School Exams! British VS American | Evan Edinger & Jack Edwards



hi there on and welcome to another episode of British vs. American today with my good friend Jack hello Jack what are we talking about today today we are talking about exams or tests old tests we call them testing you now I don't know how I've never made a video on this topic the length of my channel but I did get a request so thank you to this user right here for requesting it last week it was like I don't know how I haven't done that so Jack what do you do I am a university student in Durham and doing exams now for seven years in a row which I is traumatizing so you are the breathing embodiment of an exam in the UK hmm yeah I got depressed oh yeah now I'm sad that's the worst tinder bio ever okay I am the human embodiment what do you big things people always ask about differences between exams new s in the UK is Oh GCSEs is that like SATs there's lots of letters there and I don't know you guys don't have SATs in the UK I didn't know what that meant actually no yes no yes when I was in primary school I had something we called SATs exams and they were like it was just English maths and science but what was the level of English math and science okay and you could get like grade one to five I think and that just decided whether you got into a secondary school but okay I'm pretty sure it's compulsory to go to secondary school so like it was just maybe was finding your place just like an indication I know that where I'm from we had something called the Goepper which is the grade 8 proficiency assessment yeah and that was to judge how good you were at maths and English food to be placed in the right classes at high school yeah that's that's what the SATs people are always saying like is it more difficult for the SATs or is it more difficult to the a-levels personally I think I'm gonna go with a-levels being more difficult because you have multiple courses you take coming in level so I did fall AAS is and then you take so like that's the start that's the first year okay and then you drop one and then you take three a levels okay I wait so like the a s is like us is us like half of an a level essentially I don't think I actually do that anymore I think you ought you can only take three now I can only take three I think so they like changed it in my ear it used to be like you did half of the a-level in the first year of your six Foreman and you did half bit in the second year but now it's all in the second year what our GCSE is then I feel like SATs are very similar to those maybe then yeah so GCSEs you take when you are 15 and 16 and those you do like every subject so I think I've got like 14 GCSEs oh now you know what I've wondered why are there no American study tubers there's no reason they're not doing we don't have exams you guys had fourteen exams yeah I'm like multiple for some subjects i-i-i had three exams for every science so that was like three for biology three for chemistry three for physics that's nine exams for four grades that's horrifying good question I mean that just sounds like you're constantly studying yeah the SAT is mostly just math and English right you take it when you're about 15 or 16 and you don't I mean I know people study for it but personally I never studied for I took the test got a grade and then that determines say oh if you had said it is like algebra and basic geometry right which I had already learned so like I didn't need to study for it because it was something okay I have a question then what is it GPA your grade point average so like hey you get a hundred on a test that's a four cuz it you divide grades into four categories a B C D and F okay that's five I can't do math so essentially fours an a3 is a B C is a 2 D is a 1 and then F is 0 so if you're a 3.5 you're a b-plus okay 3.7 you're an a-minus in terms of that's a 93 percent average or an 83 percent and what does that count towards well I mean it's college acceptance is that in place of a levels or Jesus if you do that at the same time as SATs SATs is going on there's a lot of letters SATs are just a general knowledge of math and English exam is so it basically is putting a number to name saying hey you understand math and English about this amount so as long as you get over like a 1300 on your SAT just math not talking about the essay you mostly can get accepted at most universities oh okay that's it GPA is how well did you do in school so if you had over a three that means you had over an 85-percent at all times oh so is everything you do assess is everything you do contribute yes you so that's why there's there's courses called bird courses in the Midwest which are courses that are so easy there easy A's they boost your GPA up so I took a class called plants for pleasure and profit I took home economics I took Japanese I took Spanish French je took all these languages so that way I could boost my GPA to keep my scholarship yeah see I always I remember watching like American TV shows and films and they always spoke about extra credit and I was like that is a big topic we get a lot of extra credit I was like what is this thing on tests as well like every test that I had in math would always have at the very bottom one extra credit question and sometimes it could be four points sometimes it could be ten points extra which so if you get a 90 you get the ten point question you know about a hundred percent and some people in my class at over 100 average in class which is a bit crazy what some of them sometimes they were just a very difficult math question other times they were like the teacher wanted you to be into politics so he'd say what did the president do with Russia something with a PTA I don't know the difference is that you guys are assessed along the way like if Majnu is important here's one quizzes do you know well if they if we did they didn't count for anything they were just like what's the point well this is a terrifying thing because you don't know you can go into school one day and be like pop quiz everyone you're like no I'm not ready for this see this is making so many films make a lot mostly so like the hardest class I ever had in college or university yeah was only hard because the teacher had it a very British time overall grade in the class was 50% final exam right 30% midterm exam and then 