High School Education: Intro, Age, Levels, First Year and More

For most students in western countries, high school is the time when they truly shine. It is a phase in their lives when they explore life to the fullest while exploring college applications and taking a year off. On the contrary, for students in India, high school is the equivalent of growing up into adulthood, facing the board exams, and preparing for college.

In this blog, we will look at high school from an Indian perspective, explore what it is, its importance, and every small detail of importance. Let’s begin.

What is high school?

A high school is the final generally stage or phase of a student’s school education. It is a term that is generally used for students in classes 9-12. In India, high school is called ‘higher secondary school’. It is often seen as a crucial stage in every student’s life where they make the transition from generalized learning to more sophisticated and focused training.

What are the age groups of students studying at different levels or classes in a high school?

The age group of students studying in different levels or classes in a high school can be in the range of ages 14-17 or 15-18 depending on how young they were when they first started school.

Therefore a list of the age group of students in different levels or classes in a high school:

  • Class 9: 14 and 15 year olds.
  • Class 10: 15 and 16 year olds.
  • Class 11: 16 and 17 year olds.
  • Class 12: 17 and 18 year olds.

Students who start their formal education at an earlier age tend to graduate high school when they turn 17 years old. On average, most students graduate school when they turn 18 years old.

How is a high school different from a secondary school?

Moreover, the secondary school is an intermediary stage between primary school and high school. It generally consists of classes 6-8.

  • It is in these classes that students go through rigorous subject training in all subject areas.
  • Be it maths, science, or social studies – students have to study all subjects in secondary school. The idea is to provide them with a strong foundation for each subject matter so that they can pick their favourite subjects in senior classes.

On the contrary, high school refers to grades 9-12. In these classes, students get a more wholesome understanding of each subject.

  • In classes 9 and 10, students continue to study all subjects. Students in both these classes prepare for the 10th class board exams. Therefore In this exam, a student’s understanding of each subject matter is tested across India.
  • In class 11 and 12, students get the opportunity to study those subjects that they like the best. They can choose between any one of these subject streams: Arts, Science, and Commerce. Once chosen, a student studies these streams more intimately in a closer and more focused manner.

What is the importance of a high school?

The role of high school (as it is called in western countries) such as, or higher secondary schools (as it is called in India) is multidimensional. Here’s a short list outlining the role that high school plays in India’s education system to shape the future of each student:

  • Importance of 9th and 10th grade: these classes allow students to understand what subjects they would like to take in 11th and 12th grade. These classes also strengthen students’ understanding of each subject and help them decide their future goals more effectively.
  • Importance of 11th and 12th grade: these classes set the tone for a student’s future career because they are more likely to study these subjects at the undergraduate level.
  • A commerce student is eligible to take courses are more likely B.Com (Hons), Maths (Hons), Economics (Hons), and BBA in college.
  • An arts student is more similarly to take up courses like B.A Programme, History (Hons), Psychology (Hons), Sociology (Hons), etc.
  • A science student is similarly more likely to take up medical courses in college.


In this blog, we have given a quick overview of a high school concerning the Indian context. Therefore our goal is to help our readers understand the importance of high school and its crucial role in shaping a teenager’s life in these formative years. Hence high school’s most significant importance lies in its role in helping students prepare for their college admissions and select the key subject areas of study.

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