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Entrance Exams

Today is the day of the public high school entrance exams in Hokkaido. Students take English, Japanese, math, social studies, and science tests -- pentathlon, kind of. I teach English only, so my main concern is how well my students will do in the English exam. The questions in the English exams used to be heavily grammar-oriented, but the trend has been altered gradually these years -- toward a better one. There are three short stories presented, and most of the questions are pertaining to the contents of them. Also, a couple of questions letting the students make their own simple sentenses and some listening comprehension quizes.

The trouble is that, in spite of these small improvements in the English entrance exams, students are, in many cases, still subject to taking old-fashioned grammar-oriented tests at school.