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Japan scraps plan to use private English tests for unified exam

  • July 30, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 5:47 p.m.
  • English Press


Tokyo, July 30 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government has given up its plan to introduce private-sector English tests and open-ended questions for annual unified university entrance examinations from fiscal 2024, education minister Koichi Hagiuda said Friday.


Instead, the education ministry issued guidelines calling on universities to adopt such tests and questions for their own entrance exams.


“We take seriously that we troubled examinees, and will work properly so there will not be similar problems,” Hagiuda told a press conference, referring to the decision to scrap the plan.


The ministry had planned to introduce private-sector English tests and open-ended questions for unified exams from fiscal 2020.


In 2019, the ministry postponed the plan after it drew concerns over expensive exam fees, regional gaps and difficulties in guaranteeing accurate marking.


On July 8 this year, an expert panel submitted a proposal to Hagiuda saying that it would be hard to introduce such tests and questions.


In the guidelines, the ministry called on universities to use private-sector English tests for their own entrance exams to assess test takers’ listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.


The guidelines also asked universities to provide admission exams that do not use the result of private-sector tests, considering students from low-income households and regional gaps in access to exam venues.


In addition, the guidelines sought to introduce open-ended questions as much as possible.



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