高校受験案内 2012年度入試用中学受験案内 2012年度入試用 2012年度用 大学受験案内大学受験案内2012年度用

See AJALT’s page with The formula for calculating Japan’s hensachi (偏差値)

For finding out High schools’ hensachi http://www.highschool-j.net/hensachi/

More about how it works here at “An Introduction to Japanese Society” By Yoshio Sugimoto | Read also The Gaijin’s Guide to Surviving High School Entrance Exams

Based on the Experience of Two Mothers of Three Boys in Tokyo by Rebecca Ikawa and Sandra Tanahashi.

For College and University hensachis: http://hensach1.com/ |

Interview with Tim Murphey – Parts 3-5 (Interviews) | ELTNEWS.com 

An Interview with Shozo Kuwata An Interview with Shozo Kuwata — a Pioneer of Standardized Rank Scoring in Japan

Brian J. McVeigh’S “Japanese higher education as myth” shows you the classification of universities by hensachi

H for National Colleges of Technology http://kosen.sakura.ne.jp/nyushi/hensachi.htm

H-Ranking for universities: 大学偏差値ランキング

Panel urges shift in emphasis from ‘hensachi‘ system | Japan Times 

From the 3.1 “Exam hell”: Hensachi chapter of  ASSESSING JAPAN’S INSTITUTIONAL ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS Asian EFL, March 2003, Vol 5. Issue 1 Article 4:

In Japan there is a commonly held belief in “the educationally credentialized society,” or gakureki shakai. In many cases, the extraordinary emphasis on ranking colleges and universities has led to a brand-name sensitivity that may affect a person for their entire life. One effect of a gakureki shakai is a phenomenon that has been labeled “exam hell.”As was mentioned in the introduction, the so-called “exam hell” is pressure felt by many young adults in Japan (as well as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and other Asian countries for that matter). Most teenagers are expected to prove their intellectual mettle (or exam-taking talent) on these fact-oriented exams, even though they are rarely pushed to excel once they have matriculated at a college or university (see McVeigh 1997). Entrance into a university is often equated with passing the test, and in actuality this is often the case. Though admissions procedures are becoming more creative in recent years, the majority of colleges have resisted any change in a system that has been in place, arguably, since the Meiji Era in the late 1800s (Amano 1990). Indeed the university entrance, and overall education, system itself is inherently immobile (Frost 1991; Schoppa 1991), and has been described as a societal ‘filtering’ mechanism to create a class structure where otherwise none purportedly exists (see, eg, Cutts 1997; McVeigh 1997; McVeigh 1998).Students are strictly ranked according to hensachi, the “abstract notion of a national norm-referenced person-indexed score.” (Brown 1995, p.25). Using this score, high school and prep school teachers advise their students about which university entrance exams they should take based on their probability of acceptance (a high school teacher’s reputation is on the line if their students shoot too high and miss their mark– conservatism that is a necessity). In fact, the largest cram school syndicates in the Tokyo and Osaka area publishhensachi ranking lists of two and four-year colleges which students and teachers use to make application decisions.

3.2 Changing demographicsJapanese society is now faced with two demographic challenges that have been termed shoushika (low birthrate syndrome) and koureika (aging syndrome). These changes, of course, have repercussions throughout society, and schools are already witnessing the effects. Most universities in Japan have seen, first, a slowing in the rising rate of applicants, and, now, an overall decrease in the number of students sitting the yearly exams. This has forced a normally conservative sector of society to move in relatively innovative ways in an attempt to counteract their growing inability to attract students. Even top name schools in the higher echelons of the rankings have had to consider the ramifications of less and less applicants each year. Not least of their concerns is financial, of course, since entrance exam fees are a substantial source of revenue (in the $ millions) even for the prestigious, but inexpensive, national universities ($150 per student). No school in Japan can afford to sit on the laurels of past achievement and national prestige, least of all the colleges occupying the lower rankings. Recently college prep and cram schools have instituted a new “F” rank, designating those colleges where the entrance exam is a mere formality since any student that applies is automatically accepted, given a “free pass.”

