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percent of passing students at japanese uni 2009/2/2 23:50
Hi everyone
I was just wondering if anybody knows approximately the percentage of uni students in japan who pass their first (and other) years? I just wanted to know how high the number is to get a general idea. Thank you
by ....... (guest)  

Here you go 2009/2/3 13:34

Only the 3 charts on the left row are those of people who passed as they graduted high school, so please ignore the right hand row.

On the left hand row of each chart are the names of each uni. The percentages on the very right are that of those who passed upon high school graduation.

Note that these charts only show top notch unis, and the data as of the year 2004.

Of course, some may not have taken the exam in their first year in the first place.

Btw, if passing any uni entrance exam is your final goal and not that of a specific uni, the percentage is nearly 100%.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

A lot of different numbers 2009/2/4 22:50
Many many thanks for the website.

I thought most universities would have a more or less equal passing rate, but the chart shows that they can vary very much
by ......... (guest) rate this post as useful

correction 2009/2/5 21:45
I'm sorry, I just realised I made a big mistake.

The chart doesn't show the name of unis. They show the name of top senior high schools that were able to produce higher passing rates.

As you can see there are 2 rows of numbers in each chart, and the row on the left is the percentage of each school's students who passed entrance exams on their first year. Chart [6] is of those who passed for major public unis, Chart [8] is for competitive private unis group A and Chart [10] is for competitive private unis group B. Please ignore Charts [7][9] and [11] as they are about those who passed after the following year.

Note that the pink squares represent all-girls high schools, the blue are all-boys high schools and the orange are coed.

You might notice that most of Chart [10] are girls, but this doesn't necessarily mean that girls are smarter. Girls tend to prefer or be expected to go straight to unis, while boys are given the freedom or expected to venture and study for another year or so in order to challenge for higher rank unis.

Just so that you'd know, the numbers on the right hand row are the percentages of students who actually entered some kind of a school on the year of their high school graduation.

So for example, on Chart [6] we can see that 48.5% of the students at Ouin high school passed public uni exams on their first year. On Chart [8] we can see that at the same school, 94.9% of the students passed exams for group A private unis. That means that many of their students have taken and passed exams for both public and private unis. Then finally 73.0% of their students chose to enter a school right after graduation. That means that 27% of their students decided to either study for another year or just gave up going to school.

Hope it helps.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Well, not really... 2009/2/7 10:47
Actually, Uco, I wanted to know the passing rate for students who had already entered university. I wanted to know the average passing rates of first year students at Japanese universities. I do appreciate your explanation, but it seems that you've only told me about the students who pass entrance exams to universities, and not about those who are already studying at university.

Or could it be that those statistics aren't published ?
by ............ (guest) rate this post as useful

rate depends 2009/2/7 12:47
Actually, I had assumed that that was what you were looking for, but I wonder if it would make a difference. Because as I suggested earlier, that rate differs greatly depending on the university and its department. Also, some unis are so easy to enter that students won't bother to study for another year just to be accepted. Or just because a student applied a year or years after their high school graduation, that doesn't mean they failed on their first year: Maybe they didn't take the exam in the first place.

But just as an example, I found from the internet, rates for the so-called "top" unis in Japan, Tokyo University and Kyoto University.

As you may notice in the chart, in the year 2008, 64% of all the passed applicants for all the departments at Tokyo Uni were those who took the exam in their last year of high school or an equavalent age. Same percentage goes for Kyoto Uni (the pink line/numbers). Note that not all who passed the exam may have actually applied to enter the unis.

Why would you like to know the rates, by the way? Depending on your purpose, someone may be able to find a better solution. For example, your question may be, "Is it true that a lot of students in Japan study for years to enter a uni?" or it could be, "Is it true that you need to study for years to become a uni student in Japan?" or it could be, "Will it be odd if a freshman at a uni is 20 years old?" The answer to each question would all be completely different from each other, and there is no simple "yes or no" unless you name specific unis.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Please read the first post 2009/2/10 08:31
If you read my first post again, Uco, I think it was clear what I had asked for. The passing rates for students already enrolled.

But anyway, I mainly wanted to know the rates because I've been hearing a lot about Japanese universities, like how students can just sleep their ways through classes and still pass. So I asked myself if the rates were high because it's so easy, or if students tend to slack off so much that they end up not passing.
by ........ (guest) rate this post as useful

reply 2009/2/10 10:33
"If you read my first post again, Uco, I think it was clear what I had asked for. The passing rates for students already enrolled."

