General Question

weeeee's avatar

What are the equivalent exams in the USA?

Asked by weeeee (62points) April 10th, 2010

A levels

When they graduate in America is that the same as a degree?

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4 Answers

janbb's avatar

Whne you graduate high school, you get an unranked “high school diploma”. Each state sets the requirements for the high school curriculum, although there are attempts to nationalize curricula. There are some standardized exams given throughout elementary and high school education, but they are in general, more used for assessing the school and only tangentially the student.

We don’t have an equivalent to the GSCEs or A levels as such. Some high schools offer Advanced Placement courses that end in an exam. These are usually higher level courses that are prestigious and can sometimes be used to obtain college credit. In most high schools, ability levels are tracked so that the smarter kids will be in more advanced classes.

Graduating from college is the same as getting a degree. Usually the degree will be a BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BSc (Bachelor of Science) with a major (main field of study) in one area and possibly minor in one or two other areas. We tend not to specialize as narrowly as English university students do.

Hope this helps!

dpworkin's avatar

There are degrees with “honors” Summa and Magna cum Laude

aprilsimnel's avatar

In the State of New York, the equivalent of A levels would be passing the Regent’s exam in the various subjects given, and they’re not nearly in as many subjects as in the English system. But I’d consider passing a Regent’s only a little bit better than if you just graduate high school. Some high schools offer the IB, but very few.

It was – and is – better if you go to a certain type of high school, either an independent (or “private”) school or a state-run (“public”) school in a wealthy district. Once in such a public school, you would need to take Advanced Placement courses. The public schools here have a vague equivalency to the comprehensive and grammar schools I’ve read that England used to have.

To get into a good uni here, one either takes the ACT (American College Test) or the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), or both. Students in their junior year (5th form) can take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) as a practice run for the SAT.

We don’t have 1.1 or 2.1 or any of that stuff in the US like at the Oxbridge unis, but cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude, as @dpworkin has said.

tadpole's avatar

1.1 and 2.1 etc are universal in degree courses in the uk, not just oxbridge….you then say where you went for extra prestige! or not!

i heard talk that the uk would be changing it’s system and going more along the lines of the european IB,,,gcse’s and a levels have been criticized for being too easy, or is it rather that too many get the top grades?

the uk govt has also been criticized for wanting too many young people to enter UG level…though i don’t know what the new govt thinks on this…

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