The differences between the British and American education systems can be quite striking. For starters, British children start formal school at the age of four. Students take exams at key stages of their education. Two years later, they complete a two-year program that culminates in the English “Baccalaureate” (A-Level) exams. This system pushes students toward increasing specialization. While American students are usually taught to be generalists, British children tend to do better in mathematics and language.
There are many differences between the two countries’ educational systems. For one thing, the British system is more rigorous and offers longer courses, but the US system is more focused and expensive. There is less pressure on exams in the UK, which makes it a better choice for international students. And, British schools offer more vacation time. Students are released from school during mid-August to mid-September, whereas in the US, students are released during the school year.
In addition, A-Levels are more rigorous than the American equivalent. British students take nine exams to earn the GCSE, which is equivalent to the National 5 in Scotland. The average A-Level result was a B in 2021, a change attributed to the COVID-19 reforms that impacted the school system. The GCSE exam is taken at the end of senior year, which is 12th grade in the US.