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Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Old Apr 30th 2011, 4:50 pm
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Default Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

I'm soon going to be moving to the USA with my family and want to carry on with higher education over there!

At the moment I have 9 GCSE's in the UK would this be enough to gain a high school diploma or would I need to do anything else!?

Any info would be much appreciated
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Old Apr 30th 2011, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

You graduate highschool at 18, so if you aren't 18 you'd still have to go to school.

Bring your transcripts with you though as it'll help integrating into the school system...make bugger all difference for uni requirements though as there's usually more to just having a highschool diploma, but there are plenty of threads covering AP, SAT's and all that guff.

Welcome to BE though
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Old May 1st 2011, 12:32 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by Stiffers11 View Post
I'm soon going to be moving to the USA with my family and want to carry on with higher education over there!

At the moment I have 9 GCSE's in the UK would this be enough to gain a high school diploma or would I need to do anything else!?

Any info would be much appreciated
You could also take the GED ( for people that dropped out of high school but then later decided they wanted to return to higher education ) then take classes at a Community College that will allow you to transfer to a Uni when you have enough credits.

Might be wrong but I'd imagine with 9 GCSE's you wouldn't fine it too hard. I quit school early in the UK ( in the '80's ) so took my GED out here a few years ago so I could take some classes at C/C.

Not sure how it works under 18 mind you.
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Old May 1st 2011, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

I don't think it's likely that GCSE's (O Levels) would translate to a high school degree. A Levels, possibly. How old are you?

Have a look at practice GED exam questions online and see how comfortable you are with them. If you are over 18 and they look fine, take the GED and you're done with high school. If you are either under 18 or are uncomfortable with the level of knowledge required on the GED exam, then you should plan on enrolling in your local high school and I would recommend contacting the schools in your new area.

Assuming that there are no visa issues to sort out, of course. We get a lot of people here who think they are moving to the US but then discover there is no visa available for them to do so.
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Old May 1st 2011, 2:39 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
You graduate highschool at 18, so if you aren't 18 you'd still have to go to school.

Bring your transcripts with you though as it'll help integrating into the school system...make bugger all difference for uni requirements though as there's usually more to just having a highschool diploma, but there are plenty of threads covering AP, SAT's and all that guff.

Welcome to BE though
That isn't true, Bob. My youngest daughter will actually be 17 when she graduates. It really depends on meeting the graduation requirements and age has nothing to do with it.
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Old May 1st 2011, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by Englishman43 View Post
You could also take the GED ( for people that dropped out of high school but then later decided they wanted to return to higher education ) then take classes at a Community College that will allow you to transfer to a Uni when you have enough credits.

Might be wrong but I'd imagine with 9 GCSE's you wouldn't fine it too hard. I quit school early in the UK ( in the '80's ) so took my GED out here a few years ago so I could take some classes at C/C.

Not sure how it works under 18 mind you.
I wouldn't take a GED and community college if I had passed 9 GCSEs. Please check with your school district when you arrive. I think you'll find that if you've covered most of the subjects needed to graduate that a semester or two may all that may be required to gain a high school diploma.
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Old May 1st 2011, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by Stiffers11 View Post
I'm soon going to be moving to the USA with my family and want to carry on with higher education over there!
On what visa? ... if you're not a US citizen or permanent resident your options will be limited.
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Old May 1st 2011, 3:00 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by AmerLisa View Post
I wouldn't take a GED and community college if I had passed 9 GCSEs. Please check with your school district when you arrive. I think you'll find that if you've covered most of the subjects needed to graduate that a semester or two may all that may be required to gain a high school diploma.
That would be ideal then straight to Uni ! I've had several friends that did A levels in the UK then came to the US to go to Uni and found it almost step backward the first year or so.
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Old May 1st 2011, 3:29 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by AmerLisa View Post
I wouldn't take a GED and community college if I had passed 9 GCSEs. Please check with your school district when you arrive. I think you'll find that if you've covered most of the subjects needed to graduate that a semester or two may all that may be required to gain a high school diploma.
But GCSEs are O levels, right? They're nowhere near high enough to be equivalent to a high school diploma, let alone community college. (Or have I got GCSE and GCE backward again?)

