Compare Educational systems in Britain and the USA

Educational systems in Britain and the USA are not the same. In Britain currently there is only primary school (ages 5-11) and secondary school (12 to 16 or 18). The last two years are sometimes called sixth form, or sixth-form college. At the age of 18, students who want to go to university take A-levels, which are a type of national school-leaving exam. In the USA, primary school is followed by middle school or junior high school (ages differ, usually being 11-14 or 12-15). After that students can go on to high school or, more precisely, senior high school.

Education in Britain

In England and Whales, the educational system goes from reception (the first year at primary school) to year 12 (the final year of secondary school). Parents can send their children to nursery school between the ages of about three and five. Their children spend a few hours at nursery school each day, playing and doing activities with each other. From the age of five, education is compulsory. Between five and eleven, children go to primary school. Primary schools are usually divided into an infant schools (for children aged five to seven) and a junior school (for children aged seven to eleven). When they are 11 years old, children go to a secondary school and take their GCSE exams at the age of 16. They can leave school when they are 16 but if they want to stay in education, they study for further two years and take A-levels at the age of 18. They either stay at school or go a sixth form-college or a technical college.

Private schools are expensive and they are sometimes called independent. Many people in Britain are against private schools and they stand for equal opportunities for secondary school children. That’s why they believe that all children should go to a usual British comprehensive school.

Education in the USA

In the USA, the education system goes from first grade (the first year of elementary school) to eleventh grade (final year of high school). Parents can send their children to a kindergarten from the age of two or three. Children must attend school from the age of five onwards. The first year of school is called nursery school. Children aged between five and eleven go to elementary school. Between 12 and 14 they attend junior high school and between 14 and 17 they go to high school.

Students in high school take examinations at the end of each semester. All the grades they have earned are given a number value and a grade point average (GPA) is calculated. Students who have passed enough courses graduate from high school. If they want to go to university, they must earn good enough grades and take a special test.

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