Japanese Students Choose If They Want To Go To High School

Japanese Students Choose If They Want To Go To High School

Eri Minamimoto, Staff Writer

What is your image of a Japanese high school? Studying all the time and wearing  uniforms?

Today, I would like to introduce the difference between a Japanese high school and an American high school. In Japan, if you even want to go to high school, you need to take an entrance examination. Compulsory education is nothing more than elementary and junior high school; so, you don’t have to go to high school, but most students do. Preparing for the entrance exam is very difficult. For example, most students go to “cram school” on  Saturday and Sunday. And, as for studying for entrance exams–just look at the graph!


This is the Japanese education system and the American education system.  The American education system is on the left, and the Japanese education system is on the right.  Yellow is elementary school; orange is junior high school; and green is high school.  So, did you find a difference?

The difference between Japanese high school and American high school is that American high school is four years long and Japanese high school is three years long for most high school students.  Also, Japanese students all wear uniforms. These uniforms vary from school to school.  In other words, you can know who goes to which school based on the uniform a student wears.

Also, the teacher will come to our classroom.  And, everyone is taking the same class.  Therefore, our class will have the same members at the end of the semester. In Japan, you need to take many courses. Do you know how many subjects we have to take during high school? The answer is 16 subjects. There are many, right?  There are also mid-term exams and final exams. Our grade will  depend on the tests. But, you need to take 16 subjects for the mid-term and final exams.

At lunch, students give out  lunch to their classmates. This is very common in Japan. Here, you have a kitchen staff to serve people. After leaving from school, Japanese students have to clean up the classroom.  So, when I came to high school in America, I was very surprised.  American students don’t have to clean up the classroom after school.  But, the most amazing thing to me when I came to America is that I can change the club activities from season to season.  In Japan, club activities cannot be changed until you graduate from high school.

It is very interesting to compare different school systems of different countries.  I think it includes the personality and atmosphere of the country, religion, weather, and many other things.