A Levels are equivalent to US AP exams which are often taken in high school. O levels aren't even on the radar.
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Old May 1st 2011, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
But GCSEs are O levels, right? They're nowhere near high enough to be equivalent to a high school diploma, let alone community college. (Or have I got GCSE and GCE backward again?)

A Levels are equivalent to US AP exams which are often taken in high school. O levels aren't even on the radar.
I've always thought A Levels were equivalent to community college here, of course I may be wrong. The GCSEs in Math and English (for example) should (well I would think) give enough qualifications to fulfill a high school graduation requirement, in those respective subjects. However, I'm not a district administrator and this should be checked with the relevant school district.
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Old May 1st 2011, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

I used to work in admissions for a UK university, and I know we treated American AP exams as equivalent to British A-Levels. (AP exams are often given US college credit as well, depending on the score.) Since AP exams are (an optional) part of US high school I would consider A levels to be a minimum requirement for someone trying to have US high school equivalency. O Levels wouldn't be sufficient. If the OP has A Levels then depending on the college/university they might be able to go straight in, but I would definitely not expect that with O Levels. The O levels may well teach the same material but as far as I know they do not have the official recognition in the US to be considered equivalent to completing high school.

Unfortunately I no longer have access to the NARIC database of qualification equivalencies so I can't check on that. I second your recommendation to consult with the new local high school district for advice.
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Old May 1st 2011, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

But regardless, let me know if I have this right, there is no document from the UK that one can present in the US as the equivalent of a US HS diploma, right? Isn't that the problem the Scottish guy was having? Doesn't really matter what his Scottish papers are, he has to take the GED for pedantical reasons?
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Old May 1st 2011, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
But regardless, let me know if I have this right, there is no document from the UK that one can present in the US as the equivalent of a US HS diploma, right? Isn't that the problem the Scottish guy was having? Doesn't really matter what his Scottish papers are, he has to take the GED for pedantical reasons?
We do get issued with a document that states the exams we have taken and the grade for each exam.

I used this to prove that I had graduated "high school" for the community college I attend and they accepted that, and the results of the placement test I took, to place me in college level classes.

I would suggest to OP that she try a Community College first, as funding your education here is going to be a huge cost. To obtain "in-state tuition you need to have lived in the state for at least a year prior to enrolling, and in some cases you have to also have a Green Card as well. (In my case I wanted to attend Community College whilst I was on a H4 and despite having lived in the state for over a year I did not quality for in-state tuition because I was not a permanent resident/citizen. Of course that was according the CC I wanted to attend, your mileage may vary)
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Old May 1st 2011, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
But regardless, let me know if I have this right, there is no document from the UK that one can present in the US as the equivalent of a US HS diploma, right? Isn't that the problem the Scottish guy was having? Doesn't really matter what his Scottish papers are, he has to take the GED for pedantical reasons?
When it comes to employment, some employers may require a US high school diploma or equivalency but US colleges may not if the person was educated outside the US. Otherwise foreign students would not be able to enroll in US colleges without first getting a GED and there is about a 1 million foreign students in US colleges.

Last edited by Michael; May 1st 2011 at 6:27 pm.
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Old May 1st 2011, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Can anyone explain the equivalent of a high school diploma in the uk!?

Originally Posted by AmerLisa View Post
I've always thought A Levels were equivalent to community college here, of course I may be wrong. The GCSEs in Math and English (for example) should (well I would think) give enough qualifications to fulfill a high school graduation requirement, in those respective subjects. However, I'm not a district administrator and this should be checked with the relevant school district.
Yes, my understanding is that high school graduation is a low level, much lower than A levels. You can leave school younger than 18 if you have fulfilled those requirements.
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