3.3 Analyses of Japanese university entrance exams With that being said, the conservative world of university entrance exams is slow to change. Though the doors are slowly opening since schools are acknowledging that they must lower the bar to keep the freshman class (and, ergo, the coffers) filled, the content of entrance exams, especially the English tests, have changed little. Although the administrators and board of directors may be anxious for progressive change, the test developers themselves control, for the most, the content of the entrance exams.
In fact, Brown & Yamashita (1995; 1995) conducted a longitudinal study of the content of English language entrance exams at Japanese universities and found insignificant change over a period of years. This would tend to indicate that university test developers are content to examine the students as always. After analyzing the content of 21 English entrance exams, Brown & Yamashita (1995; 1995) made many important findings…

From our EIJ discussion forum comes a useful suggestion:

“I’ve been reading some of the (mostly chugaku) juken guidebooks and they can be quite useful in providing various sorts of information about schools:中学受験案内 2012年度入試用高校受験案内 2012年度入試用2012年度用 大学受験案内 |大学受験案内2012年度用

For example the following book

中学受験案内 2012年度入試用by 旺文社 (see the first of the bookcovers at the top of this page) | 

 

The information in the book includes:

— maps of where the schools are located;
— educational philosophy, brief rundown of curriculum (how many hours of the week; devoted to English, maths etc);
— facilities, types of clubs, annual school events,  overseas trips, as well as…
— the two different types of hensachi each divided into two sections (the hensachi your kid needs to have to have an 80 pct chance of getting into a school and to have a 50 pct chance of getting into a school);
— the number of kids that got into top unversities in the last academic year;
— brief rundown of exam requirements and costs.
The guidebooks can vary a bit too, another I have read on private girls/co-ed schools devotes a lot more space to explaining what makes a particular school different from others (e.g. great facilities/very religious/big on science/2 hours of homework every night/big on traditional Japanese culture etc) so it has actually been quite interesting  to see how much variety there is.
A third book I am currently thumbing through is is focused on telling parents not too get hung up on hensachi (to the point where it is quite repetitive) but thought I would list some of the points that it makes as it seems so on topic:
— hensachi is a measure of how hard it is to get into a particular school, not how good the school is
— concentrating on hensachi is like marrying someone just for their looks;
— hensachi is also a measure of how popular a school is, so a well located school will tend to have higher hensachi but there are also good schools that might have longer travelling times whose true academic qualities are not reflected in their hensachi;
— don’t worry about a 1or 2 point difference in hensachi, think more in terms of plus/minus 5 points cf your kid’s hensachi;
— keep commuting time to within one hour door to door;
— choose a school where your kid is likely to be in the top third of their class (rather than be at the bottom of a very good school);
— do you agree with the school’s educational philosophy?
— check out the school principal at the setsumeikai;
— spend time to observe the students in the school (especially the high school students — do they look lively? have a twinkle in their eye?);
— does the school look like it has dedicated teachers?
— choose a school that will get your kid to university without the need for further juku;
— do they give good career advice?
— does the school fit with your family values?, some are quite strict, some are quite liberal;
— and last but not least, you can tell a lot about a school by how nice the toilets are…..   — Courtesy of Edwina

My Son’s Deviation Value

From the Japanese Education System:  “Hensachi means `deviation value,` and is a quantifying method that determines one`s relative rank, not actual ability. Hensachi status, however, painfully suggests to many students that they are inferior to others. Its impact on them and on their attitude to life is so strong that it often lingers throughout their lifetime.”–p. 79, “Mental Health Challenges Facing Contemporary Japanese Society, The `Lonely People` by Yuko Kawanishi


 On Decision-Making Process of Senior High School Selection among Japanese Junior High School Students–Psychological Mechanism of Entrance Examination Hell

