The famous Japanese standardized university entrance exams will change in 2020 – with the addition of an intense English section!


The Japanese university entrance exams are expected to change extensively from 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympics. The Ministry of Education is considering getting rid of the current standardized exams and developing a new type of exam with different contents. How will getting into university change in Japan without the standardized test? In this article, we will discuss the new “assessment test” which is expected to start in 2020 and how it will affect the Japanese early child education system.

2020年センター試験が変わる! 英語が重視される「評価テスト」

The “Assessment Test for University Applicants” will replace the standardized exam

The current standardized exam will be cancelled from 2019 and the new “Assessment Test for University Applicants” will be offered from 2020. The new test is expected to assess the applicant’s ability to think, make decisions, and to express him/herself. As a result, the new exam will be a written questionnaire instead of the current multiple-choice test. With the addition of questions that can assess the applicant’s ability to think, make decisions and express him/herself, the test is expected to be more difficult that the current standardized exams.

In addition, there will also be a “High School Basic Knowledge Test” offered to determine whether students are gaining the required skills while in high school. The test will contain questions related to basic knowledge and skills and will be linked to the new “assessment test”.

The new test will have a greater focus on English learning

The specific changes to the test have not yet been finalized. However, those involved in the test creation have confirmed that English learning will play a greater part in the revised test. When studying English, it is important for students to cover reading, writing, speaking and listening. It will be important for future English education in Japan to cover these 4 topics on an equal basis. Many universities are already looking at TOEIC and “English Standardized Test” scores and the scores on these tests will become even more important in the future.

How can we prepare our children for the new exam from a young age?

Future English learning for young children in Japan will need to cover the main goals of the new exam. Studying English from a young age will help Japanese children improve their listening skills. Being exposed to Native English speakers when young will help children get used to how English sounds and make it easier for them to comprehend the language when they get older. If children find studying English fun then they will be less likely to avoid practicing the language when they start studying it at elementary school. It is important that their first experience with the language is fun so using games and songs is important.

Reading is important for improving thinking, decision-making and presentation skills. It is important for parents to read lots of picture books to their children from a young age. Instead of just reading the words to them, make sure to stop and ask them questions about the pictures and come up with their own story. If parents continue to read English books to their children on a regular basis, then their children will want to continue to read English books when they are older.

Many students and their families are probably beginning to feel worried about the expected changes. As we discussed in this article, there is a 99% chance that English will be a major part of the new exam. When learning a new language, children also have the opportunity to expand their thinking, decision-making and presentation skills. It is important for parents to prepare their children for the new exam as soon as possible.

2020年センター試験が変わる! 英語が重視される「評価テスト」