Main Differences Between American And Indian Education Systems

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A lot has changed in terms of education in the US, and even more in India. Even though there are many similarities between the two, we can still make a distinction between the education in India vs. USA. Because of the history of education of the two countries, as well as the cultural impact, there are significant differences for studying in these countries.

If you want to learn more about this, keep reading this article.

India vs America Education: Is There an Easier System?

As you’ll see below, most of the differences in schools are in regard to the programs, grading, and quality of academic institutions. When it comes to complexity, studying in India and the US comes with its challenges.

Truth is, wherever you study, your degrees won’t come easy. There are challenges whether you study in America, India, or any other country in the world. However, one thing comes in common – you can get some assistance from the EduBirdie writers for your papers in English from any location. Visit their website and use the free calculator to find the cost of your essay. Then, just tell the writers write essay for me and you can sit back and enjoy your time off. Thousands of students worldwide use this method to meet tight deadlines or ensure that they submit a top-notch assignment.

Schooling in India vs USA Throughout Time

While education isn’t easy in India or the US, there are differences between the two. To better understand these differences, we should start by exploring the systems throughout time.
Let’s start with India.

Education in India

In the past, India used the Gurukula system of education. This system was available to any student that wanted to study. At this point, education was not obligatory for anyone.

In the Gurukula system, the teacher was the guru. Students that wanted to study visited his house to ask if they can be taught. It was the guru’s decision that decided the fate of each student. If they accepted you, you could move into their house and live with them until your education is complete.

At this point, there weren’t exactly any educational levels in India. The students helped do chores around the guru’s house and were taught how to run a home. The guru decided what to teach the child, which could include Mathematics, Sanskrit, Holy Scriptures, and Metaphysics.

When the guru decided that it is enough, he would release the student.

Fast forward to the 1830s, it was when everything changed in India. Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay used this period to introduce the modern educational system in India. The system included many subjects including English, science, mathematics, etc.

This system resembles the current educational methods in the world. Teaching happened in classes and boards of schools were created soon after. Education for every child was compulsory and everyone had the right to it.

Today, all Indian citizens have the fundamental right to primary education. The school system has 4 levels: lower (6 to 10 years of age), upper (11 to 12 years of age), secondary (13 to 16 years of age), and higher secondary (17 to 18 years of age).

Education in the USA

The USA is one of the highly developed countries and as such, it has more advanced education. The system in the past was nothing like that of India. Traditional classrooms have existed for a very long time, and there’s even a grand trend of homeschooling that many parents and students practice today.

In America, the educational system is in three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Students can then pursue postsecondary schools such as college and university.

Generally speaking, a child in the USA will start school around the age of 5 and finish at 17 years unless they want to continue their education. In this country, there’s much more emphasis on concepts, practicals, reading and writing, and maths. Students have the responsibility and right to choose many of the subjects that interest them, and they are often encouraged to participate in extracurriculars.

The Differences: College Education in India vs America

These days, education is similar in India and America. Both countries have physical classrooms and public as well as private schools. Let’s take a look at the most notable differences between these systems.

Infrastructure and Resources

Both countries have private and public schools but compared to the USA where a lot is invested in the infrastructure of both, India’s public schools are poorly maintained. Education stakeholders and governments in India don’t invest much in infrastructure, so students in this part of the world hardly have access to the latest technologies, or even decent-looking classrooms.

Private schools, on the other hand, look good both in India and the US.


Homeschooling is much more prevalent in America. The Indian educational system is not as liberal as that of the US, so they prefer formal, classroom-based education. Homeschooling is reserved for a minimal number of students in India, mostly those that cannot attend traditional classes due to health reasons.

In the US, many students learn with a tutor or a parent that has the time to homeschool them.

Teacher-student Ratio

Indian classrooms can include 80 and even 100 students with a single teacher. In the US, teachers have a maximum of 30 students in a class, so the ratio rarely ever goes above 1:30.


In India and America, students can study common subjects like science, linguistics and math. However, if we are to compare the syllabus of the two countries, there are a few more choices in the US syllabus.

Another notable difference is that the math subject in India is much more difficult compared to the math taught in the US. On the other hand, learning English in the US is much harder than learning it in India.

Lastly, the biggest difference in the syllabus is that, in the US, this is more flexible and students have more choices to pick what they’ll study. India has a much stricter syllabus with limited options for extracurricular activities.


Grading is almost entirely different in the two countries. In India, the final grade that a student gets in year twelve is the only grade taken into account. The success of the student before this grade hardly ever affects their qualifications for college.

In the US, on the other hand, the grading model is the famous GPA, which means that more years are taken into consideration. This system also includes points that teachers give based on homework, extracurriculars, and class attendance.


To graduate in the US, the system that students follow is 10+2+4 years for most subjects.
To graduate in India, you need to follow the system 10+2+3 years for most fields like science, social sciences, commerce, humanities, media, etc. The only exception to this is the Engineering degree, which comes with a 4-year long course.

Entrance Examinations

Entrance requirements for universities and colleges are simpler in India. In most cases, this is based on the grades that students get in their Higher Secondary Certificate Examination. Exception to this is the national entrance exams for Engineering and Medical programs.

In the US, on the other hand, students must pass their SAT and ACT to get admitted to college or university. The schools also calculate their GPA.


The US educational system is more flexible and students get the opportunity to explore more subjects and make more choices. In India, there’s more rigidity. The position of the teacher is extremely highly valued, and students have to study all subjects without many choices to make. There’s no option to skip a subject or replace it with something else.

In addition to this, extracurriculars and physical education are given priority in the US, but this is not the case in India. In India, education is more science-centric.

Wrapping Up

Making a disctinction between education in India and US is hard because the two countries have very different systems, syllabuses, and opportunities for their students. Yes, there are major similarities in how students are taught, but the economic and social developments have created tons of differences, too. Hopefully, this article helped you distinguish between these systems.

Author’s Bio

Sven Eggers is a linguistics teacher and an expert academic writer. Thanks to his expertise in the field, Sven is highly capable of creating unique content on different topics. His job is to help students achieve their goals and overcome their academic challenges.

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