20% the rest of the course which is horrifying yeah that's how it wasn't my degree in the UK but in most classes it was like 20 percent participation I get like 10 percent homework then you got like 20 percent quizzes and then 30 percent tests and then 20 percent final like yeah yeah all homework just count was just like just to see how well you were doing it in councils anything you could theoretically what get the lowest mark on all of your homeworks and then get the highest grade in your final exam and that would be agreed that's scary the whole point is after you get done a lesson you have a quiz test if you're good at it at the end of an entire like chapter you have a test so you kind of are constantly checking how good you are certain areas of the subject which makes sense yeah well I guess that also is probably better for the long-term memory because mine was very much like when I did my GCSEs and a-levels it was very much like revised for the exam yes and then I also found that in the UK when I was taking my exams a huge emphasis on Oh you're now done have a month of revision and then have fun and it was during Christmas break and I was like how can I celebrate Christmas I have to I have to study yeah my school in the u.s. like the last day that you have class the next day is your final so like you told fresh in your mind I don't have to study it's right there yeah I'm the type of guy that studies the day before and then has it fresh as mine so you can't do that in the UK it's like right now I've been doing exams for four weeks my last four weeks of exams yeah I have one week left why and then might like my last lesson like lectures were two months ago it's so much individual study for you you've used so much the work here so how much do exams cost I didn't pay for mine they would just do you have to or did you get like my university I only have to pay like tuition fees okay to go there but like my a levels and GCSEs we just paid for by the school authorities cost I think $49 some of those well you only take one I say oh I see unless you save space do remark that's really important because you you guys have been vigil ators yeah we don't have invigilator so that's the greatest thing about having most tests in the UK in the u.s. most testing us are just graded by your teacher so if you're a nice guy if you make jokes in class if you you know always raise your hand your teacher knows you and when he starts to grade your paper he's like Ivan's a nice guy yeah I know what he wanted to do there genuinely and in the UK it's more like you don't know who's grading your paper at so you can't write them a little heart at the end of your little math problem and say please mister like I really tried yeah having an apple on your desk for the teacher is that thing so there is definitely some brown-nosing that happens in terms of like we treat sit on teachers like I mean I always was nice to my teachers for coming in today they are grading my paper and as long as I'm showing I care about them and I've never taught any class you know sometimes I play my D s and I didn't respect to the teacher that was in history class that is a true sign of disrespect it's like plan some eventually one point where you do have invigilator x' in the US the AP exams right which I think are the closest thing we get to a-levels start with an S so for AP exams the only difference is you're not mandatory you guys don't have to take many levels for us only take AP classes if you have elected to choose AP classes and that's their like the toughest of all the courses so what is an AP class Advanced Placement he is much more intense and at the end of the year in May you have an AP exam with an individual ATAR it costs I think $97 right to take the test but if you pass it with it's a out of five if you get more than a four four or five you get college credit so you can use that at your university of choice don't well then you know you still get graded for it and you still pass the course hypothetically in high school but you don't get any credit for exams are marked anonymously so they don't know whose yep as their mono if you do a plan at the beginning of your essay when they open it up web plan yeah like just like you know just a little essay plan sort of thing it means like when they look at it they I think they can see what you guys who knows what they're doing and the other type of invigilator adjust the people who are in your exam when you when you sit it and they like always are just super obnoxious and loud and they eat busy like at my university they eat biscuits during the exam and I'm like really can ask questions either because they don't know what it is they're just individually and I'm like but how am I supposed to ask no questions yeah you got to know it there's a fun fact our school didn't really have that much money I'm actually going in next week so we didn't really have anywhere to go to take our AP exams in the school so we took them in a church oh yeah Louisa there's an old Methodist Church down the road we just sat in the conversation room yeah so god I was praying to God please help me with this ap physics that's quite places I don't really mind commute for the Pratt he's listening he's our nether and he was like you shouldn't believe in this and I made them all so the number of topics you can have there's AP political science statistics physics calculus and I'm probably missing a lot more but you only take the same as a levels brief or max yok C so I feel like that's the similarity you guys just don't have SAT CH I think if you personally took an SAT today you easily passed there's not that difficult if I sat the SAT it's only about three hours fun fun fun fun there we go but that was I saw this lady put on oh I've already committed it was like one of those like oh you have calculator and non calculator sections of your tests yes four months yeah well I know we were not allowed use of calculators are you allowed the cheat sheet but what's the change I beg you Father almost every exam that I had in the u.s. you're a lot of cheat sheet that you write yourself yeah 8.5 by 11 inches so just standard piece of paper and you're allowed to write on one side sometimes too and you write anything you want they could help this always throws people for yeah sometimes in English exams you can take