Exam papers are handed out to students at a university in Tokyo on Saturday morning. Photo: KYODO
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582,669 students sit for college entrance exams across Japan

16 Comments

The National Center for University Entrance Examinations on Saturday began two days of tests across the nation. The center said that 582,669 students -- 6,702 more than last year -- are sitting for the exams at 695 test centers nationwide.

In most locations, the tests began at 9 a.m. with students sitting for exams in geography, history, civics, Japanese and foreign languages, Fuji TV reported. On Sunday, tests will be held in mathematics and science.

Students were barred from bringing smartphones and other mobile devices into the test rooms.

Typically, the test starts and ends at roughly the same time throughout the entire nation. However, heavy snow hit wide areas along the Sea of Japan coast and in the north, northeast and western regions of the country, causing traffic disruption and forcing a number of schools to delay the tests, Kyodo reported.

The standardized exam is used to grade students applying to public and private universities for the academic year starting in April. The test results will be used by 843 public universities, private universities and junior colleges to grade applicants.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology plans to scrap the current system in favor of a series of "achievement tests" to be taken through high school. The new tests would be taken two or three times each year, with the student's highest grade being accepted for final consideration.

The ministry says the new system is to be introduced in fiscal 2020.

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16 Comments
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Do they ever break down the number of test-takers by age? I always seem to know a few ronin who are giving in another shot, having postponed their lives an entire year. I know one guy who just turned 50 who makes an annual try for Todai. I'd guess a significant number are over 18.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I still remember doing my A' Levels 28 years ago (the UK exams to get you into university) It was rather stressy! I never went onto university in the end; however, in 2013 I passed a masters degree. I got to dodge the BA :) Good luck all! It's great when that stress is over!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Goodlucktoyou

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd guess a significant number are over 18.

What do you call significant? Sure there are some, but the overwhelming majority are 18 years old.

My nephew is sitting for it again this year, he has a particular university he wants to get into and spent the past year studying his arse off.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My son failed twice to get into his university of choice and is taking it a third time. Last year he suddenly developed Type 1 diabetes in January and did very poorly on his tests. I really hope he gets in where he wants to go. Each application cycle can cost more than 500,000 yen including all costs, plus the juku and tutoring. I am broke.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I was one of the proctors for this wretched test since it’s beginning until last year. It is a terrible process. Can not wait to see it abolished. Everything bad about Japan (conformity, process without purpose, etc.) packages into 48 hours.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why geography? To see if you can memorize? No math?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even the US is putting less emphasis on SATs

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 Why geography? To see if you can memorize? No math?

Did you even take the time to READ the article? Damn...

n most locations, the tests began at 9 a.m. with students sitting for exams in geography, history, civics, Japanese and foreign languages, Fuji TV reported.

The VERY next sentence...

On Sunday, tests will be held in mathematics and science.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Geography? Because they took geography class. Math. Advanced calculus. level. ronins might not be able to take exam. Just youngsters in Japan.

@Reckless: There should be test preparation book on sale. Let your son study and memolize answers.

But if you can afford, send him to Calif St. Univ. No entrance exam. No age limit. English is not required.

They just enroll you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If your child will be graduating at 17 yrs old, eligible to take test. Average age of test takers are 18 to19 yrs old. Make sure which Univ he or she wants to study for his lifetime career

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The philosophy in Japan is to put as many barriers as possible in front of people wanting to access post-secondary education. Very few Japanese universities rank in the top 500 so most students spend a lot of money to get a second class degree. Japanese people wanting a world class education seriously need to concentrate on English so that they can go to university in almost any other country in the world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The philosophy in Japan is to put as many barriers as possible in front of people wanting to access post-secondary education.

Actually it's rather easy to get into a Japanese university, just not the "famous" one's!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The 'SENTA' tests are good as they centralze test-taking, but all the different institutions still have their own individual entrance pathways.

Lots of institutions are able to accept fewer people than they have places for nowadays. For instance, they may make a (ridiculously) challenging test or a few people who are going to be offered a place anyway.

University-type education levels are more the norm than anything special now too.

'SENTA' tests work mainly in the interests of institutions rated highly prestige-wise. Otherwise, there are far more pleasant ways to spend this weekend than doing dry tests and the stress and sleepless nights before hand

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru: I never heard such philosophy, even I am quite older than a majority writers here. And I am an outspoken Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many parents want their children enter Todai. it's not for average or less students. Students whose father or

mother is. It's alumini get better chance. If you are uneducated, try your child to local public univ. There is another way. Bruce. Donate one building to univ.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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