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Twelfth grade or Senior year, or Grade Twelve, are the North American names for the final year of secondary school. In most countries students then 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. Twelfth grade is typically the last and senior year of high school.
In Australia, the twelfth grade is referred to as Year 12. In New South Wales, students are usually 16 or 17 years old when they enter Year 12 and 17–18 years during graduation (end of year). All students in Year 12 work towards getting an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) or OP (Overall Position, which applies only to students in the state of Queensland), which will allow them access to courses at university. In Victoria, this is achieved by completing the VCE and in New South Wales this is achieved by completing the HSC.
In New South Wales, when completing the [HSC], students are required to satisfactorily complete at least 10 units of study in ATAR courses which must include:
Students can leave school at the age of 15 only if they have a full-time job or are doing a TAFE course.
Year 12s also usually receive a Year 12 Jersey. Schools choose the design, colours and writing which are printed or stitched onto the jersey. Generally the last two digits of the year they are graduating are printed on the back, for example "12" for 2012 school leavers and above is a personalised nickname. The front usually shows the school emblem and students name which are generally stitched in.
Many schools conduct end of year "formals", similar to a senior prom and are held from anytime between graduation in September to November.
In Brazil, the 12th grade is called terceiro ano do ensino médio, or third grade of high school. During this grade, most students apply to what is called Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio (ENEM), the Brazilian equivalent of the SATs in the US, and vestibular, the individual entrance examination particular to each university.
As in many countries, Grade 12 students attend Graduation, which involves a formal official ceremony, a party where students, relatives and friends are invited and another party just for the students.
In Bulgaria the twelfth grade is the last year of school.The students are 18–19 years old
In Canada, 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 will be turning 17 by December 31 of that year. In many Canadian high schools, students, during their year, hold a series of fundraisers, grade-class trips, and other social events. Grade 12 Canadian students attend Graduation which usually involves an official ceremony and a dinner dance.
Ontario previously had Grade 13, which was briefly renamed Ontario Academic Credit (OAC), before being phased out, leaving Grade 12 as the final year. Grades 12 and 13 were similar to sixth form in England.
Quebec is the lone province that does not have Grade 12; their students finish secondary school at the equivalent of Grade 11 and then do two years of college before going to university. Thus, when a student is in Grade 12 in Ontario, for instance, the student in Quebec is in his first year of college.
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador did not introduce Grade 12 until 1983.
In Denmark, the twelfth grade is the 3rd G, its equivalent is the 3rd grade of secondary school, or gymnasium. This is not compulsory, as education is only compulsory through 9th grade. Students are often 18-19 because there is a one year gap (it is optional; you can go directly to the first year of secondary school) between the 9th grade and gymnasium's 1st G were students typically go on a trip or go to some special easy going art and sport oriented schools called "afterschool". Sometimes it is also because Danish children first start school at 6 or 7.
The twelfth grade is the third and usually last year (a fourth year is possible) of High School or secondary school (or Gymnasium) The students graduate from High School the year they turn 19. The twelfth grade is shorter than the previous ones because the twelfth graders lessons end in February and they go on to take their final exams shortly afterwards. Compulsory education ends after the ninth grade, so the upper grades are optional.
The equivalent grade in this country is Terminale, it is the third year of lycée which is equivalent to gymnasium, upon completion of which students sit for a test, the Baccalauréat. 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. This is not compulsory, as education is only compulsory until you are 16.
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 India, the equivalent grade is referred to as the "twelfth standard", or "plus 2" or in some regions "second year junior college" (SYJC) or PreUniversity Course (PUC). 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 with BITSAT, administered by BITS, Pilani, being India's most competitive  entrance exam. Over 450,000 students also appear for the IIT-JEE exam, competing for 10,000 seats at the IITs.The AIIMS entrance test is also one of the toughest exams for admission to undergraduate courses in medicine. Around 80,000 students compete for 50 seats. The CBSE and ICSE boards conduct twelfth standard courses nationally, while state boards operate at the state-level.
In Ireland, it is the sixth and final year of Secondary School, Sixth Year or Séú Bhliain (for 17-18 year olds), in which students take the Leaving Certificate Examinations or Scrúduithe na hArdteistiméireachta. Students usually attend a dance or formal party at the end of this year before they move on to third level education or start their adult lives, this is known as a Debs or Grad, this is somewhat similar to prom in the United States .
In Israel, the twelfth grade is the third and last year of High School. Students typically begin this grade when they are about 17 years old, and in order to graduate, they have to pass and get a Bagrut certificate. Once finished, student are required to either serve in the Israeli military or do the Israeli community service for a time period (the number of years may vary).
In Pakistan, the twelfth grade is the second and final year of college (the first being the eleventh grade) and is equivalently called the "second year." Students who graduate from the second year are normally between seventeen to eighteen years old. For entrance into universities and postgraduate education, students undergo standardised academic exams conducted by the National Testing Service.
