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Entrance Examinations (入学試験)

japanese entrance exams

Fall semester ended at Waseda University early in February. The entire campus was immediately transformed into a giant testing center. For most of February there are daily entrance exams for high school students (and some college students looking to upgrade schools) trying to get into Waseda. Most of the normal entrances to campus have been closed. The one or two that are open feature tight security.

For the few of us walking around campus it is rather bizarre. Just a few weeks ago there were tens of thousands of students. Now you can do several laps around the buildings and see few, if any, people. Regular students cannot enter campus.

The other morning, a Sunday no less, I happened to arrive just as some test takers were. We were greeted with shouts of ohayo gozaimasu (good morning) and ganbare (good luck/hang in there/do your best) from a cheering section of people. Not only did I have to show my ID to several people in order to get to my office, I had to show my ID to leave campus as well. I’m guessing they had a problem with someone pretending to be someone else to get that someone else into school at least once in their history. Why else would they have this ridiculous amount of security?

The sign above says test takers are not allowed to leave campus until the last test has been completed.

Personally, I prefer the normal campus to the February “prison” campus.

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