On the left at school and on the right on university graduation day...
Last weekend in Japan many high school students took the Center Tests (and one Imagine student was a test staff!), and it made me remember my own university application days.
In England 30 years ago, the system was different.
We used a central university application system called UCAS, and we filled out forms and could "apply" for up to five different universities on one form. We could visit the universities and have informal, short meetings with staff.
Then, in January of our final year at school, we did "mock A levels" - tests in our three or four subjects. Theses were practice tests, which we did at school and it gave us and our teachers an idea how we might do in the national exams in the summer.
The universities offered us places based on these practice test results and our teachers' reports. British universities did not have their own entrance tests.
I applied to three universities, and was offered a place at Reading University if I got Grades A, A and B. The University of Kent said I could come if I got A, B and B.
In June/July AT school I took the A level tests. The results came by post FROM THE SCHOOL in August, and I got A, B and B. So I went to Kent University in October that year.
There are plans now to change the system, and already UK students do four or more core subject tests. My last two years of school I only studied English, History and Geography.
And here is my A Level tests results paper - actually sent to my home by the head teacher of my school. My family and I could open it in private. I think in Japan, test results are put on noticeboards that everyone can see?
I got A in English Literature!!!!