Traditionally, the exam system essentially revolves around a written test; covering various subjects such as Math, Language and Social studies as well as History and Classical literature. Each test is designed around the requirements of a chosen graduate school or a certain level of education. The results of these tests act as a means to reveal whether or not a student has the level of education and/or the requirements to attend a graduate school.
Primary, secondary schools and universities were introduced into Japan in 1872 as a result of the Meiji Restoration. Since 1947, compulsory education in Japan consists of first Elementary school and then Middle school. Almost all children continue their education at a three-year senior High school, and High school graduates may have the option of attending a university, junior college or trade school if they wish.
Japan’s education is very competitive, especially for entrance to institutions of higher education.
Elementary school starts at age 6 and ends at age 12 (grades 1-6). Middle schools cover grades 7-9 (age 13-15), while High schools cover grades 10-12 (ages 16-18).
Consisting of three semesters, the school year begins in April, with the first semester continuing until July. The second semester runs from September to December and the third covers January to March.
- Main Article: Exams
The Japanese Exam system is a major plot device in the story of Love Hina with the story’s lead character, Keitaro Urashima, and various major and secondary characters (Naru, Mutsumi, Shinobu, Motoko, Shirai, Haitani, Kanako, Seta, Mizuho, etc) constantly studying or tutoring to attend and pass certain exams.
- According to the Programme for International Student Assessment, in 2006, knowledge and skills of Japanese 15-year-olds are ranked as the 6th best in the world.