No it isn't, if you'd knew how things work in Japan. But that's okay.

"I've been hearing a lot about Japanese universities, like how students can just sleep their ways through classes and still pass."

Do you mean that students can just sleep their ways through high school classes and still pass uni entrance exams? Or do you mean that students can just sleep their ways through uni classes and still graduate the uni?

If it's the former, as long as they study hard at cram school (schools that high school students attend in the evenings and weekends), they can pass uni entrance exams. Often, high school classes themselves have little to do with uni entrance exam tactics.

If it's the latter, yes, it's often easy to gradutate unis, especially at unis that are hard to enter.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

4 years vacation 2009/2/11 03:31
It depends on a student's goals but in many cases, the studying for the university entrance exams at the end of high school is the last academics of which many partake.

After achieving the ultimate goal of entering the university of their choice by passing the entrance exams, there is no pressure to perform to remain in school.

Some schools are changing, but many still just keep the students off the job market for 4 years. I used to spend many an evening at billiards next to Waseda hanging out with students who never seemed to go to class. The evidence presented here is anecdotal, but I've heard similar reports. I did have to go to class and study but I went to the international school at Jouchi, and not the Japanese section at Yotsuya.
by kokumamushi rate this post as useful

answer 2009/2/11 19:08
Sorry, Uco, no hard feelings, but my first post was very clear. I had clearly asked for the passing rates of students in their first and subsequent years of university. I did know about entrance exams, but it's not what I had asked for.

Anyhow, thanks for replying.

Yes, I was talking about the latter one, when students are already enrolled at a university. So when you say that it's 'quite easy', just how easy would that be?
I understood from someone else recently (not on this forum) that the passing rate can easily be 90-100%, does that seem about right to you?

by ........... (guest) rate this post as useful

Hard to fail 2009/2/11 19:56
Generally speaking, for most courses it's pretty hard for freshmen thru seniors to fail (except for non-attendance).

There are various reasons for this: failure would reflect badly on the uni or teachers; many courses do not have the sets of strict criteria that US or UK universities might have, etc.

I've heard of cases where students attended only 5-6 out of 14-15 classes in the semester and still were given a pass, for what were apparently 'extraordinary cirumstances'. Many ways to interpret this, but in the case of a senior it could mean s/he needed that class credit to graduate and take up the job he/she had been offered.

That's not to say that there are not many, many excellent students. It's just a cultural difference, where uni in Japan is generally a relaxing sandwich between high school hell and job hell, compared to US/UK etc. where it's more a case of acquiring a specialization for future employment (among other reasons).
by Max (guest) rate this post as useful

I see now! Sorry! 2009/2/12 00:02
Oh, so you were asking how many students can go from their first year at uni to their second year at uni! How clumsy of me!

Actually, as far as I know, in most unis in Japan, you can go up to your last year at uni without fail. The problem is that you can't graduate unless you have earned enough credits within the 4 years you were there. So at most unis, everybody goes up to their 4th year, then most students graduate and some do their 5th year or even their 6th year. But again, just because a student is doing a 5th year, that doesn't mean (s)he didn't do well at classes. A lot of students deliberately fail their graduation so that they can take time challenging for the career they tend to seek, or just so that they can continue doing whatever they enjoy doing at the uni. And again, whether it is easy to graduate depends on the uni.

That said, from a very quick internet search, I found the following chart called "ranking of the rate of students remaining extra years (major 4-year universities only)". The chart at the bottom is more detailed. Hitotsubashi Uni showing 25.84% at the top of the chart is indeed known to be a difficult uni. However, Tokyo Uni which people have the impression to be the "hardest" in Japan shows only 16.3% ranking at number 12. Tokyo Uni of Foreign Studies is also known to be the Harvard of foreign languages in Japan, but ranks as number 41 and shows 0.6%.

This chart itself has a note saying the numbers aren't reliable, because they do not consider the gap that may occur upon transfer from other schools, readmittance to the unis, or leave of absence. I suppose the chart does not include those who quit school before reaching their 4th year, either.

As I mentioned earlier, the amount of work differs depending on the uni and its department, and science departments are usually extremely busy while departments for things like literature, language or social studies give you plenty of freedom.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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