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talljasperman's avatar

What is the difference between Canadian and United States high school?

Asked by talljasperman (18259 points ) February 24th, 2014

Diploma exams vs. SAT’s.

What is the difference between Canadian and United States high school?
In Canada it is called diploma exams and you are welcome to rewrite a multiple choice test twice a year for $26.75 for each subject per semester… like English, Social Studies, Math, Math(Calculus), Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and French. Highest marks are kept even if higher than class room grades.
Can Americans retake their SAT’s, like the way Canadians can?

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5 Answers

pleiades's avatar

I heard in Canada they’re high school system is set up to the students liking ergo if a musician wants to study music, he can go to a school that is more catered toward the arts same with science and stuff.

zenvelo's avatar

SAT’s can be taken multiple times. And many are encouraged to take it late in their junior year or early summer for practice before taking it again in the fall.

But SAT’s are for acceptance to college, they have nothing to do with graduating fro high school. US high schools generally have a required number of classes to compete, of which many are required (such as 4 years of English, 3 years of various social studies, 2 years math). You have to have a passing (D or above) grade to complete the requirement.

In California and other states, you have to take a State High School diploma exam. You take it as a Sophomore, so if you don’t pass, you can take again two more times. It is pretty easy. If you don’t pass, you don’t get a diploma.

And you can always take a GED (General Educational Development) exam, so if you dropped out of high school, you can take the test and get a high school diploma.

anniereborn's avatar

I am in the US and graduated in 86. We never had to take any specific exams to graduate high school. We only had to pass all the required courses. The SAT and ACT exams were only if you were going to college after graduating high school.

Buttonstc's avatar

I don’t know if other states have this, but New York has Regents courses in which its required to take a Regents Exam which is given at a specific date and time for each subject and that time is exact for every single school in the state. So everybody is taking, for example, the Junior year History Exam simultaneously in every school across the entire state ; I’m assuming, to prevent cheating.

But students have a choice prior to first year of High School as to whether they want to be in a Regents program or the general program. Its generally presented as the Regents courses are for those who are college-bound.

If you’re in a general course, there is no state wide exam and its whatever your teacher or school decide upon for the final exams in each course.

I’m not sure if this is still the case, but in my day the Regents Exams were very highly regarded by college admissions offices because they were a unified standard (in the same way as the SATS are today) so the test scores and grades achieved in Regents courses made it easy to compare students academic achievements. Whether they went to a hard school or an easy one didn’t really play a part because it was a uniform standard for the final exam.

These tests were also used to qualify for Regents scholarships.

And, interestingly enough, if someone had the grades to qualify for a Regents Scholarship, that fact alone made them eligible for Mensa membership without requiring any additional testing.

But that was then. That is now no longer applicable and I forget which year is the cutoff date. Basically its due to the general “dumbing down” in the US educational system. Tests get less stringent and “social promotions” are more likely. In other words nobody really fails a grade and gets to graduate merely for having attended class. Lowering standards are now the rule of thumb far more often that not.

Harold's avatar

I’ve never been to either, but I’d guess that the Canadian ones acknowledge that the rest of the world exists…...... I am sure they’d also know the difference between Australia and Austria!

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