Raising kids in Japan inevitably means guiding them through juken, or "taking an important test." Both my kids had to pass difficult entrance exams to get into their current schools, which we prepared for for several weeks, and it was an interesting process for me to observe as an outsider. Japanese are very good at getting into "juken mode," spending hours not only studying the subject matter but coming up with concrete strategies for passing the test based on their own strengths and weaknesses. (Sometimes they wear these while they study.) Helping your kids prepare for tests brings the dramatic moment when you hear the results. My son recently took "pre-level 1" of the "Eiken" standardized test of English, which is so difficult that many college students couldn't manage it. Receiving word that he passed the test was one of the high points of his life, and we were all very happy. The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is just nine days away, and if you'll be taking the test, J-List wishes you good luck!
Some students wait to see if they've passed their university entrance exams.