Jisho gives "exam" as one of the possible meanings of 校, but I was not able to find any words with this kanji which has a meaning related to "exam". Is there any?

My interest in this comes from the fact that I have started using Helsig's method to memorize kanji, but it seems counterproductive to me that some keywords are not related to any meaning of the corresponding kanji. Therefore, I have decided to replace each of such keywords with one of the corresponding kanji meanings. There is a keyword "exam" for this kanji and I'm considering updating it to something which makes more sense, such as "school".

obs: I have looked in the list of words which use this Kanji in Jisho. If there is a better way to find words which use a kanji, I'd be glad to know


1 Answer 1


校 does not mean "exam" in the sense of students' written test, but it means "examination" or "investigation" in the following compounds:

  • 校正 proofreading
  • 校了 proofreading completed
  • 校閲 copyedit / reviewing / proofreading
  • 校合 collation (comparison of different versions of the same classical work)
  • 校本 a survey book on different versions of the same classical work
  • 勘校 to examine and correct

(☆: rare words, you probably won't ever need them)

As you can see, "exam" is too broad, and it may be better to think of this as "careful reading". Jisho.org sometimes has errors, so I recommend checking monolingual dictionaries whenever possible.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer! As "exam" can only mean "a test of a student's knowledge or skill in a particular subject" in English (ref: dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/exam), that meaning of the kanji is obviously wrong then. I'll replace Heisig's keyword with one of the kanji true meanings. Regarding monolingual dictionaries, I prefer them too, but I'm still a beginner in Japanese and they are too advanced for me right now. Oct 11, 2020 at 12:29
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    @AlanEvangelista exam just mean a test! you goto the doctors for an eye exam or even just an exam (in the sense of a check up). exam has quite a broad usage and meanings in english.
    – A.Ellett
    Oct 12, 2020 at 1:31
  • @A.Ellett Indeed "exam" may also mean "a formal test that you must pass in order to earn a particular qualification or be allowed to do a particular job" or "an inspection by a medical professional to establish the extent and nature of any sickness or injury". I don't think there is any other meaning of "exam" and the Cambridge dictionary entry I referenced above agrees. Anyway, the relevant point here is that the kanji discussed above (校) does not have any of those meanings in any Japanese word. Oct 12, 2020 at 1:42
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    校本 usually corresponds to "critical edition". 校合 and 勘校 would be a basic word if you're a philology student :) Oct 12, 2020 at 6:44

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