Tutorial schools and entrance examinationsIt is common for children in Japan to attend tutoring institutions, so-called juku, to attain better grades at schools or to prepare for entrance examinations for schools they wish to enroll in. Enrollment in any Japanese school (except for public elementary and secondary schools) is preceded by entrance examinations which usually take place in winter. Typically, subjects such as Japanese, English, math, history, and social studies are all covered in these tests. The cultural importance of entrance examinations becomes apparent in Japanese words such as shiken jigoku, exam hell, and rōnin, a term formerly used to describe masterless samurai, that nowadays refers to students who failed the university entrance exam and have to wait one year to retake it.
The number of Japanese students attending supplementary tutorial schools has been increasing throughout the past decade and has surpassed 12 million annually. Similarly, the number of instructors employed at tutorial schools in Japan exceeded 90 thousand in 2016 and can be expected to rise further.