Each country has its own political, economic as well as educational systems. When you think of the world’s present situation, the American and British education systems are the most popular and recognized. Between these two, the American Education system has some unique features that are very user-friendly, developing students from more minor ages. Through making this write up we have American education system explained
How American education system works?
As seen and analyzed, the American education system offers students a rich field of choices. The education structure is very organized and systematic. When you know the design of the American education system, you can see different levels of education according to the kids’ age.
The American Educational Structure
Primary and Secondary School
The standard procedure is for American students to attend primary and secondary school before higher education. It takes about a total of 12 years. These years are called the first through twelfth grades.
The Children of the U.S. start their primary education at around six. They attend Elementary school during the first five years of teaching and then participate in secondary school.
Secondary school consists of two educational programs: the first is “middle school” or “junior high school,” and the second program is “high school.” They receive an A diploma or certificate after graduation from high school. Then U.S. students can attend college or university. College or university study is the stage of “higher education.” It is the most common way how the American school system works.
Ranking of the American education system
The American education system has a unique way of ranking or grading.
The transcript is a must to apply for a university as it is the official proof of your academic studies. Also, this includes your “grades” and “grade point average” (GPA), which are measurements of your academic achievement. Courses are usually graded using percentages, which are manipulated into letter grades.
The grading system and GPA in America. Is a little confusing. It is mainly for international students. The manipulation of grades has a lot of differences. For example, two students who went to different schools can submit their transcripts to the same university. Both the students have 3.5 GPAs. one student participated at an intermediate high school, while the other attended a prestigious school that was academically challenging. There is a higher chance of the university interpreting their GPAs differently because the two schools have dramatically different standards.
So we need to keep a few points in mind.
- If you are an international student, you should find the U.S. correspondent of the last level of education you completed in your own country.
- Pay close attention to the admission necessities of each university and college. Also, check on the individual degree programs, which may have different requirements than the university.
- It would help if you regularly met with an educational advisor or guidance counselor to meet the requirements.
Your educational advisor or guidance counselor is the best person to advise you on whether or not you should spend an extra year or two preparing for U.S. university admission. It would help if you considered the above facts about the U.S. education system grades and GPA.
The school calendar typically begins in September and continues through May or June. Most of the new students begin in autumn. So, starting your U.S. university study is advisable if you are an international student.
As assumed, there is a lot of excitement at the beginning of the school year. It is a period where the students find new friends and get adjusted to the new grounds. All of them are adjusting to a new phase of academic life. Many courses are available for students to take in sequence, starting in autumn and continuing through the year.
Usually, the academic year at many schools comprises two terms as “semesters.” But Some schools use a three-term calendar known as the “trimester” system. And some other schools further divide the year into a quarter system of four terms, including an optional summer session. Usually, if you take off the summer session, the academic year comprises two semesters or three quarter terms.
Is America’s education system good?
When you look at the American education system, it is a well-planned, systematic procedure. So, one can say the system is sound without a doubt. The system offers a wide range of choices for national and international students. The most tempting attribute of the U.S. education system is its versatility. They unite students in multiple academic disciplines and also train them to gain future employment. According to today’s demands in the fast-moving world, many see it as one of the great moves. Apart from their foundation of schools, programs and locations also attract students to study in the U.S. The U.S. government provides community colleges for students to continue their studies for an undergraduate degree. Also, they help them gain occupational skills for immediate employment.
American education system compared to the U.K.
The British or the U.K. education system is the other most renowned system in the world. There are several comparisons between them. Let us see what the main aspects are contradictory to each other.
In the U.K., children usually begin some formal schooling at age four. It is much earlier than they do in the U.S. You could see a greater early focus on academics. Along With the key-stage examinations and, eventually, the two-year GCSE program, starting at age 14, followed by the two-year A-Level program, starting at age 16, the system guides students towards specialization. Technically, this is a ‘winnowing’ system.
In contrast, the U.S. Education system places less emphasis on examinations, and students learn everything, generally, until the end of secondary school. Then when they graduate with a high-school diploma at the end of Grade 12, the qualification is equivalent to Year 13 in the U.K.
In the U.S., most children attend a part-time preschool from a very young age. But government-provided education does not begin until Kindergarten or the Year 1 in the U.K. In many schools, Kindergarten is still a part-time offering.
In the early years, children are trained in academic studies in an eased manner. And there is a heavy weight on socialization and developing basic English and math skills. It is generally from Kindergarten to Grade 3. Children can have an academic foundation that they can apply and develop more rigorously during Grade 4.
We can see 3 levels of schools in the U.S. system as follows:
- Elementary (Grades K–5)
- Middle (Grades 6–8)
- High (Grades 9–12)
Some schools have a system slightly different from this. They occasionally include Grade 6 at the elementary level and offer a junior high school for Grade 7 and Grade 8, for example. Some schools may separate Kindergarten from the rest of the elementary school. Anyhow, the three divisions are followed in the different configurations offered by each school.
The good and foul of the American Education system
After high school, U.S. students apply to college or university, usually four-year programs with a mix of qualifications. Their grades for all four high school years are averaged into a GPA or the Grade Point Average. It is calculated through various optional but benchmarked examinations, teacher recommendations, and a transcript of personal achievements and activities.
American institutions of higher learning have traditionally looked for academically qualified students but have something additional to add to their community. So musicians, athletes, and activists have been granted a means to describe and showcase their achievements and interests. It is a complicated and time-consuming system for students to apply to university.
Like all systems, it has both pros and cons. Many students who attend universities in the U.S. remain generalists throughout their four years of study. They are awarded a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree after completing the four years. Although they choose a ‘major,’ it is only a fraction of their coursework. They are often required to continue studying all areas – humanities, sciences, etc. With the cost of higher education on the rise, many students are now moving to more specialized programs – in business or engineering- to join the workforce with more focused training. Though there are differences in the education systems, it must be mentioned that relocating students to move from one to the other is very common for them to move quickly and succeed. Careful planning and knowing your actions are often the keys to a smooth transition.
Problems of the American education system
The experts see quite a few problems in the American education system. Below are to name a few.
- Parents do not involve enough. The time spent in the CLA classroom is insufficient for a student to get complete knowledge. They need specific input from home as well. At the moment, that is not well provided by most parents.
- Our schools are more full of students than the optimal numbers. Of course, it is tough for teachers to handle a large crowd of students.
- Technology comes with its downsides. The screen culture has moved the students from books to a greater extent, which is a disadvantage.
- The schools are still using the teacher training methods of yesterday. Those methods are insufficient to cater to the needs of the sophisticated kids of the generation. So it is necessary to update and reconstruct all of these methods to suit the market.
- No way to handle high school dropouts. There is a higher percentage of dropouts at the moment and no good plant to make them occupied in their field of interest.
The Bottom Line
The American Education system is a lot ahead of the other countries. Also, it has set several examples for other countries as well.