Entrance Exams

No more pressure of entrance exam! Yeah!


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There are various ways to be accepted by universities. Some universities allocate high schools certain number of freshmen to be admitted in the spring according to the number of students who passed the entrance exams in the previous year. We also have Admission Office exams by "self-recommendation" of students themselves. And of course we have the traditional regular written exams. For this regular exams for private universities, those who aim Bachelor of Arts usually take Japanese, English and History (Japanese or world). Those who wish to be science and math majors usually take Japanese, English and Math. Many of those who wish to study at national universities need to take seven subjects with additional science and social science exams. There is a two-day nation-wide standard exam in mid-January and then each university holds its own second screening later on.

I had prepared myself for this national standardized exam, but luckily I was accepted by a university of my choice before then. Screening for AO admission varies from school to school. For one of the two universities I applied, I had to face a 30-minutes interview by professors after I passed the first paper screening (I had to turn in a lot of documents). For another one, I was required to write an English essay of more than 300 words in 90 minutes. This university selected students with this English essay, interview both in Japanese and English, and a Japanese essay I had submitted prior to the exam expressing why I wish to study at this particular university. The competition was quite severe and the required standard was quite high for both universities. So, I practiced English writing and interviews with teachers at my high school and prep school over and over.

I chose to go to a university in Kanagawa. But the other one I applied to was far in northern part of Japan and the exams took two days, so I stayed in a hotel to take the exams. I was lucky enough to have my classmate with me on the airplane and in the hotel. It was comforting and helped me to relax to have a friend nearby. Those who come to Tokyo from far away to take several exams of various universities need to stay in hotels over one or two weeks. I sympathize with them.

When I took the exams, I was not sure if I did well enough to pass them. I was so happy to find my examinee numbers for both of the two universities I applied for on the internet on the same day.

Many of my friends in Finland, where I stayed as an exchange student for a year, were surprised when I told them about Japanese high school seniors who just focus on preparation for entrance exams for the entire academic year with no leisure, or the existence of Juku -- prep school -- on top of regular schools.

Now, I am free from the pressure. I look forward to studying what I am most interested as a college student. I plan to make the most of it.
Shown in this photo is the English language newspaper that I had been reading to keep up with current affairs and expand my vocabulary.


Natsu         Author:Natsu

I am currently in my first year of university. I studied in Finland for one year when I was in high school! I love music, reading books, sports, nature, and communicating with people.

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