The Japanese school year begins in April and ends in March. Most schools operate on a three-term system, the first term lasting from April to July, the second term from September to December, and the third term from January to the end of March, but there are some differences from one region of the country to another. Some private schools establish their own term system or length, but all public and private schools must have a total of 35 weeks or more of classes per year.
Junior and senior high schools have regular mid-term and final examinations. In many cases, the five main academic subjects, English, mathematics, Japanese, social studies (civics, geography and history), and science are covered in both sets of examinations, whereas other subjects are only covered in the final exams.
In the majority of cases, regular class schedules are changed to accommodate school events in which the students participate, such as the entrance ceremony in April 《→nyugaku shiki 入学式 entrance ceremony》, sports festivals, which are usually held in May or October 《→taiikusai 体育祭・運動会 sports festival》, culture or school festivals, which are often held in October or November 《→bunkasai/gakkosai 文化祭・学校祭 culture festival/school festival》, graduation ceremony in March 《→sotsugyoshiki 卒業式》, field trips and school trips 《→shugakuryoko 修学旅行 school trips》, and marathons.