the book in but wait oh dude there's an exam with the right of our book yeah that's my whole degree I mean we had tests in English we had to be like what do you think Huckleberry Finn was doing here Oh Ozzy's like a proper the exam for everyone in the whole country is on this day at this time like it's about the same book yeah or potentially like for Barron so that's cool but it's standardized yeah it was completely standardized okay right so it's like completely from a central source like there's the National Curriculum and then they'll be like different examples within us there's like a QA at Excel even talking about these I've seen your Twitter yeah twitter is like the best place during I honestly like the hashtag AQA maths or hashtag yeah Qi which I guess you guys don't have because we all take the same exam I love that you guys can bond over how much you hate it it's like the best thing ever whereas in the u.s. it's like school districts have different things like the AP exam is the only one that is the same for everyone I'm pretty sure but even then it's probably state based so New Jersey has different in California mine I really like this huge Sports Hall and there'll be about probably 400 people taking it all taking different exams all at the same time so Y example might up 25 at most whoa oh this is a university like I have it was a English physics and geography all in the same room 25 it maps to the University it's not 25 oh really I never had more than maybe maybe thirty five for like an intro level course yeah I think Michael says 250 people on it and we don't be taking example at the same time in the same room I want to go back in my life and like redo like a whole British degree and see how difficult it is just alike because it sounds horrifying that would be a real commitment to the UK versus USA so guys I'm put on a little ball cap applied to Jeremy did you ever have any study skills class growing up we had one in eighth grade I remember like sometimes but it was probably done so like a teacher giving you example a bird vice which was what like make sure you write out everything you're doing in the steps yes we have kind of assemblies where they just talk about what to do that's the least fun assembly I've ever heard of oh yeah I mean the ones about like assembly K exam advice know the ones about like sexual assault and stuff once like overly fun either but ours were about rainforest they had hand checks at a lot of exams with it make us raise our hands and if you anything in your hands you're literally expelled because that's one of the big exams you can't cheat for those you could cheat in class sure yeah but not with the hands you got to have the smarter move you know then I think the main thing that every British student prays for is that someone like dies in the exam because it means that everyone passes I've heard about this and you're like one of you guys better take the bullet yeah it's like someone's gonna take one for the team for 450 kids as well that's a good way yeah you know but that's really sad that we've come to a state of education where you're praying someone dies so you can sometimes I'm like just take me oh the school shooter comes and you're like I'm ready wait too dark this is the UK that's my life that's not an option that would be like exact us UK we don't have bus because really sad I just realized I was like oh yeah that's normal and you're like when the Gwyn's school shooter comes in I'm like no actually he's a photographer shooting is like you guys have to use number two pencils on everything I know we use pens how are they created with another pen the SATs and a lot of exams they're standardized and you have to it's with a scantron do know what that is it's like one of those lines in your right thing yeah it's like bubbles so you have to like fully color in the with the number 2 pencil if you use any other pencil I've never even heard of a number of one pencil then it doesn't get marked right and you'll get a zero so you have to have number two pencils removed I have I didn't think there were many exams which were multiple-choice like they were all si SAT is 75% multiple-choice yes and also the a CT which is the similar one is 100% multiple-choice that is mind bowl yeah only 25% is writing advancers why yeah even even the English one by the way yeah even I was gonna say English what do you think this word means no parsimonious is it a stingy B yeah yeah yeah I was wondering I was like how do you not use pencils because you don't standardized you know everything is just lights why you need a vigil later than just essays yeah so pretty much everything even science and stuff it's all essay based Americans made it like fast food just put that in the machine do it for us do the grade I genuinely think you guys just have a higher standard and it's harder to deal with so I don't know I mean we weren't allowed to use blue pens guys why like you have to write in black ink you have you absolutely have to write black yeah one time the fire alarm went off mid exam and you I'm not allowed to speak you have to all leave the hall in single file lines and like no one is allowed to say a word otherwise you get disqualified even if like if you were on fire I'm pretty sure you get disqualified just silently you scream yeah but do you scream the word see there's like I was really we these are actually really different I didn't realize it the exams would actually be yeah I also didn't really expect the differences to be quite this extreme yeah they'd be different but not like there is no comparison there is no like this is the SAT of England and this is the GCSE of American yeah they're very different spilling tea everywhere Oh spilling the tea the tea on exams you enjoyed this please be sure to give it a thumb up and also leave a comments if you experience things that bit different than us cuz I am from Jersey he goes to Durham so maybe you've experienced little bit different photos also we did a video on Jack's channel was that about Jack we spoke about American universities because as you can tell I know nothing about the American education system so if you want to check that out please be sure to click the card on screen or there's more on screen everyone loves a pack of cards anyway thanks I'll see you guys on the next one good bye bye

