Newsletter 8:  Schools Part III: No Entrance Examinations, No Entrance Ceremonies, and Some Opening Ceremonies (K-12 1) , Colleges 2), Universities, and Graduate Schools) (November 5, 2002)

Are there entrance examinations at K-12, college, or a university?

K-12:  No entrance exams.

Colleges or universities:  There are no entrance exams for a college or university.   The applicant sends a resume including grades 3) (transcripts), SAT 4) scores, and activities 5)  to a college or a university.  The college or the university screens applicants to decide whether they will be suitable students, and accepts those who are qualified.  The college/university sends an acceptance letter to the student.  Students usually check the mailbox anxiously every day to see which schools will accept them.

Graduate schools:  There are usually no entrance exams for grad schools.  Grad schools, however, may require an interview with the applicant in addition to a resume and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) 6)  test scores.

Are there entrance ceremonies?     Usually no.

Are there opening or closing ceremonies for an academic year or a semester for K-12? 7)

There aren't usually any opening ceremonies for the beginning of a year or a semester.  Some schools, however, may have an "assembly" at the beginning of a year, where the students gather and the principal and teachers speak to the students.  The students that are new to the school (for example ninth graders starting high school) may stay longer at the meeting than the other students.

There aren't usually any closing ceremonies for the end of a year or a semester. 
The only big end of year ceremony is graduation (commencement) 8).


1)  K-12 means Kindergarten and grade 1 to 12.   Grade 1 to 6 is for grade (elementary) schools, grade 7 and 8 are for middle (junior high) schools, and grade 9 to 12 (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior), for high schools: “6-2-4” system.   Note that until some years ago, Grade 7 to 9 was for junior high schools, and grade 10 to 12 , for senior high schools: “ 6-3-3 ” system.

2)  Senior colleges are four year schools (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior) and junior colleges are two year schools (freshman and senior).   Junior colleges include community colleges and technical (vocational) colleges.  Some high school students may take classes at colleges.   

3) Grades:   A, B, C, D, F.  These are often broken down into pluses and minuses:  A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F.   In high school, F=failure.  In college, a D+ or lower is failure.

4) SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) / PSAT (Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) info:  

5) For example, < >

6) GRE (Graduate Record Examination) info:  
7) The aforementioned ceremonies are for a public school.  Public school traditions may vary, and private schools might have such events.  Here is a story from one who went to a private Catholic school: ”When I was in 7th and 8th grade they had end of year awards for each subject. For instance, in 8th grade I received the Math award. They also gave awards for science, history, gym, etc.”

8) For example, < >

Contents keywords: No Entrance Examinations, No Entrance Ceremonies, Some Opening Ceremonies,   

5283 140307  The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul  (NY Times, Todd Balf, 03/06/2014)
How Much Does the SAT or ACT Matter in Your Life?  (NY Times, Michael Gonchar, 03/07/2014)
5270 140305  Pencils Down: College Board Reveals Big Changes to SATs  (NBC News, Daniel Arkin, 03/05/2014)
For more info on SAT, see Letter  6  |  8
SAT Reasoning Test - Wikipedia -
first called the "Scholastic Aptitude Test", then the "Scholastic Assessment Test".
SAT - College Board - The Most Widely Used College Admission Exam

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