Hikari's Food/Japanophile and Other Interesting Stuff blog

The Japanese have a test for EVERYTHING (almost)

on January 28, 2013

I was planning on a recipe for today’s post after shirking my blogging duties due to increased school pressures and reading the new book in the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison.  (What can I say? When I start one, it doesn’t get put down until it’s DONE.)

However, a Google+ conversation took me elsewhere. We were talking about learning Kanji and the subject of the Kanji Kentei came up. What is this? it’s an aptitude test to show your Kanji understanding level. It goes from Grade 10 (age 7 Kanji from elementary school) to Grade 1 (Past High School level, with a pass rate of LESS THAN 15%! Yes, of those who willingly take this test, over 85% fail it!)


Click for the Kanji Kentei full version!

This got me thinking about how the Japanese have a test for EVERYTHING (almost). They test to get into a good Jr. High (中学校 chūgakkō), High school (高等学校 kōtōgakkō, a.k.a. 高校 kōkō) and University (大学 daigaku).

Many Japanese are required to take the TOEIC or TOEFL if they plan to work in an international company.

Not a Japan native? Try your skills at the JLPT, the language proficiency test for “non-native speakers”.  Going to work in a Japanese company? Be prepared to take the  BJT for Business Japanese.

Want to drive legally in Japan? It’s actually EASIER for foreigners to pass their driving test than it is for natives to pass theirs (it’s a different test). But it’s still a nightmare. (This was true about 5 years ago. I dunno if the rules have changed since then.)

Okay, you got your license and got a car. Now it’s time for your every-other-year inspection, called the Shaken (車検). A typical shaken costs between ¥100,000 (US$1,285) and ¥200,000. (US$2,571). NOTHING can be wrong with the car! Oil leak? FAIL. Out of alignment? FAIL. Is your vehicle over 10 years old? Time for YEARLY inspections! Any rust that they find can FAIL your car!

Okay, enough about vehicles, just stick to the train…

I could go on and on about all the tests you can take in Japan.

But they don’t test for everything. However, many of the things they don’t have tests for involve so much paperwork you wish there was just a test. It’s difficult to find clear English rules about the Japanese side of registering for marriage, but for the Japanese partner, it requires showing a family register or koseki (戸籍).

Well all, I think that’s it for my little story about testing. Do you have anything to add about testing in Japan or another country?



One response to “The Japanese have a test for EVERYTHING (almost)

  1. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

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