49 Comments

  1. Dang y'all are absolutely living for this video! Thanks for all the interest and support!
    I'm gonna be filming a video with my token Scottish friend to clear some things up for the angry Scots in the comments and I just invested in an overhead camera rig to film myself taking… a past GCSE paper!
    Hope you're surviving exam "season:"!

  2. To anyone reading this comment from the UK here are some things that you should know:
    -Evan Edinger graduated 10 years ago and the school system has changed DRASTICALLY.
    -I HAVE NEVER, AND I REPEAT NEVER HAVE HEARD OF TEACHERS ALLOWING YOU TO HAVE CHEAT SHEETS.
    -The SAT has become more competitive and now includes Calculus in the math portions of the exam. While majority of the SAT exam is multiple choice you still have to analyze each question and each stimulus carefully. The ACT is all multiple choice but has a HARSH time limit per question. Your SAT exam score determines whether or not you go to college.
    -AP exams have also increased in difficulty and there is ZERO LIMIT TO AP CLASSES. Each AP exam is different and if its not a math or science exam there will be 2+ that need to be written within an hour and 30 minutes. You also have 1 minute per question on the multiple choice, but you will want to shorten that so you aren't forced to stop when the time limit hits.
    -You also can't take your backpacks to your chairs in the exam room, you'll need to take it to the other side of the room if you bring it. The only thing you can bring is some snacks, pencils, a calculator (if there is math), and water in a clear plastic bag.
    -For AP exams there isn't a "review time period", you still have to go to class as normal. AP exams last for two weeks and you only take the exam for one day for 4-5 hours. You have to arrive to the test location by 7:30am so the test can start by 8am.
    -Extra credit is NEVER given on tests. The only extra credit given is to do an extra project to boost your grade. However, its rare for high level classes to offer extra credit.
    -There are two GPA scores. One is your high school GPA which is based on the system described by Evan but the second one is different. The second is your Weighted GPA in which honors and AP classes gain an extra point so: A = 5, B =4, C=3, D = 2, and F = 0 (only for honors and AP courses) you then add that up end divide by how many classes you took in total.
    – The SAT English MC section is divided into two parts. First is reading and rhetorical analysis and part two is solely on grammar in which you correct an essay given. For the math MC section there are (again) two parts. Part one is no calculator and 4 non multiple choice questions. Part two of the math is with calculator and you have 8 non multiple choice questions. You also have an essay at the end of the SAT.

  3. Am African and all my life I did the British system of of study’s with a levels and o levels I was so used to taking 13 subjects then I moved to the US for college and I only had to take like 4 subjects per semester and I literally was given points for attendance gosh I feel so smart now great video

  4. okay guy on the left is generalizing his experience to as how things ARE . my tests are nothing like how he explained for the most part honestly .,, also explains horribly .

