Implementing a System that More Students Want to Choose: Three Changes to Expand Opportunities to Undergo Exams

Shigeru Nishizawa
Vice President for Admissions Affairs
Professor, Department of Management, Faculty of Economics

To encourage those who had never before heard of Sophia University and those who may not have been able to take the University entrance examination due to the exam schedule, we are making three changes to the 2024 General Admissions (Ipppan Senbatsu) that will expand opportunities for applicants to undergo examination. The Vice President for Admissions Affairs, Shigeru Nishizawa, will discuss the goals and the diversification of the Sophia campus that is driving these changes.

The Three Changes Making the 2024 Entrance Examination Simpler

Sophia University has three different general admissions methods: (1) the TEAP (Test of English for Academic Purposes) score-based method, (2) the Combined Undergraduate Examination and Common Test method, and (3) the Common Test method (3-subject type and 4-subject type). In order to make it easier for applicants to take methods (1) and (2), we have decided to make three changes to the 2024 entrance examination.

The first of these changes is the extension of the web application period by four days. Until now, the period between taking the Common Test and Sophia’s application deadline had been very short. Some applicants had said that they were unable to fully consider their application when their predicted average score was significantly higher or lower compared to the previous year. To eliminate situations where students can’t apply due to time constraints, the application deadline will be extended.

The second change is a shift in the start date by three days of the entrance examination for the University’s independent examination. This change is especially in consideration of students from the Kansai (western Japan, including Osaka, Kyoto, etc.) and other regions outside the Kanto (including the greater Tokyo area) region. Although not applicable to all schools, starting in the 2024 entrance examination season, entrance exam periods of major universities in the Kansai region will become staggered, making it easier for applicants to apply for both those school and our University.

In addition, since the entrance exam periods of famous private universities in the Tokyo metropolitan area are shifting from being staggered, to being consolidated into one time period. students will be able to take both Sophia and those universities’ tests in a single visit to Tokyo, which we believe will help reduce the burden on students travelling from other areas of Japan.

The third change is to distribute the entrance examination dates for each department of the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Human Sciences (method 2, the Combined Undergraduate Examination and Common Test method) over four 2-day periods in the morning and afternoon. Since applicants can apply for admission to the same department on different examination days and times, and it will now be possible to take the entrance examination for four departments over two days, or a maximum of six departments including those within the same department where the same questions are used. Since there has been a strong relationship in concurrent applications to these two departments in previous years, the change is intended to increase the number of options available to students taking the exam.

All three changes are intended to expand opportunities for students to take their exams as it has become mainstream for students to eagerly and actively apply to multiple schools in search of broader opportunity. The University also wants to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their best performance by offering multiple chances to take examinations on different dates and in different forms, rather than in go which could produce results that depend heavily on compatibility with the content of the exam questions, a student’s physical condition, and other factors.

Encouraging Those who Don’t Know Sophia to Enroll

The addition of the three-subject Common Test method from 2023 and the expanded opportunities to take this and other exams in 2024 are founded in the principle that we want a diverse range of students from all over Japan to enroll in our school.

When different people come together, new things and ideas are born. Sophia’s Yotsuya Campus already is a global learning environment that attracts international students and faculty from all over the world, and we hope to attract the types of students that had not previously thought to apply and attend Sophia University.

For example, take high school students who may be globally oriented but are living outside the Tokyo metropolitan area. This year, through our active promotion of Sophia University in various areas, we have come to the realization that outside of the Tokyo metropolitan area, Sophia University, which collaborates with 400 overseas universities to allow students to study beyond national borders, is still not well known.

We will strengthen our efforts to make our University and all its opportunities well known to high school teachers and prospective students throughout Japan, along with the fact that we have a very generous scholarship system that allows students to participate in foreign exchange programs without paying additional tuition fees.

Even for those who feel English may not be their strong suit now, if you have strong aspirations to connect with the world, I encourage you to go for Sophia. Sophia’s admissions examination system does not allow students to be admitted based only on the results of an English-based examination; many factors and other examinations will be part of an admissions decision.

We believe in Minimum passing scores are sufficient for English courses if students wish to focus on attaining high scores in other subjects instead. In addition, English courses are offered at varying levels, including at the beginner level. However, once on campus, we hope students realize that foreign languages are an important tool to expand one’s field of activities on campus and in life, and will naturally motivate students to pursue and utilize their learned languages.

“What opportunities are available to me if I enroll at Sophia, which faculty/department and entrance examination system are suitable for me, and how much will it cost for tuition and study abroad?” We stand ready to answer questions like these from students and high school teachers who are even slightly interested in Sophia University.

We welcome visits to the Admissions Office without an appointment, and interested parties can contact us via the web or telephone. First and foremost, we want those who have never heard of Sophia University to get to know us and bring a fresh energy to our campus. With this as our first priority, we have made progressive changes to the entrance exam system.

Sophia University

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