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Last national center university entrance exams get underway across Japan

Applicants head to a venue for the National Center Test for University Admissions in Hachioji, western Tokyo, on Jan. 18, 2020, as snow falls over the area. (Mainichi/Junichi Sasaki)

TOKYO -- The National Center for University Entrance Examinations' two-day entrance tests got underway at 689 venues across Japan on Jan. 18, marking the last time they will be administered in their current form.

According to the center, 557,699 people applied to take the National Center Test for University Admissions, the 31st round of the exams since they started in January 1990. The number of test-takers was down 3.3% from the previous year.

Of the applicants, 81.1% are scheduled to graduate from high schools or other institutions this coming spring, while 18% have already graduated.

A record 858 national, public and private universities and junior colleges will use the center's test this time to decide on admissions.

The national center test will be replaced by a new form of exam but there will no major changes from the current exam because the introduction of privately administered English tests as well as written portions of Japanese and math exams, which the government had planned to introduce in the 2020 academic year, has been postponed.

(Japanese original by Kenichi Mito, City News Department)

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