The Test

The test has two divisions: the Junior High Division, and the Senior High Division. Only students in their first year of Junior High or Senior High School may enter and take the test. This age restriction makes the competition fair while taking into account the dedication needed for HEC and the time constraints that second and third year students may face.

Interested students will first take part in a twenty-minute test, which is administered and recorded by the student’s ALT. The video is sent to judges for evaluation and results are announced before summer vacation. The test’s emphasis is on communicative ability. Entrants are awarded points for showing creativity with their acquired English, for their ability to express thoughts clearly, and for how they cope with unfamiliar vocabulary and grammar. Since the test is based on Japan’s National Curriculum, its content should have been covered in all students’ classes.

Once the test is graded, HEC will provide the highest scoring student of the Senior High division with a home-stay trip to Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. HEC invites Senior High students with the top 20 scores and Junior High students with the top 30 scores to the annual HEC English Summer Camp. Other English related prizes are available as well.


Student Registration Form

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

2020 HEC Student Registration Form

2020 HEC Student Registration Form (paper component)


Test Preparation

The 2020 Test Preparation Package 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 2020 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!