Koki was born in the United States. His family returned to Japan in 2009. His parents hoped
for him to go to a private junior high school but his Japanese level, especially kanji was
not native standard. Koki’s first choice school was Kumon International College. Last
November Koki’s mother asked me to do 2 months intensive lessons with him to prepare for
the ‘帰国子女’ entrance exam. Due to the recession and corporate restructuring of 2009, many
families have been returning to Japan creating many more applicants than usual. Kumon’s
test difficulty was between EIKEN pre-1 and EIKEN 1 level. For me, the hardest thing was
getting Koki to understand how hard he had to work. I warned his mother ‘日本の受験厳しさ
がわかっていない’. Koki failed tests of his 2nd and 3rd choice schools which also included
math or interviews sections. I used the shock of these failures to focus his motivation.
Kumon was the last test and was only English. He passed! Congratulations Koki. He wrote some
sentences reflecting on the test experience for my blog. Please read Koki’s thoughts.

I think this is all part of GOD’s plan. If I had passed either of the earlier tests, I would
not have been able to work so hard for the last. My Dad bought me 10 test preparation books
and I was able to work very hard. My little brother caught a cold the day after my test. This
was perfect timing for me too. If he had caught a cold a few days earlier, maybe I would have
got sick also and not been able to concentrate. Instead, I was able to take the test at my
peak condition. Even though it was hard and I failed the earlier tests, the end result
was a dream come true. For me it is like a miracle. I just want to say ‘Thank you’ to



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