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The Tokyo Private Junior and Senior High Schools Association has started discussions on introducing standardized high school entrance exams for accredited students in fiscal 2003, association and school sources said Tuesday.

There are normally two ways of gaining entrance to private high schools: being accredited or taking an exam.

Accredited students are those who have strong academic records and are recommended by their junior high schools. They are accepted on the basis of an interview and school records.

But high schools have been calling for standardized entrance exams because they say it is difficult to get a clear picture of an applicant’s abilities based on school records.

The education ministry introduced a new system this year to do away with the curve in grading junior high school students, which has made it more difficult for high schools to measure their abilities.

The association will compile the questions, and the exam will be conducted simultaneously at each school.

It will cover three subjects — English, math and Japanese — according to the draft submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The high schools are expected to use the results along with applicants’ school records to make admission decisions. Junior high schools would also have to come up with measures to prepare their students for the new requirement, the sources added.

More than 70 percent of all private high schools in Tokyo are expected to use the exam results.

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