Testing US education level

Last Updated on November 4, 2019

According to the press, the elementary school in America is not able to teach students even basic knowledge, the knowledge provided by the secondary school is clearly not enough for admission to college, but students who graduate from the college are completely helpless outside its walls. But recently we got very interesting statistics have been published. It showed that this opinion is very far from the truth.

Often we read news about the shortcomings and failures of education in the United States. Despite the well-known problems of the American secondary education system, graduates of American colleges specializing in computer science turned out to be well-developed and highly competitive specialists in comparison with their foreign competitors.

A study conducted by a team of King Billy AU researchers, compared graduates from US colleges with graduates from schools in: China, India and Russia. These three countries are famous for their first-class programmers and winners of international competitions, whose reputation is impeccable. Also successful actions of Russian and Chinese hackers are constantly reflected in the news.

In addition, China and India have large domestic software markets, served by a large number of local specialists. All these factors make programmers from these three countries a very relevant reference point where American graduates can be compared. At the same time, many students from these countries come to study to the United States.

So we cannot say that the results can be generalized in favor of the unequivocal success and total dominance of the American educational system throughout the world. These countries were examined very deeply and thoroughly. 85 different educational institutions involved in computer science were randomly selected.

Researchers agreed to conduct two-hour voluntary exam among students in their final year of study specializing in programming. The exam was prepared by specialists from ETS,  well-known because of international GRE test. It consisted of 66 questions with multiple-choice questions in each, and was conducted in the local language. Thee questions included discrete data structures, algorithms and estimates of their complexity, problems of storage and transmission of information, general tasks for programming and designing programs.

According to this exam, the results of Americans were much better. Despite the fact that American students go to college with significantly worse knowledge in mathematics and physics, by the time they graduate from college gaining a significantly better mark in tests.

On average, the result of Americans in the test was 0.76 standard deviations better than the result of Russians, Indians or Chinese.

Another interesting point was the analysis of gender differences. Boys from all countries showed on average a markedly better result than girls.

The fact that female programmers in the USA are subsequently paid less money than guys, apparently, has nothing to do with their real abilities.

Summarizing all the above, I would like to note that 65 thousand students annually complete USA computer science education. This number has grown significantly in recent years, but remains extremely far from China (185 thousand graduates-programmers annually) and India (215 thousand graduates) indicators. United States will not be able to abandon the “import” of foreign programmers in the foreseeable future, but the study shows that American graduates are better prepared than their foreign ones.

Author: Serg Dum

Almost 3 years I am devoted to work as a Chief Content Editor at King Billy Casino

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