Is School Really Easy in the US?
Is School Really Easy in the US?
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The US is considered one of the most appealing places for people who want to live or work abroad, but apart from that US is also appraised as the best place to pursue higher education because of its education system. The education system in the US works in different levels where the first level of education is Elementary school, the second level of education is Middle school/Junior high school, then the third level is High School, and the fourth and the foremost is Higher education.

Apart from all these, their classroom environment is dynamic where they allow students to share their thoughts and opinions, their grading system is based on students' class participation, research or term papers, and quizzes or short exams.

However, as with everything in life, every country also has its unique disadvantages. It is important to understand and weigh the pros and cons completely. Only when this is done can you come to a logical decision based on reason.

What is the US ranked in education?

Ironically, despite the United States having the best-surveyed education system on the globe, U.S students consistently score lower in math and science than students from many other countries. According to a Business Insider report in 2018, the U.S. ranked 38th in math scores and 24th in science. Discussions about why the United States' education rankings have fallen by international standards over the past three decades frequently point out that government spending on education has failed to keep up with inflation.

It's also worthwhile to note that while the Best Countries study is certainly respectable, other studies use different methodologies or emphasize different criteria, which often leads to different results. For example, the Global Citizens for Human Rights' annual study measures ten levels of education from early childhood enrollment rates to adult literacy.

Does the US have a good education?


With a country, comprising 50 states spreading on an entire continent, you can imagine the overwhelming range of courses and majors that are at your disposal, and, with English being the universal language, you can practically choose any area of study in any university. Another positive side of the US education system is that, with such a big potential, there is a considerable chance for you to find a program that best suits your interests. In addition, as an international student in the US, you may find a program, which is looking for candidates from your region.

The US education system has a lot of diversity programs that encourage students from all over the world to apply. This is a golden opportunity for the student communities which belong to the underdeveloped countries to gain international experience, thus helping them improve their quality of life in return.

Flexibility of Education

The US education system is one of the most diverse in the world. Students have unlimited choices on what they could study. Usually, the U.S. universities offer you the possibility to experiment with different courses in the first two years of your education, as opposed to European universities, where you pick a specific subject with a predefined curriculum and you follow it throughout your studies.

This diversification in the US education system allows you to gain a different perspective and to avoid spending money on something that you don’t want to study. It also encourages you to broaden your knowledge on other fields so you could better develop your skills and personality. For instance, if you are studying to be a lawyer, you might want to cover courses for public speaking, reasoning and argumentation, literature, PR; instead of only covering courses that are directly connected to your subject.

Academia and student life

Because of the high academic standard, many US universities attract the best and brightest scholars from around the world every year. You will have the opportunity to meet and interact with top-notch researchers who acquire in-depth field knowledge and experience. This will give you access to extensive knowledge and contacts.

The American Education System

The Educational Structure

Primary and Secondary School

Prior to higher education, American students attend primary and secondary school for a combined total of 12 years. These years are referred to as the first through twelfth grades.

Around age six, U.S. children begin primary school, which is most commonly called “elementary school.” They attend five or six years and then go onto secondary school.

Secondary school consists of two programs: the first is “middle school” or “junior high school” and the second program is “high school.” A diploma or certificate is awarded upon graduation from high school. After graduating high school (12th grade), U.S. students may go on to college or university. College or university study is known as “higher education.”

Grading System

Just like American students, you will have to submit your academic transcripts as part of your application for admission to university or college. Academic transcripts are official copies of your academic work. In the U.S. this includes your “grades” and “grade point average” (GPA), which are measurements of your academic achievement. Courses are commonly graded using percentages, which are converted into letter grades.

The grading system and GPA in the U.S. can be confusing, especially for international students. The interpretation of grades has a lot of variation. For example, two students who attended different schools both submit their transcripts to the same university. They both have 3.5 GPAs, but one student attended an average high school, while the other attended a prestigious school that was academically challenging. The university might interpret their GPAs differently because the two schools have dramatically different standards.

Academic Year

The school calendar usually begins in August or September and continues through May or June. The majority of new students begin in autumn, so it is a good idea for international students to also begin their U.S. university studies at this time. There is a lot of excitement at the beginning of the school year and students form many great friendships during this time, as they are all adjusting to a new phase of academic life. Additionally, many courses are designed for students to take them in sequence, starting in autumn and continuing through the year.

The academic year at many schools is composed of two terms called “semesters.” (Some schools use a three-term calendar known as the “trimester” system.) Still, others further divide the year into the quarter system of four terms, including an optional summer session. Basically, if you exclude the summer session, the academic year is either comprised of two semesters or three quarter terms.

