A student seeking to study at a graduate school in the United States must take two sets of test - the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
The GRE consists of three sections: analytical writing, verbal (assessing comprehension, critical reasoning and vocabulary usage in English) and quantitative (assessing basic-level math knowledge and reasoning skills).
The GRE is required of both American and foreign students, and those from outside the U.S. will need to achieve high scores in the analytical writing and quantitative sections because they cannot expect to do equally as well as Americans in the English-language verbal section.
Students from India, where English is almost a mother tongue, naturally do well in TOEFL and score high grades in the English verbal section of the GRE, compared with Americans. Those from countries like China and South Korea study so hard that they, too, get high marks in both TOEFL and the GRE.
Many Japanese university students do quite poorly in both TOEFL and the GRE, perhaps because the English language is taught in Japan primarily to pass university entrance examinations - a way that is not beneficial when it comes to taking TOEFL. The average TOEFL scores of students from 30 Asian countries show that Japan ranked 27th, with only Laos, Tajikistan and Cambodia trailing behind.
Lately the Japanese government appears to have sensed a crisis over the decline in the number of both foreign students coming to this country and Japanese students going abroad for study.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering postponing the consumption tax hike to 10 pct from 8 pct planned for April 2017 by two and a half years to October 2019, government sources said Saturday. (Jiji Press)
Experts investigating a jet that caught fire at Tokyo's Haneda Airport say some engine turbines were severely damaged.
Following is a statement by U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Hiroshima, western Japan, on Friday: (Jiji Press)
Atomic bomb survivors hailed U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks in Hiroshima on Friday, saying he expressed his unchanged intention to create a world without nuclear weapons. (Jiji Press)
US President Barack Obama has spoken with atomic bomb survivors during his visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (NHK)
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested two organized crime members for operating a grow house for marijuana in Soka City, reports TV Asahi. (Tokyo Reporter)
Hanako, Japan's oldest elephant who made headlines for spending most of her life alone in a concrete enclosure, died at 69 in Tokyo on Tuesday, NHK (May 26) reported. (Tokyo Reporter)
A utility knife sitting on the floor near an intoxicated man's bag caused quite a stir in a Tokyo subway station, NHK reported on Thursday (May 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
A Japanese man was arrested Wednesday in Thailand on suspicion of raping and sexually harassing a number boys aged between 13 and 15 in the country's northern province of Chiang Mai, investigators said. (Japan Times)
The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday handed an American male an 18-month prison sentence in the death of a woman in Miura City last July, reports NHK. (Tokyo Reporter)
A panel of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department came up with a report on Wednesday calling for legal regulations on the so-called JK business, in which high school girls offer such services as massage and dating. (Jiji Press)
A 46-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after taking a woman hostage and barricading an apartment in the western Japan prefecture of Ehime for over 16 hours, police said. (Japan Today)
A 1-year-old boy fell to his death from the 6th floor of his family apartment in Kyoto's Tsurumai city in an apparent accident, police said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
You know something has become a cultural phenomenon when it gets its own slang! (rocketnews24.com)
Osaka Prefectural Police have accused a chain of members-only restaurants of illegally serving the innards of a poisonous blowfish to customers, reports NHK. (Tokyo Reporter)