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Jul 2, 2017 | Editorial

Top Four Stages Of Formal Education

Top Four Stages Of Formal Education

In our previous lessons, we learned what real education is, we also considered the various forms of education as well as its impacts on our modern society.

In today’s post, however, I want to focus on the different stages of formal education.

If you have not read these articles from the start, I suggest you catch up here first:

What Really Is Education?
What Is Formal Education?
What Is Non-Formal Education?
What Is Informal Education?
Formal learning is typically divided into a number of educational stages covering early childhood education, primary education, secondary education and tertiary (or higher) education.

• Early childhood education is usually referred to as preschool (ie nursery school or kindergarten)

• Primary education is usually referred to as primary school or elementary school.

• Secondary education is usually referred to as secondary school or high school,

• Higher education is usually referred to as tertiary education or post-secondary education.

In some countries, children undergo twelve years of formal education plus preschool (ie kindergarten and/or a "preparatory grade" or "Prep")

The years of schooling usually start at age 5 or 6 and finishing at age 17or 18 and they are numbered from year 1 to year 12 or grade 1 to grade 12.

Again In most countries, primary school start from year 1 to year 6 and secondary school from year 7 to year 12.

The primary school in some cases has further been divided into lower primary and upper primary whiles the secondary school into junior secondary (or junior high) and senior secondary (senior high) school.

The table below would help you to better understand this:









Grade/Year 1


Lower Primary


Grade/Year 2


Grade/Year 3


Grade/Year 4


Upper Primary

Grade/Year 5


Grade/Year 6


Grade/Year 7


Junior Secondary


Grade/Year 8


Grade/Year 9


Grade/Year 10


Senior Secondary

Grade/Year 11


Grade/Year 12


Note that whilst students at preschool, primary and secondary are taught in schools, students at the tertiary or post-secondary stages are admitted into colleges, polytechnics, and universities.

Higher education generally culminates in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees

Like high school, the four undergraduate grades are commonly called freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years (alternatively called the first year, the second year, etc.). Students traditionally apply for admission into colleges, polytechnics, and universities

Once admitted, students engage in undergraduate study, which consists of satisfying university and class requirements to achieve a bachelor's degree in a field of concentration known as a major. (Some students enroll in double majors or "minor" in another field of study.) The most common method consists of four years of study leading to a Bachelors degree

Professional degrees such as law, medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry, are offered as graduate study after earning a bachelor's degree depending on the program. These professional fields do not require a specific undergraduate major, though medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrollment

Entrance into graduate programs usually depends upon a student's undergraduate academic performance or professional experience as well as their score on a standardized entrance exam like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE-graduate schools in general), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Many graduate and law schools do not require experience after earning a bachelor's degree to enter their programs; however, business school candidates are usually required to gain a few years of professional work experience before applying. Many students receive postgraduate degrees mostly after obtaining their bachelor's degree and then proceed directly into the workforce.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article as much as I loved writing it for you. I hope you’ve also got a ton of value from it too.

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