What is “SPI”?

What is “SPI”?

When applying for a major company it would not be unusual if you might have to take an exam.

While doing job hunting most of you will come into contact with SPI or Tamatebako.

This time I’m going to speak about the differences in the content of these exams.


The so called SPI exam includes the following three subjects: language ability (communicative ability), non-verbal communicative ability and character-check.

Language ability (communicative ability) includes the following in reference to Japanese language ability: words and phrases, idioms, reading comprehension etc.
The non-verbal communicative ability part includes testing in reference to numbers. In the last part they test your character’s propensity in regard to 4 categories, Action, Will / Desire, Emotion and Life scale.

SPI does not include extremely difficult questions but therefore, the time is really short and might become a hurdle.

Tamatebako exam

The tamatebako exam includes Language ability, Figures (math), English and Personality-check. In the language part they use long articles to test your ability to understand and remember the content.

Figures (math) includes quite long basic math questions and graphics which you have to read. Special here is that most of the math questions are not in numbers but written sentences.

In the English testing part you will be also asked to read and understand long articles.


CAB exam includes Math, Law, Commands, Codes and Personality-check. This exam is mostly used for engineering and IT applicants.

Compared to the SPI exam the questions are rather difficult and complicated. Taking the exam without any preparation will be extremely difficult. If you are going for engineering or IT prepare yourself for this exam.


GAB exam includes Math, Language ability and Character questions. Sometimes it also include English, depending on the company. GAB is widely used by general trading companies, specialized trading companies, stock brokerage firms, research institutes and the further, which attach importance to intellectual ability, personality, leadership, urge for activity, patience etc.

It is the same sort of exam as SPI but the exam questions are more difficult.


TG-WEB exam includes Math, Language ability, English and Character questions. Compared to other web-based exams this one is very difficult. Actually, there are two types for this exam, the conventional very difficult type and then the a little bit easier new type. In the conventional type you will have long texts to read with blanks to fill in. In the math part you will have code questions and expansion plan questions which are not included in the SPI exam.

On the other hand, in the new type TG-WEB exam there are synonym and antonym questions, and in math part there are equations, arithmetic calculations and graph understanding questions.

TG-WEB (conventional) might have difficult questions but there is no big variation in questions, meaning that you can prepare for it very well by looking at previous exams.

For the new type it’s a good idea to exercise solving many questions in a short time.

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