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All about 偏差値

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by John_Doe, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. John_Doe Senior Member

    Kazakhstan
    Russian
    Hello,

    Considering the essence of 偏差値, my questions will have more to do with Japanese culture or even mathematics rather than Japanese itself ) If I'm not wrong, 偏差値25 means extremely poor performance. According to the wiki, it means you're worse than 98% of the competitors.

    1. Why is there 偏差値 in Japanese schools in the first place?
    2. When is it measured? I mean, every quiz or what?
    3. The scale: is it a school-wide thing or limited to your class?
    3. If I am a poor performer in terms of 偏差値, what consequences may it have? What if I am just an average guy who's ended up being among a bunch of ridiculously bright students? My hensachi would be pretty low! (a sidenote: a good title for a high school anime)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  2. Tonky Senior Member

    Japanese
    1. Why? Hmmm, that is a tough question, but it is for relative evaluations instead of absolute evaluations.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grading_on_a_curve
    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=91t15L6HYDIC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91#v=onepage&q&f=false
    However, some schools decided to go for absolute evaluation lately.

    2. Not every quiz, no. It varies but usually only a few times a year.

    3. Some schools do it school-wide (or should I say "grade-wide" since only the same graders take the same tests) but probably not limited to one class because it does not work well when the population is too small to measure. The most useful ones are usually carried out nation-wide (or area-wide and prefecture-wide for junior high schools). Some well-known cram schools/Juku(塾) host quite a few nation-wide exams and gives the scores and 偏差値 to each student who attended.

    4. It is up to you (and your parents), your age, and how you see it.
    In general, when you are still at elementary, only those elite children tend to take those tests and you may end up being among a bunch of ridiculously bright pupils. They check 偏差値 to see if they could enter some elite private schools.
    At junior high, most Japanese students (are basically forced to) take those tests for high schools. School teachers would judge by 偏差値 which high school you could most likely pass and enter. However, it is mostly used for references, unless you are expecting a scholarship or admission by recommendation.
    *edit*
    Someone told me that 偏差値 is not used at public junior-high schools any more. I cannot confirm it myself.

    At high school, many Japanese students who prepare for college/university entrance exams take those exams called 模試/模擬試験(moshi/mogi-shiken/mock exams), both public ones and private ones, to receive 偏差値 to judge their potentials.

    As for consequences, when you have a high 偏差値, you will most likely have better chances of recommendations from teachers, or have a better chance to pass the entrance exam than others if your score of the entrance exam was about the same as other candidates, and so on. When you have a low 偏差値, forget about receiving any recommendation letters from teachers, unless you have some special talents such as athletic or artistic abilities.

    I think that is about it. The opinions on 偏差値 vary and have been changing a lot. Personally I find it interesting as a statistic system as long as we do not rely on it too much, but I see why some people do not like it and believe that it discourages some students who cannot do well on tests, especially at younger age.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  3. John_Doe Senior Member

    Kazakhstan
    Russian
    That was a great post, Tonky *thumb up* Thank you very much.

    Oh, so spouting about being "the top student in whole Japan" in anime is real?
     

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