Term vs Semester
Term and semester are words commonly heard at educational institutions. These words are used for the length or the time period for which a session lasts or has been so scheduled. Term is a generic word that applies to the duration of the academic session while colleges have specific words like semester and trimester being used as the case may be. Many new students get confused when they hear two words being used for the same duration of the academic schedule. This article attempts to make clear the differences between the terms term and semester.
Term is a general word in English language that means duration or the length of time. In academic circles, term means the academic term or the schedule of educational institution for the year. Different schedules are followed by different schools and colleges in the world because of differences in weather and climate.
While, in Southern Hemisphere, the term starts from February and continues till December, hot summers in Northern Hemisphere do not allow the session to extend in May and June that are considered too hot for studies. However, it has to be understood that terms are of varying durations in different educational institutions, and there could be 2 or even four terms in a college in a single year.
Semester is an English world that means a half year or a time period of six months. The academic term of a college may be a semester which means there are two terms in a single year, and the academic session is divided into two equal semesters. In some colleges, trimester pattern is followed which divides a year into three parts each being 4 months in duration. There are even quarters as terms in a college dividing a session into 4 equal parts. If a college is following a semester pattern, the term may be divided into Fall and Spring semesters. There are only two semesters in an academic session both are being of roughly equal durations.
What is the difference between Term and Semester?
• Term is a generic word that is used in educational institutions, to describe the duration of an academic calendar.
• Term is the word used more in Britain while semester is the word more common in US educational institutions.
• The duration of a semester is 6 months and thus there are 2 semesters in a year.
• Some schools have trimesters, and even quarters, to have 3 and 4 terms per year.
• Both term and semester indicate the duration or the time period of sessions in an educational institution.
• Term is a general word while semester is more specific.