  5. I mean honestly, I thought high school in US was pretty easy. Just a lot of work for some classes since all of our work was graded and counted. As for college, for me, exams in all subjects are short answer or essays and a bigger part of grade is based on big projects

  6. I'm from India…and the literal 1st part of the video I was like what are they talking abt what's this AP and GCSES etc… We have a very different system of taking tests…and yeah we have only subjective questions 🤣 even here the board is different like the ICSE CBSE and state wise boards and international boards…. I am fr ICSE and yeah I pray we have the OMR where we just have to bubble ❤️🤣🤣🤣🤣

  7. Am I the only American who had a completely different experience from him? Sure, my tests were mostly multiple choice, but they weren't as easy as he makes them seem. I fill my schedule with AP classes and for AP English we regularly have to write essays for tests (both the AP test and regular in-class tests). For the English AP exam, we had to write multiple essays in a limited amount of time and it is the same for many other AP tests. As for multiple choice, it seems easy because you have so many options and only one answer is right, but test makers make it more difficult by making each answer correct. You have to choose which answer is "most" correct, which is something that can vary from person to person in my opinion. We were also rarely allowed a cheat sheet. Never on tests such as the AP test or ACT/SAT, only on regular tests that are only meant to check for progress. They're also only allowed when there's a lot to learn, such as 15+ formulas for one large chapter. I was never allowed to use one in any class except physics and certain math classes. If it was an advanced class, it definitely wasn't allowed. Maybe its different because we live in different states but I can't imagine the differences being that drastic.

  8. Idk about the rest of the US, but in Texas we had IAs (benchmark exams), STAAR tests, EOC (end of course), pop quizzes, ACTs, and SATs, AP tests. No cheat sheet. No extras credit.

  9. hi, as an american, WHO TF ONLY HAS MULTIPLE CHOICE? I ONCE CRIED HAPPY TEARS WHEN I FOUND OUT A MINI HISTORY EXAM WOULD BE ALL MC

    WHAT DRUGS ARE YOUR TEACHERS ON, NEVER HAVE I EVER HAD AN ALL MC FINAL

    (butliketheactisallmcsooo)

  10. lmk WHAT school this guy went to where you’re allowed to write ur own full sized cheat sheet and please let me attend . we got formula sheets for physics ( cp only) and sometimes you’d get equations and definitions for math or chem or whatever, but definitely not always and not one you wrote yourself??

  11. Canada here and I feel like we get a mix of both . But don’t get sat or gcses. In elementary and high school (different from the us) , at least in Quebec, we get standardized tests for some subjects.

  12. i’m from washington state and at my school we have a test about once a week in almost every class or the “core classes” (english math and science) and we also have midterms and finals. not only just those tests but we have a state wide requirement test during sophomore year, it refers to the last 2 years of your learning, that takes 2 days of a week for english and 2 days of the next week for math. they recently made a rule that you do not have to pass the state wide exam to graduate ,thank god, but if you fail you have to go down a different path of testing(idk what that path even is tho). junior year of high school they have you take the ACT which takes all day and you get little food or water and you are timed sections and get barely enough time to finish a section. junior or senior year you can take the SAT so colleges can refer to it to see if they want to accept you into their college.

  13. I’m realizing how easy I have it in Canada,,,, no SAT’s or GSCE’s that I know about and we’re getting rid of our provincial exams hah

  14. Are GCSEs more like grad/med/vet/law school exams? In the US, you take either the SAT or the ACT along with any SAT subject tests that are required for your degree to get into a four year undergraduate college and get your bachelors degree. To go into medical school, law school, dental school, or a masters/PhD program, you have to have a bachelors degree first then you take an additional exam that’s specific to the school. I took the MCAT for med school (7.5 hours, absolute hell, determines my entire future) and my friend take the LSAT for law school. I don’t know if the UK has an undergraduate program or if people just go to medical school directly, if not then wouldn’t GCSEs be more similar to the MCAT (or any other equivalent)?

