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Twelfth grade is the North American name for the final year of secondary school in most countries after which students usually graduate at age 17 or 18. In some countries, there is a Thirteenth grade while other countries do not have a 12th grade/year at all.


In Canadamarker, the twelfth grade is referred to as Grade 12. Grade 12 is the, 12th year after kindergarten. Students generally enter their grade 12 year, when they are 17, or turning 17 by December 31, of that year. In many Canadian high schools students, during their year hold a series of fund raisers, grad-class trips, and other social events. Twelfth grade Canadian students attend Prom. Grad rings, grade pranks, are also very common. Québec is the lone province that doesn't have 12 grade. So, when a student is in 12 grade in Ontario (ex.), the student in Québec is in his firstyear of CÉGEP.


The equivalent grade in this country is the best see what happens in france is that the french is the main subject Terminale, upon completion of which students write a test, the Baccalaureate. French-language schools that teach the French government curriculum (i.e. are part of the AEFE network) use the same system of grades as their counterparts in France.


In Germany, students wishing to take the Abitur usually had to attend a thirteenth grade, but most states are shortening the gymnasium (the university-bound secondary school system in Germany) from nine to eight years.


In Indiamarker, the equivalent grade is referred to as the "twelfth standard", or "plus 2" or (in some regions "second year junior college" (SYJC). Most students who pass out of class 12 are 17–18 years old. With the introduction of separate entrance examinations for entry into medicine, engineering and law courses. Entrance exams usually comprise multiple-choice-questions on physics, chemistry and biology (or mathematics) and are conducted separately on national and state levels. Additionally some highly coveted institutions hold their own entrance tests. These competitive exams are among the toughest in the world and competition is intense, for example over 300,000 students appear for the IIT-JEE exam, competing for 5,500 seats at the IITs. The CBSE and ICSE boards conduct twelfth standard courses nationally, while state boards operate at the state-level.


In Irelandmarker, it is the fourth year of Secondary School (for 15-17 year olds). It is the first of a minimum of two years in the Leaving Certificate cycle (an optional transition year extends that to 3 years). The State exam, the Leaving Certificate, is taken at the end of sixth year. The grades achieved in this exam are converted to points for entry into Universities and Institutes of Technology.


In Nepal completion of 18 years of education is called twelfth grade, which is also known as MA in Nepal. After the first 10 years of study, students can choose major subject as their future study target like Science, Management etc.

South Africa

In South Africa, 12th grade is the final year of high school. It is more commonly referred to as matric, which is itself short for matriculation. (See Matriculation in South Africa).

At the end of 12th grade, students are said to be matriculated. This also refers to the minimum requirement for progressing to University.


In Mexico, the twelfth grade is the last year of high school, where students are normally aged 17-18.

United Kingdom

In England and Wales, "Year 13" (or "Upper Sixth") is the second and last year of A-Level certifications, which are completed at the end of "Year 13" (or "Upper Sixth") Students are usually 16-17 in Year 12 and 17-18 in Year 13. In Northern Ireland this takes place in Years 13 and 14. In both cases, these two years are entirely optional, but generally required for entry into higher education. In Scotlandmarker, this is 6th year. Sufficiently good marks in 5th year may be adequate for entry into higher education (Highers are the entry qualifications to university, of which can be sat in S5, S6 and college, with Advanced highers being the equivalent to year one of university which can be sat following higher exams). There exist specific sixth form colleges dedicated to these years of education, sometimes known as "further education" to distinguish it from both secondary education, which is compulsory, and higher education, which implies university studies.

United States

The twelfth grade is the twelfth school year after kindergarten. It is also the last year of compulsory secondary education, or "high school" in the U.S. often, students enter the grade as 17-years-old and graduate as 18-years-old.

Many students consider senior year a year to take life easy and prepare to transition out of their old lives into college or the workplace. The class work for some is generally not as difficult as in the eleventh grade because the eleventh grade is generally the year where the important examinations take place such as SAT and ACT . While others take advantage of the opportunity to complete additional higher level courses, such as Advanced Placement, and earn credits for college.

Traditions associated with the senior year

Nearing the end of the school year, there is a graduation event, more formally referred to as commencement, where the Seniors formally graduate from High School and receive their diplomas.

In many schools, seniors sit for formal senior portraits at the beginning of the school year or the summer prior to senior year. These portraits are used in the upcoming graduating class's yearbook. The senior portraits in the yearbook are often in full color and bigger than the smaller black and white pictures typically used for lower grades , some may even have a caption or a quote from the student.

Customarily there is a formal dance for this year's students, called senior prom. Some schools hold a combined prom for juniors and seniors, while others segregate the two grades into separate dances.

Senior skip day (also known as senior ditch day) is a day during which the seniors do not attend school and cut all their classes. This event/tradition is often not recognized by school administrations and teachers. In some areas it is countered with an officially recognized senior day off, or by allowing graduating seniors to skip their final examinations ("finals"). This official senior day can also be used to sponsor a "senior trip" where the graduating class would, for example, go to a theme park or some other vacation-type activity.

In some schools, Seniors receive a class ring at the beginning of their senior year. A "senior prank" is another common tradition in which the class may contribute towards a practical joke on the school or administration.

Latin America

In Latin America except in Chile, El Salvador, Panama, Uruguay and some Mexican regions, there is no grade 12; secondary education terminates with 11th grade. In Chile the 12th grade is called "4to (Cuarto) Medio", meaning "Fourth secondary". In Argentina is called "quinto año" or "tercero polimodal". In Brazil, the 12th grade is called "Terceiro Ano", is the third grade of the Secondary Education.

In Venezuelamarker is called "QUINTO AÑO" and is the last year of high school

See also


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