Vocabulary about Education

Here you will learn English vocabulary about education.

Just before we learn how to take about education in English, let’s find out how the education system works in the UK.

Below you will find a short text that will help you practise your English reading comprehension.

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Vocabulary about Education - English Reading Comprehension

In general, in the UK children start primary school when they turn 5. They learn basic reading, writing, maths, etc. 

At the age of 12/13, they move on to a secondary school. The main types of state secondary schools in England and Wales are comprehensive schools and grammar schools. School-leaving age is 16 but under the new legislation British children have to stay in education or training until they are 18.

At the age of 16, students sit State examinations called the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). Examinations will test all students on the core subjects such as maths, English literature, English composition, chemistry, biology, etc (up to 10 subjects). GCSE examinations usually take place in May/June.

A lot of children continue at secondary school for two more years until they are 18 and take a further set of State examinations called the A (advanced) levels. For A levels students are tested in three or four subjects. These exams will help to determine whether a student will go on to a higher/further education to obtain a degree/diploma in speacialised academic area.

*Education in Scotland is different from anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

English Vocabulary about Education

TO PASS AN EXAM

to be successful, to achieve a passing grade

Example: Jake passed his IELTS exam last week. He worked very hard and got band 7.5!

TO FAIL AN EXAM

to be unsuccessful

Example: Michael didn’t study properly and failed his history exam.

CORE SUBJECTS

subjects which all the students of the course have to do

Example: The core subjects in secondary schools are English,mathematics, and science.

PAPER

the written questions in an exam

Example: Many students found the exam paper too challenging.

CANDIDATE

someone taking an exam

Examples: Many candidates can take this test online.

TO CHEAT

to do something dishonest or unfair to get an advantage

Example: John cheated in his exam and got disqualified.

UNDERGRADUATE

a university/college student studying their first degree

Example: Our university offers 60 undergraduate courses.

SCHOLARSHIP

a payment made to student in support of his/her education

Example: Sarah has received scholarship to study overseas.

TO GET THROUGH

to finish

Example: Josh was always a troublemaker, it’s a wonder how he even got through school.

TO REVISE

to study something again, to prepare for an exam

Example: You need to revise English vocabulary before your test.

You will find more vocabulary words when you scroll down.

Vocabulary about Education - Infographic

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BOARDING SCHOOL

a school where students study and live during the school year

Example: His parents always wanted to send him to boarding school abroad.

STATE EXAMINATIONS

examinations that are paid for by public funds

Example: State examinations are held at the end of the course.

TO ATTEND /əˈtend/

1. to be present at a meeting or other event

Example: Please attend the meeting at 2pm sharp.

2. to go somewhere on a regularly basis (school, church, lecture etc)

Example: I studied hard at university and I attended all my lectures.

DEGREE

a university or college qualification that you get after completing a course of study there

Example: She completed a degree in Film Studies at the School of Visual Arts.

HAND IN

when you complete your work (essay, assignment, etc), you give it to a teacher or lecturer

Example: I handed in my assignment a day before the due date.

ESSAY

a piece of writing on a particular subject

Example: In secondary school I wrote an essay on football, and my teacher told me that I had to rewrite it on a more serious topic.

TAKE A COURSE / A SUBJECT

to choose to study this course or subject in school or college

Example: At school I was good at History and Spanish, and took both of them at college.

TRAIN (v)

to teach someone the skills that they need in order to do something

Example: They trained me how to use a cash register along with keeping items in stock.

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More Information

For more information on English phrasal verbs, English idiomatic expressions and English phrasal verbs, check out the following links:

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SINCE AND FOR

OTHER WORDS FOR DIFFICULT

HOW TO GIVE YOUR OPINION IN ENGLISH

Free learning resources are always available at BBC Learning English.

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