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Is the American education system really this ridiculously easy?

I know everyone says that Americans are really badly educated. I always thought there might be some truth to that but I thought it had to be exaggerated. But I just did some research and discovered that the ACT is the test taken by students to get into college. I looked up the sample papers on the official ACT website and I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm an Irish secondary student, and I could have done the ACT sample paper for maths when I was 13. The science paper isn't even science. It's just random comprehensions about science that you have to answer questions (the answers are all more or less in the text). The "reading" paper is comprehensions with tick-the-box answers! The English paper is mostly grammar! I mean, isn't it more or less a given that your grammar is going to be fine by the time you're getting ready for college? I know I have to be missing something here. What happens to all the other subjects: history, geography, foreign languages, economics, etc.? Do you take a different test for those to get into college? I mean, in Ireland, to get into college our English exam would include essays on Shakespearean works, writing debates, essays on various poets, analysis of unseen poetry, and the comparing and contrasting of the cultural context, vision and viewpoint, and themes of various texts. Our maths exam includes things like algebra and geometry as in the ACT test (although way more advanced) but also advanced calculus, probability, complex numbers, matrices, etc. We don't have a reading paper and or a science paper. We can do exams in biology, chemistry, physics, agricultural science and phys-chem depending on what we want to do in college. And all of these have very intensive two-year long courses. I do physics and we do things like particle physics, the photoelectric effect, and things like that. Plus, we have to do exams in at least three languages, and usually history, geography, accounting, economics, and things like that as well. Please someone explain to me: Is the American education system really that easy, or am I missing something?

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One Response so far.

  1. displeaser says:

    well I’m Canadian, but I do know that Americans also have to write SAT’s and and an essay to get into university as well. It’s probably not as easy as that ACT website makes it seem. you should check the practice exam for SAT’s as well. I’ve heard they are hard. Maybe the samples papers for ACT are easier? I don’t know.