  15. Blue pens can fade that why and red is seen a mean and Rude 🤣🤣 I've just sat my exams and tbh I would of rather sat an American exam they sound so easy and do able in 3 hours like I only had 1 1/2 hours to complete a 30 question maths paper and 1 3/4 to complete 5 essay questions for English it honestly so annoying

  16. You should do a US vs Ireland version of this. Irish exams and college application systems are very different, even from the UK

  17. Actually for AP exams it depends on the college/university for what grade they'll accept. Getting a 2 means you failed the test, so obviously no colleges/universities accept a 1 or 2, but I'm going to an in state university and I'm getting credit for both AP Psych and AP Lang even though I got 3's on them. And then I get two class credits for history because I got a 5 on my AP US history exam.

  18. In UK you have to learn 20 poems 3 novels where you have to analyse every word to unseen poetry 2 language papers and about a million maths/ science equations, 3 maths exams and 9 science exams and then another 4 subjects of your choice where there is like 3 exams for every option subject it’s mental

  19. I’m currently doing my a levels history, geography and politics 9 exams 19 hours worth got 3 left ! It has been the most debilitating and mentally exhausting experience of my entire life, the amount of knowledge and exam technique (evaluation and analysis) required, in the space of two years, to be crammed into your brain is insane just for it all to be forgotten soon after. I’ve heard university is easier than a levels so I’m banking on that otherwise I will probably get stress induced depression. On the up side a levels have really broadened my knowledge of the world and I’d like to think I’m less ignorant now, however, it has been to the detriment of my mental health. Can’t wait to go to the pub after my last exam and get sloshed.

  20. in new york we have regents exams as an end of year standardized test that goes in as a final grade (20%) and it’s all in pen (the bubble sheet machine grades pen not pencil) and 3 hours long for most of the core subjects (english, algebra 1 & 2, world history, american history, biology, chemistry, physics, and foreign language)

  21. The best post I saw about an exam was when someone said "I enjoyed that Geography Exam so much that I think I'll take it again next year" 😂

  22. In The Netherlands we have like 4 exams for every subject throughout the senior year and the other levels in middle school are constant test teachers can give whenever they want lmao. Exams are the only things we can get grades for.

  23. I did my GCSEs in 2013 and I had:

    – 9 science exams plus practical assessments
    – 5 maths exams plus coursework for statistics
    – 3 English exams (might have been more idk) plus assessments
    – 2 french exams plus speaking and writing assessments
    – 2 German exams plus speaking and writing assessments
    – 3 history exams plus coursework
    – 1 art exam plus coursework

    So 25 exams total. All exams were at least an hour long but some were way longer; history was 3 hours and art was 10. All essay questions with some limited multiple choice questions in science with exams usually counting for about 70% of your mark. They make it harder to get good marks all the time by changing grade boundaries, increasing content etc so it’s more intense year on year, A-levels are even harder than GCSEs and then they wonder why so many young people in the UK have depression and anxiety 🙃

  24. I'm doing my GCSE's at the moment…I've completed 22 out of 25 exams and if the fire alarm goes off, we have to stay seated in silence – like, we can't leave the exam hall! Tbh, Americans have it so much easier 😂

  25. In my school I sat my gcses with 300 kids in my year in the sports hall (with the rest of the country) the bonding was real across the country when everyone complains about that one question that wasn't on our 'spec'.

  26. Lol you can't take a book into GCSE English exam anymore, nope you have to memorise all the details to your texts and poems. And if you get caught with even a small piece of paper they think you cheated with you can get disqualified from all your exams, even the ones you sat before for a different subject. I can't believe they're so lax in the usa.

  27. Any uk kid in exam season right now (me) really annoyed because of how easy Americans have it? Like my brain feels like it's going to explode from all the stuff I need to know and I thought about offing myself at least twice in my A Level chemistry today but these guys get 20% for participating and have multiple choice while I have to answer 6 markers.

  28. 3 regular Maths papers, two calculator and one not
    2 Further Maths papers
    Two full days for Textiles (10 hours) doing physical work
    2 for each Science – Chemistry, Biology and Physics
    Three German not counting the Speaking outside of the weeks
    Four English with two Literature and two Language
    Two History with two papers in each
    Two RE papers
    Two Computing papers

    24 papers, 25 exams total without the Speaking unless I'm forgetting anything

  29. Americans: arselick their teachers and give them presents
    English: swear at our teachers, throw stuff at teachers, ignore teachers, make teachers cry, get teachers sacked….

    But us English are lovely really!!! <3

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