What is a Cram School?

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Are you considering sending your child to a cram school and looking for more information? Are you attempting to determine if a cram school is right for you? Regardless of what brought you here, we will give you the run-down on cram school.

Cram schools have different names in several different countries. They can have different meanings in several other countries as well. This article will go in-depth on what a cram school is and why they are utilized. We will also go in-depth surrounding the pricing for cram schools.

If this information sounds like the information you are looking for, you have come to the right place. Keep reading to find all of that and more.

What is a Cram School?What is a Cram School?

A cram school is often known to be a school that uses a more challenging curriculum and heavy testing to ensure that children can get into the school of their dreams in the future. It prepares students for entrance examinations and having rigorous coursework down the line. Cram schools can be beneficial for helping students in middle school, elementary school, and of course, high school.

A cram school is meant to be a supplemental education, not a replacement for traditional schooling. Traditionally students will attend their regular courses during the day and attend cram school after school or on the weekends.

Cram schools have several other names, especially as they have been seen in other countries. These names include tutoring centers or learning centers. The name for the schools and centers was adopted because of the notion of cramming. Though many people think of cramming as a last-minute activity, there are some excellent parts to cramming. It means to study intently and cram large amounts of content into short periods.

Cram schools teach students how to take tests and generally provide them with an abundance of practice exams to ensure they grasp the technique. Depending on the type of cram school you or your child is attending, it may have a specialized or general focus. Cram schools focus heavily on memorization and test-taking rather than critical thinking. They are meant to help students get past a milestone rather than increasing their ability to learn.

Cram schools are often criticized for their rigor. Though they may help children get over an academic hump, some individuals feel that students become dependent on cram school and put too much pressure on students. Some even worry that consistently taking exams doesn’t allow students to process what they have learned and instead become robotic.

Regardless of the mixed opinions surrounding Cram school, several students and parents still consider them to be viable options.

Why Do Students Go to a Cram School?

Why Do Students Go to a Cram School?

Children of all ages can utilize cram school for several reasons, though they are most commonly used to prepare high school students for exams. College entrance exams are critical in any country, and for many students, these are some of the most important exams they will take.

Cram school is not for the faint at heart. These courses and programs are designed to be supplemental aid to students. They will still be responsible for handling their regular coursework and any assignments received during the typical school day. Therefore, cram school can be quite a demanding experience for students. However, many programs are meant to build on what children are learning during the day.

Students who go to cram school are extremely serious about their academics, especially since this is not a free option. They are looking to get the best grades possible on their exams or pass their course with the highest test scores possible.

As schooling becomes more competitive, entrance exams get harder and harder forcing students to be more prepared than they ever were before. Though cram school starts with a neutral goal in mind, students often become more mature and grateful for the experience that Cram school gives them and the knowledge that they can receive in such a short time.

What Countries Have Cram School?

What Countries Have Cram School?

Though cram schools can be found in several countries across the globe, they are most popular in Eastern Asia. They are heavily utilized in places like Korea, China, Japan, and even India. However, they are still relevant in other countries like America, France, and even Australia. Each different country boasts a different need and offers a different experience for students in cram school. Some may even call them by a different name.


In China, cram schools are often referred to as Buxiban. Chinese schools heavily focus on the significance of passing standardized exams, so it is fitting that cram schools are popular in China. There are several tests that many students must prepare for, including High school entrance exams, Gaokao, the college admissions exam, and even English Language exams. Aside from these, if you are looking to pursue a master’s de3gree, exams for these degree programs will also be mandated.

Doing well on these exams is vital to a student’s success and can have a massive impact on their future path. Cram schools are great ways to ensure that they pass the exams mentioned above and beat out their competition.


In Japan, cram schools are known as Juku. They are used as supplements to a typical education, and courses are taught during after-school hours and on the weekends. Cram school courses can last for at least 4 hours after a child’s regular school day. In Japan, cram schools are used by students at all levels, even at elementary schools, for students to gain admission into the most prestigious institutions. For smaller children, courses may be less frequent and offered at smaller intervals.

Japan also boasts two types of cram schools. This includes ones that revolve around academics and others that do not.


Though American schools are not explicitly known as Cram schools, they do exist. These institutions are generally known as test prep centers. They may also be commonly referred to as tutoring services. In America, these institutions are known to provide aid for students having trouble in different subjects.


Another country with cram schools is Australia. Cram schools are often known as coaching colleges in Australia.  Though they exist, they are not as prevalent. They are used primarily as institutions to help older students when they are struggling. Unlike countries in Asia, there is less of an emphasis placed on education.


India is another place where we see cram schools being heavily utilized and booming. One massive cram school is in Kota. However, this isn’t a traditional school but instead a 6-billion-dollar business. Institutions like this continue to further the social divide. Students who attend cram schools like this eat, sleep, and breathe academics. Some students spend upwards of 16 hours a day focused on academics.

Though these schools are meant to help people, they are incredibly controversial. With regular schools boasting teacher shortages, cram schools are far more appealing to teachers looking to make a better wage. The average age of an individual in India is 29, which could potentially cause an economic boom. However, India is struggling to capitalize on any academic success with its struggling school systems. Cram schools only further exacerbate this.

These are still not the only places that cram schools can be found. Other locations which utilize cram schools include Korea, Taiwan, and even Canada.

How Much Does a Cram School Typically Cost?

How Much Does a Cram School Typically Cost?

Cram school can undoubtedly be a costly investment if you look to help your child make significant progress. For example, young children in Toyko hoping to boost their entrance exam scores will likely spend upwards of 500,000 in fees and a fee per month of 130,000 for sessions that may last a few hours. However, the cost may vary by the level of prestige that the school has. For the average school in Japan, pricing may range anywhere from 90 to 450.

Though per capita is low in India, families will pay immense amounts of money to send their children to traditional schools and cram schools. This is ultimately a family’s way of ensuring their child will be successful. You may be wondering how long is cram school; coaching programs can last two years. For these programs, families can spend up to 4000 per student.

One question you may be asking is how long is cram school? However, cram school can vary by location and length of attendance. Tuition is often based on how many sessions your student will require.

Wrapping Things Up: What is a Cram School?

In a nutshell, cram schools are institutions used to help students “cram” for entrance exams for elementary, high school, college, and other subjects that they might be struggling with. Cram schools can often be seen as extremely rigorous and time-consuming for students.

Students attend cram schools to ensure that they have a leg up against their competition and solidify a lucrative future. Several places subscribe to the cram school agenda and heavily capitalize on their success. These schools are often extremely costly and can be an extra burden on top of paying for regular schools.

Overall, you must make the best decision for you and your family when deciding if cram school is a good fit. Cram schools though costly, can also place added pressure on your students. If it is not in your educational budget, it may be time to think long and hard about alternatives.

If you found this post helpful, you’re definitely going to like these other posts:

> What is Virtual School?

> What is a Grammar School?

> What is a Title One School?

> What is an Alternative School?

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Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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