The Japanese education system is extremely competitive. The ways in which Japanese students go about educating their children and students is not similar to the United States. To get into the elite universities is very competitive and competition starts at a very young age. Because of all this competition Japanese students are much more stressed than American students. There is so muc0h competition in the school program that even the parents get involved. There are only eighty one state supported universities, which are the elite universities, in which only twenty percent of the students can be selected combined (Christopher 80). Even though the parents do get very involved with their child's education, the student has to get into these universities without their parents" aid. They have to take the entrance exam from which the best are selected. Getting into one of the top eight one State Universities is a major task and requires a lot of hard work from kindergarten.
The students of the Japanese education system go to school approximately from eight-thirty in the morning to four o"clock in the afternoon (Cooper EBSCO). School is not just the five weekdays but also half a day on Saturday (Christopher 87). They go to school 240 days compared to the 180 days in the United States (Christopher 87). Their education system is like ours regarding the grade levels. Even though they have schooling up to postgraduate it does not mean they complete the upper part of their education. After kindergarten, they go to elementary school like we do, then lower secondary, upper secondary, junior colleges, and university. They go to kindergarten from one to six years old, unlike the one year here in the United States, and they go to elementary school at the age of six. Lower and upper secondary school each takes three years of their life. Ninety-four percent of students go on to the senior high level where the competition is fierce for entry into the best universities (State Department 2).