Education - US compared to the UK

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Education - US compared to the UK

Post by 3mptylord on Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:44 am

Just 'cause it's confusing. Tongue

The United Kingdom;

Age
Year
UK
Qualification
< 3

Pre-school

4-5
0
Reception

5-11
1-2
Primary School (KS1)


3-6
Primary School (KS2)
(internal exams)
11-16
7-9
Secondary School (KS3)
(internal exams)

9-11
Secondary School (KS4)
GCSEs/O-levels/"Level-2"
17-18
12-13
Sixth Form^*
GCEs/A-levels/"Level-3"
17-18*
1st/2nd
College/FE
GCEs/A-levels/"Level-3"
18-22*~
1st/2nd/3rd/4th
University/HE

^essentially the same as college
*non-compulsory education
~actual leave age varies depending on course length; average is 4 years
including a placement year.


Levels/Grades is the result you get.

Until GCSE, grades are numbers; 1 (being low) to 8 (being high) (and possibly higher than 8).
GCSEs are marked with letters; A*, A, B, C, D, E and U (fail).
A-levels are marked with letters; A*, A, B, C, D, E and U (fail).
Most other level-3 qualifications are; Distinction, Merit, Pass and Fail.

To get into college they generally want C+ or you'll be asked to resit your GCSEs as part of your course. Whereas Universities see any grade that isn't a fail as a pass, so E+.

Going from Primary to Secondary used to be based on SATs, or "Level-1" exams. Now it's more of an end of year report written by your primary school teachers... since secondary education is compulsory and level-1 qualifications are worthless it was seen as an unnecessary stress to put 11 year olds through. Year 7 is generally mixed-set anyway, and Secondary Schools will place you into sets using their own end of year exams.

I think the difference between Sixth Form and College is that going into level-3 is based on internal exams as well as GCSEs, so you could go on to A-level Maths even if you failed GCSE so long as your teachers think you're capable.


Last edited by 3mptylord on Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:02 pm; edited 8 times in total

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Re: Education - US compared to the UK

Post by Jeeves on Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:47 am

States

Grades K-12 (ages 5-18, roughly)
PSATs (Practice SATs) Sophomore year (10th grade)
SATs Junior year (11th grade)
ACTs High School
Other random meaningless standardized tests throughout the rest of the grades

College comes after high school and the way you get in is determined by: SATs, ACTs, GPA, extracurriculars, essays, and other little tidbits.
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Re: Education - US compared to the UK

Post by 3mptylord on Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:25 am

Well that's that. Tongue

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Re: Education - US compared to the UK

Post by MorbiusMonster on Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:27 am

I find the grading system a pain. Basically, it dictates that what you know doesn't matter, all that matters is what you put into an exam and what a certificate says.

Basically, I am really good at Chemistry, with a natural aptitude for it, but I score a D overall because some exam says I am not proficient.

I also have an exemplary skill in writing, but no certifiicate is available for that, so it doesn't count as a necessary qualification.

Even intuitive aptitude isn't solid enough to use as proof of skills.
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Re: Education - US compared to the UK

Post by 3mptylord on Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:34 am

Maybe your ability in Chemistry is too specific... knowing calculus does mean you're any good at maths in general.

Exams in the UK are increasing applied rather than core, with the exception of things like Maths and Physics. Increasing demand of coursework and/or your ability to apply knowledge rather than just recite facts.

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Re: Education - US compared to the UK

Post by trixtor on Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:37 am

Jeeves wrote:States

Grades K-12 (ages 5-18, roughly)
PSATs (Practice SATs) Sophomore year (10th grade)
SATs Junior year (11th grade)
ACTs High School
Other random meaningless standardized tests throughout the rest of the grades

College comes after high school and the way you get in is determined by: SATs, ACTs, GPA, extracurriculars, essays, and other little tidbits.

And graduate/medical school comes after college.
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Re: Education - US compared to the UK

Post by Dragon78114 on Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:24 am

trixtor wrote:
Jeeves wrote:States

Grades K-12 (ages 5-18, roughly)
PSATs (Practice SATs) Sophomore year (10th grade)
SATs Junior year (11th grade)
ACTs High School
Other random meaningless standardized tests throughout the rest of the grades

College comes after high school and the way you get in is determined by: SATs, ACTs, GPA, extracurriculars, essays, and other little tidbits.

And graduate/medical school comes after college.

We can also take "college level" courses in High School, which are sort-of like a simplified A-level course, but they are called AP and at the end of every year, you have to take a massive test that determines whether or not you can get out of freshman (1st year) level courses.
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