Cramming for exams is never fun, but it’s a fact of life for students everywhere, especially in Japan. But forget using flash cards or using a textbook to learn all the needed information. Mobile-phone companies are now getting into the game and allowing people to go online and test their knowledge on the go. KDDI, one of the country’s biggest wireless carriers, launched a service under its AU label to offer the “Manabi” program. Literally meaning “to study,” Manabi allows subscribers to get access to study kits and test themselves on multiple-choice questions that flash on-screen.
While the most obvious way to use the program is to cram for major academic tests such as school entrance exams, the range of tests available is far broader than the obvious. Cell-phone users can use their handsets to learn English idioms and hone their language skills, or they can use them to become better at Japanese proverbs or just to bolster their vocabulary in their native language.
Indeed, the company launched the program by encouraging users to take the national university entrance exam for free until the end of September and get scored on how they do on Japan’s equivalent for the SATs that high school students must take in order to get into university. Continue