Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Something i've been wondering about

  1. Nov 30, 2003 #1
    how does the education system work in the US?

    In the UK we get our first set of qualifications at 16 called GCSEs in 11 or 12 subjects.

    Then we take a two year course called A Levels in 4 subjects.

    Then at 18/19 we start at university.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2003 #2
    By qualifications do you mean exams?
  4. Nov 30, 2003 #3
  5. Nov 30, 2003 #4
    In high school (grades 9-12) we take various courses (math, science, social studies, english, foreign language, PE, music, and other electives).
    We then take exams on these courses after each semester (so two per year per subject). Towards the end of high school (11 or 12 grade) there are not so many required classes that we have to take, so we can choose more of our classes (depending on interests).
    Then after completing high school we go to college. We don't necessarily have A Levels (which I think are higher level classes depending upon the subject area you wish to study in college). We do however have Advanced Placement classes that are college based classes.
    Does that give you a better idea of the education system in the US?
  6. Nov 30, 2003 #5
    thanks harp, that has made it clearer. Do you specialise in one subject at college? how old are 12th graders, college and university students? I presume that one goes to university after college? One last question, could you tell me what GPA means? Sorry for all the questions!
  7. Nov 30, 2003 #6


    User Avatar

    Fudge, I think college and university are synonymous in America and that 12th grade is equivalent to upper sixth-form. I think a GPA is a grade point average.
  8. Nov 30, 2003 #7
    First of all college and university are the same thing.

    Yes you do specialize in one subject at college eventually( a lot of people are undecided going into it).

    12 graders are 18-ish
    College students start at 18 and end at 21 or 22 (depending upon the length they are in college)

    GPA stands for grade point average. This is normally on a 4.0 point scale. SO if you get all A's in school then you get a 4.0 and if you got all B's you get a 3.0 and any mixture of grades inbetween gets you a number in between a 3 and 4 ( and of course if you get C's or D's then you get a GPA lower than a 3.

    I hope this makes sense.
  9. Nov 30, 2003 #8
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook