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Daria Listkova
Professor Lynn A. Currier
College Writing
8 October 2015
High school education in Russia and the USA
Education is part of the socialization of the individual, representing a transfer of experience and
knowledge to future generations. Through the ages, people have been changing and improving the
structure of education. Nowadays, education includes several steps, which are connected with each
other. This means that without completing the previous step, it is impossible to cover next. One of
this steps is high school. High school education is one of the most serious periods in a teenagers
life. This step dictates their future university entrance. However, each country has its own variant of
high school education, with its own advantages and disadvantages. Secondary school in the USA is
considered as one of the best in the world. Nonetheless, Russian high school education is not far
behind. Yet, high school education in Russia and USA is really different in most cases, such as
duration of education, classes, test taking and grades. However, it has the main similarity in social
life and sport.
Normally High School in the USA lasts four classes, the ninth - twelfth grades in which
children are usually from 14 to 18 years old. School usually starts after the Labor day and goes till
mid June. There are holidays in Autumn, Winter, Spring and of course Summer.
Secondary school in Russia lasts two classes, the tenth - eleventh grade, where children
learn from 16 to 18 years old. School starts on the 1 of September and goes till 31 of March. There
are holidays in Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer.
In the USA lessons usually start at 8 oclock. There are 5-7 lessons per day, which are 55
minutes. American schools don't have lessons on Saturday. The structure of lesson is completely
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different from Russian structure. The way of teaching and learning is more democratic. Students
have more freedom to express themselves.The first and the main part of American lessons is
participation, especially in senior classes. Teachers want their students to have and share their own
opinion without fear of being misunderstood. During the lesson teachers engage students in a
discussion of the proposed or expounded topics.Participation in the discussion is not a survey or an
oral test, which is going to be graded. Lessons are often illustrated by teachers power point
presentations, experiments and fragments of films in foreign languages. One more important thing
during the American lesson is teamwork. Teamwork here is an important skill acquired in school,
and therefore projects and class work are often performed by two or four people. American schools
have strict rules about plagiarism. All students in the USA know about hard consequences of
cheating. Punishment for plagiarism or cheating can result in low grades and sometimes getting
expelled from school.
Lessons in Russia have another structure. Lessons start at 8:30. There are 6-8 lessons per
day, which are 45 minutes. Most schools have classes on Saturday. The way of teaching is
completely in contrast to the US. Teachers usually prepare a lecture on some particular topic, and
after students have some tasks on this topic. They do it by their own in the notebook. Then, one of
the students answers it in front of the blackboard and gets a grade for it. Rules about cheating and
plagiarism are less strict. Teachers let their students copy information from the Internet. Moreover,
teachers do not use special programs to detect plagiarism. In Russia lessons are more about listening
to the teacher and learning the material, then expressing your attitude. In my opinion, it teaches
students to be concentrated and patient.
Beyond the lessons, there is a great difference in how students are graded. In America, the
accepted assessment 5 point scale, in the form of letter designations:
A - excellent B - above average or superior work C - satisfactory D - a passing grade
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E (F) - completely unsatisfactory

Grade point average (GPA) - is the mean GPA for a certain period of time. The sum of the average
score is displayed. Often the average score is determined whether a high school student will be
admitted to a particular college or university. There is a great variety of different tests, which
students take at the end of the senior school. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) - test, which checks
the ability of the student. The exam consists of two parts. The first part of the exam (PSAT) is
usually carried out when the applicant is in release candidate class of high school (junior year). The
SAT school students (senior year) are sent to the university, to which they hope to enter. The ideal
result is considered to be 1600 points (or 800 points for the English test and 800 points for the math
test). There are also some other options of exams, which students can take to enter universities, such
as Graduate Record Exam, Law School Admission Test, Medical College Admissions.
Graduate Record Exam is an examination held by a private organization. Exam results directs to the
university or college, to which students are going to enter.
Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is a test for admission to the College of Law, a national
standardized test required for admission to the Faculty of Law of the University or college.
Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is an exam for admission to medical school.

In Russia, the system marks the same for all levels of education: "5" - excellent "4" - good
"3" - satisfactory "2" - unsatisfactory
The lowest passing score is 3 (in general education) or satisfactory.
At the end of the high school students take CSE - a form of state final certification of graduates for
the development of basic educational programs of secondary education with the use of complex
standardized form tasks, called control measuring materials (KIM). The results of the exam are
taken into account in the school leaving certificate as well as university entrance. CSE provides the
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reliability of the results of assessment. The results of the task type "A" (choice of options) and "B"
(short immune responses) are checked on computers, and the answers to the job type "C" (a long

written peace ) are evaluated by independent experts. CSE in Math and Russian are obligatory.
Students choose other subjects based on the requirements of their desired University.
There are not so many similarities between senior education in the USA and Russia, but they
still exist. The main and most significant similarities about senior schools in the USA and Russia
are hobbies and sports. Schools in both countries provide a great variety of different clubs. Students
go there after lessons, and each club has its own teacher. The range goes from chess to chemistry
clubs. A distinctive feature of extra-curricular activities is students participation in musical
associations - orchestras, ensembles and etc. Moreover, students attend extra lessons, where they
can work on there scientific projects and conduct experiments in equipped laboratories.
Furthermore, sport is a significant part of social life for high school students in both
countries. There are different kinds of sports clubs and associations, and, of course, sports
competitions between schools. The most popular sports are football, basketball, volleyball. In most
cases, sport events remain as a local events, which are really interesting for students themselves and
their parents. However, sometimes sport events can reach the regional level as well.
In conclusion, Russian and American high school education has more differences, than
similarities. The duration of the education, way of teaching, lesson structure, tests and grades - are
dissimilar. However, social life and sports still create a community and play a great role in the
senior school of both countries. The quality of the education effects our entrance to the university or
college and our job, which means, our future life. And even though Russia and the USA have
differences and similarities during the high school experience, both countries value education.

Works Cited
"Elementary and Secondary Education." Just Landed. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.

"Russian Schools." Just Landed. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


"The Russian Educational System vs. The American System." Learning the Global Language. Web.
20 Sept. 2015. <>