Though medical and dental schools are 6 years and junior colleges are 2 years, Japanese universities are usually 4 years. The present system was adopted with the first 2 years focused on liberal studies and the major subjects concentrated in the last 2 years after the World War 2. The difficulty of their entrance examination is what most distinguishes Japanese universities from the foreign universities. There was a saying "Yontou-goraku (four-pass, five-fail)" are used widely at one time. It is a warning that anyone getting more than five hours of sleep a night will fail the university entrance examinations. The entrance exam process for the national universities has two parts: a standard exam given by the National Center for University Entrance examinations in our days which everyone takes on the same day, and the university-specific exam administered by each school. The competition to get into the elite universities is very hard and admission to medical school is especially prized. Most Japanese universities are said to be hard to enter, but quite easy to graduate from in spite of the infamous juken jigoku (examination hell). There are many Japanese university where the students are required to study hard before they can be granted a diploma, but a great number of university students seem to be laid-back, of course.

Japanese universities

Japanese university education has no obtained high marks in contrast to high international regard for Japanese elementary and secondary education. he Japanese educational system was reformed after World War II. The old 6-5-3-3 system was changed to a 6-3-3-4 system (6 years of elementary school, 3 years of junior high school, 3 years of senior high school and 4 years of University with reference to the American system. The gimukyoiku (compulsory education) time period is 9 years, 6 in shougakkou (elementary school) and 3 in chuugakkou (junior high school). Japan has one of the world's best-educated populations, with 100% enrollment in compulsory grades and zero illiteracy. High school (koukou) enrollment is over 96% nationwide and nearly 100% in the cities while not compulsory. About 46% of all high school graduates go on to university or junior college. The Ministry of Education closely supervises curriculum, textbooks, classes and maintains a uniform level of education throughout the country. A high standard of education is possible as a result. Most schools operate on a three-term system with the new year starting in April. The modern educational system started in 1872, and is modeled after the French school system, which begins in April. The fiscal year in Japan also begins in April and ends in March of the following year, which is more convenient in many aspects. This difference in the school-year system causes some inconvenience to students who wish to study abroad in the U.S. A half year is wasted waiting to get in and often another year is wasted when coming back to the Japanese university system and having to repeat a year. The average school day on weekdays is 6 hours, except for the lower grades of elementary school.