tymbnuip
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How does the exam system work in the USA? Do they have an equivalent to our GCSE/A-Level system, where around 10 subjects are narrowed down to 3/4?

The point of this thread is: Where can I look at USA exams papers? I'm curious as to how their written exams differ from the UK written exams - are they more essay based, or do they have more questions requiring just extended answers?

cheers.

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usa1981
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(Original post by efterklang)
How does the exam system work in the USA? Do they have an equivalent to our GCSE/A-Level system, where around 10 subjects are narrowed down to 3/4?

The point of this thread is: Where can I look at USA exams papers? I'm curious as to how their written exams differ from the UK written exams - are they more essay based, or do they have more questions requiring just extended answers?

cheers.

x
You can go College Borad website www.collegeborad.com (AP/SAT/SATsingle suject tests) ect. on that webstie you can look at sample exams.
But in answer to your question in general no the exams multiple choice (SAT).
Students take 6-8 subjects. This is done in a semster system.
Primary School: 6 subjects
Junior High/Middle School: 6-8 subjects this depends on the school dicstric you live in. here in Arcadia student can take 7 subjects but ususally take 6.
High School: 6 subjects
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sugarwhirl89
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There is no narrowing down of subjects. If you study in the US, each school has their own requirements.

You usually (not always required to - depends on the college you're applying to) sit SAT 2 subject papers (as many as you want in whichever subject you're taking) and the other requirement to get into college is taking the SAT 1 (English + basic Maths + Essay writing) exam which, as usa1981 mentioned, you can get samples of from collegeboard.com.

All the SAT papers are multiple choice, except in the SAT1 essay part and any other SAT 2 paper that specifies something else (e.g. French - i think there's a writing and speaking).

You can take Advanced Placement exams (which are apparently A level/university level exams) in certain subjects (there's a list on collegeboard.com) which give you university credit.
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tymbnuip
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So you have to take "AP" exams to get into University ? You can't without ?

And why are there no marks given for the questions on the sample exam papers? Do you have to guess?
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usa1981
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(Original post by efterklang)
So you have to take "AP" exams to get into University ? You can't without ?

And why are there no marks given for the questions on the sample exam papers? Do you have to guess?
No, you do not need AP Exams to get into university. The AP exams give you advanced standing when start university. They are manly multiple choice exams.
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ArVi
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Depending on the university, you might have to do SAT2. These are done in specific subjects (eg: Maths, History, Chem, etc.). Other universities may require only the SAT (Maths and English) and there are some that don't require either! (this may be because I'm international - however they wanted 5 passes at O Level (GCSE) )
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tymbnuip
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I can't believe you get multiple choice exams!! A lot of the A-Levels in the UK are essay based exams!! *cries*

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a_man_1066
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Is it me or do USA exams sound easy?I'm sure they are not, but it just is giving that appearance. Or is it British students that have it hard?

There's certainly no way mutiple choice would make up a large proportion of a GCSE/A-Level Paper (except foreign languages possibly)

I think the main difference is that GCSEs and A-levels are thought of here as a certificate in your high school education and a way of getting into Uni or college. They've always been a bit weord to me - they seem to be part of your high school life, yet they're set by external organisations..In America, exams mainly only serve the latter purpose, as they already have High School Diplomas.

All this is mainly guesses and inferences as I am British.

To help the OP's quest: Are there examining bodies (like AQA, OCR etc here) that manage and set exams nationally or regionally? Because their websites might be worth a try for exam papers
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usa1981
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(Original post by a_man_1066)
Is it me or do USA exams sound easy?I'm sure they are not, but it just is giving that appearance. Or is it British students that have it hard?

There's certainly no way mutiple choice would make up a large proportion of a GCSE/A-Level Paper (except foreign languages possibly)

I think the main difference is that GCSEs and A-levels are thought of here as a certificate in your high school education and a way of getting into Uni or college. They've always been a bit weord to me - they seem to be part of your high school life, yet they're set by external organisations..In America, exams mainly only serve the latter purpose, as they already have High School Diplomas.

All this is mainly guesses and inferences as I am British.

