Bartek Zdunek Outsourcing

Indian Education System Compared To The USA

US to Indian Education System Comparison

Back in the days in India, the Gurukula system of education was available for anyone wishing to study.

A teacher was known as a guru, and students went to his house to request to be taught. If the guru accepts the student, then he would move into the teacher’s house and cohabit with him until the end of education. 

During the stay at the guru’s house, the student would help with home chores. Thus, a robust teacher-student bond was forged as the student helped and learned how to run a house.

On the other hand, the guru had the responsibility to educate the child on everything from Sanskrit, Holy Scriptures, Mathematics, and Metaphysics. 

There was no time limit for the students to stay at the guru’s home, but there was liberty to stay as long as they wished.

Also, if the guru felt that the students had learned enough to take on life, he would release them.

Learning was unique and linked to nature, unlike today’s education, where children memorize specific information.

Modern School System in India

In the 1830s, Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay introduced the modern school system to India.

The system included the English language, and the curriculum consisted of advanced subjects like science and mathematics. 

With the new education system, the existence of subjects like metaphysics and philosophy was deemed unnecessary.

The modern education system happens in classrooms, which broke the link between the teacher and student. It broke the relation to nature and the close bond Gurukula created.

The first board of education was in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state for High School and Intermediate Education in 1921.

There was jurisdiction over Rajputana by the board, Central India and Gwalior. Another Board of High School and Intermediate Education for Rajputana was established in 1929, with more committees being established later.

A constitution amendment in 1952 renamed the board to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). 

Education for all children was universal and compulsory in the age group 6-14, which was a highly cherished dream by the new government in the Indian Republic.

Today, primary education is a fundamental right for all Indian citizens. There must have been push factors like the lack or scarcity of skilled human resources, which influenced the government to make such a decision. 

In recent years, the Indian government has had an education expenditure of about 3% of the GDP, although it is deficient. In later years, the primary education expenditure increased from 0.7(1951-52) to 3.6% (1997-98).

The Indian school system has four levels, Lower (6-10yrs), upper(11-12yrs), and higher secondary(17-18yrs).

American education vs. Indian education, which system is better?

An education system that can transform and redefine a person from an ordinary one to a professional is remarkable.

Both American and Indian Education systems have potential, and indeed they have produced great personalities as doctors, journalists, scientists, among others. 

Talking of great people, for example, Sundar Pichai, the Google CEO since August 2015. He is an Indian American born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu India, in 1972.

He grew up and schooled in Chennai to a degree level from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. 

There are many Indian famous personalities known by their pen names from around the world such as Mahatma Gandhi otherwise known as Father of the Nation or Bapu, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – Frontier Gandhi, Badshah Khan, Dadabhai Naoroji – Grand older man of India, and Valmiki – Adi Kavi among many more.

However, as high as both education systems are, they also have strengths and weaknesses.

None is perfect, which is why we take an in-depth look into each below.

The education system in the USA

Being a developed country, the USA has a far more advanced Education, that is different from the rest of the world and much better.

The system is in three levels, elementary school, middle and high school. Each level is of different age groups and grades. 

Once a child joins the elementary school, they begin in the first grade and get promoted until the 12th grade, the final year of high school.

After completing high school, students can enroll for further studies in post-secondary commonly referred to as College. 

The child begins school at the age of 5 and finishes up at approximately 17years. There is more emphasis on reading and writing, maths, understanding concepts, and practicals.

Students have the sole responsibility to choose subjects that interest them and also to study hard to succeed. 

Besides, sports, technical education, arts, and foreign languages are of equal importance alongside the curriculum.

Also, students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities like drill teams, bands, and football. 

Non-athletic activities like musical groups, school newspapers, and debate teams are supported too.

All students are encouraged to participate in more than one apart from the curriculum. 

The USA education system delivers the following.

– Learning.

– Children are equipped to understand as well as explore concepts.

– Students learn and understand concepts not only by reading but also by practicals.

– It is not about putting pressure on kids to pass exams

– There are more learning and understanding than academic competitiveness.

