British Schools Vs. American Schools


The British Curriculum follows the O-level and A-level academic programs. O-level consists of 3 compulsory subjects and six optional subjects based on the students’ interests and preferences. The subjects are broadly categorized into three groups: science, commerce, and general. O-level is usually completed in 2 to 3 years, depending upon the school system. 
After passing O-level, the students enroll in A-level. A-level qualification requires students to study at least three subjects. A-level qualification is usually earned in 1 to 2 years, again, depending upon the school system you have chosen. 
It is not compulsory but wise that the field of interest chosen at the university level aligns with the subjects studied at O-level and A-level.
O-level and A-level are internationally recognized qualifications which enable students to apply to universities outside the UK, such as the USA, Australia, etc.

The American curriculum follows the renowned IB or AP programs. Several US students also apply for a high school diploma along with these programs. The US diploma usually takes two to four years to complete.
The high school diploma requires students to study compulsory subjects that are Math, English, Science, Humanities, and Arts, along with electives of their choice.
This helps students to get a holistic idea of all the fields, including science, arts, and commerce and allows them to discover subjects that they are passionate about. It also helps them to make better, more confident academic decisions at the university level. 

Extra-Curricular Activities

When it comes to extracurricular activities, the American curriculum is, hands down, the winner in the American curriculum vs. the British curriculum battle. 
American curriculum is extremely active in extra-curricular activities! 
Some of the popular extra-curricular activities that you will conveniently find in the majority of American schools are performing arts, honors society, sports/athletics, publications, student government, and academic clubs.
Participating in these kinds of activities not only helps students in developing a strong physique that complements their education but also helps them grab admission to renowned American universities. Even outside the USA, the extra-curricular activities provide an opportunity for students to stand out and help them in winning sports scholarships which are just as worthy as the merit ones!
The UK Curriculum, across the border, places relatively less emphasis on the extra-curricular activities, especially the ones that are physically demanding. It encourages extracurricular activities that strengthen a student’s mind rather than their physique. Math club, public speaking, and theatre are just a few examples. 
These activities help UK students to win ‘tariff points,’ which makes their student application note-worthy and helps them in grabbing a place in a renowned university.

University Preparation And Guidance

While both American and British curricula guide students in university preparation, the approach adopted by both curriculums is quite different from each other. 
We will explain both approaches to you and let you decide who wins the American curriculum vs. the British curriculum war in this regard. 
The US education system often asks students to apply to a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 10 universities. While some universities are the ones whose requirements the student have passed, others are the dream universities whose requirements the students don’t necessarily meet and still hope to get selected and enrolled. 
Usually, in the month of March, the students receive offers from the universities they applied to. They get time till the end of May to select the university that perfectly suits their interests, preferences, and of course, budget. 
The British education system asks students to apply to four to five universities from which they receive offer letters with grade conditions. Every university has a minimum grade requirement for every subject. If the student is able to meet the grade condition in A-levels, their admission is confirmed. 


We hope you have understood the difference between American and the British education system. Both countries offer world-class education systems that helps students strengthen their mental as well as physical abilities. According to statistics, the best 200 universities of the world support both US and UK education system. 
We suggest you go with the one that best suit your interests, preferences, and budget, of course. If you are looking for top schools in UAE that offer both curriculums, click here

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