Trial run of English pretests for new university entrance exams begins


A trial run began Tuesday for English pretests for the new unified examination system for university entrance, set to be introduced in fiscal 2020.

About 6,700 second-year students at 158 high schools across the country are expected to take the pretests, which will be conducted through March 3, to verify exam questions and check grading procedures.

On Tuesday, students at a public high school in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward took an English listening pretest.

The new unified exam system will replace the so-called center exams offered by the government-affiliated National Center for University Entrance Examinations.

Under the new system, which will be administered by the same organization, English exams will test applicants’ reading and listening skills as well as their speaking and writing ability.

To evaluate the four areas of English skills, the center plans to utilize private-sector tests.

The current multiple-choice tests, conducted as part of the center exams, to assess applicants’ reading and listening skills will also be used until fiscal 2023.

The pretests that started Tuesday were drawn up by the center. The test time is set at 80 minutes for written exams and 30 minutes for listening tests.

The center will announce the questions and the preliminary percentages of correct answers on March 14.