In Scotland, this is sixth year (or S6). Sufficiently good marks in 5th year may be adequate for entry into higher education. Highers are the entry qualifications to university 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.
At the end of Grade 12, students are said to be matriculated. This also refers to the minimum requirement for progressing to University. On average, Grade 12 students are between the ages of 17 and 18.
In Sweden, the twelfth grade does not officially exist, but its equivalent is the 3rd grade of secondary school, or gymnasium. This is not compulsory, as education is only compulsory until 9th grade.
Courses vary as students choose a specific programme in 1st grade of secondary school, or gymnasium. Examples of programmes are: Nature and science, Arts, Economics, Health and care, industry. There are 18 national programmes, where 12 of them will get the students ready for work, and 6 will prepare the students for more advanced studies.
Students graduate the same year they'll turn 19, depending on if you are born early or late in the year you are either 19 or 18 at the day of your graduation.
In Mexico, the twelfth grade is the last year of high school, where students are normally aged 17–18. As in Mexico the education is divided in "primaria" (6 years), "secundaria" (3 years) and "preparatoria" or "bachillerato" (3 years), the twelfth grade is usually called "tercero de preparatoria" (third grade of preparatoria) or "Quinto y Sexto Semestre" (Fifth and Sixth Semester)
In New Zealand, 12th grade is known as Year 13. Students entering Year 13 are usually 17–18 years old. This is the last year of high school. In Year 13, students complete NCEA Level 3, which involved getting a certain number of 'credits' from different exams and other assessments. Students must gain 80 achieved credits or higher (20 of which are taken from Level 2) to pass the year.[³]
In England and Wales, "Year 13" (or "upper Sixth") is the 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. 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.
The twelfth grade is the twelfth school year after kindergarten. It is also the last year of compulsory secondary education, or "high school". Students often enter the grade as 17/18-year-olds and graduate as 18/19-year-olds.
Many students consider the twelfth grade a year to relax and prepare for 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. Others take advantage of the opportunity to complete additional higher level courses, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, to earn credits for college.
Science courses include Advanced Placement Chemistry, Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Astronomy/Meteorology, CSI Forensic Science, Marine Biology and/or Advanced Placement Physics B, Advanced Placement Physics C: Mechanics or Advanced Placement Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism.
Social Studies courses include Government Law, Economics, Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics, Advanced Placement Comparative Government and Politics, Advanced Placement Psychology, Advanced Placement European History, Advanced Placement Microeconomics and/or Advanced Placement Macroeconomics.
English classes include Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, Film and Literature, Sports and Literature, and/or Contemporary Lit. Popular works include Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Pygmalion, The Handmaid's Tale, Frankenstein, Othello, Inferno, Goethe's Faust, Brave New World and works of Romantic poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, John Keats, and William Wordsworth, and others such as Emily Dickinson.
Art classes include Advanced Placement Art History, Advanced Placement Studio Art, Advanced Placement Music Theory Applied art in Theatre, Music Theory For Garage Band Musicians, IB Musical Analysis, IB Theatre Arts, Advanced Technical Theatre, Advanced Photography, Advanced Cyramics, Fashion Design and Illustration, Theatre Dance, Jazz Dance, IB Dance Studies Madrigal Singers, Jazz Singers, and/or Wind Ensemble.
Business classes include College Marketing, College Entrepreneurship, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, College Preparatory Interview Classes, and Advanced Fundamentals in Business.
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 either in full color or black and white, but 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 field trip" where the graduating class would, for example, go to a theme park or some other vacation-type activity. Following graduation, many seniors go on Senior Week, where they spend a week at the beach with their friends.
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.
In Latin America—except in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico —there is no grade 12; secondary education terminates with the 11th grade.
Mexico's 12 grade is called "tercero de preparatoria" (3rd grade of preparatory school), or 5th & 6th semesters.
Panama's 12 grade is called "Senior Year" which is also 11th grade.
In Chile the 12th grade is called 4to (cuarto) medio, meaning "fourth secondary".
Dominican Republic's 12th grade is called " quarto bachillerato" or "doceavo"
In Guatemala is called "quinto bachillerato".
In Argentina it is called quinto año, sexto año or tercero polimodal (Provinces have got different curriculums). Students usually rent a saloon and organize a dinner and a party for themselves, their friends and families. They have an entrance with specially chosen music and they are often accompanied with one of their parents.
In Ecuador it is the final year of high school and it is called Tercero de Bachillerato (formerly, Sexto Curso) because secondary education consists of three years of Educación Basica (basic education) and three years of Bachillerato (baccalaureate). This follows the Escuela Primaria (primary school) which consists of 7 years of basic education, beginning from Primero de Educación Básica (First) until Séptimo (Seventh).
In Brazil, the 12th grade is called terceiro ano and is the third and last grade of the secondary education.
In Italy, the twelfth grade is the fourth year of the high school (which is called Scuola media superiore or Scuola secondaria di secondo grado). There are five years of high school total, sometimes grouped in different ways (2+3, 2+1+2), depending on the type of high school the student is attending.