First, Japanese junior high school students regard their decision-making process not necessarily as a competitive one;Second, to protect selfesteem they tend to judge their test performance to be a result of their effors not of their ability;Third, each student is afraid of being threaten the existance of the world constructed for himself or herself through parents, teachers and other students compare his or her Hensachi to other students’, especially the students who get higher score, and regard him or her as to be inferior to others. To protect each student’s world, he or she try to think that those who get higher Hensachi live in the different world from his or her own. So students suppose that raising their Hensachi is derived not from kicking others down but from their effort only;Fourth these mechanisms appear to lead them to regard their decision-making process of a high school to apply for as one of effort to raise hensachi. Their attempt to profect self-esteem and their world ironically confined them to the world of effort and persistence.This paper attempts to describe psychological mechanism which compels Janapnese junior high school students to study hard toward entrance examination.
First, I examine Japanese junior high school students’ subjective interpretation of the Japanese system of entrance examination to senior high school characterized by Hensachi, a standard deviation score which places each student on one dimensional scale.
Second, I tried to clarify how they cope with their situation under the Japanese educational system.
The discussions lead me to four points.
First, Japanese junior high school students regard their decision-making process not necessarily as a competitive one;
Second, to protect selfesteem they tend to judge their test performance to be a result of their effors not of their ability;
Third, each student is afraid of being threaten the existance of the world constructed for himself or herself through parents, teachers and other students compare his or her Hensachi to other students’, especially the students who get higher score, and regard him or her as to be inferior to others. To protect each student’s world, he or she try to think that those who get higher Hensachi live in the different world from his or her own. So students suppose that raising their Hensach is derived not from kicking others down but from their effort only;
Fourth these mechanisms appear to lead them to regard their decision-making process of a high school to apply for as one of effort to raise hensachi. Their attempt to profect self-esteem and their world ironically confined them to the world of effort and persistence.

Not guilty as charged: Do the university entrance exams in Japan affect what is taught? by Michael Stout”

Predicting academic success in a Japanese international university” by Takagi, Kristy King, Ed.D., TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, 2011, 342 pages; 3457846: Excerpts follow:“In the second part of the study, university entrance examinations were examined to determine the extent to which they predicted EAP GPA and first-year GPA. The Center Examination section scores, four types of university entrance examinations, and numerical scores from the examinations (e.g., English test, Japanese test, English essay, and Japanese and English interview) were examined in further hierarchical multiple regression analyses to determine how valuable each type and measure was for predicting university success. Results indicated that the Center Examination English test scores and the university entrance examination English essay scores significantly predicted EAP GPA, and that the Center Examination Math test scores and the university entrance examination English test scores were significant predictors of first-year GPA.In the third part of the study, the larger picture of student success was examined. Logistic regression was first employed in order to determine to what degree HSGPA, high school grade factor scores, ITP TOEFL scores, hensachi rankings, gender, and parents’ education predicted timely and exemplary completion of program requirements (e.g., finishing the EAP program on time (FOT), graduating on time (GOT), and graduating with honors (GWH)). Results indicated that HSGPA, the Numerical Ability factor scores, ITP TOEFL scores, and the father’s education were significant predictors of FOT. Although only the ITP TOEFL scores were significant predictors of GOT, HSGPA, Language Ability factor scores, hensachi rankings, and ITP TOEFL scores significantly predicted GWH. Path analysis was then used to examine the path of success, from before matriculation, through the first year of university, and on to graduation. Well-fitting models were produced for both first-year GPA and final GPA in which all levels of GPA were stable predictors of later GPAs, and hensachi rankings and ITP TOEFL scores contributed most to the model up to the first-year GPA.”

See also:

Dragon gate: competitive examinations and their consequences by Kangmin Zeng for competitive spirit and attitudes of high school students

Teen life in Asia by Judith Slater

Societal Factors Impacting on Images of the Future of Youth in Japan

Archived: The Educational System in Japan: Case Study Findings

Honyaku Archive : Re: Deviation Value of Education

Japan and its standardized test-based education systemA Few Bad Women: Manufacturing “Education Mamas” in Postwar JapanEstimate of the Production Function of Education

Gender Salary Differences in Economics Departments in Japan

Edu Watch: Japanese education system and its new working class

Examination and Evaluation of the English Portion of the Center Shiken

Higher Education Reform in Japan: Amano Ikuo on ‘The University in Crisis

The 150 year history of English Language Assessment at Schools in Japan by Miyuki Sasaki