E-applications for Japan’s Common University Exams to Start in FY25

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Officials of the National Center for University Entrance Examinations check application forms for the Common Test for University Admissions in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, in September 2022.

The National Center for University Entrance Examinations has decided to introduce an electronic application system for the Common Test for University Admissions starting from fiscal 2025. The test is part of the admissions process for many universities and other educational institutions.

Currently, application forms and other documents are sent back and forth multiple times between the center and high schools, placing physical and financial burdens on both sides.

The center also plans to consider moving forward the schedule for providing exam results to exam-takers following the start of the electronic application system.

Electronic application systems are already used for more than 90% of general entrance exams at national, public and private universities.

Center officials said that it has taken them so long to plan and realize the system for the common test, which is taken by about 500,000 people every year, because of the need to ensure the system’s security and stability.

Under the current application system, high schools collect exam-takers’ application forms and fee payment certificates and send them to the center. Subsequent confirmation and revision procedures are carried out via mail as needed. This places a heavy burden on both teachers and students.

The planned electronic application system will enable exam-takers to register their names and the subjects they plan to take on their own. They will also be able to make revisions as needed. Online fee payment is also expected to be an option.

As to the schedule for releasing test results to those who want to see them, the center said it will examine advancing the release from April at present to before students apply to take universities’ individual entrance exams.

The electronic application system is being developed by Tokyo-based Fujitsu Japan Ltd., a subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd. The company is the provider of the My Number personal identification cards system, which has recently experienced problems.

But the center’s senior official said, “We believe they will do a proper job.” The center is considering linking the system with My Number cards in the future, according to officials.