Americans: can someone explain your education system?

Question:I live in the UK, and over here a child enters compulsort education at 7, goes to infants school and then primary school, and at 11/12 they go to secondary/comprehensive school, which they stay in until they're 16. At 16 they can choose to leave school, go to college, get a job or stay on in school for another 2 years. After another 2 years (usually, not always - some people take longer courses, others return to education later in life or take a 'gap year') they can then choose to go to university to get a degree. Some will have to do a foundation course first (often required to do art and design subjects) which will last 1-2 years, but most will be able to pass straight to uni. The courses last between 3 and 5 years (usually), and once they're done with their undergraduate degree, almost everyone gets a job, but they may continue in education part-time, to get a post-graduate degree, which can be followed by a masters and then a doctorate - a lot of work! Whats it like in the USA?

Answers:
Most children are required to start school around 5 or 6 years old. They start with either an optional "Kindergarten" which is designed to familiarize them with school and socializing, or they start with 1st Grade.

In most school systems 1st - 5th Grade is "Elementary School" or "Primary School" or "Grammar School". After 5th Grade (usually age 11 or 12 for most) children matriculate into "Middle School" or "Junior High School". Middle Schools usually run 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. After completing Middle School, students matriculate into "High School".

The High School grades are 9th (Freshmen), 10th (Sophomores), 11th (Juniors), and 12th (Seniors). Here in the states, one must remain in school until one has either graduated 12th Grade OR turned 18.

During High School, most kids take a College Preparatory Exam, such as the SAT or ACT. These tests give students a numeric score based on a variety of academic and cognitive skills. Combined with the GPA from high school, the SAT/ACT scores help determine which colleges students will get into.

There are three basic levels of "undergraduate colleges" in America. First, "Junior Colleges" these schools grant "Associates Degrees" They are two year degrees, often good for getting entry level occupational jobs. Second are Trade Schools, these schools teach one particular craft (computer repair, etc.). Last are the Universities. Most Universities in America are modeled on the Cambridge/Oxford system. They grant four-year Bachelor Degrees.

After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree, students may pursue a "graduate" degree either a Master's (1-2 more years of study), a Ph.D. (2-3 more years), a Law Degree (3 years) etc. etc.

So to sum up, compulsory education from Grades 1 - 12. A fair amount of students go on to college and get Bachelor's degrees.

Hope that helps!
age 3-4 is pre-k, age 5 is kindergarden, ages 6-11 is elementary(primary) school, ages 12-14 is middle(secondary) school, 15-18 is high school. Then 4yrs. of college if you want to go beyond. and maybe even more if you want to go to like medical school or something
Kindergarden-5th grade is Elementary school. (ages 5-11)
Middle School (6th-8th grade) or Junior High School (7th-8th)
High School-9th-12th.
Then off to collage.
It's usually optional to start pre-school (depending on the state you live in) and then kindergarten is roughly age 5.
Then elementary school is usually grades 1 thru 5 or 1 thru 6. Then middle school (sometimes called junior high) is 6 thru 8 or 7 thru 9. Grade 9 is considered a High School freshman. Then high school is 9 thru 12. People can quit school at 16 years old I think. Most go thru 12th grade and graduate with a high school diploma. Then on to college for a bachelors degree which is usually 4 years. Then 1 extra year for a Masters, and 2 yrs beyond that for PhD.
Age 4 or so kids go to pre-school to prepare them for school. Age 5 they go to Kindergarten. Then at age six they go to Elementary school. They stay there for about 5 years. At 11 they enter Junior High. They stay there for 3 years and then go on to High School, where they stay for 4 years.

All the stuff above differs with each school, but it is basically the same.

Then a person can go get a job, or continue on to a university or tech-school (in tech-school you learn the specifics for just your future career). Those who go to universities can choose their degrees (to an extent) and then get a job. Many jobs require the worker to go back to college for certain classes, just to keep the worker on top of new methods and etc.

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