– With the freedom to choose, one does not have to excel academically, but also through non-academic activities like sports.

Education pattern in India

The American system may seem incredible, but not until you hear about the Indian system, which will fascinate you more.

The Education system in India is improving every day, and it has caught the eyes of many, including people beyond Indian borders. 

As earlier discussed, the historical background of Indian Education included the Puranas and the Vedas. The current Indian education system comprises pre-primary, primary, secondary, and senior secondary education and, finally, higher education. 

Pre-primary begins with kindergarten, the primary is middle school, and secondary is high school. Subsequently, Higher secondary education goes up to the 12th standard.

Then one can pursue further studies with graduation or post-graduation level. 

Kids have a specific design of a curriculum that includes specified subjects. Besides, there are also extracurricular activities, and kids can opt to participate. Sports form a crucial part of the curriculum, although only the selected children take part. 

Lately, the curriculum has improved, and more attention is being paid to practical activities.

A detailed evaluation of the functional activities of the kid relating to projects is more and less importance is given to theory and written exams. 

Indian education delivers the following:

– Children prepare to read and absorb

– Memorizing subjects is more with study materials.

– Generally, academic performance is crucial.

– The teacher-student relationship is strained with at least 50 students in a class 

– Academic excellence is a high preference for sports or any other achievement.

– Teachers gain and hold great value and respect from students and parents.

Similarities between Indian and US education

– All teachers must be qualified through a specified curriculum

– Best infrastructural facilities

– Both systems impart necessary, meaningful education

– There are well-equipped labs.

– Both systems (countries) have the concept of private and public schools.

– The curriculum in both countries are perfectly tailored

Differences in the education system in India and the USA

The truth is, the education system in India and the USA differ significantly. The current Indian Certificate of Secondary Education ICSE or International General Certificate of Secondary Education(IGCSE) is purported to be global, but the pattern and surroundings are not alike.

It is the same story about the school’s environment and the teachers.

– In the USA, teachers only qualify after a Bachelor’s or Masters for Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Also, there are expectations of what they should teach the children who are well defined in the courses they take. On the other hand, Indian teachers become fit to begin their teaching career once they pass the Masters’ or Bachelors’s degree in education.

Both the Masters and Bachelors degrees in the two countries are of the same education standards.

– Schools in the USA have 20-30 students per teacher ratio, unlike in India, where a regular classroom has 50 or more students.

However, the situation might now be different from ICSE and CBSE schools in India. Also, as earlier discussed, the education system is improving day by day.

– In India, the education pattern is more traditional, and students are expected to learn all subjects. Extracurricular activities and sports are given less emphasis.

But, schools in the US provide equal importance to extracurricular activities and games.

– The US education system is more flexible than the Indian education system

– The standards of education in India are higher than those of the US.

In India, students are prepared to prepare for life challenges, unlike the US education standards, which are flexible enough for all students to pass out High school simply.

– As it is well known to the world, Indians are the best in technical issues. The education system stresses mathematics and sciences subjects.

On the other hand, the US education system makes the subjects optional. 


– In the Indian education system, corporal punishment is still very much in practice, but in the US, they make it more practical without corporal penalty. They mainly suspend or ground students for different periods depending on the offense or expulsion if the mistake is grave.

India’s Literacy Levels in Comparison to the USA

The Indian education system is one of the biggest in the world. Daily, about 290 million students are attending classes somewhere, which is more than the total population of any country in the world, apart from China and the USA. 

India has a total of over 1.2 million schools that range from pre-primary to senior secondary. 


Over 1.1 million students are in colleges and Universities with a vast army learning diverse vocational skills. There are 6.3 million teachers who guide and nurture the young into adulthood. 


After India’s Independence, the larger population was illiterate. However, there has been a tremendous expansion in literacy over the years though not all people are educated.

 By 1961, about 28% of Indians were illiterate, which improved in the years that followed. In 2006, the literacy rate was 66%, which was an impressive jump of 40%. The enormous improvement took over 60 years, but they are impressive.


The other part of the population, making about 380 million, is illiterate. 

