In America, basic core subjects
In America, basic core subjects in most high schools are English, Maths, Science, History and a foreign language, usually Spanish. Students can also choose from electives (optional subjects) such as journalism, music, drama, computer studies…
At high school, each grade corresponds to a certain cathegory. A student in 9th grade is called freshman, in 10th – sophomore, 11th – junior, 12th – senior
During their studies, students are awarded credits. They must obtain the minimum number of credits in order to get their high school diploma. Graduation is a public event. Students get diplomas. They wear gown (sleeveless coat) and top hat (ceremonial cap, square with a hanging tassel), both in navy blue.
In the spring, the prom is held. It’s a formal occasion. The girls buy dresses and the boys rent tuxedos. The boy buys the girl a small bouquet of flowers that she wears around her wrist or her shoulder. The girl buys him a boutonniere, a flower worn in the buttonhole on the lapel of a jacket. During the evening, queen of the prom is voted.
If you want to be accepted at a university, you need
• Transcript – record of grades, you need good grades in their subjects. Grades vary between A (excellent) to D (passing grade) or F (failed) and each corresonds to a certain number of points. At the end of the studies, you receive GPA (Grade Point Average). They add grades and divide them by a number of subjects.
• SAT score and rating – Result of the standardized test – SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). It’s prepared by non-governmental organisation (the same that prepare TOEFL).
• Essay – written on life and interests, reasom why you chose the school and field of study
• LR’s – letters of recommendation written by teachers.
• Extra curricular activities are taken into account. American high schools organize wide range of interscholastic competitions. They typically include bsketball, football, swimming, athletics. Sport is considered to encourage notions of teamwork, fair play and competitive spirit.