Japan University Exam to Take Place Despite Increase in COVID-19 Cases

Despite the rapid increase in Coronavirus cases, which have pushed Japan to declare a state emergency in the capital Tokyo in order to curb the further spread of the virus, the university entrance exam in the country is expected to take place on January 30 or 31.

The test, which replaces the National Center Test for University Admissions for the first time this year, will be held in January as a special measure for the delay in studies due to closures of high schools during the past year as a consequence of the pandemic.

Around 530,000 applicants are set to take the test, including high school third-graders, Erudera College News reports.

Following this, the Education Ministry and the National Center for University Entrance Examinations are suggesting they apply for a substitute exam in case they have health problems.

In addition, there will also be a later test that will serve as a substitute exam for those who will not manage to take the first exam during Saturday and Sunday for which 718 people in total have applied.

Using thermography to check the body temperature of individuals taking the exam has been cancelled in order to prevent causing them anxiety.

Therefore, the ministry and the centre will require participants to check every morning their body temperature for seven days in a row prior to the test and bring their temperature data to their exam place.

If there are applicants who in the day of the exam show a fever of 37.5 degrees Celsius or more serious, difficulties while breathing, strong fatigue or even other symptoms such as loss of smell or taste, sore throat, diarrhoea or persistent cough, they will not be allowed to take the test, therefore will be advised to apply for a substitute exam.

Applications for a substitute exam will be accepted between Tuesday and during the day of the exam.

Individuals who submit applications for a substitute test are required to notify the universities which will be hosting the exam by phone, and they will not be asked to submit medical certificates.

As per applicants who show COVID-19 symptoms after arriving at the test location, doctors will decide if they can continue taking the test in a separate place, or if they should apply for a substitute test. 

Those identified by the public health centres to have had contact with infected people will be permitted to take the exam in divided rooms under the three following conditions:

  • showing negative results in COVID-19 PCR tests provided by local governments
  • not showing any symptoms on the day of the exam
  • not using public transportation to arrive in the exam location

In order to keep everyone safe, the exam-takers will be forced to wear face masks while taking the exam as well as to eat lunch at their seats.

There are 64 venues in Japan arranged for the January 30-31 exam, while the substitute exam is expected to be held on February 13 and 14.

In late 2020, Japan’s Education Ministry notified that it is planning to increase the number of overseas students for the academic year 2022 in order to gain international recognition among others.

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