A parent in Australia is talking about the unusual figures about his son's school results, because the reading figures of the Year 3 students are better than the Year 5 ones. So, he wonders about that. And the teacher says to him that Last year the school accepted a large number of students from families where no one has ever learned to read. And, the parent understands it and agrees and say:

That would definitely affect those year levels.

The expression "....those year levels" seem to refer to the "Year 3 students" and "Year 5 students."

Instead of saying "...those year levels", can I omit the word "LEVELS" and simply say That would definitely affect those years."?

In other words, if I didn't use "LEVELS", would "....those years" still be referring to the "the students" OR would it be referrign to "the year in usual sense" - a period of 365 days.?

  • 1
    Education is very different in the UK, US and other English speaking countries. The UK has "years", the US has "grades" (and they don't mean the same thing). This isn't a difference in dialect, it is a difference in educational systems, laws and culture. So to make this question answerable, you should specify where in the world this conversation is taking place.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 23:00
  • However the comment about "families where nobody has ever learned to read" makes me think that this is not taking place in either the UK nor the US.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 23:09
  • This conversation is taking place in Australia.
    – Yunus
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


It's common in British English to refer to each scholastic year group as a 'year', but in American English it is usually a 'grade':

  • Third year students.
  • Third grade students.

'Year level' is not an idiomatic term, but 'year group' is. And simply saying 'years' to mean year groups would be fine in context where it is clear what you meant. My daughter's school regularly refers to year groups this way in communications, for example:

  • Year 10 reports will be available next week
  • Years 9 & 10 sports day is on 9th June.

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