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Suken Outline

What is Suken?

Suken is a test for measuring practical skills in mathematics, including calculations, constructions, expressions, measurements, organization, statistics, and proofs. It is a system of absolute evaluation, held on a national level and administered by the Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan.
As a general rule, prior qualifications are not required. Anyone can start from the level of their choice.


There are 14 levels in total, ranging from the 1st Kyu for college graduates to Number and shape for preschool aged children, with Pre-1 and Pre-2 levels also offered.

  • -The 1st Kyu through the 5th Kyu are each divided into two parts: the "Section 1: Calculation Test" for measuring calculation skills, and the "Section 2: Application Test" for measuring applied mathematical skills. Both sections are performed on the same day.
  • -When taking the test for the first time, both sections must be taken.
  • -Group exam is not permitted to hold the 1st Kyu.
  • -In Japan, the English version of this test is only administered for the Pre-1st Kyu to 8th for group testing, and the 1st Kyu to 8th for individual testing (twice a year).

Test Dates (for Japan)

Individual testing is done three times a year, in April, July and November (or October), at exam sites prepared by the Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan. Group testing is done approximately 15 times a year (using a school building, tutoring site, business, etc. as an exam site).

• Individual testing for the 1st Kyu through the 11th Kyu is done at exam sites throughout Japan prepared by the Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan. Testing for Number and shape is only done in home(with the test problems sent to the home of the test taker).

Number of test takers through the years

The first Suken test was administered in 1992 to 5,500 test takers. Since 2015, more than 350,000 people take the test on an annual basis, with 17,000 schools, educational organizations, and other groups participating. Since the founding of the Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan, over 6 million people have taken the test.

Yr. 2014 332,000 16,500
Yr. 2015 353,000 16,700
Yr. 2016 366,000 17,500
Yr. 2017 377,000 18,000
Yr. 2018 376,000 17,600


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