Two-day university entrance examinations begin across Japan
Japan’s National Center Test for University Admissions began across the nation on Saturday.
The standardized exam, being held Saturday and Sunday, is used to grade students applying to public and private universities in Japan. About 555,500 students are taking the exam, which is held annually in mid-January, the Education Ministry said Friday.
On Friday, many shrines were visited by young people and their parents, offering prayers for success on votive tablets.
The test is being held at 709 locations across the country and will be used by 835 public universities, private universities and junior colleges to grade applicants.
The National Center for Univerity Entrance Examinations, the independent administrative institution that oversees the exams, says that the number of applicants this year is down by 3,400 students.
The center also reports that due to the impact of the Tohoku disaster last March, administrative adjustments have been made. According to the center, some venues have been changed and students from families who lack the economic means to pay the application fees will have their charges waived.
This year students are able to combine some subjects, such as Japanese history and world history, in a single sitting. However, to cut administration costs, students were not able to apply to register for specific subject tests on the day of the exams. They had to do so in advance.
Meanwhile, NHK reported that in order to avoid a repeat of the cell phone cheating incident that took place at Kyoto University last year, all students are required to turn off their cell phones and to leave them in their bags for the duration of the test.
The center is also calling for parents and students to be aware of harsh winter conditions. Typically, the test starts and ends at roughly the same time throughout the entire nation, NHK reported. As such, families have been urged to check weather and traffic reports and to ensure that they arrive at test centers in plenty of time.