3.5 Culture: High school and college in Egypt

In this section

  • You will learn about the high school and college admission in the Arab World and particularly Egypt.

Watch this video and discuss:

What is the setting?

What are they talking about? What do all agree on?


Culture Notes

  • In this lesson, you learned about the types of school in Arab countries which include المدرسة الإبتدائية followed by المدرسة الإعدادية then المدرسة الثانوية
  • The last year of high school is referred to as الثانوية العامة which entails the country-wide examinations that student sit for at the end of that year.
  • In Egypt, for example, as you see in the video, this is a high stakes exam that cause stress for students as they race for places in colleges. To survive in the race, families have taken it for granted that their kids take private tutoring دروس خصوصية which entails financial burdens as well.
  • The process of college admission in public universities is based on the total percentage in all exams. This creates tense competition as students may miss their chance to study at top colleges by a few points or even half a point.
  • Based on prestigious national ranking, some colleges are referred to as top colleges كليات القمة . They admit students with above a 95% and some only admit students with a score higher than 99%. Examples of top colleges are the college of medicine, college of pharmacology, and college of political sciences. Average colleges include college of Arts, college of Law and college of Business.

Activity (10): Discuss with your classmates the differences between the college systems in both the Arab World and your country in terms of the following:

  1. High school
  2. Cumulative total
  3. Top colleges
  4. Grading
  5. Private tutoring
  6. College admission


Key Takeaways

  • You can search the differences in high school and college admission in different Arab countries.


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Elementary Arabic II Copyright © 2021 by Ayman Mohamed and Sadam Issa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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