To help the OP's quest: Are there examining bodies (like AQA, OCR etc here) that manage and set exams nationally or regionally? Because their websites might be worth a try for exam papers
What you say is true about our exams.
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aiman
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Is it me or do USA exams sound easy?I'm sure they are not, but it just is giving that appearance. Or is it British students that have it hard?
US exams are not easy at all. Take the SAT II for an example. Unless you're doing Maths SATII you cannot use a calculator at all. The Phy tes has ~ 80 questions of which many require a calculator. You have an hour to solve these multiple-choice questions. A-Level exams often have alot of more time - e.g. 40 Questions A-Level Physics in an hour with a calculator.
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ryan2288
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AP exams are approximately half essay(free response, written) and half multiple choice. Also for every multiple choice you miss there is a 1/4 of a point penalty. That penalty also applies for the SAT and SAT II's. So in essence, instead of missing only 1 full point raw score, you miss 1.25.

I would say that AP exams are easier than A - level, but many English people don't take 7 or 8 A levels, which is common for competitive students in the US with AP.
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k10k
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Americans do multiple choice because:

~One they're scared of getting sent to court (Essay Marking vs the Yes or no Answers in SATs)
~It's way cheaper! Because of course it should run like a company. Yey to profit oriented education!

Edexcel (UK Exam Board) is partly American owned and they want to do Multiple Choice Alevels! Great so that our standards of education can deteriorate even more!

APs are often done in the first year of College!
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thefish_uk
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There's lots of multi-choice done here!

Modular GCSE papers (such as in science) are multiple choice. A lot of General Studies is multi-choice. Science A-level synoptic papers are often multi-choice. And UniTest is multiple choice, isn't it? And that's what they're thinking of introducing as an admissions test for uni!
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reesesgal
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exams in the states may not be easy but they are easier than in the uk, i lived in new york and took the SAT reading and maths and 13 and got a score that would of gotten me into several state Unis you do have to work fast but a 25min n essay on a broad topic and educated guesses can get you into uni! the science GCSE is only multi inthe basic unit and i doubt many respected school would use any multi choice GCSEs. having loked into stateside unis most will give the same credits for a levels as ap classes, your first year you take general ed courses most places in subjects you might have given up at GCSE! i have been told after specialising at a level you could almost skip your first year, good as most kids there don't take gap years. i would be interested in anyone who knew if, and if so where, you could take AP exams in the UK as i would like to look into that
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reesesgal
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exams in the states may not be easy but they are easier than in the uk, i lived in new york and took the SAT reading and maths and 13 and got a score that would of gotten me into several state Unis you do have to work fast but a 25min n essay on a broad topic and educated guesses can get you into uni! the science GCSE is only multi inthe basic unit and i doubt many respected school would use any multi choice GCSEs. having loked into stateside unis most will give the same credits for a levels as ap classes, your first year you take general ed courses most places in subjects you might have given up at GCSE! i have been told after specialising at a level you could almost skip your first year, good as most kids there don't take gap years. i would be interested in anyone who knew if, and if so where, you could take AP exams in the UK as i would like to look into that
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odie33
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It depends on what exams.. for the AP Calculus BC and Physics BC they can be much harder than the A-Level equivalents.

I took the A Levels in 1992 and now teaching the AP. I was shocked to see Maxwells equations (differential, integral and phasor forms) on the Physics BC! I didn't even touch on those until University.
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Laus
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See: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=227

Sorry if you've looked in this section already. You most find some previous posts.
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Swyn
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(Original post by thefish_uk)
There's lots of multi-choice done here!

Modular GCSE papers (such as in science) are multiple choice. A lot of General Studies is multi-choice. Science A-level synoptic papers are often multi-choice. And UniTest is multiple choice, isn't it? And that's what they're thinking of introducing as an admissions test for uni!
The last multiple choice question I came across was in year 9 SATs! Unless the T/F questions count in French, but you have to correct them if they're false, so they're not really multiple choice. My Biology and Chemistry synoptic papers were most certainly NOT multiple choice, but that might just be WJEC.
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dawaiira
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They've made a new grading system (1-9, no longer A-U) and it is extremely difficult.
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abbylake2000
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Do you study actual books for english? In the uk we had to read frankenstein etc learn the context and write essays...
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