Panel calls for new university entrance exams (NHK — Dec 23, 2014)

Advisors to Japan’s education ministry have called for revising the university entrance exam system.

After about a year of study, the Central Council for Education submitted a series of recommendations to Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura on Monday.

The Council pointed out that the current standardized national entrance exam system tends to test the applicants’ ability to memorize texts. It suggested the exam system should be changed to test the applicants’ comprehensive knowledge or skills.

It also suggested that some exam questions should cover multiple subject areas. Applicants should write answers rather than filling in mark sheets, which is now required.

The Council also called for introducing third-party English exams to test the applicants’ ability to listen, speak, read and write English.