The system in India is slightly different from the American High School one, retaining as it does vestiges of the ol' Brit 'O' Levels and 'A' Levels. So the equivalent of the American four-year High School period was split for me into two periods of two years each - one for my '10th' or ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) exams, and the next for my 12th or HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate) - before it was considered safe to let me loose on college proper.

For my 10th (the first big exam) we studied for two years to do 12 papers, which were then combined into marks on six subjects. The papers:

English Literature
English Language
Hindi Language
Hindi Literature
'Optionals' (Accounts, in my case)

The six subjects under which we received marks were therefore:

Social Studies

Then on to two years in the science stream for my HSC:

Basic French
Maths 1
Maths 2
Chem 1
Chem 2
Bio 1
Bio 2
Phy 1
Phy 2

again conflated to just six subjects in the end (oh my word - this was not that many years ago and I cannot remember the last 'subject' - eek).

For what it's worth, before 'high school' our curriculum included, along with English (yay) Hindi (boo) Marathi as well (for four years) and Gujarati (just one year when I was very young), Maths, History, Geography, and the three sciences - which we did for about 4 years as a full curriculum before that. Yes, I remember we also had art, music and PT (physical training).

I believe this intensive, exam-based system, is still used in India. It seems to work for some. But I'm sure there were just as many traumatised by its rote ruthlessness as we believe are 'let down' by the West's liberal-lax standards. I enjoyed it (except the homework), but that's just one opinion...


the sunshine warrior

ps. Aenigma prefers Matilda to Maths.