Secondary School VS High School: What is the Difference?

Ms. Shabista Surve
Jan 6, 2023
Secondary School VS High School

Education is a vital tool that every individual needs for a successful career and financial independence. Primary and secondary education has also been made compulsory in most countries in the world.

Education helps impart knowledge, train students in various fields, and prepare them for employment and financial independence. The education system varies in every country, but its main objective is to prepare students for life ahead.

In almost every country, the educational system is segregated into four stages beginning with kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, and high school.

And, despite the resemblance between secondary school and high school, it can be pretty confusing when we compare the two.

So, to clear these doubts, we will take a close look at the two: Secondary school and High school, and the difference between the two and the age requirements. We will also check out the wide array of career and educational options students have once they complete these levels.

What is Secondary School?

Worldwide, elementary school is followed by middle school or secondary schooling. The secondary + high school consists of classes from 6th through 12th.

However, classes from 9th grade onwards are considered High school. Every country has a distinct connotation for Secondary school:

● In the U.S., Secondary school has a different dimension. There’s the Middle school for grades 6th to 8th, followed by High school for grades 9th to 12th.

● In Australia, Secondary schools are called High schools or colleges for grades 7th to 10th (which is compulsory education) and grades 10th and beyond.

● In the U.K. Secondary schools have two levels: Lower Secondary for students aged 12 to 16, and Upper Secondary for students aged 16 to 18 years.

Upper Secondary is considered a stepping stone for higher education at colleges and universities. Here the students are trained for life at universities and further studies.

Indian public schools offer secondary school education for grades 6th to 10th.

What Age are Students in Secondary School?

The age of students in secondary school differs in every country. However, despite the differences, secondary school education typically sees students in the age group of 11 years to 16 years.

What is High School?

High school is schooling offered for grades 9th through grade 12th. High schools prepare  students for their post-secondary education, in college, universities, or a career. It is where students also receive training for employment if they wish to work before completing their graduation.

Students have many options to choose from after they finish high school. They can either join college or university to earn a degree in a field of their choice, such as science, engineering, medical, commerce, arts, etc.

There are several diploma courses, too, for students after completing high school. These diplomas are a shorter, quicker path to the career of their dreams than four-year-long degree courses.

They can choose from a wide array of courses, such as IT technician, web developer, computer programmer, therapy assistant, fashion and textile designing, etc.

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Some students join the workforce right after high school to gain work experience or save money for a degree course. Students also work to earn and save money to follow their dreams, such as traveling the world or starting their own businesses.

Students also enroll in military schools after completing high school to fulfill their dream of serving their country.

So, as you can see, there are multiple choices you can make once you complete high school. All it takes is effort, confidence in one’s capabilities, and patience to fulfill these dreams and achieve success.

Is High School 10th or 12th?

In most countries, high school consists of grades from 9th to 12th. In India, though, 12th is considered Intermediate or HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate). The HSC examination is conducted by different state boards, such as the Maharashtra Board, the MP Board, West Bengal Board, etc.

At the national level, the 12th exam is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, or CBSE, which is the most reputable board recognized worldwide.

What is the Age of Going to High School?

High school consists of grades 9th through 12th, so the age for going to high school is from 14  years up to 17 years. It is the last level of schooling considered compulsory by the law in most countries.

Students can choose to discontinue their education after high school. On the other hand, students can also apply for further education at universities, or diploma courses, or even look for employment after completing high school.

Is Secondary School Equivalent to High School?

Secondary schools are often regarded as high schools in some English-speaking nations. This is because secondary schools are considered to be the pedagogy after elementary schools.

Although grades 6th through 12th are considered to be part of secondary schools, grades from 9th onwards become a part of high school.

What is the Difference Between High School and Secondary School?

We can’t say that secondary school is very different from high school the way elementary school is from secondary school. In most countries, secondary school is divided into levels that consist of middle school and high school.

Secondary school is schooling that prepares young students for higher classes. It helps in their academic, mental, and emotional growth and development and prepares them for the meticulousness required for higher education.

It also prepares them by imparting training in life lessons that stand them in good stead in their future.

● Secondary school is the next level after primary school. In some countries, secondary schools are called middle schools that consist of grades 6th, 7th, and 8th, and grades 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th which are considered high school.

● Secondary school is the bridge between elementary school and high school. The way elementary school education prepares students for middle school and secondary school, similarly, the secondary school prepares students for the meticulousness of high school and higher education at colleges and universities.

● In secondary school, there are certain subjects considered compulsory, but in high school, the fields of study get divided into three main disciplines: science, commerce, and arts.

● Students can select any one of these three disciplines for high school, that is grades 10th to 12th. They can study the subjects of their choice in depth further at the university level after successful completion of high school.

● Secondary school and high school are the last rungs of the educational ladder and are considered compulsory in most countries. Upon completion of high school, students can opt for further education in any stream they like or for employment in the field of their choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is 10th and 12th class called in india?

In India, the 10th class is referred to as Secondary School Certificate (SSC) or High School, while the 12th class is known as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or Intermediate.

2. Is 11th and 12th called high school?

No, in India, 11th and 12th are not typically referred to as high school. They are part of the higher secondary education level. High school in India commonly includes classe 10.

3. What is difference between secondary school and high school?

Secondary school follows primary school and serves as the transition between elementary and high school. In certain countries, secondary schools may be referred to as middle schools, comprising grades 6th to 8th, and high school, encompassing grades 9th to 12th. It acts as a bridge connecting the foundational years of elementary education to the more specialized phase of high school.

4. How old are you in high school?

Elementary school is for kids aged 5 to 10 (kindergarten to 5th grade), middle school is for ages 11 to 13 (grades 6-8), and high school is for ages 14 to 18 (grades 9-12).

Ms. Shabista Surve

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