The main differences between educational systems in the USA and the UK

The main differences between educational systems in the USA and the UK


The first places in the ranking of the most prestigious universities in the world are occupied by educational institutions in the USA and Great Britain , however, along with the choice of a place of study, it is necessary to take into account the difference in the educational system of these countries. Consider the main differences on several points.
While we have not delved into the comparison of education systems in the UK and the USA, we want to remind you that in English you can also study in Australia . This is a great option for those who like a warmer climate

To enter a higher educational institution, the English go through several stages of study.

The first stage is ore-school and primary school education from about 4 to 13 years old. Free public schools are available for local children, foreign ones are taken only to private ones.

By the way, to send your child to a private school is the dream of any parent in England, because when you go to Oxford or Cambridge, the largest percentage of those enrolled are just graduates of private schools.

In the United States, unlike the UK, there is no single school system of education. The programs are different, a lot depends on the particular educational institution or staff, so school graduates often have different levels of training.

Private schools are also popular in the USA, as the level of training in them is much higher, as well as the percentage of graduates entering higher educational institutions.

Schooling in the USA lasts 12 grades. After graduation, graduates can enter the university for a four-year undergraduate program.

Then two – two and a half years of study to get a Master’s degree and another couple of years for a Doctor’s degree. By the way, recently one-year intensive graduate programs have appeared and gained popularity in the States.

We at EF try to cooperate primarily with such schools, as they save international students money and time.

Those who are not interested in a magistracy, but do not agree to be content with four years of study, can receive a Postgraduate Certificate (or Diploma). It’s like our specialists studying at the university for five years.

There are several programs to choose from: University Foundation year (1 year), A-Level (2 years) and IB Diploma (2 years). 

The idea as a whole is great, that is, before aimlessly, as is often the case with us, enter the first attractive specialty, English schoolchildren study for a year or two in subjects of interest to them (by choice), and then it becomes easier to understand what you want from of life.

It is already possible to enter the university either in the specialty that was taught in the pre-university program, or, realizing that it was not yours at all, in another specialty. 

But the main thing is that you need to go through this program, it is a kind of diploma, without which they do not accept at universities.

It turns out that 13 classes need to be studied before the university, and only 11 of them are free (if the school is public). They study for three years in the UK, except for Scotland – there are four. The master’s program most often lasts one year.


When you enter foreign universities, you will definitely be asked for an international certificate of knowledge of the IELTS or TOEFL language.

IELTS – International English Language Testing System is the British exam, and TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language is its American counterpart, but both certificates are accepted worldwide.
However, if you decide to enter a British university, why do you need to take a test for American English, because the languages ​​are still different.

The school year in American universities begins in August and is divided into two semesters, almost like ours, autumn and spring. Ends in May-June, plus in the spring there is a week of vacation. 

Winter exams and vacations starting from Christmas. You can study in the summer, as there is also a third semester – summer, but it is not obligatory.

In England, the school year is divided into trimesters. The winter trimester begins in September and ends in December, before Christmas. Spring – from January to March. And summer from mid-April to mid-July.

Bachelor and Master

If you choose a secondary education or a bachelor’s degree for yourself or your child, then you need to proceed, first of all, from your goals. 

If the future student has already decided on a field of knowledge that he would like to study in detail, then it is better to choose Britain.

More interested in practical skills in a wider range of knowledge and disciplines? Choose study in the USA. Remember that for admission to a university in the UK you will definitely need the annual University Foundation program.

 In the United States, it is not mandatory, but still it is much better to pass it to enter a good university, and not to a sharashkin office.

With the magistracy, things are similar: in the UK it is most often highly specialized and academic, and in the USA it is practical and generalized. Duration also varies: master’s programs in Britain will require one year of study.

While studying in America is most often two years with break breaks during which it will almost always be possible to complete summer practice in the specialty.

Your opportunities for work are not limited to this: all graduates of undergraduate and graduate programs in the USA receive the so-called OPT (optional practical training) – permission to work in America for up to 3 years. 

Thus, if you are interested in academic knowledge and research during a master’s program, choose the British educational system, and go to the USA for practical experience in international work.

Whatever country you choose, education should be seen as an investment. Entering good universities is usually not easy. Pre- university training programs (University Foundation or Pre-Master’s / Pre-MBA) help to solve this problem , during which students study specialized subjects, undergo active language training and work with enrollment curators.

As a result of this work, students of pre-university programs are guaranteed successful admission to the university, and these are not empty promises – the statistics on admission to foreign universities are very good.

When investing money and time in education in the USA or the UK, the main thing is to decide on goals and objectives and carefully prepare. Then your dream of a real student life “like in the movies” and the subsequent dizzying international career will begin to become a reality in a short time.

Read This Also :
Please let us know, through your comments, which PDF Notes you want. We will try our level best to provide you that study material for your preparation not for commercial use. If  You want to share Your Study Material with Other Aspirants Please send Us at Please share this post with the needy aspirants.

All UPSCPDF Notes are available on this website for Educational purpose only. Not for commercial use.

Disclaimer does not own these UPSCPDF books, neither created nor scanned. We only provide you the links that are already available on Internet. If anyhow, it violates the law or has anyone issue with that. Then please contact us at For removal of links.

Related Post:
Read this also:-Indian Geography PDF