The gap months between high school and college

Amit Shah


Amit Shah is a retired publishing executive and owner of Green Comma, a service company for education and social-impact nonprofits. He divides his time between Somerville, MA, and Lovell, Maine, with his wife, Pam, and two cats. His adult sons live in Brooklyn, NY, and Baltimore, MD, respectively.

Amit Shah. In the interregnum between high school and college. Jan-Feb. 1967. Silchar, Assam.

In December 1966, when I was sixteen years old, I took the then final exams for high school graduation in Calcutta (now Kolkata). They were the contemporary equivalent of the 12th grade examinations. Called Senior Cambridge O Levels, they were usually tests in seven to eight subject areas. There were three streams of students in those days-humanities, science, vocational/general. I was in the humanities group.

We had to wait for three months for the test booklets to be shipped to the UK and then graded. The results posted were in our respective school notice boards in mid- to late-March. After that, there was a scramble to apply for college admissions, with colleges beginning the academic year in mid-July.

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