What is the UK Equivalent of U.S. School Systems?

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kimmiexsweetie
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I'm a New Yorker who plans to go to Liverpool for school and I always get confused as to what the English call "elementary school (or grade school), high school, college, and postgraduate studies (Master's, PhD, etc)

1. Elementary school encompasses Kindergarten to 8th grade which is usually from ages 6 to 13.

There are subsystems depending on what school you go to. I went to a private school so I went to one school from age 6 to 13. But many others graduate from elementary school in 5th grade and go to Middle School at around age 11 which is 6, 7, and 8th grade.

2. Then there's high school of course. You start at age 14 usually. There's freshman, sophomore, junior, senior years (4-year long study)

3. Then there's college, which many start at 18, which the same number of years.

What is the UK equivalent of these US school systems? Does anyone know?:confused:
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godd
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All of this can be googled.

But here I go....

Primary- age 5 to 11
Secondary- age 11-16
College- age 16-18
Undergrad Uni- age 18-21
PostGrad Uni- age 21-22
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milliethemoo
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Primary school goes from age 5-11 (although this can be split into infant and junior school)
Secondary school goes from 11-16
College or Sixth Form goes from 16-18
University is 18 years+
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Adil96m
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Nursery 3-5 years old
Primary school 5-11years old (Year 1 to Year 6)
Secondary school 11-16 years old (Year 7 to Year 11)
College 16-18 years old (Year 12 to Year 13)
University 18+

Year groups in brackets are the subdivisions within each stage


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kimmiexsweetie
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Got it! Thanks guys. Totally helpful. =]
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Schadenfreude65
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Just to further confuse things, in the UK, kindergarten is another name for nursery (i.e. age 3 - 5).
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Origami Bullets
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Also useful to note is that
GCSEs are qualifications taken from 14-16
AS Levels are done at 16-17
A2 Levels are done 17-18
Collectively AS + A2 are known as A Levels.

A Levels are courses designed to act (effectively) as university entrance exams, and their closest equivalent in the US is APs. Some people do courses other than A Levels (e.g. BTECs, which are more vocationally orientated, but which can get students into some unis and some courses too).
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kimmiexsweetie
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
Also useful to note is that
GCSEs are qualifications taken from 14-16
AS Levels are done at 16-17
A2 Levels are done 17-18
Collectively AS + A2 are known as A Levels.

A Levels are courses designed to act (effectively) as university entrance exams, and their closest equivalent in the US is APs. Some people do courses other than A Levels (e.g. BTECs, which are more vocationally orientated, but which can get students into some unis and some courses too).
So do unis look at both GCSEs and A-Levels to make their decisions on potential students?
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kimmiexsweetie
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
Also useful to note is that
GCSEs are qualifications taken from 14-16
AS Levels are done at 16-17
A2 Levels are done 17-18
Collectively AS + A2 are known as A Levels.

A Levels are courses designed to act (effectively) as university entrance exams, and their closest equivalent in the US is APs. Some people do courses other than A Levels (e.g. BTECs, which are more vocationally orientated, but which can get students into some unis and some courses too).
And if A-Levels are entrance exams, than the closest equivalent you are looking for are the SATs. A test that all high school seniors must take to get into college (or uni). I believe the BTECs would be AP tests. As they are more subject oriented, too. (AP Biology, AP Psychology) Some colleges ask for specific APs to enter into the program.
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Rlove95
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(Original post by kimmiexsweetie)
And if A-Levels are entrance exams, than the closest equivalent you are looking for are the SATs. A test that all high school seniors must take to get into college (or uni). I believe the BTECs would be AP tests. As they are more subject oriented, too. (AP Biology, AP Psychology) Some colleges ask for specific APs to enter into the program.
They aren't exactly entrance exams since they are qualifications in their own right. A lot of people who don't go university will just leave the education system after doing their A-levels. We don't take specific entrance exams to go University (unless you want to go Oxbridge or do medicine), Universities just include A-levels (and equivalents such as BTECS) in their entry requirements.
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by kimmiexsweetie)
So do unis look at both GCSEs and A-Levels to make their decisions on potential students?
Yes, they do, though they place more emphasis on achieved AS grades and predicted A2 grades than they do on GCSE grades.

(Original post by kimmiexsweetie)
And if A-Levels are entrance exams, than the closest equivalent you are looking for are the SATs. A test that all high school seniors must take to get into college (or uni). I believe the BTECs would be AP tests. As they are more subject oriented, too. (AP Biology, AP Psychology) Some colleges ask for specific APs to enter into the program.
These things never map on perfectly - when I say they're the closest equivalent of APs, it's because they're subject orientated, but also because of the level at which they require you to work. A Levels are generally reckoned to be equivalent to first year of college in the US (hence why our degrees are 3 years) and APs are college level courses. Many (but not all) courses at many unis will ask for some specific A Levels.

BTECs really are quite different - they're vocationally orientated, it tends to be the less bright kids who do them, not all uni courses will accept them, and a lot of the kids who do them won't go on to uni.
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