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High school exams

High school exams

Old Mar 8th 2011, 6:29 pm
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Default High school exams

I am very clueless about the high school system here, kids haven't got there yet.
Am I right in saying thay don't do a 'final' set of exams, like A levels in Uk, as such. But its more a system of building up credits and they in fact don't do very much in the final year? So it's more like continuos assessment?
Any info or references to a website that explains this would be most welcome. Thanks.
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Old Mar 8th 2011, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: High school exams

Students take multiple classes each semester (usually two semesters a year) and each class will have its own assessment method. Often a final exam, but just covering that class's material. Some classes may run two semesters and then have an exam at the end. Each class will get a grade and that grade will be shown on the student's "report card" or transcript. Grades are usually numerical up to 100, with a letter grade corresponding to various numerical ranges (ie an A is 90 to 100).

Some classes may be taken for "Advanced Placement" credit and these will have standardized national tests. I believe AP exams are considered equivalent to A levels. When I took them, AP exams were graded with a number (1 to 5, 5 being highest) and these were roughly equivalent to UK A Level grades so a C on an A Level would be equivalent to a 3 on the AP exam.
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Old Mar 8th 2011, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: High school exams

Most colleges want, as well as the usual High school graduation certificate, which requires a certain amount of credit points (hours) good marks in either the SAT tests or ACT tests (have a quick google).
At my kids high school they take exams at the end of every six weeks (semester) as well as end of year exams. This goes towards deciding whether they've passed that course for the year and therefore gained the credits.
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Old Mar 8th 2011, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: High school exams

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
Some classes may be taken for "Advanced Placement" credit and these will have standardized national tests. I believe AP exams are considered equivalent to A levels.
We were told the same thing by a friend whose son has been considering both UK and US Universities.
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Old Mar 8th 2011, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: High school exams

I was told it when working in admissions at a UK university, but I don't know if it varies by uni or not. I don't think so.
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Old Mar 9th 2011, 1:32 am
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Default Re: High school exams

To get a diploma you need to have so many "hours" of courses over your 3-4 year high school career. A certain number of these hours must be in required subjects, such as math, science, English, etc but about 1/3 of these hours can be in 'elective' courses. Those going to college will take more advanced sciences and math or even AP courses and those pursuing a vocational career in construction or as a mechanic will take "shop" classes learning to use tools and other equipment (though if they wish to partake in a skills trade they'll have to go through the state licensing requirements that are usually separate from the schooling system).

Some states have a final "exit" exam that is required to 'leave' or graduate from high school. It's a standardized test administered across the state by the state board of education.

There are also two tests, the SAT and ACT which are basically required if you want to continue studies at a US university. These are administered by a private entity but used in the college admissions process.

Some US universities will give 1 or 2 hours of college credit (out of the 120 required for graduation) for a high school AP course with a certain score or higher.

Your final year of high school is a mix of some academics especially if you have let slide some of the required courses for graduation, waiting to hear back from university, and quite a bit of social. For more aggressive students they have the option of graduating mid-term if they have the hours and going on to do something else (I graduated early and started university the next day). Some can even overload their first three years and graduate a full year early if they wish.
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Old Mar 9th 2011, 11:36 am
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Default Re: High school exams

Thanks everyone, for your replies. As it seems to vary state by state I will research the Illinois requirements (and maybe evn my specific school district) just to be sure I know what lies ahead!
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Old Mar 9th 2011, 12:15 pm
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Default Re: High school exams

Originally Posted by us4now View Post
Thanks everyone, for your replies. As it seems to vary state by state I will research the Illinois requirements (and maybe evn my specific school district) just to be sure I know what lies ahead!
I've found the school counsellors to be very approachable, and in our case, very willing to chat and explain the different proceedures to us
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Old Mar 9th 2011, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: High school exams

Originally Posted by lisa67 View Post
I've found the school counsellors to be very approachable, and in our case, very willing to chat and explain the different proceedures to us
Good suggestion, I will put in a call to one of them and see if we can talk through some of my questions.
Thanks!
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