I read stuff on this website all the time where people have given accounts of how they've had to study 80 hours a week or whatever to get an A or to maintain the GPA required for the top grade. Also, I'm aware that a PhD takes much longer to complete across the pond than it does over here in the UK (3 years here). I'm a new PhD student and I did graduate my physics degree with 1.1 classification, but I only just scraped it, and the only time I ever found myself studying relentlessly would be the 4 weeks or so leading up to the exam period. I'd pretty much coast through the semester then I'd kill myself going flat out in the revision period. I can't help but get the impression that I'm an inferior graduate compared to those who post on this site. Is there really much difference between the 2 systems? Does the American system grow stronger physicists than the British one currently does?