Schools in the USA

In the USA the ages for compulsory education vary from state to state In most states compulsory education starts when children are 5 and continues until they are 16-18 depending on the state. Today a growing number of states are requiring compulsory education until the age of 18. Compulsory education is divided into two levels: elementary school and high school. The first year of elementary school is called Kindergarten and here pupils do various activities, learn the alphabet, and how to play with other children. After Kindergarten there are five or six years of schooling called grades. In elementary schools, pupils are taught basic subjects like English (spelling, vocabulary, and grammar), Arithmetic, and Physical Education. The high school generally consists of six years of schooling and goes from the 7h grade up to the final 12th grade. When pupils complete the 12th grade, they receive a High School Diploma, since there is no final examination as in many other countries. Students take a large variety of subjects without special emphasis on any particular subject. The subjects that are required in nearly all US high schools are English, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences, and Physical Education. Students can also choose from among a list of other subjects called ‘electives’ like Computer Studies, Art, Music, Foreign Languages and Driving, just to mention a few. Credits are given for each course and more credits are given for the more difficult courses. Post-secondary education in the USA is known as college or university and commonly consists of four years of study at an institution of higher learning. There are about 4,400 colleges and universities in the country. Schools differ in their reputation; generally, the most prestigious schools are private, rather than public. In the USA there are a number of very famous and prestigious universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and so on. They are usually very expensive so students try and get scholarships otherwise they ask for student loans and look for part-time jobs to support themselves.

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Samuele Genovese


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