After completion of five grades of education in primary school, students will enter high/secondary school. The tenure of secondary school will be about six to seven years, by which students will be completing their 12 grades.
 Secondary education in the US starts after sixth grade which however, again varies from state to state. Students completing secondary education after 12th grade are certified with High School Diploma. In the US education system, students should obtain a high school diploma before applying to college or university. International students who would like to attend an American college or university must have completed coursework and equivalent years of education as taught at an American high school.

The curriculum widely varies in quality and rigidity; for instance, some states consider 70 (on a 100-point scale) to be a passing grade while others consider it to be as low as 60 or as high as 75. The following are the typical minimum course sequences that one must take in order to obtain a high school diploma; they are not indicative of the necessary minimum courses or course rigor required for attending college in the United States: Science (biology, chemistry, and physics), Mathematics (usually three years minimum, including algebra, geometry, algebra II, and/or pre-calculus / trigonometry), English (four years) , Social Science (various history, government, and economics courses, always including American history) , Physical education (at least one year). Many states require a ‘Health course’ in which students learn anatomy, nutrition, and first aid; the basic concepts of sexuality and birth control; and why to avoid substances like illegal drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol. Most high and middle schools offer honors or gifted classes for motivated and gifted students, where the quality of education is usually higher and more demanding. There are also specialized magnet schools with competitive entrance requirements.

Type of school providing this education:

High Schools (Grades 7-12 or 8-12)

Length of program in years: 6

Age level from: 13 to 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: High School Diploma (Regular/Standard, Vocational, Honor/Regents, College Preparatory)

Junior Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Junior High Schools (Grades 7-8, 7-9 or 8-9)

Length of program in years: 3

Age level from: 13 to: 15

Certificate/diploma awarded: Practice varies. Awards may be given in States/Districts where secondary education is divided into lower and upper divisions.

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: High Schools, Senior High Schools (Grades 9-12 or 10-12)

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 15 to: 18

Certificate/diploma awarded: High School Diploma (Regular/Standard, Vocational, Honor/Regents, College Preparatory)
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