Skip to Content

What Are The Grades In High School?

In the US, high school is considered the final stage or secondary level of one’s formal education and consists of four high school grade levels: 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th.

There are several grade clusters. A primary school is called an elementary school which includes Kindergarten through 5th grade (ages 5-10). An intermediate school is called a middle school with grades 6-8 (ages 11-13). Secondary school is called a high school and includes grades 9-12 (ages 14-18).

High school starts right after middle school and lasts four years before students proceed to college or other tertiary education. This article highlights the list of high school grade names from Freshmen to Seniors.

What Are The Grades In High School?

In the U.S., the grades in high school start with 9th grade and end with 12th grade. High school students are usually between the ages of 14 and 18.  Grade 9 is freshman year, Grade 10 is sophomore year, Grade 11 is junior year, and Grade 12 is senior year. Upon graduation from high school, students can go on to college, university, the military, or enter the workforce.

What grade is a Freshman?

What grade is a Freshman

A freshman is a student in grade 9, which is the first grade in high school. As the name suggests, a freshman is a fresh newcomer student in high school and, in most cases, the youngest of them all. It is common for teenagers to start ninth grade at age 14 and reach 15 by the end of the year. 

You might also like to read: Can Freshman Go To Homecoming?

Why do we say Freshman?

We say freshman to describe newcomers or beginners in high school. The term ‘freshman’ dates back to the 1550s and was used to describe ‘newcomer or novice’ in a wide range of settings. It was later adopted as a term to describe a first-year student in the 16th century. 

What grade is a Sophomore?

What grade is a Sophomore

A sophomore is a 10th-grade student in high school, usually in the second year of high school. At this stage of high school, students are seasoned with high school life and know their way around it. To live up to the meaning of the word sophomore, they have also gained a wealth of knowledge. It is typical for students in this grade to be between 15 and 16 years old.

Why is 10th grade called Sophomore?

10th-grade students are called sophomores to describe a student that is wise enough but still in a learning process. The word sophomore comes from the Greek word ‘Sophos,’ meaning clever or wise, and the word ‘Moros,’ meaning foolish. So together, the word means a wise fool. “Soph” is also found in the word philoSOPHy, which means a love of wisdom. Second-year professional athletes are also referred to as sophomores in sports.

You might like to read Life Hacks For High School Students

What grade is Junior?

What grade is Junior

A junior is an 11th-grade student in high school, typically in the third year of high school. Students in their junior year are approaching the end of high school and, by this time, have learned more than half the syllabus. The majority of junior students are between 16 and 17 years old.

Why is 11th grade called Junior?

The word ‘junior’ is used to describe third-year students in high school as being below their seniors. The word ‘junior’ is often used to describe the younger one or the younger of two, and in this case, junior students are younger than those in the last year of high school. 

What grade is a Senior?

What grade is a Senior

A senior is a 12th-grade student in high school, the fourth and final year. 12th-grade students are usually in their late teens, with most finishing high school just before or after turning 18. In general, you must have completed 12th grade and graduated high school to receive a high school diploma in the United States. This is the most common method of obtaining a high school diploma since you must have met all your state’s graduation requirements and taken all the required courses.

Why is 12th grade called Senior?

A 12th-grade high school student is called a senior as they are the oldest and in the final year of high school. You need to finish 12th grade to get your high school diploma and become a high school graduate. 

You might be interested in reading What Is The Passing Grade In High School?

High School Years In Order

  • 9th grade: Freshman (14-15 years)
  • 10th grade: Sophomore (15-16 years)
  • 11th grade: Junior (16-17 years)
  • 12th grade: Senior (17-18 years)
GRADEAGEYEAR
9TH14 - 15FRESHMAN
10TH15-16SOPHOMORE
11TH16-17JUNIOR
12TH17-18SENIOR

What is the hardest grade in high school?

Junior year, the third year of high school, is considered the hardest grade. It has a reputation as the most stressful year of high school, especially as there is extra pressure to get good grades if applying to colleges. In terms of academics, 11th grade is the most rigorous year for students aiming for selective colleges, and many students may be enrolled in Advanced Placement and honors courses.

What is the most important grade in high school?

All grades in high school are considered important, but the one with the most impact happens to be 11th grade, the junior year. This grade covers most of the high school’s challenging academic courses and has a major impact on a student’s performance at the end of high school. 

What grade is prom in high school?

The prom is in grades 11 and 12 of high school. Most schools combine 11th-grade and 12th-grade students for prom, but some separate the two. That way, each grade has its own prom. Junior prom is for students in their Junior year and their dates, while Senior prom is a black-tie, formal event for high school seniors. 

What grade do you take chemistry in high school?

Chemistry is taken in the 10th-grade year, the sophomore year. Students must have knowledge of algebra which is a vital component of chemistry. During this year, students learn about acids and bases, the mole concept, reaction rates, and chemical energy. These chemistry units require students to understand how to solve mathematical concepts, usually learned in freshman year. 

What grade do you take forensic science in high school?

Forensic science is not mandatory in high school, but you can take it in your senior year. Forensic science is considered the fourth science in addition to biology, chemistry, and physics. Therefore, it requires that students have a background in all the sciences before pursuing it. 

What grade is government taught in high school?

Government or civic education is taught from the first year of high school, grade 9. There is no specific guideline on this as some schools will delay it into the second year while others will incorporate it in the first classes student take on joining high school. 

What grade do you take economics in high school?

Economics is an elective in high school, part of the social studies bracket in the curriculum. It is usually taken in the first year of high school, grade 9. If you have an interest in economics, it is essential to have two to three years of economics study in high school, especially if you would like to pursue economics-related professional degrees in college. 

What grade do you take physics in high school?

You take physics in 11th grade, the third year of high school. This is the standard for most American students; however, some take t as early as 10th grade while others wait to hit 12th grade to pursue it. This depends on the school choice and order of sciences they take the subjects in, so physics can come before or after biology or chemistry.

In the United States, there are different education levels, whether you’re in private or public schools or approved home school programs. Elementary school is Kindergarten to 5th grade (ages 5-10), middle school is grades 6-8 (ages 11-13), and high school is grades 9-12 (ages 14-18). The various levels of education allow for academic growth from primary education to getting your high school diploma and entering tertiary education.