Entrance Exam Industry

New Series: Japanese Educational System!

Exams are a big part of life here in Tokyo and all over Japan. Find out what students think of all these exams, both good and bad points.

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Y: I’m so glad that I don’t have to study all day now!
T: I know! I’m so happy that I passed the entrance exam finally.
M: if I hadn’t pass the entrance exam for the university I wouldn’t be able to play soccer now.
Y: what do u think of the entrance exams in japan?
T: It’s so tough because we only get one chance for it and every univ has different exams.
M: yeah, so you need a technique specialized for the entrance exams.
Y: By the way, how did u study for the exam?
M: me? I used Z-kai for the exams.
T: Z-kai? What is that?
M: it’s a kind of correspondence course specialized for entrance exams.
Y: why did you use correspondence course?
M: I had soccer practice six days a week so I didn’t have time to go to gram schools but I didn’t want to get behind in study so I used Z-kai in order to use my free time usefully.
Y: Was it good for you?
M: yeah I became good at planning my schedules and I learnt how to solve the problems in exams without others’ help.
T: you are so lucky that you only had to take entrance exams once.
Y:oh yeah,,, you studied in cram schools after you graduated from school, right?
T: yup. Since I failed the entrance exam the first time, I wanted to try one more time. I think it’s a good thing that students can get a second chance if they wanted to, because in some cases students just don’t have enough time to study in high school on account of their school activities.
Y: that’s true. Normal public high schools usually only teach the basics and don’t teach the strategies of winning the entrance exams. That’s why in order to gain the strategies for exams we have to depend on cram schools or other education institutions outside high school.
M: how did you study after you graduated high school??
T: I went to cram school all day and took the class that was specialized for the univ.
M: so you studied for the entrance exams all year?
T:of course. I really wanted to get into this univ, that’s why I could bear the hard time in cram school.
Y: I bet it was a hard work…Im so glad that I got into the univ straight from highschool.
M: what was it like in cram school?… I mean can you tell us the good and bad sides of studying in cram schools?
T: Sure. Well, the good points are that you can concentrate on studying and get the basic knowledge for the class in university. The bad points are that you cannot do any other activities like going on a trip, reading books, going on a date and so on. Also, parents have to spend a lot of money to make their children go to cram schools and take the exams twice.
M:…that’s why there are huge industries for entrance exams in japan.
T: yeah that’s why, and actually there is a possibility that you will not be rewarded for your efforts.
M: hey, how did u prepare for the entrance exam?
Y: well, I used the DVD lessons that were made by the cram schools in Tokyo since I lived in the country side I didn’t have much chance of being taught by a good teacher.
T: I guess the best teachers gather in Tokyo.
Y: yeah, so I didn’t want my living in country side to be a negative fact for the entrance exam. i wanted to be equal to the Tokyo students so I used DVD. Actually this was very good.
M: wow, there are so many varieties of entrance exams industries in japan.
T I guess this is an unique point of Japanese education.
Y: This is probably because entering the good university is still important in japan.

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