Different colleges select how to break up their academic year in different ways. Some people divide them into two phases, while others break them up into three. Colleges have even chosen to divide their academic year into four sections.
What’s The Difference Between a Semester and a Trimester In School?
Now consider the distinction between trimesters and semesters.
Semesters are when colleges divide the academic year into two sections, each of which lasts about 20 weeks. Students take a break between the two sections of the semester, usually approximately 2-3 weeks, to prepare for the following semester.
Many universities go even further and divide the two semesters into two, resulting in quarters, or terms as we call them. The terms are then about ten weeks long, with a ten-day break in between.
Trimesters are when a college divides its academic year into three sections, each of which lasts 12 to 13 weeks. Students take a break after each session before returning for the next trimester.
In South Africa, most colleges use the semester system, while the trimester system is uncommon. Universities use semesters exclusively, while schools focus on terms. The trimester split is most commonly used in colleges.
Students can vary their calendars or timetables three times a year in trimesters, whereas semester classes only change twice.
The advantage of Trimesters is that if a student wants to switch modules, they don’t have to wait as long as they would if they used the semester method, but the disadvantage is that the academic year may be shorter.
Students would have to wait an entire 20 weeks if they wanted to switch modules because semesters make the academic year longer.
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