Explanations » B1 Vocabulary Explanations » Education – B1 English Vocabulary
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Education

In this lesson, you will learn common verb phrases that we use to talk about education. You will also see the differences between the British and the American education systems and will learn words to talk about different types of schools.

Verb phrases

There are many verb phrases which we use when talking about education. Here are some of the most common ones. Look at the pictures and read the definitions and sentence examples.

English education vocabulary chart with verbs and phrases for B1 level students.

1 Take/sit an exam= Attend an exam.

  • I always feel nervous before taking exams.

2 Pass an exam= Obtain successful results in an exam.

  • I was pleased when I heard that I’d passed my exam.

3 Fail an exam= Obtain unsuccessful results in an exam.

  • Mum was angry because I’d failed my exam.

4 Revise/review/study for an exam= Prepare for an exam.

  • I have to revise for my exams this weekend.

5 Hand in an assignment/essay= Give an assignment to a teacher or lecturer.

  • I handed in my assignment yesterday morning.

6 Give a presentation= Give a talk delivering information to a class or group.

  • Tom gave a presentation on solar energy.

7 Write an essay= Write a piece of writing on a particular subject as part of a course.

  • I wrote an essay on crime for English class.

8 Attend a class/lecture= Go to and be present in a class/lecture.

  • Sam has attended all his classes this term.

9 Do homework/research/a project= Carry out the action of homework, etc.

  • I usually do my homework when I get home.

10 Take notes= Write down what the teacher is saying.

  • I always take notes when the teacher is talking.

11 Graduate from school= Leave school having obtained a diploma.

  • After I graduate from school, I’ll look for a job.

12 Enrol in a course= Sign up for a course.

  • I’ve enrolled in a business course which starts next week.

13 Drop a class =Stop taking a class.

  • I decided to drop my history class as I wasn’t enjoying it.

14 Get a grade= Receive a mark (A, B, C / 50%, 70%, etc.) for a test, essay, etc.

  • I was pleased when I got a good grade for my essay.

15 Study abroad= Study in another country.

  • I would love to study abroad, preferably in an Asian country.

16 Be expelled= Be asked to leave school as punishment for bad behaviour.

  • Sid was expelled after being caught cheating in his exams.

Education systems and schools

In most countries, students begin their education between the ages of three and four and continue learning until they are at least sixteen. During this time, they progress to different types of schools, and some even go on to pursue higher studies to increase their opportunities. There are, however, some differences between the British educational institutions and the American ones that can prove confusing for English learners.

English vocabulary infographic comparing the education systems in the US and the UK

There may be differences in the education system from one country to another in the UK or from one state to another in the US.

Nursery, which is called pre-school in the US, is where British children go between the ages of three and five. At this stage, children experience a taste of school life without any formal academic learning.

Between the ages of five and eleven, British children attend primary school. This is where their formal academic education begins. The American equivalent is elementary school. The first year of elementary school is called kindergarten. Children remain in primary or elementary school until they are eleven or twelve years old.

Following this, British children go to secondary school, where they study until the age of sixteen. In the United States, students attend middle school, also known as junior high school in some regions, from ages eleven to fourteen. After that, they begin high school, where they remain until they are seventeen or eighteen.

After secondary school, education is optional in the UK, and some British teens begin college (also called 6th form), where they study until they are eighteen. Some then go on to study at university, where their higher education begins. They usually remain there for three or four years and leave after obtaining a degree.

In the US, the word college is different than in the UK. It refers to a place where students go to pursue a higher education after finishing high school. For this reason, the words college and university are often used interchangeably in the United States.