Third-year junior high students in Japan were on average only able to answer 12.4% of questions correctly in an English-speaking test for national assessments conducted in April, the education ministry said Monday, marking an 18.4 percentage points fall from when they were previously assessed in 2019.

More than 60% of the students evaluated could not answer a single speaking question correctly, the education ministry results showed.

Although national assessments are conducted annually, it was the first time in four years that third-year junior high schoolers' English was evaluated.