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Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012

READERS IN COUNCIL

Different take on entrance exam


By EARL KINMONTH
Tokyo

Roger Pulvers' Feb. 5 Counterpoint article, "Facts, facts and more facts: 'Education in Japan now only befits the past," states: "Students are admitted on the basis of the results of entrance exams that test rote-learned knowledge. There is little or no space for students to demonstrate their individual creativity. There is nothing wrong with using a standard test as a universal guide, so long as universities are given additional flexibility in choosing students by other means, such as recommendations, essays, interviews, etc."

This is rubbish. Education ministry statistics clearly show that the majority of university students now gain entry WITHOUT any entrance examination whatsoever. Only a small number of highly competitive elite universities rely solely on entrance examinations.

The most widely used entrance examination, "the center test," just given in mid-January, does NOT stress memorized answers. I know because to keep awake while invigilating the most recent exam, I read through the exam booklets.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.


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