Juku and Yobiko
Many students will attend special schools called juku after school for one to several hours, doing this to improve their chances of doing well on the tests.
These juku can be to help students catch up on their studies, prepare for the various entrance examinations, and supplementary education for those keeping up in their studies but want additional materials perhaps not even offered in their regular school.. Juku offer courses in math, Japanese language, science, English and social studies, while non-academic juku (aimed at younger children) will have things like piano lessons, art, swimming lessons and similar activities.
About half of the students who attend regular schools will also attend jukus.The higher the grade level, the greater the percentage of students attending juku. They can also be expensive but tend to be within the reach of most households.
The book The Mountain is Moving: Japanese Women's Lives, 1999 discusses the gender differences among juku.
"Girls and boys favor different types of juke. These are divided into academic coaching in the English and mathematics required on entrance examinatinos, and instruction in special fields such as music, calligraphy and martial arts.... many fewer boys are involved in cultural, artistic, or athletic lessons."
There are also yobiko which are private schools that help students prepare for college entrance exams. They mainly work with ronin for full-time, year-long preparation classes. The cost of these courses is high, sometimes equal to what a student pays for first-year university expenses and can even be higher than that.They will also give practice exams throughout the year (for a fee, of course).
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