This makes the highest number of an uneducated population for any country. The name is more elevated than India’s total population after independence, making it the third with the highest population. 


The total number of children and the youth between 6-24 years is about 460 million, which is the ideal age group to be in school. But, 63% of them are in school, leaving 170 million potential students in a lurch. 

Compared to high-income countries like the USA, over 92% of the age group is 5 – 24 years old. Middle-income countries have 73% of the same age group studying, while low-income countries have 56% of the same age group.


How Does an Indian GPA differ from a United States GPA?

Profiling a student’s performance with the prospect of studying abroad is in different aspects, especially those who wish to study in the USA. Most students worry about a good GRE, but the Grade Point Average( GPA) is also essential. However, the greatest challenge is how GPA is calculated differently in their home country than in the USA. 


The Difference Between the US and Indian GPA


The US GPA is on a four-point scale. A student with 4.0 points is a straight-A student. A 3.0 student is graded at B, and so on. On the other hand, India uses a percentage-based system where the marks scored are classified in a percentage range of 0-100% within four divisions, as demonstrated below. The divisions are as follows:


  • The distinction is 75% and above
  • 1st Division is from 60-75%;
  • 2nd Division is the mark from 50-60%;
  • The 3rd Division is from 40-50%.


The above detail demonstrates that if the mark is higher, the grade is better. For the Indian students, the lower the percentage, the bigger the number. 


Reasons for GPA Conversion

International students find profile evaluation to GPA as a tricky part. You can find profile evaluators who convert GPA while some may not.

Before a profile evaluation for MS in the US, be clear if it is necessary to turn GPA and if they can do it for you. 

Usually, the conversion of letter grades or percentages into a United States GPA is easy. First, rates are converted to letter grades then into GPA. The internet floods with many GPA conversion tables and tools. But, there is an accurate way to convert an Indian degree to GPA.

For accuracy, the conversion method should take into account the strength of the Indian institution where the student got the classes from.

For instance, World Education Services (WES), has a magnificent excellent grade point average conversion tool. Using this conversion tool aids Indian students to convert GPA to the United States’ four-point scale accurately.

While on the same, you also find a tool showing degree equivalency. Also, any other degrees received in other countries can be translated to the United States. 

As discussed above, remember that the grading system in India and the USA differ.

The minimum grade in India is 50% while using the same formula, an average student with 70% would have a GPA of 2.3 in the US, which is low.

Thus, it is vital to get evaluations and conversions by a professional for matters of accuracy.  

Why should you employ the help of profile evaluators?

 If you apply to study in the US with grades from a foreign institution, the school will ask for the original transcript then evaluate them using their criteria, which might not be favorable to you.


The growth and improvement of the Indian education system have come a long way. Although the country ranks in the third position with the largest population, the government is doing an excellent job of educating everyone.

According to World Factbook reports, the US has a literacy rate of 99%, and it takes the 28th position out of 214 nations.

The literacy rate in India is 69.1, which by the book is the ability to read, write by the age of 15 years.

This number is the literacy rate both in rural and urban India. 

Developing countries are increasingly acknowledging the importance of education in entirety. Although it is taking long, with different struggles, especially financially to support the education system, they are slowly coming up. 

To better its population, India must build the necessary infrastructure then ensure students are enrolled in the facilities regularly.

Some countries may lag in realizing the necessity of supplying quality education to their masses to be part of the competitive global market growth.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paula Jones
Paula Jones
7 months ago

What I think, the education system of both India and USA are equally effective and have produced leaders in several fields.

Sasha Powell
Sasha Powell
7 months ago

I think the academic study in India is very formal and is viewed as a routine while that in the USA is a learning process.

Maxime Regime
Maxime Regime
6 months ago

After the independence of India, the growth and improvement of the Indian education system have come a long way.

Britt Contreas
Britt Contreas
6 months ago

Both the systems have managed to develop the legendary personalities from steve jobs to sundar pichai.

Ela Wonders
Ela Wonders
7 months ago

It is clear why Indian born CEOs are ruling top IT company.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x