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I would want to say something like "exams are just round the corner." , is "Shiken mou chikai desu." acceptable?

  • Yes, you can use it for time as well. – 永劫回帰 Nov 9 '16 at 13:45
  • 近いうちに is a common expression. Means something like 'soon' or 'near future' (examples) – oals Nov 9 '16 at 19:53
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Chikai 近い can be used for time definitely.

試験(が)もう近いです
Shiken(ga) mou chikai desu.

This is a totally acceptable expression, preferably with the particle 'ga'.

2

Yes, you can use 近い

But you can also use もうすぐ to better express the nuance of "just round the corner".

もうすぐ{LLLL}試験です。

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