While I outlined key differences between the United States and United Kingdom that really stood out to me in my reflection post, now that I’ve experienced a whole semester’s worth of learning abroad (including exams), I thought I would elaborate on it.
Chronology: For most of the pre-university learning, the academic systems are more or less the same. British students may switch schools at a different age or grade, but even that varies within the United States. At the age of sixteen (equivalent of junior year in high school), British students go to “college,” which I think of as a more specialized version of high school. British students narrow their learning interests down and eventually take a more specialized version of standardized testing (like the S.A.T.) called A-Levels. In the end, most American and British students go to university at the same time (age eighteen). Also, university in the United Kingdom starts around mid-September with first term exams after Christmas and second term starting in February with a month-long revision period before exams in June. In the United States, university starts in mid-August with first term exams before Christmas and second term starting right after the New Year with exams in late April.