High School Entrance Exams for Returnees in Japan

High School Entrance Exams for Returnees in Japan Japan

Returnee children can take the “returnee quota” entrance examination to take advantage of their valuable overseas experience. It is generally believed that returnee applicants have an advantage. Why is this so? In this issue, we will thoroughly explain the advantages and disadvantages of the Returnee Entrance Examination in comparison with the General Entrance Examination!

Differences between Returnee Entrance Examinations and General Entrance Examinations

Generally, the entrance examination for returnee students is held earlier than the general entrance examination. The content of the examination varies from school to school, but sometimes the same questions as those for the general entrance examination are asked. In other cases, the selection is done in the form of a special entrance examination, focusing on English and an interview. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of the Returnee Entrance Examination compared to the General Entrance Examination.


Reasons why returnee students have an advantage in high school entrance examinations more Number of Times Take Entrance Examinations. 

In many cases, the entrance examination for returnee students is held earlier than the general entrance examination.
Therefore, even if a returnee student fails to pass the entrance examination, he/she can retake the general entrance examination. In some cases, you may also be able to take the transfer examination afterward and try to pass. In the case of the general entrance examination, some schools may not allow you to take the entrance examination due to conflicting examination dates, whereas in the case of the returnee examination, the number of schools you can take the entrance examination at is increased due to the varied schedule.

Elite high school

Students can challenge elite high schools.

High schools that actively accept returnee students may require fewer subjects than the general entrance examination because they consider overseas experience as an added value that is not available to the general student body.

Overseas experience

You can make the most of your overseas experience, unlike the general entrance examination, the returnee quota often focuses on English and interviews. Because of this entrance examination method, returnees can make use of the English skills they have cultivated overseas and have what they have learned from their overseas experience evaluated, allowing them to make the most of their special experience.


Reasons, why returnee students are at a disadvantage when applying for high school information, are difficult to obtain because of living abroad. 

In most cases where returnees take the general entrance examination in Japan, the junior high school they attend has information about the schools they will be applying to, and they can receive support such as advice on their career path. However, it is difficult to obtain information about Japanese high schools if you are living abroad and taking the Returned Student Entrance Examination. The Internet provides limited information, and there is little information on past exams or school culture, making it difficult for families to prepare for the exam on their own.

Insufficient preparation

Insufficient preparation for the subjects of the entrance examinations when living abroad, there are fewer preparatory and cram schools for entrance examinations than in Japan, so it is not uncommon for students to face the examinations with inadequate preparation. In particular, the difficulty level of the returnee high school entrance examination increases because it often asks the same questions as the general entrance examination and requires the same level of knowledge as the general student.

The ratio of applicants who return to their home country can fluctuate greatly.

While the number of slots for returnee applicants is generally small, the number of applicants often varies from year to year. In addition, the number of applicants in the past may not be disclosed, making it difficult to predict in advance the magnification rate and proceed with the examination.

How to Pass.

In this article, we have compared the returnee entrance examination and the general entrance examination and explained the advantages and disadvantages of the returnee entrance examination. When taking the Returnee Entrance Examination, it is important to find out to what extent you can cover the disadvantages. While living abroad, make sure to gather information about Japanese high schools and take measures so that you will not be outdone by Japanese high school students.