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secondary school
a school intermediate between elementary school and college and usu. offering general , technical, vocational, or college-preparatory courses
[M-W's Col. Dic.]

What is the difference between high school (grade 9-12) and secondary school?

I believe 'general' courses would be arts, humanities, etc., 'technical' science related, 'vocational' those ones which impart knowledge about some particular professions. Right?

Wouldn't completing all the courses succussfully qualigy one to enter college? If yes, then what's the purpose of specifically mentioning the phrase "college-preparatory' in the definition?

Please guide me. Thanks.
Comments  
Hi,
How schools and subjects are organized depends on the particular country you are considering. Here are some comments based on the Canadian system.

secondary school a school intermediate between elementary school and college and usu. offering general , technical, vocational, or college-preparatory courses [M-W's Col. Dic.] What is the difference between high school (grade 9-12) and secondary school?
High School grades 9 to 12
Middle School (formerly called Junior High School) grades 6-8
Both of the above are considered 'secondary'.

I believe 'general' courses would be arts, humanities, etc., 'technical' science related, 'vocational' those ones which impart knowledge about some particular professions. Right?
The term 'Vocational courses' usually refers to practical-oriented courses like auto mechanics and metal-work. Such courses do not lead on to college.

Wouldn't completing all the courses succussfully qualigy one to enter college? If yes, then what's the purpose of specifically mentioning the phrase "college-preparatory' in the definition?
In Canada, not all students in high school are able to continue to college.
eg There is a math course for students who want to go to college, and another for students who are unable to work at that level.
Only students who successfully pass the 'college' version of the course will be considered for college. And even then, they have to have very good marks.

Clive
Hello

Just to add to Clive's excellent response.

In the UK a secondary school educates children from 11 to 18 years old. The term "high school" is not often used.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Thanks a lot, Clive, for all the information.
Clivedepends on the particular country you are considering.
I would have used indefinite article 'a' instead. Would my way be considered correct, would that change the meaning?
CliveSuch courses do not lead on to college.
Many of the courses studied in high school such as physics, math, chemistry, continue on at college and university level. i.e. One could choose to do a BS Chemistry. But those high school vocational courses don't continue on any further than the school?
Cliveand another for students who are unable to work at that level.
The ones who aren't that good at math as others who take 'college' version of math course?

Please guide me. Thanks.
Hi,

(missing image) Clive

“depends on the particular country you are considering.”
I would have used indefinite article 'a' instead. Would my way be considered correct, would that change the meaning? I was thinking that there are many countries, and you are considering a specific one of them. 'The' reflects this.

(missing image) Clive

“Such courses do not lead on to college.”
Many of the courses studied in high school such as physics, math, chemistry, continue on at college and university level. i.e. One could choose to do a BS Chemistry. But those high school vocational courses don't continue on any further than the school? No, they don't.

(missing image) Clive

“and another for students who are unable to work at that level.”
The ones who aren't that good at math as others who take 'college' version of math course? That's right.

Clive
Thanks a lo, Clive.

Best wishes
Jack
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You are correct that how schools are organised depends on the particular country you are considering.

In the UK, secondary schools are for people aged 11 to 16. The other answer that mentions ages 11 to 18 is misleading because, ages 16 to 18 cover a stage of education called sixth form. Sixth forms are not exactly schools but, places for education between secondary school and university. Some of them share a site with secondary schools and some don't. People who attend one at a secondary school are not exactly at school anymore because, they are past the secondary school stage and are in another stage of education. People who attend one that does not share a site with secondary school, are definitely not attending a school.

The term "high school" is not used when talking about secondary schools in general. It is only used in the names of a few, particular secondary schools. People can talk about when they went to "X high school", meaning a particular secondary school, or, when they were in secondary school, meaning when they attended such a school but, without specifying which one.