The Test

The Hokkaido English Challenge is based on a thirty-minute test, administered by the entrant’s Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) and captured on video in the presence of a Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) or other Japanese faculty member. The recordings are then sent to Regional Judges for evaluation. Once determined, Head Judges then review the finalists’ submissions and rank the top-scoring students. Results are generally announced in May or early June.

The test itself is based on the current school year’s grammar and vocabulary syllabus, as determined by the Ministry of Education and is administered in March. Test preparation is solely the discretion of the ALT and student. Preparation can last for months or weeks and range from daily one-on-one tutoring to occasional group conversation.

Success relies not only on the student’s enthusiasm but also on the ALT’s dedication to building his or her students’ English abilities. Students involved often exhibit a noticeable improvement in oral communication and listening skills, while ALTs regularly laud it as one of the most rewarding experiences of the JET Programme.


Student Registration Form

Are you & your student(s) ready to take the challenge? Fill out this form and follow the directions to sign up!

2018 HEC Student Registration Form


Test Preparation

The 2018 Test Preparation Package is ready! It gives a rundown on everything you need to know about the test, including how to prepare your students and how to administer it! If you need more information, please check out the previous tests or the HEC Guide!

HEC 2018 Test Preparation Package

Previous Tests

Previous tests can be found here. They’re good for practicing with students, so please take a look! There’s copies of tests dating back to 1999!


If you have any questions concerning any aspect of the HEC test, please contact us!