Revision of “Japanese as a Foreign Language” in EJU

December, 2009

The EJU has been administered twice a year since the first EJU held in June, 2002, marking a total of 16 administrations at the time of the EJU conducted in November, 2009.
During this period, JASSO has been investigating more appropriate versions. Here we revise the “Japanese as a Foreign Language” in the EJU.

1. Effective Date

It will be implemented from the first session of the 2010 EJU (to be administered in June)

2. Content

(1) Change of description of the syllabus

The new syllabus will describe the following aspects.
* The type of abilities that will be measured
* The type of texts that will be used (in the reading, listening, and
listening-reading sections) and the type of tasks that will be assigned (in the writing section) to measure the above abilities.
The “Japanese as a Foreign Language” of EJU measures the ability of Japanese language skills which are required by universities and other institutions. The new syllabus will show more concretely the type of abilities that are examined.

(2) Restructuring of sections of Japanese as a Foreign Language

(i) We will modify the score range and test time of the listening comprehension, listening-reading comprehension and the reading comprehension, to improve the balance of the section structure.
(ii) In the reading comprehension, we will introduce multi-questions (two or more questions for one text) using long and short articles to measure the reading comprehension skills that may be required by universities and other institutions.
(iii) In the listening comprehension and listening-reading comprehension, we will shorten the test time for examinees to sustain their concentration.
(iv) In the writing section, we will expand the type of writing tasks and modify the rating standard and score presentation so that universities and other institutions can make better use of the writing scores.

Section Score range Time Changes in examination tasks
Before revision After revision Before revision After revision
Writing Grammatical abilities 0~3 scores 0~50 scores 20 minutes 30 minutes Expansion of tasks
(refer to the question sample)
Logical abilities
0~3 scores
Total 0~6 scores
Reading comprehension 0~160 scores 0~200 scores 30 minutes 40 minutes Introduction of multi-questions and long article (refer to the question sample)
Listening comprehension 0~120 scores 0~200 scores 70 minutes 55 minutes
Listening & Reading Comprehension 0~120 scores
Total (excluding Writing) 0~400 scores 0~400 scores
Total time 120 minutes 125 minutes

*The time in the table indicates the answering time, and the test time, i.e. the binding time including the time to distribute question booklets and answering sheets, will remain the same as before.

* In the reading section of the EJU to be conducted in June 2010, the questions for long articles will be given in one text and other texts will be for short articles (the length of these texts will be the same as before). Both multiple questions and conventional single questions are included in the short articles.

(3) Change of order of sections

Though we have administered the examination in the order of “writing”, “reading
comprehension”, “listening comprehension”, and “listening and reading comprehension” sections, the order of the “listening comprehension” and “listening and reading comprehension” sections will be exchanged in the examination to be held in June 2010 and afterward.

The examination will be administered in order of “writing”, “reading comprehension”, “listening and reading comprehension” and “listening comprehension” sections from June 2010.

3.How to convert the scores gained before revision

The score of the EJU will be valid for two years. (Respective universities will decide how long the scores will be valid with the upper limit of two years)
If you want to use scores gained before the revision after 2010, they will be converted to the score range set after the revision, We will inform you on our official web site.

Sample questions


Opinions and questions regarding the public announcement of the proposed revision/frequently-asked questions (Q&A)

We have received several questions and opinions since publishing the proposed revision in 2009.
We have not received anything regarding the syllabus.
We received several opinions regarding the publicity, for example, to improve the contents of publicity to more thoroughly spread information among the people concerned. Based on this request, we have added publicity matters such as publishing sample questions. In addition, we introduced several means to expand publicity, such as publishing on our web site, distribution of documents to the institutions concerned, publishing of announcement articles in external in-house magazines, presentation in meetings of concerned bodies.

Moreover, we summarized typical questions or opinions as frequently-asked questions (Q&A) as follows.

Frequently-asked questions (Q&A)

Q1 Please inform us of the number of questions in each section.
A1 We have not published the number of questions so far. We took into consideration that the burden on the examinees for answering questions should not be changed to any great extent as before.

Q2 Please inform us of the number of characters for the writing section.
A2 Write an article with 400~500 characters.

Q3 “Examination tasks” may be modified in the writing section and reading comprehension. Is there any change in the listening comprehension and listening-reading comprehension?
A3 We will not modify the tasks (content and format of questions) in the listening comprehension and listening-reading comprehension.

Q4 From which month of EJU will you introduce the revision?
A4 We will implement it from the examination to be administered in June 2010.

Q5 Would there be any modification in other subjects?
A5 The revision in 2010 EJU will be implemented only for the examination of Japanese as a foreign language.
If there is a revision, we will inform you on our web site.

Testing Division, Student Exchange Department, JASSO
  • Address 4-5-29 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan 153-8503
  • FAX 03-6407-7462
  • E-mail eju at mark
  • Please convert "at mark" to @ when you send an e-mail to us.