Types of U.S. higher education

Photo: apa
Photo: apa

1. State College or University

A state school is supported and run by a state or local government. Each of the 50 U.S. states operates at least one state university and possibly several state colleges. Many of these public universities schools have the name of the state, or the actual word “State” in their names: for example, Washington State University and the University of Michigan.

2. Private College or University

These schools are privately run as opposed to being run by a branch of the government. Tuition will usually be higher than state schools. Often, private U.S. universities and colleges are smaller in size than state schools.

Religiously affiliated universities and colleges are private schools. Nearly all these schools welcome students of all religions and beliefs. Yet, there are a percentage of schools that prefer to admit students who hold similar religious beliefs as those in which the school was founded.

3. Community College

Community colleges are two-year colleges that award an associate’s degrees (transferable), as well as certifications. There are many types of associate degrees, but the most important distinguishing factor is whether or not the degree is transferable. Usually, there will be two primary degree tracks: one for academic transfer and the other prepares students to enter the workforce straightaway. University transfer degrees are generally associate of arts or associate of science. Not likely to be transferrable are the associate of applied science degrees and certificates of completion.

Community college graduates most commonly transfer to four-year colleges or universities to complete their degree. Because they can transfer the credits they earned while attending community college, they can complete their bachelor’s degree program in two or more additional years. Many also offer ESL or intensive English language programs, which will prepare students for university-level courses.

If you do not plan to earn a higher degree than the associate’s, you should find out if an associate’s degree will qualify you for a job in your home country.

4. Institute of Technology

An institute of technology is a school that provides at least four years of study in science and technology. Some have graduate programs, while others offer short-term courses.

Are schools in America easy?

Many students in American classrooms don't feel challenged enough. That's according to a new analysis of federal data conducted by the Washington think tank American Progress.

The organization, which promotes "progressive ideas and action," came to that conclusion when it analyzed surveys given to students by the Department of Education for its National Assessment of Educational Progress.

In its press release, American progress says its analysis found that the popular images of students overburdened with work and keeping "the hours of a corporate lawyer in order to finish their school projects and homework assignments" are quite simply off base.

Many students are not being challenged in school," the organization says. USA Today dug through the report and finds:

37% of fourth-graders say their math work is 'often' or 'always' too easy;

57% of eighth-graders say their history work is 'often' or 'always' too easy;

39% of 12th-graders say they rarely write about what they read in class.

Disadvantages of Education in the US

Photo: studyinternational
Photo: studyinternational

The cost of education is slowly rising every year. The dollar is becoming more powerful in the market leading to increased tuition costs. Even with financial assistance, the cost of education in the U.S.A is leaning towards the more expensive end.

Each state follows a different curriculum of courses creating students of varying standards of education.

In certain job sectors, the student may be rejected by employers due to an over-qualified profile and doubts about the student's commitment to work.

Loneliness is a common disadvantage of studying abroad. Being away from home is difficult and once the excitement of the new environment wears out the students find themselves feeling lonely and homesick.

Education abroad is challenging and competitive, and the student must learn to overcome them and stay at the top.

Is The British Education System Harder Than American?

High-quality of higher education is a tradition shared by the two countries. In fact, more top 200 universities in the world are located in the U.S. as well as Britain, according to statistics.

As a matter of fact, UK A-levels are more difficult than those faced by US high school students, but they are not part of the “Exam Format” as everyone seems to think. In lieu of that, it’s more about how to write an exam. The majority of children in Britain have to attend primary school and secondary school at various age levels.

Is The American Curriculum Harder Than British?

It comes to the importance of Tests and Schools in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is harder in the UK for kids to grade but it is worse in the US, which has a slightly easier test but harsher grades.

Which country has no homework?

There are different homework policies around the world. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) keeps track of such policies and compares the amount of homework of students from different countries. For example, an average high school student in the US has to spend about 6 hours a day doing homework, while in Finland, the amount of time spent on after-school learning is about 3 hours a day. Nevertheless, these are exactly Finnish students who lead the world in global scores for math and science. It means that despite the belief that homework increases student performance, the OECD graph shows the opposite. Though there are some exceptions such as the education system in Japan, South Korea, and some other Asian countries. In fact, according to OECD, the more time students spend on homework, the worse they perform in school.

Finnish education approach shows the world that when it comes to homework, less is more. It is worth mentioning that the world has caught onto this idea and, according to the latest OECD report, the average number of hours spent by students doing their homework decreased in nearly all countries around the world.

So what does Finland knows about homework that the rest of the world does not? There is no simple answer, as the success of the education system in Finland is provided by many factors, starting from poverty rates in the country to parental leave policies to the availability of preschools. Nevertheless, one of the greatest secrets of the success of education system in Finland is the way Finns teach their children.

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