail pick the correct answer from the information in the passage
30 & 31 a very big reading passage, pick the correct answer from the information given, make sure you interpret the questions correctly
32 an information mining question, could be on garbage days, supermarket best price day, hotels for holidays, usually contains a possible two correct answer answer (if that makes sense)
29-32 are the real problem as they can really consume your time, if you are hitting the time barrier at this point just mark an answer and hope for the best. (I was told this by my delightful teacher)
3rd paper - the audio part, 30 minutes. The passages are read out over a pa system they are only read out ONCE they are not repeated so please listen carefully.
1 - 7 questions pick the correct picture 5 questions, two questions are pick the correct amount
2- 6 questions, pick the correct place, telephone number,object, colour etc
3- 5 picture questions, what is the person saying, this is where it gets difficult. The answers are spoken (which one from the four given)not written down, once again they will not be repeated
4- 6 questions, you are allowed to take notes, having a good memory is an advantage at this point. You can actually take notes, the one time you are actually allowed to write on the paper.
A passage will be read out, then the each question will be read out followed by the four possible answers to that question.
I know it sounds a bit daunting but if you put in the practice you'll be fine.
By the way I'm a bit like yourself, a self learning adult with occasional extra bits, I started 2 years back, but I'm a wee bit older I think as I've been at sea these past 37 years.