I've been meeting all the three words (class, form, grade) related to schooling, but I can't get my head around the differences. Please could you explain the differences? I need to know which one of them means a group of young people of about the same age who study at school together in the same classroom during one school year.

Here are some examples:

"There are several parallel classes in ordinary schools, but we had only five classes in total."; "We studied in class".

"She studies in the second form"

"He is in the second grade"

1 Answer 1


There is overlap in the meanings and it depends, to some extent, on whether you are using AmE or BrE.

In the UK a class or form tends to mean the same thing. A group of young people who study in the same classroom during one school year. In most schools there would be several such forms who, together make up a year. Most UK schools so not use grade in this context, reserving it for exam results ranking.

In the USA I believe class can mean either a single group, as in the UK, or the entire year, as in "class of 2019". Grade is used to distinguish the year groups. First Grade being the entry level for the youngest children, often known as "reception"or "Year 1" in the UK. I'm not sure that the Americans use form that much, but if they do it will probably be the same as in the UK.

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